Making Planners A Work of Art (and Genius)
Cover Photo Credit: thechiclife.com
ONE of the best (if not the best) feature about planners is the layout they come with. They're organized - lined, dotted or squared for the pleasure of enthusiasts. What's also exciting is getting to open a new planner for the first time- with its crisp pages, smooth edges and that sweet-smelling leather they sometimes come in. What's not to love about them?
They are the perfect canvas for creative ideas and the ability to organize your day is always a favorite takeaway. Planners, for the most part, are tools of productivity. Their uses go beyond how it has aesthetically evolved now. You can choose to do decorations or to keep them simple for as long as you don't forget to habitually use them.
Embellishments offer improvements to a simple plane. For this, let imagination be your guide. But if you're curious to know how to begin expressing your creative genius on your planners, don't miss out on these lovely tips from among the best planner design/idea connoisseurs on the planet.
1. DECORATE AS YOU PLAN
Never forget that your planner isn't merely an art canvas. It is a platform where your ideas, goals, appointments and plans should be written down. However way you treat a planner, the basic form and function must remain. Keeping that in mind, you can then begin to examine how your planner is laid out.
On a visual plane, your eye should take you left to right, up and down. The layout on planners is thoughtfully created on that basis - vertical or horizontal. You can start decorating on them using a visual process which you're comfortable with. Using whatever tools you prefer, decorate according to how your eyes will scroll through the spread.
One page at a time. When it comes to planner designs, every page comes in a clean layout intentionally. Every page is also uniformed per section. You can spruce the pages up according to your planned activities for the day. The decorating process should follow the same principle. This way, ideas will flow through naturally even if you're not super talented in the realm of arts.
Here's another helpful tip: never pressure yourself into mastering the artsy side of using planners. What's important is the experience for you. Just like how all other enthusiasts started - you do as you go. Always remember, the creatives on the planner should come in second to what the planner is for.
2. PRACTICAL VS FUNCTIONAL
Form versus substance. That's what this tip implies. There are so many reasons for starting to decorate a planner. It can vary from boredom to influence (from the planners you follow on social media), the effects will lure you into it. First, you start with some simple calligraphy. And then you begin doodling on the pages. After that, you've already gathered stickers, colored pens, and inserts. Next thing you know, it has now become a full-blown hobby. The fact that decorating has evolved this way, you have put more emphasis on substance.
This means that you're one of those users who stretch the use of a planner to an absolute extreme level. Some users prefer the plain form (the organic form) where they don't need to decorate on the planner to make it useful. The functionality of the planner, in this case, is what matters more.
Users on the other side of the spectrum, who proactively choose the artsy side of planner usage, find pleasure out of being able to create. It's absolutely fun and it's what makes them keep doing it. Art in collaboration with planning, that's where the need lies. Their tastes and choices are mostly reflected on each page as an expression of their true genius. They're the ones who fuel a movement. And to this we have no objections whatsoever.
3. BUILD AROUND YOUR NEED
You know what you essentially want to happen, all things considered. The way to decorate on your planner must revolve around that need. If you feel uncomfortable doing it, do the basic designs. You must enjoy the process too and not be pressured into creating complicated designs on your first attempt.
Build your designs around the things you want your planner to emphasize on. If you like to see more calendars, then you can get more inserts for this purpose. Some people run the gamut of creating their own calendars from scratch. If stickers are what you need, then you can populate your planners with them. If you want to add a habit tracker, go for it. There's plenty of inserts for those too.
You name it and your stationery shop might just have it. Decorating must begin with what you are able to design first. Not everyone started as a planner decorator pro. Always begin at the basic steps - what you need and color them in. There's plenty of time to become a design pro later on.
4. HAVE A THEME AND MAKE IT BROAD
First off, the aesthetic side to planners has no rules at all. There's no right or wrong way to decorate. Trust your instincts, and go with what your spirit dictates. Having said that, proceed with what you have in your coffers. If you're not an art major, it's okay. Thinking of where to begin can be half the fun of decorating. Follow the lead of some of the best planner enthusiasts. There's tons of inspiration from their concepts and ideas.
