Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What is With All These Planners?

Oh, yes. I love planners. Always have. Always Will. But, not in the way you might think...

Let me explain... (ps: there is a giveaway at the bottom)

I recently fell into a little YouTube rabbit hole and learned about some lovely planners/notebooks. Since I do love the look of blocks on a page full of hand written scribbles and promises of ideas yet to be set in motion, I was happy to take this little trip into Wonderland...

Oh, isn't that such a pretty stack!!!

Let's take a closer look. First up... the Hobonichi.

Hobo what? Basically, this is a little planner that was thought up by a Japanese Video Game programmer. Turns out, it has quite the cult following. Trust me, just go to YouTube and type in "Hobonichi".

Basically? It's doodling your day. This really appeals to me. First off, you know I am not one for the Project Life style of documenting. That said, the daily record of sorts intrigues me. So, the way I see it... this combines art journaling and daily record keeping all in a beautiful planner style book. That, I can get on board with!

Now, you might notice the lovely little cover I have it in?
This is a Faux-dori. Or a Midori notebook that is not the actual brand of Midori. More on that in a minute. 

The way this functions is via elastic band. There are several threaded through the spine and they hold a book in place...
You can see that I have my Hobo inserted into one band and a little Moleskine in another. Why the Moleskine? Well, as you know I don't like the pressure of daily documenting. So, if I don't feel like working in my Hobonichi on a certain day, I can just jot a few notes about that day in my little Moleskine and then come back to it when I feel like doodling that day.

Many people choose to use the Hobonichi as a planner. It wouldn't work for me in that capacity, but the "hobonichi-style" of journaling? Loving it.

Now, for the next book in that stack, the Midori. Or, Midori Traveler's Notebook, as they are officially called. Oh, they are SO lovely! Hand crafted in Taiwan of oil-tanned leather, they are the perfect notebook to carry around, every mark and scuff adding to the character and intrigue of what may be waiting inside...

I ordered mine on Amazon, but they can be found many places. Like the Hobo, many people also use these as planners. In fact, Midori does indeed make a calendar insert. However, I am choosing to use mine as a place for daily journaling, sketching, and doodles...

I am particularly loving the kraft insert, along with my white Signo Pen....
And sketching on grid paper with watercolors is pretty fun too!
I have a goal this year to sketch daily and journal more. This lovely little notebook is helping me achieve that goal!

And now, for the last book in that stack... the actual planner!

Or, The Brain, as I like to call it. I became so hooked on this elastic spine style of cover, that I had one custom made to fit my discbound planner
Not only did I want this yummy cover to carry around with me, but I also wanted extra bands to hold a pocket insert and a Moleskine for notes...
I must say, I am pretty excited about this!!! For more info and pictures about the inside of The Brain... take a look at this post.
It functions as a perfect planner system for me and it is pretty!

But, seriously...
What is With ALL the planner buzz?

They have taken the scrapbooking and paper crafting world by storm. From Webster's Pages, to Simple Stories and even to MAMBI, planners are everywhere.

But, really... there is nothing new about planners. 
FiloFax, DayRunner, Franklin Covey, Etc.... these have all been around for a bit. And if you think about it, it really was only a matter of time that something made of paper, made it's way into the paper crafting industry. 

And, since I do love my planner, what do I think of this new "trend?"
Am I going to be buying all of these yummy planner goodies and going to town?


Let me repeat....


Well, not for planning anyway. Believe me, I can think of many fun things to do with planner goodies, outside of the planner! I do love the look of a calendar and I will be putting these supplies to use in my scrapbooking. 

But not my planner.

As you read above, for me, a planner is a functional system. It is a place for me to write appointments, jot down notes, and keep records of our homeschool. Sure, I want it pretty. But, I have no plans to "decorate my week." 

Now, don't get me wrong! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! And, if that gets you playing with pretty paper, stamps, and glue... then, by all means... DO IT! 

It is so very important to access the creative parts of our brains on a daily basis and if planning is your vehicle for that, please, please... don't hold back.

It's just for me... planning is not that. 

Once again, I view planning as a system... a system that needs to function. Lists. Receipts. Notes. Ideas. Plans.

This is what I need. And, I need it to work for me. Just me. And, chances are... if it works for me, it may not work for you and vice versa. 

So, if this planner "trend" intrigues you because you like the idea of decorating your pages and having another place to get your creative juices flowing, then feel free to stop reading. 

But, if this planner "trend" has caught your eye because you need a system, then read on...

How do you decide what to do? The industry is exploding with options, how on earth is a girl to decide what system will work for her and her alone?

Day on a page? Week on a page? Just a pretty pad of paper? Month at a time? Oh. My. 

Too many things to think about? 

Not to worry!

The lovely Cara Vincens of thehootingpirate.com has an upcoming class:

Practically Perfect Planners is a six week course that will walk you through how to figure out what planning system will be practically perfect for you.

I am thrilled to be one of the contributors and will be sharing some things that I have found along the way as I have worked toward finding my perfect planning system.

There is that word again... SYSTEM.

This class will help you find YOUR unique system. And, I am giving away one spot in class! Read on for more...

