When I wrote this post about creating a positive planning experience, I really felt I was onto something especially with my catch all planner. But at the same time, I felt a bit odd because I was constantly talking about it. As in, “why does positivity matter so much when planning?”. I mean it’s a PLANNER! How motivating does it need to be?
I have been using my planners since the beginning of the year. And just recently, I have added in the Cultivate What Matters Powersheet Planner, and I have to admit. I get absolutely giddy when it comes time for me to check in with all of my planners.
And things haven’t been the greatest. January was an exciting month, but also a bit depressing. But it never failed that opening up my planners encouraged me to want to get in motion. It made me want to act and do at least one productive thing everyday. Even when I didn’t feel like it.
And then it hit me.
That’s what a planner is supposed to do.
At least to me, a planner should not only just remind you of what needs to be done, but should also encourage you to do so.
It’s not hard for me to plan things out and create a system to get from point A to point B. The problem I have is staying motivated long enough to achieve those goals. And I believe that’s why I love decorative planning so much!
This absolutely doesn’t apply to everyone. But it is a remarkable realization for me. I feel I’ve finally found my planning groove and I just want to share with you how my catch all planner helps me stay positive and hopeful and encourages me to achieve goals.
Behold! The Erin Condren Planner!
First of all, the type of planner mattered a lot in achieving this positive experience. Yes… it did.
I love stationary, and so even though I can adjust to cheaper materials, there is just nothing better than writing on quality paper with quality pens in a quality planner. The overall aesthetic of this planner is so dang charming, I honestly can’t keep my hands off of it! (It’s weird… I know lol)
And I also love that the outside is a beautiful and bright watercolor cover with rose gold foiled embedded on the front and back. I love that the edges of pages are foiled as well as more accents throughout the planner. And the thickness of the paper and the way it feels to turn a page. It really feels like a book worth the price and I really enjoy using it. The planner itself makes me happy.
And yes, I’ll always be an EC girl. 🙂
Open Up The Vision Board!
Even though the vision board is currently still a work in progress, it still makes me happy! I got the idea to do a fold out spread from youtuber, Marquita from AtHomeWithQuita. Whereas she used hers for goal setting in her Happy Planner, I decided to create mine for my 2019 vision board.
I find myself opening it very often. I used some of my favorite cardstock papers and attached the pages together with some of my favorite washi tapes. Googled some pictures from pinterest, and some were personal pictures, and just glued them all in with some alphabet stickers. I made different sections through my vision board and I love flipping through it.
It reminds me of everything I really want to happen out of 2019 and that a lot of this really is possible.
I ended up attaching this to the inside of the front cover of the planner with some washi tape. It blends in nicely too with the rose gold foil, I think.
I Used Those Pesky 12 Boxes!
And made it into something really useful too! I talked about the many ideas I had for using the Erin Condren 12 boxes in this post, but overall, I think the idea to turn this into a Chore List tracker was a GREAT idea!
I got this idea from Youtuber SaltyKatie who does a chore list tracker in the back of her Passion Planner. Instead, I just finessed this idea to fit into the 12 boxes and walah! There you have it!
I have a box for each day of the week (Monday-Sunday) and also a box for things to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. At the bottom of the page, I wrote down a color coding key where personal is in blue, business is in purple, and cleaning is in yellow. This is definitely an idea I’ll be carrying on throughout the years.
When I sit down to pre-plan each week, I use this page as a reference for things that I want to (or should) get done in that week. I’m finding it very useful so far.
The Notes Pages
Usually, the notes pages are things I use for goal setting. But… don’t forget that I have 5 other planners to help with goal settings. And more recently an entire power-punching goal-setting BOOTCAMP planner. So in my catch all planner, I genuinely don’t need another page to write down goals.
So what better idea than to inject some more positive vibes in this planner!?
I have been thinking about it, and I will end up using each notes page for something entirely different for the whole year. But they will all be kind of reflection-type pages. If you are interested in what I’ll be abiding by, here are my ideas:
Notes Page Ideas
- January – Affirmations (saying things I want to manifest into my reality)
- February – Things I Love (obviously a page all about things that make me happy)
- March – Minimalism/Decluttering (the mind, the house, the life, etc)
- April – Funny Jokes and Things (things that make me laugh hysterically… cackle maniacally… cry tears of joy!)
- May – “Dear Child That I May Never Have” (I don’t really want to have kids lol but this would be a letter of all the things I’d want to tell my kid as the person I am now) and a letter to my mom
- June – “Dear Soulmate” (some words I would want to tell my soulmate… should that ever happen lol (people, I’m very weird about love and relationships just so you know)) and a letter to my dad
- July – Oh The Places You Will Go (places I’d like to visit and see no matter where, when, or why, just places I’d like to go in life)
- August – 31 Facts About Me (well, my age up day is in August so this notes page is just about me…)
- September – An Ode To Autumn (Fall is my favorite season and it starts in September, so I wanted to write a little something about why Autumn is the best!)
- October – You’re A Tough Cookie (I wanted to have a page to list all the reasons why I’m strong when I get to feeling like who I am isn’t enough)
- November – An Attitude of Gratitude (I’m also keeping a gratitude planner for the whole YEAR, but I figured one extra page couldn’t hurt… can you ever be too thankful?… Is that possible? Seriously!)
- December – Was It The Year You Thought It’d Be? (I want to kinda of scrapbook/memory plan on this notes page of all the highlights (and maybe lowlights) of the year of 2019)
So far, I’m only in February and already find a lot of joy in going back to reread the notes pages from January and February.
And as you can see, this catch all planner has instantly become more than a book of daily to-do’s. It’s already become a memory keepsake even though it’s still early in the year. But wait! There’s more! 🙂
Busy Little Monthlies!
