Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Answering a question about my planner...

 Lori in Missouri left a comment recently on my post about planning ahead (you can read that post HERE), and asked if I would do a show and tell about the planner which was open on my table, so Lori, this is for you and anyone else who might like some inspiration for creating their own planner. 

First of all, let me say this isn't an actual planner in the ordinary sense of the word. It's more of an inspirational compilation of ideas in various categories, sourced from old and very old magazines or articles. Having this folder on hand helps me plan what I intend doing on the blog next year, things Id like to learn, plus ideas for homemaking improvements, gardening, tutorials and health. 

The folder is a large A4 arch lever, and I made the cover many years ago. 

Inside I have plain brown cardboard dividers and have embellished the first one to suit my style, because opening a folder or planner which looks appealing really makes my day. 

Here's the first divider, which is more accurately known as my main page. 

I'm no paper crafter, though I'd love to have those skills, but simply adding lace, pieces from old doilies, some inspiration tags, buttons and a pretty photo, made this divider very pretty to my eye. 
There's nothing wrong with working to your abilities and being pleased with the result. I think when we stop comparing our work to that of others we have more satisfaction in our accomplishments. 
I have received hundreds of emails and comments over the years from lovely ladies lamenting that they cannot stitch like me...and some put hand embroidery aside because of it. How very sad. I have always counselled that hand embroidery is my occupation, my "bread and butter", and I practice my skill every day because how I stitch and the finished effect matters greatly to how the designs photograph and how well they present as a pattern to purchase.
But a paper crafter I am not, so rather than compare my very basic attempts to those of someone who is quite accomplished (like my friend Rosie for example), I simply enjoy the little that I do and gain delight from my task. 

Inside I have plastic sleeves filled with many and varied things which have caught my eye over the years, and mostly they came from a very large number of old magazines which used to take up almost two shelves in my largest bookcase, but which I chose to go through during the covid lockdown of 2020 and remove every page I wanted to keep and then disposed of the rest. From two shelves full, down to one folder. Lovely. 

Along the way I also collected quotes and saved them in a plastic sleeve inside the cover.

So, lets go through my folder. Behind the cover page of my folder I keep patterns and craft items I'd like to make; there's about thirty so far and I have indeed made a few...

That painted metal colander tutorial (above) was a wonderful craft one Sunday afternoon and I have two of them holding my petunias in the garden now. 

Then I have a 'business and branding' section, which has become more about office organisation than anything else. As you can see I make the divider pages easy to open by sewing lace or printed ribbon across to create a tag.

Then we move on to ideas for patterns or tutorials which focus on the home. I'll take an idea that I like, then draft a pattern and play around with it for a while until I'm happy with it. I'm playing around with similar fabric plant holders for gift giving and displaying around the house at the moment. Once I'm happy with the final item I will do a tutorial on my blog (I plan to do quite a few tutorials in 2023)...

The following section is for information about herbs, flowers, natural remedies and herbal recipes...

I also have a section for 'teaching me', where I store simple tutorials and steps for things I'd like to learn in the future...

Moving on, the next section is health and self care...

...followed by cleaning, home-making and planning (pantry/menu related).

The last section is for projects I'd like for my home and office, most especially my office and sewing room. I've pulled out this idea for a pocketed corkboard and can't wait to get started on it later in the month....

There's still two dividers in my folder which are at present unused, but it's good to have extra because you never know when a new subject will become an interest and if so, there's already somewhere to store information and inspiration. 

This is only one binder of the many I use for various purposes, but the others are predominantly work related...

I also have a day to day planner, and for years have used Day Designer. This year I went with the smaller 'week to a double page' instead of the usual 'day to a page' and found that in order to balance home and blog/designing/business I needed to go back to the day to a page format again, so I invested in the original style I preferred and ordered my new 2023 Day Designer planner when it became available a few months back. It's only just arrived so I'm thrilled to have it ready to open at New Year. 
I love looking back through my old planners and reading what I did each day or through a season, do you?

I wouldn't recommend this unless you need plenty of room for the planning of home and business each day as it's quite pricey, but for me it has proved invaluable over the years and I genuinely missed not having this larger version of Day Designer during 2022. 

I know for some of you this is all over the top, and that's fine! I have been a planner and list maker all my life. I used to make library cards for all my books as a child and 'lend' them out to myself, and even had a list inside the wardrobe door of everything I would wear each day that week. It's who I am and its helped me function through life...but it may not be your thing at all. I do marvel at how incredibly unique each of us are, and how truly evident that is of God's creative hand. 

