Why Did I Start Planning? Original post 24.03.2016

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Anyone who is not involved with the ‘planner community’ will no doubt be wondering what it is all about… why choose a planner instead of just a standard diary? What is so special about the Happy Planner?

Until a couple of months ago I wondered the same thing! I only recently got my first planner (a Happy Planner) and have been using it since the beginning of March.

Since January I have been using the “Relax With Art Diary 2016” but because both Dan and I being self employed with our own businesses, there is a lot of admin to keep on top of.  Admin work for three businesses is a lot of paperwork and a small A5 diary just isn’t enough to keep track of everything for:

Badger’s Woodcrafts

Buzzworx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions

All of that is before I start taking into account our personal life, my health and all of the appointments I have to attend, so my normal diary just wasn’t fitting the bill. I was finding myself having to use an A5 notebook alongside my diary just to fit everything in.

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When I first started looking at my Happy Planner and looking around the different ‘planner’ groups on Facebook, I started to realise the potential of this book… there are so many ways of making it work to suit your personal needs.

It really is a blank canvas for so much creativity, personalisation and customisation. I knew it was going to work for me.

As someone who has suffered from Anxiety and Depression for a number of years, I find lists and organisation help to keep my mindset more settled and if I can look in my diary/planner and see the plans for the day or week ahead I am less nervous about what is to come.

Suffering with Fibromyalgia now too, I need a lot of planning in order to live a steady and manageable life, both with the cognitive memory issues associated with this illness and the pain it causes – if I plan a “day out” then I know that I need to also plan a couple of quiet days afterwards as I will be suffering with increased pain levels and tiredness.

Most of my life is now sorted out in my diary, planner and numerous lists/notebooks so that I can know what needs to be done, where I need (or want) to go and when I can have time out to chill.

My list and notebook collection could be classed as a bit of an addiction, but then I’ve always been a bit of a stationery addict, and in all honesty if it helps to keep me organised and less stressed then I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

notebooks

With my business specialising in papercraft (handmade greetings cards, keepsake cards and such like), I have always had an interest in scrapbooking but have never really known where to start but since starting to use my Happy Planner I have found so many ways to customise it by adding planner themed stickers, journal cards, photo pockets and lots more.

I find creating a layout in my planner is very therapeutic, working out the appropriate and best layout of my labels and task stickers each week, adding an inspirational quote, theming my week based on an occasion or what’s happening… it’s almost like the first step into the scrapbook world but for now I’m more than happy with my planner and can’t see myself going for a full-blown scrapbook anytime soon.

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Now that my A5 diary isn’t really used for work, I can keep it focused on health related information and appointments. My doctor suggested that I track my anxiety levels and also my pain on a scale of 1-10, where the pain is worst and generally how I’m feeling each day so that is now the main focus of my Relax With Art diary, the best bit being if I feel myself getting too stressed there are colouring pages within the diary I can use to try to relax a little.

When I decided that this was the way forward for my diary I contacted Loonicorn on Facebook and had some custom stickers made which are helping me greatly with keeping track of my health. Definitely good information to take into doctor appointments so they can see how things are on a day-to-day basis.

Planner stickers from Loonicorn

So working with my A5 diary which I can take out with me and my Happy Planner which tends to live on my desk, I am finding it much easier to keep track of everything and with things laid out in front of me, together with being able to decorate and customise my planner, that I am feeling a little less stressed and more motivated. Being organised with everything written down is definitely helping my mindset.

📝 Let’s hope it continues this way 📝

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