Planning 101- Where do I even begin?

Back when I was looking at bringing back the blog, the idea of a Planning 101 series came up. And I loved the idea! So, with this series I’ll go through some different things that might help planner newbies or even some that have their footing and looking for other ideas for things. Currently I have a few topics figured out, but if there is something you’d like to see me talk about in these series, let me know in the comments below! I’d love your input on what you’d like me to share! For now, this series will remain once a month so I don’t run out of topics too quickly. But if you give me tons of topics to talk about, I may consider changing the schedule. 😊

Today I thought the best place to start would be at the very beginning…. where do you start if you’re just starting into planning?

Where do I even begin?

If you’re anything like how I was starting out, you don’t know the first thing about planning, but know you need something to help you stay organized. So where do you even begin on this journey? The first thing would be to get your supplies!

What supplies do I need?

Honestly, the only things you NEED to plan would be your planner and a writing utensil. Notice I didn’t say pen. Pens are the preferred choice for most planners (and you can get them in all kinds of fancy colors if you want). But as long as you have a way to write down what you need to, you’re all set! When I first started planning, I was afraid to use pen because if something changed throughout the week, I didn’t want to make a mess of my planner. But as I grew as a planner, I learned to only fill in what I knew wouldn’t change until time got closer. Now I use pen without fear (and if I have something change, then a cancelled/rescheduled sticker works well). Anyways, if you are happy with only writing on a planner page, then you really don’t need anything else. Get yourself a nice pen (I love using Papermate Flairs or Sharpie Pens and so many people recommend the Papermate Inkjoys) and planner and have at it! But if you want to make your planner look pretty then I’d suggest a few other things.

  • Stickers- Grab yourself some stickers whether it’s a sticker book from Michaels, Joanns, or Hobby Lobby, or a kit from an Etsy shop or website. If you order from a shop online, I suggest starting with a full weekly kit (or a few from a few different shops) so you can play with all of the different types of stickers to see what you really like or don’t like and find your style.
  • Tweezers- Oh friend… I cannot tell you how helpful having tweezers are! Some stickers are small and trying to see where you are putting them (nevermind grabbing some of them) can be a challenge. Tweezers will be your best friend in these situations!
  • Correction tape- Tombow is honestly the best one I’ve used. I have tried a few different ones and while the others get the job done, they just…. well… aren’t Tombow (trust me on this). You may wonder how this will be helpful, but you’ll find you need to cover up some things that are printed on the planner page or you may write something and mess it up, so save the frustration and get yourself some Tombow!
  • Ruler- Sometimes it’s just great to have a straight edge! (If you buy an Erin Condren planner, they come with a ruler.)
  • Slice Tool- You will sometimes find that you will want to cut down a sticker. Yes, really. Or maybe you need it to cut washi. Either way, you’ll find that the slice tool and your ruler will come in handy!
  • Scissors- These are good to have on hand in case you decide you need them, but often times the slice tool and ruler are a better option for cutting things straight. I don’t find myself using scissors too frequently, but they can’t hurt to have.
  • Washi tape- This one is questionable for many. If you opt to get some, don’t start off buying a whole bunch, but maybe just a few rolls until you see if it is something you like. Some planners go crazy and buy a ton at the beginning and then never use it. Others love it and use it all the time! But this one is not something you necessarily need or will make your life any easier, but you may find you like it and use it often.

That’s basically it! From there you’ll learn your style and whether or not additional items are necessary for you, but those are definitely the ones I’d most recommend. I have several of these items linked in my Amazon store (affiliate) so you can snag them with ease and for a great price!

Once you have your supplies, you can play around with it and see what you like and what functions best for you! Go onto YouTube and watch Plan with Me videos to gain some inspiration and see how different people plan. The sky is the limit! There’s no right or wrong way to plan. Ultimately, it’s what functions best for you that matters!

But what planner do I choose?

Don’t worry… these are not ALL currently being used. Some of these are, but others are from years past. All of these are ones I’ve tried or used consistently at some point or another.

I’m not even going to pretend to tell you I know the answer to this! Most people end up trying a few different planners along the way. It’s all part of the journey of finding out what works best for you. There are SO many planners out there- Happy Planners, Erin Condren, Recollections, Travelers Notebooks (in all kinds of sizes), Hobonichi Weeks, Print Pression hardbound, bullet journals… the list goes on. There’s so many sizes, styles, layouts… but the 2 main layouts are vertical and horizontal (oh and there’s hourly too if that’s your thing).

I’d first think about which layout you think would suit you best. Most people prefer vertical layouts over horizontal so if you’re not sure which to go with, I suggest trying vertical first. How much space do you need? Do you need your planner to be portable or will it stay on your desk at work or in an area at home? These are all things to consider.

Planners like the Big Happy Planner are not known for portability. It’s a great planner if you need that much space though (I personally love mine)! Classic Happy Planner, Erin Condren, or Recollections planners are what would be considered the normal sized planners and while some people bring them places with them, they aren’t the best on the go planners. If portability isn’t a huge concern, I’d definitely start with one of these. You might find starting with the Classic HP or Recollections to be more cost effective, however the quality of the Erin Condren is worth the cost if you stick with it. (If you decide to try Erin Condren, you can use my link to sign up and take $10 off your first purchase.)

If you need something for on the go, a traveler’s notebook, Hobonichi Weeks (this is a horizontal layout), Mini Happy Planner, Mini Recollections, or Print Pression hardbound planner might suit you best, but again, consider the layout and sizes from there.

There’s really no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a planner. It’s a matter of trying something to see what works the best for you and your individual needs. If you are totally lost and not sure where to begin, feel free to reach out and I will see if I can recommend a planner for you and your needs!

Well, I think that gives you a ton to think about to get you started, so I’ll leave you with that. If you have questions/topics you’d like to see me cover, please drop a comment below and I’ll put it on my list!

Until next time…. Waddle on! 🐧

💜 Jen

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