Planner Style 101

Paper planners are all the rage once again as a new school year begins.

When it comes to keeping your schedule straight, how do you stay organized? There are so many methods to choose from, from calendars in the cloud to apps on your phone. With so many digital options to choose from, you may surprised to hear about one of this season’s biggest trends: the paper planner.

Take a look through any retailer or local boutique and you’ll see planners as far as the eye can see. Or try searching for #PlannerAddict. It’s not just about writing down your appointments once again; people are turning their planners into mini works of art and journals and sharing them with other like-minded planner lovers, from YouTube channels to planner-only Instagram accounts.

Image courtesy of Elise Blaha Cripe.

Image courtesy of Elise Blaha Cripe.

So why are planners making such a comeback? Elise Blaha Cripe, creator of the Get to Work Book and host of the podcast Elise Gets Crafty, sees the rise in popularity as a response to the dizzying amount of digital organizational tools available to us today.

“There is something about just sticking a pen to paper that can make things feel a bit more solid and in some ways more official,” she says. “Going back to paper might just be a reaction to too much digital.”

Elise also believes that there’s benefit to getting your ideas, thoughts, and to-dos out of your head and onto a physical piece of paper.

Pair the simplified scheduling tool with the ability to express your own style and planners are appealing to those wishing to find a small creative outlet throughout their day, too.

“Planners have seen a rise in interest because they are a portable representation of your personal style,” says Rebecca Burick, National Workshops Manager for Paper Source. “Everyone has a digital calendar, but there is something special about having that tangible calendar. There are a variety of styles to reflect your mood or interests; and, in this DIY age, there are countless ways to make it yours.”

Curious to try and start your own paper planner? Here are a few must-have supplies to get you going.

Pens, pencils and everything in between: Make sure to keep pencils on hand if you know you’ll need to change the details of an entry in your planner. When the task has been completed, Elise recommends highlighting it so that you can see how much you’ve accomplished.

What other writing utensils are helpful? Colorful pens and markers are great for doodles and handlettering additions. For those who benefit from a coloring break during the work day, take a favorite coloring sheet and reduce the size so that it can be stored in a planner pocket. These summer printable pages from HGTV’s Hannah Slaughter, reduced in size on a copier, make for a welcome brain break any time of day.

Paper and binder clips: Clip coupons, business cards, or other small pieces of paper you don’t want to forget with specific dates. Decorative paper clips are also a useful addition to the top of a page to act as a quick-access page finder.

Stickers, washi tapes, and stamps: It goes without saying, but stickers add a lot of character to a planner page. Channel your inner child and treat yourself to a sticker subscription for Pipsticks, or make your own. Punch paper scraps with a 1.5” circle paper punch and run through a Xyron sticker maker. In just a matter of minutes you can create a stack of custom stickers for your planner. Store them in a glassine bag inside a planner folder to have them with you whenever decorating inspiration strikes.

Use washi tape, in various widths, to divide sections of a planner page or call attention to due dates and deadlines. As Rebecca points out, washi tape is repositionable, so it helps with having to move dates and tasks around when needed.

At the end of a busy day, there’s no right or wrong way to embrace the paper planner. All you have to do is make it a tool that works for you.

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