By the EllieBeth Creative Team
We've reached the end of March 2020 and as a team we're taking a look at where we are with our planners, what's changed since the beginning of the year and what's stayed the same.
My planning system has simplified in the last few weeks – I’ve put aside my everyday carry and my Zelo productivity journal as my list of tasks has diminished rapidly due to the current situation and lockdown. Instead I’ve decided to stick with my old faithful Erin Condren vertical and enjoy making it look pretty – using all the decorative stickers that I don’t normally have space for. I’ve winged the last couple of weeks but this week I’ve added some structure by planning in all of the nice things I want to do so I at least feel like I have a plan. I've added a half box in each day to write in my chosen activity amongst the normal house tasks.There will be plenty of time to go back to full on productivity planning as and when we all return to normal but until then this will be enough.
How I plan is completely all over the place as I'm sure it is for most of us at the moment. However, I am playing with a lot of things as a distraction. First of all, I have a Passion Planner in every size. Mainly because I can! The large is where I started with my love of Passion Planners and I can't quite leave them alone. The medium is where I am intending to get a whole year in one planner. The small is still a bit of an experiment. Then there is my bullet journal. It's actually at the moment becoming more of a traditional long hand journal and a space to organise my rather full brain. Then I have two Happy Planner. A skinny classic because I was curious - its actually really handy for being out and about. There's also a franken planned Classic which is used for work and for sticker therapy.
The last one is my Passion Planner daily. Now I had taken a bit of a break from this, but I'm thinking that it might be really helpful for structuring my day in more detail now we're working from home. It could be easy to fall into bad habits and lose routine and I think this could be really helpful. At present we don't know what is going to come in the next few weeks so all this might change, but my planners do continue to be a source of structure, enjoyment and therapy and I have no doubt they will continue to evolve around this no matter what happens.
After 3 months of 2020 I have decided to simply my planners and considering the changes in our lives, not only current circumstances but also that I plan to home educate my children, I have set up my planners as follows:
One of my classic happy planners is a vertical layout and is used for the children/ family things - home educating, days out, holidays (not for a while!), memory keeping etc. My other classic happy planner is a dashboard layout and this is used for my 3 goals of 2020 - weight, savings and mental health! So I track my spending, my mood, my weight and the like. My (previously) EDC (every day carry round) that is not currently going anywhere has been adapted to things I need to do - chores, medical appointments, shopping, medicine requests, emails and calls to make and such.
I find this format is very easy and does not add any anxiety to our household as these are planners that I use everyday and reduces double planning.
Despite the fact that the world has changed almost beyond recognition these last couple of weeks, my planning system hasn’t. Since last July, I’ve been using my Passion Planner Pro as a weekly schedule and my bullet journal for everything else. Now more than ever, in these uncertain times, I’m using both to help keep my head on straight. I’m planning what I can plan for, and tracking the habits that help keep me well. I’m also still stickerating, which is great for lifting my spirits. There’s something comforting about laying down stickers and something hopeful and vital in all the colour.
One thing that is new to me though is the Rhodia Dotbook that I’m using for my bullet journal. I was getting fed up with lugging heavy hardbound notebooks around, so I thought I’d try the Dotbook which has pure white paper, a soft cover and 80 pages – enough for two months’ worth of bullet journaling. I’m glad I tried it because I love it, so I shall definitely be buying more. Wishing you all well! Love Natalie x
This year brought me 2 new planners, a Happy Planner Horizontal and a Hobonichi Weeks. Both planners have encouraged me to try new layouts and setups which I have really enjoyed. My EllieBeth Stash has been growing steadily and it’s really lovely taking the time to find the perfect collection to use in my planning. One of my favourites has been the oh so pretty Serendipity collection and I am waiting with bated breath for the arrival of Kindness and Wish - which I believe are so inspirational and apt for today’s planning. Take care everyone, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home.
So here we are into the last week of March already and oh boy what a month it has been. We will be turning to our planners more than ever with all the uncertainty in the world at this time. Parents are homeschooling, most of the nation are staying at home. For me I'm not only Mum, cleaner, cook, almost full time shop worker but I am also now teacher too so at this time my Erin Condren hourly is at hand to keep me organised (well hopefully).
But the most important message is remember to stay safe.
In my most recent blog, I explained that I had been giving the Passion Planner Daily a try.
However, in these challenging times, I have found myself needing to rethink things again. I find, in times of overwhelm that I always go back to a bullet journal and that is where I find myself again.
As a primary school teacher, it can always be tricky to manage home\school balance and I usually did that with running two separate planners but in the current situation, where I find myself working digitally from home, I needed a place to be able to create flexible plans and notes to allow me to manage my time effectively. There is also a large part of me that also wants to document how I spent my time, interspersed with creative journaling pages. I have used some stickers in here (from EllieBeth Designs, naturally) but there is something really soothing about drawing out the lines and using one and paper sometimes, so there’s already a real mix in here! I have also decided there is no time like the present and have cracked open my Scribbles That Matter Starry Night as a daily journal to support my mental health. In here, I am not only journaling my thoughts and feeling but I am including at least three things I am grateful for each day. Both journals are housed within my Meadowgate Leather Traveler Notebook. Stay safe, everyone - there’s a rainbow on the way!
So three months on and the planner stack is pretty much the same as it was at the beginning of the year. I’m still not sure whether it’s “Planner Peace” but whatever it is it’s working for me. The only addition is a Happy Planner Happy Notes Micro, which is being used as as a gratitude journal. Long may this continue Stay Safe, Vic xx
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