Anyone in the mood for a planner switch up? Grab your supplies and let’s have a little Plan With Me session! I’ll go through how I set my planner up, step by step, and hopefully you’ll get a few ideas about how to make your planner work better for you too…
Here in the UK, we’ve got a little sun at last and the leaves and flowers are starting to pop. At the moment, I’m obsessed with those gorgeous huge magnolia trees – those that have really interesting twisty old branches; my neighbour has a beautiful one in her garden, and I get to see it every morning when I open my blinds. It’s so cheery – what better inspiration for a new spring ring planner setup?
As much as I loved the inserts I used in my last setup, there were some bits that just weren’t working. As the Sort Stuff Out shop has grown, I’ve been finding it really tough to get the time each day to plan in the way I thought I would – but isn’t this the great thing about ring planners? If your planner’s not working for you, you can tweak it to get one step closer to planner peace.
I normally start with dividers when I set up a planner, it makes it easier to see what should go where when you’re up to your eyes in inserts. I take a while to think about what I want my headings to be as I like to print them on my tabs for a more polished look, but you can always go for blank tabs with clear stickers if you don’t want to have to settle on them. I chose to have my dividers with some beautiful flowers on there, just to remind me that I need to step away from my studio for a while and enjoy the start of the season each day.
I’m obsessed with having an inbox section. For me, it’s the difference between using the planner and not, on some days. This is my default area for notes this time, but I’ve also got some Add to Planner inserts for those things I need to keep, but I’ve either not got the insert in yet, or I haven’t got time to write it properly. Of course, it’s also a chance to create a new inbox dashboard to match the theme – just can’t resist this bit!
First, I wanted to have a space for my daily recurring tasks, so if I’ve got super busy day, or a major case of brain fog, I still know what needs to get done. I’ve then added a stash of daily inserts – undated with blank headings so they can be used whenever I’ve got to get my whole day down on paper, and versatile so I can use it according to the type of day I’ve got.
I think this is my favourite section. I love my personal Malden, but coming from an A5, I’m not quite used to such a narrow 9.5cm page. To help, I usually take the pages out to write in it, but my latest love are foldouts. My new weekly foldouts are double-sided with additional space for the same week, which seems like such a luxury in a personal ring planner. I prefer these undated, again, so I can drop in and out of my planner when it suits me, without feeling bad about missing pages if the shop gets too busy.
This starts with recurring tasks, again, and yet more foldouts – because same as before, I found the whole spread to be a little too squished for a whole month on two pages. In the same way as my weekly foldouts are double-sided, the monthly foldouts are double-sided too, so there’s plenty of room for all those little lists and reminders I like to go through at the start of the month.
….and the rest!
Ugh. I did not want to have an ‘Other’ section, but I couldn’t find any other name for the random collection of inserts I wanted to keep in the back. In this section, I’ve got dot stickers, brain dump inserts, blank list inserts, online order trackers, and a little collection of alternative weekly layouts in a matching accent colour, of course! I don’t like things being so clumped together in the back, so I added a few clear dividers to stop them all feeling unloved.
All the Deco
I don’t intend to do much to make my pages pretty when I use them, I’ve got pink header boxes, and that’s enough for me. Much more and I’ll start to think it’s too cluttered – I need my planner to be calming and inviting. I tend to decorate my dividers; adding sticky notes and cards to the backs of them, with added paperclips and bookmarks. I just love the pop of colour poking out of the bottom. This time, I’ve added washi on punched holders for each section, so it’s all ready (and co-ordinated) if I want to use it.
If you want to watch how this all turns out, you can watch it here:
Have you bought any of these for your planner? I’d love to hear how they’re working for you! Tag me @elliesortsstuffout on Instagram and share your planning!