Steps To Having A Cute And Functional Planner

Steps To Having A Cute And Functional Planner

Organization Is Good, Right?

You may not realize it, but the planning community is MASSIVE. Don't believe me? Just type in the word 'planner' in your youtube search bar and see how many videos pop up. I am a part of this planner community. I have been extensively planning for over a year now, and I love every second of it. Something about having a written plan makes me so much less stressed by my life. If you want to learn how to start your own planner so that you can become organized and less stressed, you've stumbled upon the right article. I'm going to explain to you exactly what you need to start up your own successful planner. Happy planning!

1. Buy a Planner

There are hundreds of different planners that you can choose from. My personal favorite is the Erin Condren Life Planner. I love the colors, the covers, and the layout is perfect for what I need. It's not essential that you get an Erin Condren, but if you do, feel free to use my referral link ( to get $10 off of your purchase.

2. For an Added Custom Touch, Get a Personalized Cover or Case

I love having a planner cover that has my name on it. I have several that I bought through, but the one currently on my planner is one that I made myself with scrapbook paper and a laminator. If you have a planner that isn't Erin Condren, measure your current cover and cut down some scrapbook paper to use in order to give your planner a little more color. I also have a personalized neoprene case for my planner because I really hated putting my planner in my backpack and pulling it out with a million scratches on my brand new cover. The case is completely optional, but I adore mine.

3. Use Stickers to Set Apart Important Dates

This is totally optional, but I use stickers to mark the important events in my planner. It just makes them stand out more, and isn't it 10 times cuter than it would be without them? I use three different stickers to write down different events. I'll explain each one! The picture below is some of my washi tape and washi tape stickers. I've gotten more since I took this photo, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how many planner supplies I actually had.

-Washi Tape: I use washi tape to set apart events that are more than one day. For example, I use washi for week long holidays like spring break or Christmas break. If I have three days to take a test in my online class, I use washi to block off all three days so that if one day doesn't work, I have the other two to try and get the test finished.

-Washi Tape Stickers: I use these to show when important deadlines or dates are. I use them to mark test dates, essay due dates, interview dates, and days out of school. They stick out when I open my planner so that I immediately know what is most important. I store my washi tape stickers in $0.99 photo albums because I'm able to keep them organized and all in one place.

-EC Stickers: These stickers came with my Erin Condren Life Planner. I cut them in half so that they don't take up so much room in my monthly box. I use these stickers to set apart dates that aren't important enough to use washi stickers on. I put homework due dates and obligations I have outside of school on these stickers. That way, it still adds color to my planner, and I'm able to tell immediately that something important is happening without thinking it is a test or major assignment.

-Specific EC Stickers: Erin Condren also includes stickers that are already printed with specific uses. The only ones of these I really use are the doctor's appointment stickers.

4. Find Pens You Love

This isn't the most important step in the planning process, but I am all about having a good pen. My favorite pens are Papermate Flair marker pens. I LOVE them so much. They're bold like a marker, but they don't bleed through your paper. And they come in packs with 10-12 different colors, so your possibilities are endless.

5. Decide How to Use the Weekly Section

The weekly section of my planner has three smaller boxes for each day. Originally, the boxes are meant to be 'morning,' 'afternoon,' and 'evening.' Instead, I use mine for 'homework,' 'tests/essays/studying,' and 'other.' This fit better for my personal use because I am able to see at a glance if I have any important tests or major assignments coming up. If something else works better for you, don't be afraid to redo the planner to make it the best for you. Customization is the key to making a planner you love to use.

6. Keep It Up

A planner does absolutely no good if you don't use it daily. You can write in it once and completely forget it exists, but what purpose does that serve? Set aside a time in your schedule daily to check your planner and make sure you're up to date with what your obligations are.

Now I am one of the more dedicated planners who uses several different accessories to personalize my planning experience. Really all you need to start a planner is a planner and a pen. If you think planning might be for you, buy a cheap planner and see if you like it. If you become obsessed like I did, then spend more money on a higher quality planner like the Erin Condren Life Planner. I promise you won't regret it.

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.


When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

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