I recently printed quite a few free planner sticker kits, and am decorating my planner with them. As I was cutting the stickers (I don’t own a Sillouhette or similar machine) and decorating my planner, I had to constantly remind myself of 3 things:
- Leave white space
- Decorate while planning
- Don’t be confined to layout/lines
I’ll share why these points are important for me, in the hope it might be helpful to people who might want to decorate their planners cost effectively, as I am doing.
I downloaded and saved a huge amount of free planner stickers during the beginning of this year, hoping to print and use them all at some point! As a reward for finishing a paper I was not sure I would be able to, I printed about 30 pages of them to use in my planner for the end of the year, and possibly the beginning of the next year. To fit the coming seasons, I printed Autumn, Winter, Christmas, and Spring stickers. All of the stickers I printed this time are from the following sites:
Below are snippets from many of the sticker kits I’ve printed! I can’t wait to begin using them! The only problem is that I need to cut them all…
I have used quite a few planners through college and graduate school, but none of the systems I used previously were effective for the mid- to end stages of my PhD degree. The types of tasks and deadlines I needed to track are very different from those I had while working on my Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and early PhD program. While before I had small and defined tasks, and specific deadlines, now I have research and paper ideas, various conferences to consider (I apply to conferences only if my research topic matches the theme of the conference, and if I have something I can write a paper on in time for the deadlines), and teacher assistant tasks. Some of these tasks can be broken down into smaller, list-able tasks. But sometimes, I don’t have enough information or direction to break down a large task/project into smaller tasks – mostly the case for research and paper ideas.
In March 2017, I found and bought The Happy Planner 24 Month Creative Planner Kit for a discounted price (about $30). The deal was too good to turn away from. Only $30 for the following items:
- 2 Sticker packs, totaling of 12 Sticker Sheets
- Three Colorful Pens (black, blue, pink)
- Five Rolls of Washi Tape
- Two List Pads
- Elastic Band with Pen Loop
- Two Pocket Folders
- 20 Sheets of Note Paper
- 20 Sheets of Grid Paper
- 24 months of Monthly and Weekly Planning Pages
Different planners were helpful to me at different phases of college and graduate school, depending on the types of tasks and assignments I had. Here, I’ll share the various types of planner systems I used since college. Unfortunately, I did not keep all my planners, nor did I take pictures of them all, but will include the pictures I have.
To keep track of my schedule which was filled with classes, meetings, and extracurricular activities, I bought a weekly appointment planner. Each class and type of meetings or activity was color-coded with colored pencils. I used separate binders per class to store syllabi, assignments, and notes. Every morning, I would review my class binders for what is due when, then prioritize and write my daily to-do’s on either separate pieces of paper or my portable whiteboard.
Sophomore and Junior Years
For the next 2 years in college, I used the planners provided by my university. The monthly views stored assignment due dates, exams, class schedule, meetings, and extracurricular activities. I used the blank lines in the weekly views to write assignments and other to-do’s for each day. Like Freshman year, I prioritized and wrote my daily to-do’s on either separate pieces of paper or my portable whiteboard every morning.