Hey everyone! We're already into March, and I can definitely feel spring in the air. I love in-between seasons, and this one is special to me because it's when daffodils are in full bloom. There is a feeling of "potential" vibrating within everything and it makes me feel incredibly pumped for the days to come.
While life is unpredictable, I still like to feel as though I have something under control, and that's where my butterfly planner of goodness comes in.
I really enjoy having an organiser. It helps me to keep track of the things I've done and the things I want to do, and ensures I don't forget anything. I know that some people are put off by the idea of paper planning for various reasons, one of them being that it's too much pressure. I personally don't see it that way, and am in a planning routine that means I feel cheerful when I've kept up with my goals, but don't feel like beating myself up when I don't.
I could never quite get behind the whole "bullet journal" thing that seems to be super popular now. I find it to be rather counter-intuitive and a bit of a faff, honestly, and it doesn't really suit the way my brain works. A more standard diary setup seems to be best for me. My equipment of choice is a personal planner from Paperchase. This is my third year using it and I absolutely adore it. It is still in great condition, and is better quality than I expected considering it's vastly cheaper than getting something from Filofax. I don't like the fact that it closes with a ribbon rather than a popper clasp, but I can deal with it, and it does look cuter, even if it's less convenient. The butterflies on the cover, including the extra dangly friend, make me so happy as I love anything butterfly-themed!
The inside cover has little slots, and the back cover has a flap. Neither of these get much use as my planner stays home, so I don't ever need to carry any extra pieces of paper in it. There are different sections, each split with a pretty card divider.
My set-up is really straightforward and more or less just sticks to the guidelines laid out by my Paperchase planner refill pages. Two sections are the main ones-- diary, and notes.
The diary is self explanatory. It has week-to-view pages, super useful for tracking appointments or deadlines. As well as noting those, I also make to-do lists for each day. If I don't get everything done that day, I try to do it another day. I tend to leave ticking off the boxes for the end of the week, and seeing if there's anything left over that I need to carry over to the following week. Sometimes, I'll forget to structure a day, which is often the case if I'm unwell. What I will do at the end of a day like this is think of all the things I ended up doing that day and jot them down, as a kind of retrospective checklist. Doing this has helped me so much mentally. I think it can be easy to completely forget or to invalidate the things we achieved for not being significant enough, when in reality, anything we get done is important. It's frustrating when we feel we didn't perform at our best, or didn't keep ourselves motivated. But being angry at ourselves helps no one, and it's much better to focus on what we did achieve, and do the best we can to do better next time.
Lately I've taken to writing moments or quotes on a post-it note to remind myself of during the week. My quote for this past week has been from Laura Berman Fortgang's TED talk: "Career satisfaction doesn't come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be while you're doing it." It gave me a well-needed change of perspective on things, and I've found it useful to remember.
I also like to write something cute and happy to be thankful for. This week I'm reminding myself of the people and the experiences that have already started to make, and will hopefully continue to make 2017 a much better year than the last.
The notes section is often a mess of hurriedly scrawled ideas and lists of things I need to remember to discuss with people, from important topics to silly in-jokes! I'm very much into lists as I find them to be a good way of processing my thoughts. Most of the list-making in my organiser tends to relate to my business/fashion design, blogging, YouTube ideas (I've still not given up on my channel, haha), and the more mundane things like keeping track of foods I like, as it's useful to have meal prompts, sometimes. I feel perhaps I've outgrown the organiser for my list-making and need something bigger than the personal size, whose pages are restrictive for visually exploring an idea. I have ended up using an exercise book dedicated solely to my lists but might have to upgrade even that and go for A4 size, as I like to treat different puzzles or questions about my career etc as projects to work through. Projects need space!
I realise my organiser isn't particuarly artistic. It's quite tempting to continuously Google people's organisers and lust over their artistic setups, photo-ready calligraphy, and carefully applied washi tape... and then take a look at your own organiser and wonder where you went wrong. The thing is, organisers mean different things to different people. If you don't feel naturally inclined to use your planner as a means of creative outlet, then don't. Equally, don't feel as though you're not allowed to enjoy decorating your planner. Do what works best for you.
As I go along with my organising, I do find that I'm gradually decorating things more. I used to write everything in pencil, and used a plain white refill pad. Then I moved onto this cute vintage themed paper. Then I started experimenting with different colours. Now the post-its. I think the more positive I feel about the future and where my life is going, the more enthusiasm I have about planning. It's become therapy in its own right and I love it.
I use a different colour for each day now, and I choose those colours based on how I think that day feels. It's one of those synaesthesia things that's a little difficult to articulate but essentially, different colours feel differently to me and use those colours to set a mood for a day!
I think I might have rambled on long enough about my planner now! I think it's evident that stationery is somewhat important to me! Do you keep a planner? Do you prefer to keep track of things digitally? Do you like making lists? Tell me of your life-organising habits!
Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you lovely people next time ❤