Choosing a planner for 2015 was a difficult decision. Although planners seem to have become a "thing" and there are many options available, I just couldn't seem to find one that met my needs. I spent hours looking online, but the more I looked, the more I felt unsatisfied with what I found. Finally, I went to Chapters (a Canadian book store similar to the USA's Barnes and Noble) hoping that I could wrap up this decision in an hour or so. And I actually did! Except that I didn't leave the store with what most people would consider a planner.
I wandered around for a while looking for their planner section, and finally asked a sales associate where it might be, only to have him guide me to the journal section. Chapters has an extensive journal section which I often peruse but I didn't expect to find the planners there for some reason. As it turns out, they have a pretty limited selection of planners (as far as a paper, notebook, scrapbooking, office supply obsessed gal like me is concerned.) They have lovely planners made by Orla Kiely (paper was too thin for my liking), Kate Spade (nice, but I didn't find quite what I wanted) and others which just didn't fit my criteria.
I began to think that a plain journal might be the best idea. As a paper enthusiast, I'm looking for something made with good quality paper that feels nice to manipulate and that can be stamped on, without there being "bleed through" to the other side of the page. And as a scrapbooker, lord knows that I have a ton of stamps that I can use to make the journal into a planner. Let me be specific though, by saying that this "planner" is only going to be used to plan one life - mine. I don't have a family whose appts. and dates need to be recorded, so I was just looking for something fairly simple.
One huge problem though! 95% of journals have lines in them. I think journal manufacturers must take polls of the general population as to whether people want lines in their books or not. And it certainly seems as though they do! (I was looking for a journal with blank pages) So anyway, I was standing there after 20 minutes of looking at the same huge shelf of journals, some part of me secretly hoping that a lineless journal would magically appear, and then I suddenly spotted exactly what I wanted - a large, lineless, plain papered, Moleskine journal and I was suddenly at ease with myself again.
Moleskine journals are sort of a paper extremist's dream come true. They are well made, have a sturdy cover (or not, if you so prefer, as they come with supple covers too), come with lines, without lines, with grids, and in an endless selection of sizes. I chose the 9 x 12 inch size (the "Folio" model) with regular blank paper. I found out later, that there are also watercolour paper filled Moleskines. When I found that out, I immediately bought the watercolour A3 size (12 x 18 inches) from Amazon and will be using it in a different way that I will write a separate blog post about later on this month.
As soon as I got home, I set about looking for stamps to design/decorate my new dream-planner with. I found a Basic Grey set in my possesion (pictured below) which seems to have been designed for this exact purpose. I also pulled out what has become one of my favourite stamp sets of all time, the "Forest Stamp Set" by Life.Love.Paper for Studio Calico, and set about with a pencil and a ruler to draw the calendar for January.
When I was about 9 years old, I made my uncle a desk calendar for the year. I took his old desk calendar (one of those huge things that take up the whole of your desk and have leatherette corners to hold the pages in) and turned the huge, outdated pages over to the blank side. I spent hours designing, calculating, and then drawing a new calendar for him for the coming year. I did it because it was a project that really excited me then, and I have to say that I get just as excited doing it now, years later as I did back then. Except that now I have Big Girl tools. ;)
I'm also using a thin washi tape to highlight important calendar events and to create sections on the opposite side of the planner, where I make to-do lists, keep track of appts. and goals for the year, and doodle.
I'd be interested to know if anyone else has decided to make their own planner from scratch, and how they went about doing it! If anyone has, or knows of anyone that has, please let me know - I'd love to see it!