This year I am being fully intentional on growing my business. So here in my monthly spreads, I like to track the hours I work on my business. I do that by means of washi tape and I write the hours I’ve worked with a sharpie permanent marker (pretty much the ONLY time you can use a sharpie marker in a planner lol).
The watercolor quarter and half boxes that I use are from my digital printable shop. I use those to mark down certain events I’d like to remember at a glance. Something as simple as watching a new movie or even happy mail are things I like to track at the moment.
On the sidebar, I write down my one big moment I’d like to work towards for that month.
As you see in January, my big moment was reopening my official digital shop for Kraizy Colorful Plans! And I just wrote down a bit on when it happened and how I felt, etc.
Overall, a nice colorful and engaging use of the monthly.
For my FAVORITE part…
Obviously the best part of this catch all planner is ABSOLUTELY creating my weekly spreads! Before I even DELVE into how I’m using it, can I… can I just SHOW you some of the colorful MADNESS going on in this catch all planner? Go on… go on… take a peek. I know you’re curious:
Interested in seeing more of them down the line? Take this time to follow my instagram. I post all my before and after the pen spreads there. 😉
WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON HERE?
Well, I use my catch all planner to catch… everything.
I actually separate my decorating session and my planning session between two different days and I’m enjoying it that way.
Normally, on a Thursday night, I like to sit down and began decorating my spread for next week. I might use a sticker sheet, or I might get crafty and doodle it in. I have actually been inspired by Youtuber Heather Kell who challenged herself last year to incorporate the color yellow into every single spread in her catch all planner so that it matched the yellow discs of her Happy Planner.
Since I love colors of all types… I couldn’t take on a challenge so strict. BUT! I did want to do SOME sort of challenge in my catch all planner. So I thought that incorporating some doodles/drawings in every spread was a great idea and so far, I’ve really been getting into it.
I love to get colorful and go all OVER the place in my weekly spreads.
And how do I actually USE my weekly spreads?
Yeah. Because you’re not interested in decorative planning at all are you?… Pffft. Sure you are! 😉
But yes, in the midst of all of this kaleidoscopic glory, this is VERY functional for me. And I will share with you how it works.
So yes, I do decorate my catch all planner spread on a separate day from when I actually PLAN in it. When I decorate my spreads, the ending results are pretty bare minimum. As a precursor, this is what this current week looked like before actually planning in it:
When I actually sit down to pre-plan, the days get filled in a little bit more with stickers and random handlettering and calligraphy.
And after that, I plan as I go. I sit down at the end of every night, update what I got finished that day and start planning for things I want to do the next day. I have a better idea of how I want that day to go since I can more clearly judge the way I will feel and what I still need to get done.
What I also love about this is that I can take the time to fill up the white spaces with stickers if it was a rather slow day, or squish in all the exciting things that actually did occur! Either way it’s exciting to look at when the week is completed.
So by the end of the week… well, you already know what’s happened. But here’s a glimpse of it almost completed:
FINALLY Found My PLANNING GROOVE!
Before this, I was the type of planner that filled in each day from top to bottom with trivial mundane tasks that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do. I wrote in tasks days before I had the chance to really evaluate how I would feel, and I never left myself much room to add in wonderful memories as they occurred.
I also didn’t really know how to use stickers either, but that’s a different story lol.
If you read this post I wrote before about positive planning, then you may remember how I said that I feel my most satisfied when my planners are “filled”. And that most of my tasks can end up taking so much time, it kind of sucks to only be able to check off one thing that I spent nearly the entire day doing.
Planning in this way helps to keep me motivated to do more. It’s a weird way to trick myself, but it makes me feel productive and encourages to be even MORE productive with my time. And it also encourages me to want to create more memories so that I can document them.
I know it might sound odd, but when I go back and flip through my catch all planner for 2019, I want to be able to remember so many wonderful things about the year. And I don’t want my catch all planner to JUST be a year of “daily to do’s”. Instead, I want it to be a reminder that everything I planned to do each day of this year moved me closer to the meaningful life I want to ultimately create. I want to go back through my catch all planner and relive all the moments of the year, not just all the tasks and appointments.
A Monthly Memory Planning Spread!
The wonderful thing about the Erin Condren Undated Planner, and perhaps… ANY undated planner for that matter, is that you get an extra week between each month! Well, since I follow the regular dating schedule of the EC planners, I have an extra week in each month.
And I have decided to use this page as a monthly memory planning page. I basically take all the great memories I’ve collected, any pictures, memorabilia, prints and cutouts, or if I just want to draw it in, and I make a collage in that last weekly spread.
January wasn’t the BEST month, but my memory planning spread for January helps me to think otherwise. I really enjoyed this idea and will continue to do that with each month.
And also, this is a great way to test if I actually want to keep a memory planner for next year. But the idea of having to come up with memories every week seemed daunting and tedious to keep up with. So doing one every month in my catch all planner is a nice “testing of the water” for me. And it’s always nice to go back and look through all my greatest memories from each month.
And so far… That’s It!
If you’ve hung out this far, I hope this post made you happy. 🙂
And perhaps you can re-evaluate how happy your catch all planner(s) make you! I know planning at it’s core is to be functional. But functional isn’t necessarily just bare bones. It’s the bare bone requirement for what will help you be productive.
And I suppose my requirement is just a bit higher than those who are comfortable with black ink and paper. After finding my happiness in the routine I’ve created and have been using for over a month now, this is definitely functional for me. And serves more purposes than any planner or sticky note I’ve ever come across. I don’t forget anything and I’m motivated to do everything! It keeps me from falling deep down into a depression but also helps me stay focused and clear on what I’m trying to achieve.
And with the new accompaniment of the Cultivate Powersheet Planner? I’m feeling pretty darn exquisite!
Much love! And as always, I hope you have a wonderful day!