Obeying Your Planner

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The first rule of planner club is: Obey Your Planner. The second rule of planner club is—well, you know where I’m taking this dated pop culture reference. 😋

In all seriousness though, obeying your planner is THE cardinal rule of effective planning. A planner is a tool and like all tools, it’s only as effective as the wielder is. You can have the best planner in the world and more washi tape & stickers than you can shake a stick at but if you don’t use it correctly, you’re in the same boat as you would be with a Dollar Tree planner (not knocking those, btdubs, I used a $1 planner all last year to track social media work I did for a client and it worked fine).

So let’s chat a little today about how to obey your planner!

1. Your planner is your boss.

For me, it helps to think of my planner as a work log I need to present to my boss. If I don’t finish something that was scheduled, I literally punish myself. Whether it’s by cutting my “fun” budget, running an extra half mile that night, or skipping dessert, I need to experience a tangible repercussion. Especially because I’m my own boss, it’s too easy to roll tasks over to the next day without immediate consequences, which is a dangerous practice to indulge in.

2. No excuses.

When you have a difficult boss, you either quit or bite the bullet to get the job done. Even when your boss makes demanding requests, you do the task at hand. As long as it’s not impossible or damaging to your well-being, you should stay committed to your planner like it’s your job. My personal planning mantra (–is that a thing? Let’s make planning mantras a thing) is: “If it gets written, it gets done”.

3. Make it a habit.

I’m a flaky person by nature. It’s not that I mean to be, I just tend to get distracted way too easily. Over time, however, I’ve developed the habit of committing to my planner. It’s the first thing I look at when I wake up and the last thing I look at before going to bed.

Habits don’t develop overnight. Mine is the result of keeping a planner since the 3rd grade. If you’re just getting started with planning, or if you haven’t been able to stay dedicated your planner, force yourself to open your planner at least once a day. The more you look at it the more you’ll find yourself using it. Over time, checking in with your planner will become a daily habit.

4. Make it fun.

Because I treat my planner like it’s my boss, sometimes I resent it. On super stressful days I become irritated simply looking at the endless to-do lists and project notes. Your planner shouldn’t be a source of misery and if you constantly feel hassled by your inanimate planner, try to make it fun!

This is the part that you’re probably most familiar with. Decking out your planner’s pages with stickers, motivational quotes, or even writing down a gratitude are all ways to make planning an activity rather than a chore.

5. Never forget your Reason.

Why do you go to work/school? Why do you put up with a difficult boss or teacher? It’s because you have a good reason. The same applies with using your planner. If you’re committed to your reason, you’ll stay committed to your planner. Some planner girls like to create vision boards or write down a list of goals to stay focused. Both are great ways to get inspired and stay motivated.

Do you have any tips or tricks to getting the most out of your planner? Or maybe you’re having some difficulty staying committed, I’d love to hear from you too! What kind of planning problems are you running into?

Friday Freebie: “The Sweet Life”

Happy Fri-yay! This week’s free printable sticker set is chock full of sugary sweetness and plenty of glitter. I know it’s bad form to gush over your own work but I am totally IN LOVE 😍 with the gradient glitter bottom washi. In a bit of a time crunch today so let’s get right to it!

Click HERE to download the stickers. You’ll be taken to my shop where you can add and checkout with the set for free! Just be sure to print the PDF at 100% scale or it won’t be sized correctly. Happy planning!  💖

Please tag me on Instagram @paperhoard if you decide to use these stickers! I’d love to see your spread. 😊

Friday Freebie: “Liberty Land”

I know that Independence Day is still a few weeks away but I’m seeing 4th of July spreads all over my Instagram feed so I thought it was a good time as any to share this sparkly, patriotic-themed sticker set with you! This set is designed for the Erin Condren vertical Life Planner, though obviously it can be used with the Happy Planner, BuJo, etc..

Unlike the previous freebie, this set is limited to just 500 downloads so get it while it’s hot! While I’d like to have this available ~forever~ I used artwork with a limited license and we have to respect creative distribution rights 💖. The gorgeous illustrations are by the super talented Karamfila Siderova. Check out her work HERE and give her some love!

Click HERE to download the stickers. You’ll be taken to my shop where you can add and checkout with the set for free! Just be sure to print the PDF at 100% scale or it won’t be sized correctly. Happy planning!  💖

Please tag me on Instagram @paperhoard if you decide to use these stickers! I’d love to see your spread. 😊

Friday Freebie: “Aloha Beaches”

Hey friends! I’ve been quietly obsessed with planner stickers since stumbling across the Erin Condren Life Planner and the lovely #plannercommunity on Instagram. I started making my own stickers recently (mostly out of impatience–I hatehatehate waiting) and I thought it would be fun to share some of my sets with you!

I plan on having a new freebie available every Friday so check back here or my planner Insta for updates. Please tag me (@paperhoard) if you decide to use my stickers! I’d love to see your spreads. 😊

Click HERE to download the stickers. You’ll be taken to my shop where you can add and checkout with the set for free! Happy planning!  💖