What is Creative Planning?
Why I do what I do?
In this time of social media hype, we are often caught up with too much noise online. Even in real life, I know for sure how stressful life can be. So we better have one thing to keep us balanced. For me, that’s creative planning.
You may have probably seen flatlays of my planners on my social media accounts. Some are actually wondering if I sell them. Not really, but there’s something in creative planning that’s worthy to be shared. Plus, they say it’s a lot better when you put yourself out there and open up– one thing I also realized after a childhood of keeping a diary and dealing with my creative side in solitude.
So, what really is creative planning and where to start?
Creative planning simply means getting creative with your planners (as the name implies). Your basic tools and supplies are just a plain notebook and a pen. From there, your imagination is your best bud and the possibilities are endless. Of course, it’s mainly about setting a plan and tracking how it went, with a slight twist. You also decorate the planner using doodles, typography, and/or mixed media.
Simply start decorating your planners however you like. Don’t get yourself frustrated from the lack of limited materials you have. Instead, try to look around your house and find items you can use in decorating. Relax and be creative!
Once you have a budget, you can start upgrading your tools – clear stamps, ink pads, stencils, watercolor, brush pens, specialty cardstocks, etc.
Here are some of my planner essentials:
Lettering Materials: Pencil, Brush Pens, Gel Pens, Markers, Fountain Pen
Coloring Materials: Watercolor, Watercolor Brush, Gelatos and Wax Pastels
Decorative Tools: Stamps, Stencils, Ink Pad
Embellishments: Stickers, Diecuts, Washi Tapes, Sticky Notes, Journal Cards and Patterned Cardstock
When did you start journaling?
At an early age, I got into the habit of writing. First, it was a diary I got as a birthday present. I started writing entries about how my day went, how I felt that particular day, and the like.
Since writing on a diary was my way of expressing myself and “sharing” things that should be kept as a secret, I also used to have a diary in baybayin, an ancient Philippine script. It was an almost obsolete way of writing in the Philippines, but I was fond of writing in baybayin ever since we studied it in high school. So I used it intentionally so my sister wouldn’t understand my entries. I guess she was able to decipher it anyhow.
My childhood friends and I also had an exchange diary. We wrote about anything under the sun, from crushes to classes, from laughter to even more laughter. Fortunately, I still have it with me.
I also place sentimental value on little things like the tissue paper I used on that particular day I hang out with friends, the wrapper of the candy that special friend gave me, and of course, those movie tickets we used with awesome friends. Those small items bear fun and crazy times and I just couldn’t let go of them.
So it started from there, until I got more matured enough to realize the many tasks ahead of my day. That’s when I started writing my tasks, too. I do scheduling to boost my productivity and tried taking notes at the end of the day.
How often do you do creative planning?
Every time I get to see my planner, it really sends off positive vibes. So as much as I want to take a peak of it every minute, I just couldn’t because doing the “action” is very much necessary, of course. I know, that’s life.
I usually setup my planner during weekends in preparation for the whole week. That way, I feel ready to tackle Monday. Then every morning of weekdays, after I and my husband take the kids to school, I check my planner again to review my tasks for the day. I check it every now and then and in the afternoon, I update my planner. I tick off the tasks I have already completed.
Fast forward to today, I still keep small items like movie tickets and sometimes candy/food wrapper, but not the tissue paper, I guess. Or, maybe in the future, I might. Lol So that at the end of the day, I get to post them on my planner as a sort of embellishment and a memento at the same time.
At the end of the day, what matters most is how you feel about your own journal. As long as you feel joy from having to see your completed tasks, a ticked-off item from your bucket list, the powerful mantras you wrote down, or even your design, then you’re good. Remember that your planner is yours and yours alone. So you get to decide which to put in your plans and which to discard.
For some, it’s playing DOTA , playing Yugi- Oh cards, or collecting action figures (Hello, Hubby!), for me it’s creative planning. That’s my “me-time”, my safe haven, my stress-reliever. It’s therapeutic, for me. It keeps me sane and keeps my creative juices flowing. Writing, designing, doing calligraphy, watercoloring – all in one.
So there, I hope you already have a grasp of what I do. Find your inspiration, don’t overthink and simply start journaling. Not only would you find yourself getting more productive and creative, you’d also be happy and amazed to see your entries months or even years after. That’s for sure!