One thing they always say is to pick a concept - just one. It's a good starting point to bounce ideas off from. For example, decorate according to your style preferences like art deco, modern or the classical. Or, you can let your personality be your guide. If you like to use the entire color spectrum, then please do so. You can even use watercolor and paint your art on the pages as well. The choice is actually yours.
Having a theme is a concrete start to good ideas. It all depends on what you feel like doing. The inspiration for your ideas can come from everywhere, you see. But keep in mind that the process of decorating must be enjoyable. If you stress over what theme to use, the exercise is pointless, to say the least. The smallest ideas can become wonder themes like a flower garden, pets and animals, butterflies and the seasons just to name a few.
Once you've settled on a general theme, all the other pieces will fall into place. So the next steps to prepare for are your tools. It's essential to arm yourself. This is where the magic of creation happens.
5. COLORED WRITING INSTRUMENTS AND TOOLS
If you ask an enthusiast, where the need to decorate began, they'd probably say the colored pens started the movement. Can you blame them, though? Colored writing instruments and implements, colour anything from paper to cloth and their vibrancy give us good energy. They naturally make us happy. Therefore, using them became a natural progression in terms of customizing a planner.
The trusted coloring pens must have one requirement though: they must flow as smoothly as water. That's right, how it performs on paper matters a lot. And for one thing, they MUST NEVER BLEED THROUGH the paper. If you find the best among plenty of good ones in the market, you can trust that the kind of paper used in a planner will not matter for this. The pen will perform even on the thinnest sheet. Okay, have you heard of erasable ink pens? Yes, it's a BIG thing to consider. Every planner enthusiast MUST have the option to re-do any part of their artwork.
Colored pens available these days offer a lot more in terms of performance and style. How could you pick just one? We understand that sentiment all too much. Collections run from the cheapest option there is to the most expensive money can buy. And they come in all shapes and sizes.
What is the purpose of collecting them? We have high hopes that every page of the planner will be filled with them. It's just something we NEED to do.
6. TOOLS FOR CUSTOMIZATION (STICKERS, STAMPS, WASHI TAPES)
What would decorations be without a few necessary things?
We begin with stickers. Some planners come with them while others don't. Most of the time, you have to scour through libraries of them in your bookstores or sticker shops. But one thing is for sure, stickers make your planners organically fun. The feeling you get out of using them, as you see fit, is like being a kid presented with a treat. We couldn't stop getting enough. You know what we're talking about.
The fun starts with choosing what stickers to buy, actually. When presented with a myriad of choices, always go with the theme you first decided. The theme(s) will dictate what stickers to prioritize in your sticker shopping list. But then again, we say that on all our decorating supplies. If you have favorites, go buy a lot of them. Nice and pretty looking stickers elevate your planners into a whole new aesthetic - not to mention, provide happiness like nothing else can.
And then there are Washi Tapes. They're different from stickers in form and function. Washi tapes are rolled up like its predecessor (ordinary tape), only they're fully designed. You can use it by itself as a “tape” like a normal sticking implement should, but because they have designs on them, they've fast become a go-to design option for planners. Why? They're perfect for customizing any page. They're used to revamp the lines of planner layout, highlight a section, or even design an entire spread full of them. Their uses are infinite, as far as we are concerned.
Stamps, too, have their merry place in the art of planner decoration. Fans of stamps will tell you that they bring variety to the design. They have their own structure so its use may be limited to a certain degree. But that hasn't stopped anyone from using stamps to elevate the experience altogether.
All implements you use for customizing your planner experience will have their own benefits and disadvantages. The joy is finding out which ones make it to the final pages.
7. INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES
If the planner doesn't come with the motivational quotes within their prolific pages, then you have the option to add your favorite quotes in. They serve a palpable purpose.
As reminders, they have the unique ability to jolt us into staying within the lines - never going off direction. If you have a tendency to slack off, add them every week. As inspirations, quotes give meaning and purpose to what we are doing. They keep us encouraged when our energy seems to diminish and wake us up to small truths we sometimes need to hear.
All in all, beginning any decorating process to planners will be an exciting journey. Everything about it enhances the planning experience and will always make time management more enjoyable. Once you get into it, it's almost always difficult to stop. Hope you enjoy your own journey, dear reader!