If you do things similar to this let me know, or if you have ideas to share, please do as I'd love to hear them, and so would a lot of readers. 

Before I go, a sneak peek at a new free pattern I'll be sharing with you at the end of the week....

Bless you heaps, lovely ones.

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Lin said...

Always interesting to see how others plan Jennifer. I have evolved a system based on bullet journaling with a day to a page, list of to do's and diary of what I did (or didn't!) get done. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
I wish many creative folk are encouraged by what you write
" There's nothing wrong with working to your abilities and being pleased with the result. I think when we stop comparing our work to that of others we have more satisfaction in our accomplishments."
Don't compare ! There are no quilt police or embroidery police :)
Enjoy the creative process, the journey !
Love all 29 photo's you published and wrote about today !
hugs, take care,

Mrs. White said...

You have the loveliest ideas! Your homemade planner is wonderful. Any one could find inspiration from your photos and descriptions and create something that is unique to them. Having pretty things to work with will certainly brighten our days. Thank you!
God bless you!

terricheney said...

I use a binder much as you do but mine is for just a year at a time. Then I transfer out pages at the end of the year, some are filed, some put into another binder strictly to inspire me in the future and the others are usually discarded and I start fresh. My binder has sections for recipes, budgeting, food inventory lists, shopping lists, books to read/movies to watch, quotes therefrom, blog post ideas. I have learned to keep a blank calendar page in the front of the binder so I can schedule posts ahead and see what I've got coming up etc. It works very well for me and since it's free form suits my life perfectly.

Susan said...

That was really interesting, and the organization explains how you do get so much done. I used to do a week by week planner, but with Covid and cancer, it fell by the wayside. This reminded me to order one this year again. Thanks for the ideas!

Mydearduane said...

Everything you do is so pretty...keeps me motivated to make my life beautiful ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽ

Mydearduane said...

Many years ago when I had little children running everywhere..I felt so discouraged and messy..then the Lord told me to organize my heart..little jars of joy..sweetness and contentment filled my heart shelves..I still do this and it stays so pretty..I visit it often with my King๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Lori in Missouri said...

Jennifer, thank you so much for answering my question! From one "planner and lists-maker all my life" to another, I love your binder! I save similar articles and patterns and inspiration in folders but I think I'd have fun putting a pretty binder together for the categories I most dig around for.

For readers who are looking for something similar to your Day Designer but for a little less cost, here in U.S. the Blue Sky planners are really nice. I always like to use any extra pages in these planners to add my own glued-in inspirational magazine pages/scriptures/stickers. For 3 years I've used Ruth Chou Simon's beautiful hardback planner but they changed it radically this year so went shopping for a different one.

May God continue to bless your lovely ministry to women all over the world as we walk faithfully through the door to 2023! I'm looking forward to all your godly inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Organization and list making are habits that I admire but the skill has been not all that successful for me. I make lists and lose them and start garden journal after garden journal and then a week in, I forget about it. I think my brain doesn’t naturally lend itself to order and but I can appreciate the beauty in the talent and organizational skills that others possess.

Tammy said...

I love planners too. I have to use one to keep my busy life organized and on track, Especially with me taking so many people in my family to appointments constantly. Love your planner. I used to decorate my planners with stickers and such. But the past couple years I just buy one from Wal Mart as I have no time to decorate them any more. I really enjoyed your pictures of your planner

nana54reading said...

Jennifer, this evening I took a stroll through your online magazines. I found so much
encouragement. I am so excited for what will come. Thank you, so much for being so
real and open.

Lynette said...

Thank you for sharing your planner with us. I do believe that God has gifted all of us to be creative in one way or another, and we should all make time to discover our creative side! Have a blessed weekend! x

Lori said...

Jennifer, as usual you are so inspiring to us all! I have a similar system as yours but have each topic in pretty folders. I am re-thinking that as everything is all smooshed together and then I can't see them very well! I love the idea of going through old magazines and just pulling out what appeals to me. I have put this off for so long, not wanting to disturb the "wholeness" of the magazines. But then they sit on my shelf and just collect dust! I have added that to my goal list that I start every Dec. for the following year.

Bless you and your family!
Lori in TX

Christine M said...

Your planner looks great Jennifer. xx