Planner Essentials


Hello everyone! It’s love month and it’s such a great reminder for us to focus on what we love. Hope you get all the love in the world, not only today, but in all days ahead! Also, remember to love yourself and show love to others, too.

So what really is it that I love? Surely, that’ creative planning.

So ICYMI, I shared what creative planning is for me on my previous blog. I also wrote about how I got into it. To give you the gist, I was just really fond of journaling in my younger years. That’s how it all started. To check out the details or to read the blog again, click here.

Before I start rolling in the list of the materials I commonly use, please remember that this is just a guide and that you can always use what you have around you. If you want to upgrade your materials later on, remember that you can go back to this blog for reference.

But anyhow, whether you’re just starting in creative planning or you consider yourself a pro in this creative stuff, or maybe somewhere in between, let me share you my personal creative planning essentials, which you may find interesting. You’ll also find below other materials that are not necessary but are highly recommended.

To begin with, look for materials around you that you can possibly use for creative journaling. Start from there and be creative. You’ll be surprised how resourceful you can get.

It’s quite challenging to put all the materials I use in one blog so please bear with me and definitely, I’ll be discussing more of them in my succeeding blog posts.



Writing Materials

The basic one of all, the mightier than the sword – pen – should be the number one in our list. Though it has a wide selection these days, I simply use whatever pen I can grab as long as it’s working and can write smoothly, then I’m good to go. Here are my most used pens when it comes to creative planning:



I usually set up a theme on my weekly planner spread so pen color is very important for me to match the tone of the theme.

Of course you’d wonder what my favorites are. *drum roll please* One of them is Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel Pens. They write smoothly on paper, in fact, on all my planners. I just couldn’t get them off my hands once I use them!

One of the things I like about them is that it works well even on a watercolor background. What surprised me most is that I can use them even on a glossy sticker paper. They’re designed to dry quickly for less smearing. How awesome is that!  IKR! I’ve finally found a pen that won’t leave a smudge on a glossy paper! Finally!

Another favorite pen on my list is the Sharpie Fine Point. I used to have a hard time writing on an acrylic background with my mixed media journals. It either smears or worse, doesn’t work at all. With Sharpie Fine Point, though, I discovered that the markers can definitely go through the paints. It was one hell of a “eureka” moment for me, then.

WARNING: Be careful with how you use Sharpie Fine Point on a paint since it might break the tips of the pens. So try it at your own risk! Make sure the paints are already dry before writing. To make sure there’s no paint stuck on the tip, you can also clean it with a tissue paper after writing.

The classic black pen, of course, should not be missed. So when I want to use simple black writings on my spread, I use Sakura Pigma Micron Pen size 03. I’ve got two, in fact, because I use it most of the time.

For my brush lettering, I use the Pilot brush pen, Pentel Aquash Waterbrush filled with Moon Palace Sumi ink, Pentel Fude Touch Pen and Tombow Brush Pen.

If I want more intricate thin strokes, I use Zig Cocoiro EF Brush Pen. For highlighting purpose, I use Mildliner and Stabilo Boss.

Favorit pencil: Pilot Croquis H

Eraser: Tombow Mono Zero




Coloring Materials

As you may have probably seen on my planner spreads, I commonly use watercolor as my background. So here are the materials I use. I’m not so much into painting, but these days, I’m learning how to make florals.

I use different kind of mediums to create interesting textures for my background.



Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels and Faber-Castell Gelatos. I love to use them on my Hobonichi A6 Planner. Colors blends easily using a finger and when wet. If you like, you can simply leave it dry. You’d also be amazed how bright and vibrant colors are when activated. Worth every peso!

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor Set – Starry Colors Gold Metallic and Prima Marketing Watercolor Confection: Shimmering Lights. These two create stunning gold effect on my background and I absolutely love them!

Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Box and Schmincke Horadam Aquarell  Paint Metal Set.  Perfect for outdoors. Not chalky and definitely highly pigmented watercolor.

Holbein Artists’ Gouache and Royal Talens Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic. I usually use these for more intense color and creamy texture on my Hobonichi A6 Planner.

Others: Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils and Tim Holtz Distress Paint



Decorative Tools



To create more decorations on your planners, stamps can help you out! I love the fact that it’s reusable. There are different kind of stamps in the market: Clear Acrylic Stamps, Cling Stamps, Rubber or Wooden Stamps, Roller Stamps etc. Most of my clear acrylic stamps are from Mommy Lhey. I love how detailed and unique the designs are. Unfortunately, I can’t have all of the designs! Spell B-R-O-K-E. I have other things to prioritize as a mom. But every peso is soo worth it! Besides, you can always maximize your tools and use it to create a card for your loved one, or even take it to the next level with heat embossing.

You can also try Rosie’s Studio, but for someone with a sensitive sense of smell like me, I’m sorry, it doesn’t smell good.

To add more depth, I use different styles of stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop, Tim Holtz and even Rosie’s Studio.

You can try experimenting with different brand of ink pad. Versa Color and Versa fine works well with me.





Giving details to your spread would also help your planner look more decorative. There are several embellishments you can use like stickers, die cuts, washi tapes, sticky notes, journal cards and patterned cardstock.

For diecuts, my favorite is Rosie’s Studio. Apart from that, you can also check out your local stores to get more affordable stickers and die cuts. It doesn’t need to be expensive, as long as it suits your taste.

Aside from using as a background, journal cards and patterned cardstock make a good planner divider. You can also use them as planner pockets or even envelopes.

Sticky notes can be used not only to take down notes or sometimes as tabs, but I have a special use most especially for the cutest ones, of course, because I use them as embellishments, too.

Washi Tapes. Used in traditional arts in Japan, washi tapes are already being used as decors on planners. Some leave their planners with their dashing washi tapes and that’s it. I prefer washi tape samples to whole washi sets because with limited budget, I can already get different deisgns. #tipidtips



Guiding tools



If you want to keep your lines straight and a guide for any circular design like floral wreaths, it can get frustrated to rely only on your hands. Good thing we have tools like ruler and compass to guide us! Ha!

If you don’t want any scratch on your table when you cut a paper using cutter, craft mat and cutting mat are very useful. Tweezers are also handy to help you hold the tiny embellishments you want to put on your planners.



Cutting Tools


It may seem quite obvious, but scissors are a great help in creative planning. You can cut out small parts and you can cut whatever design of your own. I basically have separate scissors for washi tapes and for paper, simply because washi tapes have adhesive so scissors can get sticky over time.

Punchers are also a handy tool for me when I want a particular shape. These days, there are lots of punchers available in the market that are not too pricey.

When paper gets too thick and too long for scissors to handle, I’ve got a paper trimmer to do the cutting. It usually have measurement guides so it’s a lot easier to use than plain scissors.






The common type of adhesive we use is the liquid glue. It’s multipurpose and the good quality ones can even be used on different kinds of papers.

For easy use wherever you are, we already have other options like glue pen and glue runner. Very handy, indeed.





I think any storage will do, as long as it truly keeps your items neat and organized. I have storage bags so I can put a particular set of tools in one. Clear books are also useful for sticker organizers.

Going out with my tools is sometimes a challenge, but with my Tombow Storage Tote Bag, all of my tools are packed into one. Sometimes, I still get worried whether my items are placed properly inside the bag, so I always bring it with utmost care.





This list is a simple rundown of my essentials. Haha! Next time, I’ll be discussing them one by one to tackle them in depth and to give you more options for each category. Soon, I will also give you my recommendations on where to buy them. I have been receiving suggestions on what to write and share online so keep it coming. Just message me on my social media accounts! See you around!



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