Here is a detailed breakdown of the course, taken from Cara's website:

This is a 6 week course starting February 9 and running until March 22.

It includes:
* Immediate access to the pre-class information
* Class handouts, worksheets, videos, and emails each week.
* A private Forum where you can exchange ideas with your classmates and ask questions
* Custom printable planner pages to help you design your  practically perfect planner
* Custom printable elements (like tabs, lists and bookmarks) to use in your planner.

To give you a better idea of how the course will run, here is a break down of the week's lessons.

A video and welcome note will guide to start tracking your planner usage.
Printable Planner pages so that you can create a temporary planner to help track your planner use. 
You will have immediate access so that you can start right away tracking with a temporary planner.
PART ONE - Gathering Information
Week 1
Specific tracking of HOW your use a planner.
Worksheets with targeted questions will help you start to understand your methods.
Week 2
This week's worksheets have questions that go a little deeper now that you have at least one week of tracking under your belt.  
The more you use a planner the more you can see HOW you work.
Week 3 
The worksheets in this week have even deeper questions that investigate your habits and actions when it comes to planners to really pin down HOW you use your planner and what you need from it.
PART TWO - Review, Analyse and Brainstorm
Week 4
By now you will have a good handle on what is really working and what you need.  
You will compile a list of all the components that work well for you and those that don't in preparation to create your practically perfect planner.
Week 5
Yay!  This week we are getting to the really fun bit! Making, adapting or buying YOUR planner!
Week 6
The class handout this week will include lots of tips and information for tweaking your planner as you go forward.  
You will change so your planner must change with you.

*** Registration opens January 22, but I am giving away a spot today! ***

Just leave me a comment letting me know you were here and you will be entered to win a spot in class! That is a $47 value! I will leave the comments open until Sunday night at 5 p.m. EST and the winner will be emailed.

Cara really has thought of everything in this class. I am confident that, following along with her materials, you will be well on your way to the planner system that will work for you!

If you are needing a good system, you do not want to miss this!

I hope to see you there!


  1. Hello! I always love to take a class and yes I'm hooked on doodling my day too...thanks for the introduction to Hobonichi.

  2. Thank you thank you for all the IMHO! You have my brain buzzing and this class sounds like it would be really helpful too. Thanks!!

  3. Thank you so much for this chance to take this class. I would love to win it.

  4. I think the Brain would suit me because I could use an extra one :-) and if it came with an extra pair of hands that would be great, too. Thanks for the chance, looks informative and fun.

  5. Oh man, I really need to get my life organized and this sounds like just the class to get me started!

  6. This class sounds terrific as I'm looking for a new system as my teaching assignment has just changed and my day to day is set up in a totally different way.

  7. I am trying so hard not to fall down the Hobonichi well ... :) But I have that exact same cover that you're using for yours... except its got my planner pages in it :) Oh I love how it feels!! Planner LOVE!! <3

  8. this sounds like a fun class!!! Thanks for the chance!

  9. I would love to win this class! So much to learn!

  10. I love planners! Can't wait to learn!

  11. Love your planners, and where you talk about your planning system fits you, and we are unique in how we approach this. The class sounds really interesting, and could be the step to finally figuring out what works! What a fun giveaway...thanks Ashli!

  12. Your planners are amazing!! Thanks for the chance to win a spot in this class =)
    Hugs ~~ dawn

  13. Cool class! I would love the chance to be in this one! xo crossing my fingers! xo

  14. This sounds like a great class! Thanks for the chance!!

  15. Love your post. Really I just use a month to month and write appointments down in the corresponding block for that day. Some years I buy one, other years it's a freebie. Like this year. I barely have the time to play with my photos like I want to, let alone make a planner, so it's not for me. This papercrafting planner trend. I'd rather concentrate on layouts. Loved reading about the different styles. Very interesting. Thanks. Michelle t

  16. I need to find a system that works for me-so this class sounds awesome!

  17. I've always loved planners but never figured out how to make one work the best for me. I've even taken a class but gave up on it because it really wasn't teaching me anything useful. This class sounds like it could really help. Your posts are always so inspiring. Thanks for sharing these cool planners and telling us about the class. Maybe i'll win the free spot!

  18. Oh I just might have to try one of these! The class sounds amazing!

  19. Wow this is awesome, I'd love to be in this class! Thanks for the chance!

  20. I always loved planners. just something toput my plans into action. But looking into these planners cost so much.So I too made one. I might need some help with keping up with it. Thanks for a chance at that awesome spot!!

  21. Thanks for the opportunity to have a place in the class. I have been following your planner use and blog since I first heard you on the PRT. I was a paper planner user for years but fell out of the habit. Time to get back on board since digital doesn't seem to be working well.

  22. Oooo I so love the Midori! Can`t wait to check out on you tube! Thanks for the chance to win a spot in the planner class, I think that workshop will be awesome!

  23. This is something I would really love to win!!!!!

  24. I really liked this post! After using Outlook Calendar and the phone for a couple of years I'm now trying to find out where I have hidden my ol'e Filofax... :) And thanks for the chance to win! This class really sounds interesting.

  25. Interesting post, the class seems intriguing


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