Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Plan With Me...Or Don't.

I keep putting this post off because I know I'm going to get a big, fat, "I Told You So" from my husband when he reads it, but I may as well finally get around to my promised post about how I planned to use my planner (heh) vs how I actually use it.  Because...why not?

I had these incredibly grandiose visions about what my planner was going to look like when I bought it.  I was watching plan with me videos on youtube like it was my job (probably actually instead of my job at that specific point in my life...).  I saved picture after picture of spreads and layouts to give me some great references.  I started my lettering tutorial videos. It was gonna be awesome.  My planner actually arrived about 2 weeks before I could use it (it didn't start until June 29...) and I was SO anxious to get started.

Then I realized something.  In order to get these gorgeous planner spreads I was seeing, I had to buy more supplies.  Washi tape.  Stickers.  Pens, markers, punches, stamps, ink.  I needed ALL THE THINGS!  Problem was...all the things added up really quickly.  And I had just spent $75 on the actual planner.

OK plan b.  I bought 1 variety pack of washi with my 40% off  coupon at michaels and 2 packs of planner stickers for like...$2 each.  Surely that would get me by for a bit.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I was so naive.

I mean, look at these spreads -

And these are the simple ones.  But they're all stickers.  And Washi.  And adorable.

I suppose I started out well enough.  As I mentioned in my first ECLP post, when I chose the horizontal layout I immediately regretted it.  That feeling has not changed.  While I've gotten into a rhythm for organizing how  I put things into the planner, I don't love it and I feel like the Vertical layout would look way better.  Choosing how to prioritize what goes where in the horizontal layout is super hard, yo.  I started off just trying to be random about it.

It allows for a little bit of variety - but it wasn't very organized.  And I hated trying incorporating the box on the right into the overall layout.  I needed to do something with it.  After scouring instagram for some ideas from other ECLP horizontal users, I found a great idea from one of my favorite letterers @llamaletters.  She used skinny washi to section off the box and made it dedicated for her work schedule, meal planning, and weather.  Well, my work schedule was fixed, but I thought meal planning and weather was good to have and I could figure out the third box in time.  Sweet.  Oh, but small issue - I didn't have any skinny washi.  Boooooo.  So I came up with the brilliant plan of cutting my washi into thirds to transform it into skinny washi.  BOOM!  Except that is really time consuming and annoying - but I did it anyway!
Ok this is better.  I had already appropriated the boxes for a few days when I planned ahead (and this is why I learned that is a big no-no (more on that later), so my organization was a little shot - but still not terrible.  But...I still didn't really super dig it.  I needed a third box (weird...the vertical layout has 3 boxes built right's like they know what you're doing or something).

And so was born the 3rd box (and with it came the death of the washi separation, because seriously...eff that).  In the far left box is my daily to-dos, blog posts, important notes, etc.  The middle box is reserved for lettering the big event of the day..whatever that ends up being (most days it ends up blank...because I'm boring), and in the far right box is the weather, the Tiger's schedule & W/L record (or countdown until Spring Training/Opening Day in the off-season), and daily meal plan.  It works.  

Here's my problem.  You're really supposed to use the monthly calendar for your long term planning stuff.  And I do:

I also use the note page at the beginning of each month as a sort of dashboard to highlight all the important things happening.

The weekly planning, however, is not supposed to be done until the beginning of the week.  Most in the planning community do it on Sunday nights.  And they take several hours to do so.  Sorry - ain't happening.  I do mine early Monday morning, which is fine.  When there's something I know needs to go in the weekly layout, but it's not time to plan for that week (and I haven't yet added it to my monthly layout and/or Google calendar), I just throw it on a post it, put it where it belongs, then refer to it when the time comes.

The problem is though, that once that initial planning is done, I don't touch the planner again (here comes that "I told you so").  I still really rely on my Google calendar on my computer and/or phone, as well as Google Keep for all my important information.  This thing, while a great an ok creative outlet, is not super practical for organizational purposes.  The part I really get the most use out of is the keep it all pocket in the back - where i keep any paper I'll need or need to reference and don't want to get destroyed in the bowels of my purse, and the perpetual calendar - which lets me keep track of days that repeat every year on the same date (birthdays, anniversarys, etc...yes, yes, also something I can keep on Google with the recurring functionality...).

So what did I learn in my 4ish months of using this so far?  This type of planner is for scrapbookers - not for someone who's looking for true planning/organization - yes I'm sure some EC users swear on this as their bible - they would be lost without it, etc, etc.  That's fair, but to them, I also say you could get the same functionality out of a $5 paper planner from Target.  The ECLP offers you nothing revolutionary in terms of planning.  You specifically go for the ECLP because you want to to the stickers and washi and stamping that goes along with the ECLP culture.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not planning - it's scrapbooking.  I do think it's cool to look back at my "big event of the day" items and have those memories (because we know I've forgotten by now), but I don't need to carry a 5 lb notebook everywhere I go to get that.

My last ECLP post said next time I would try a less expensive but similar planner such as a Lime Life, Plum Paper, or Happy Planner.  I won't.  If I go for another paper planner, it's going to be something more compact - I love my new little May book so I may go with their planner - or I may just do a plain notebook to jot notes in or do a little sketch as i think of it (since my calendar really is all online anyway).

So - I've given up my dream of being #plannerfamous.  It's all good though...I'll take a little bit of ribbing from Chad, admit that he was right (it happens every now and then) and move on to the next big thing (buy ALL THE TOMBOW PENS!) I'm eclectic - no - I'm chelish!

Until next time friends...


  1. well this post makes me glad I didn't hop on the bandwagon. I do keep a planner but it isn't pretty and at this point I have no energy or will to make it that way lol

  2. hahaha, I could do a post just like this...I use my agenda all the time (but it's not the ECLP)....I just got the ECLP and I'm not in love with it at all :( It's all flash and sparkle but lacks space.