Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blue Sky Planner Decorating Newbie + 8 Ideas for Using Your Planner

Here I sat with my preschooler at the kitchen table attempting to decorate my planner for the first time after watching some "plan with me" videos on Youtube and looking at pictures of planner spreads. I don't have a fancy planner, and during this first session I didn't have any washi tape or stickers. Basically I had a cheap Bic pen, a ruler, some stamps, and colorful ink pads.

Here is the Blue Sky 2018 version of the planner I currently use:

When I originally bought this I wanted something cheap and somewhat small that included both the weekly and monthly layouts so I could write down homework assignments, keep track of my expenses, and other miscellaneous stuff.

Then I discovered the Planner Community, and I wanted to start decorating my planner a little bit so I purchased these bullet journal stencils:

These excited me because they are more cost effective and environmentally friendly than stickers, and there are so many different ways to use them. I'll review them in a future post.

Why decorate a planner in the first place?

  1. It's a creative outlet. It's something quick I can do that is just for me. Maybe I can't spend hours creating like I wish I could, but personalizing each weekly spread is a great pick-me-up for the soul. I understand not everyone sees the point in planner decor, but for me; it brings me joy.
  2. It's something I can do with my son. While I'm planning out my week he is right there next to me talking about colors and learning how to use stencils and expressing himself creatively.
  3. It's more fun and motivating. Since I started decorating my planner, even the little bit that I do, I noticed that I use it everyday. It makes me want to keep track of daily steps and water intake.

What do I use my planner for?

  1. Tracking steps. I have a desk job so I am not very active during the day. Keeping track of my daily steps motivates me to do better tomorrow.
  2. Tracking water intake. Sometimes I get so busy I forget to drink water for hours at a time. Ever since I started tracking my water intake I strive to color in those 8 raindrop shapes (or triangles or circles.)
  3. Appointments, events, etc. I write everything down from school picture day to snack day to out of the ordinary work meetings. This comes in handy for my part time job when I have to spontaneously meet with clients sometimes. It's also nice to know in advance when my son's snack day is so I can make sure there is something suitable for his classmates.
  4. To Do Lists. It's helpful to have a little list to remind me to gather donations for pick up on Monday, to wrap my brother's birthday gifts, or to put something in the mail, just to name a few.
  5. Ideas, Goals, Etc. I like to write down future blog post ideas, a website I want to research later on, or any specific little goals I'd like to achieve that week such as being more present in the moment.
  6. Homework assignments. I am an online student, and it's very helpful to know what assignments, quizzes, and readings I have to accomplish each week.
  7. Blog and business stuff. I plan future blog posts, write down ideas and things to look into, and very soon I'll start planning social media for this blog. I design and make jewelry to sell, and I have a separate website, blog and Etsy shop dedicated to that. I actually just got a Mini Happy Planner to help me plan and run my business better. That way I can have the space to break out my business goals into manageable chunks each week.
  8. Tracking meals. I do meal plan, but if I'm honest that plan doesn't always get followed for one reason or another. Meal planning is a source of frustration for me so if I write down what meals are actually eaten each day then I can refer back to those pages to plan future meals that might actually happen.

Here is a picture showing my mad newbie planning skills:

The raindrop row is my water intake tracker. Super sophisticated. I use triangles now because I have a stencil for that, but I think next week I'll use small circles. I like how neat they look.

Here is a picture of my current weekly spread so far. I tend to fill it in more as the week progresses:

I really like the vertical weekly spread available in other planners, and since my planner is horizontal I decided to use washi tape to create boxes for lists. Before I got the tape I simply made lines with my ruler. You can see this in the first picture of this post. I used stencils to make the banners and circles for my lists as well as the shoe to write my steps in.

This post isn't sponsored. I have just started to see how useful a daily planner can be, and I was excited to share my enthusiasm with you. Thank you so much for reading!

Do you currently use a planner? If so, how do you use it?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.


  1. Yes yes yes! Im obsessed with planners! I have 3 of them! People who don't have planners are CRA-ZY! This planner in particular looks great

  2. I started a bujo in August. I was so hesitant to start one b/c I thought I wouldn't have time for it. But they just seemed so cool so I just did it. Pinterest was my go to for page planning and I've kept it up. It really is a great creative outlet that is actually productive!


  3. Id be lost without my planner! I like the idea for tracking water intake. Thank you!


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