Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Planner Love

I'm going to leave crochet for a moment to talk about one of my other loves - my planner! This will be quite long and a bit photo-heavy!

This is my current planner, a purple Filofax Malden in the Personal size:

I got it in June 2014, you can read about it here. I really like it, and I'm sure it has helped me to be more organised over the past couple of years. Sometimes though, I can go for a few days without looking at it, and I'm sure that's because I've never managed to find a set up that I've been really happy with. When I first bought it, I was concerned that it might be too big, but actually I find the pages quite narrow. My handwriting is quite small, but I still sometimes struggle to fit a simple note or reminder onto just one line of the notepaper, for example. 

So for a while now I've been thinking about trying a larger planner. Since I've been on Instagram, I've started following a few planner accounts, and the Erin Condren Life Planner seems to be really popular. Even Lucy from Attic 24 has indulged! (Reading Lucy's posts was also a big incentive to think about a Life Planner). However, the Erin Condren planners are not cheap, coming all the way from America, so I tried to listen to my head and not my heart, and I wondered if I should keep going with my Filofax, and just reorganise it so that it works better for me.

Stickers, I thought. I need some functional stickers. So I had a serious took-me-several-days kind of browse on Etsy, found about a million stickers that I liked (only a slight exaggeration), narrowed them down, narrowed them down again, asked myself if it was sensible to spend nearly £90 on stickers, narrowed them down a bit more and... you get the idea. Eventually, I'd whittled the list down to what I thought I really needed, and I made a few purchases. Exciting!

Most of the stickers on Etsy seemed to be aimed at Erin Condren planners, in particular the vertical layout. I couldn't find many shops who specialised in just Filofax, and I knew that some of the EC stickers would be just too big for my FF. Another planner name that crops up now and again though is Kikki K, so one lunchtime at work, I thought I'd have a look at the Kikki K website. Well, let's just say that one thing led to another, and a couple of weeks later, this happened...

Well hello there, gorgeous!

This is a large personal planner from the VĂ„NSKAP range. I'm not quite sure what the material is that the cover is made of; I'd describe it as a kind of canvassy fabric - it's not leather or plastic. It's a lovely pale blue, with cute little kitties on the front - I forgot to take a photo of the back cover, but basically it's the same kitties, from behind!

When I looked at their website at work, this was actually in the sale and had 50% off, which kind of felt like fate! I can't see it on their website any more so I think it might be sold out now, to make way for a new range. I selected quite a few other accessories from this range but by the time I got to the checkout they weren't available, so I think I got in there just in time. The full price isn't anywhere near as expensive as an Erin Condren, but I'm not sure that I would've bought it if it hadn't been in the sale.

The Kikki K 'large' size is the same as the Filofax A5. I think it's probably similar to the EC Life Planner in terms of dimensions, but the page layouts are different, and the EC has a spiral bound coil, rather than a 6 hole punch. Since my current FF is a Personal (the next size down) none of the inserts/dividers that I've made will fit this Kikki K, but I'm not bothered, because you can get about a gazillion inserts etc on Etsy, by people with far more artistic talent than me! So that's where I'll be going in future.

I bought some other stuff along with the planner, most of it with 50% off, so I'll show you that now, although I can't remember what was included with the planner, and what I bought extra. In no particular order:

I think this is the planner dashboard kit. It includes a clear plastic pouch which is hole punched to fit in the planner; some stickers; a dashboard; a couple of quote cards; a pocket envelope; two rolls of washi tape; two paperclips and a today marker/ruler.

This is what it says - a book full of stickers!

I think this is a bit of a limited edition, celebrating 10 years. It's full of stickers and things like gift tags that you can pop out, and there are also pages which (I think) can be folded into things like the pocket envelopes that then fit onto the rings in the planner. I think it also has some decorated pages which presumably are there for you to tear out and then use however you wish. I've only flicked through it once but it all looked very interesting and I'm excited to have a proper 'play' soon.

From what I've seen so far I quite like the whole ethos of Kikki K - the stationery, homeware and gifts that they sell are all based on Swedish design and are very cool, classic and contemporary, and they also seem to feel very strongly about supporting your mental health and emotional wellbeing. They had a selection of books about things like mindfulness and gratitude, and this one about having more energy. To be honest, it's a very thin book, with only a paragraph or two on each page - it took me about 15 minutes to read it cover to cover. As with any self-help book, most of it was just common sense, such as getting more sleep, but I did find it interesting, and it was written in a warm, friendly style, rather than the shouty, patronising tone of some similar books. As it's quite brief, it's something that you could read again and again, almost like a list of prompts.

This was another sticker and gift tag book with inspiring, motivational quotes and words.

This is a set of to do list notepads, one big and one small. They are not hole punched, because the big one slots into a pocket on the inside back cover, and the little one slots into a pocket at the front. The planner came with these included, so I probably didn't need to buy this refill pack just yet.

The planner came with what it calls an 18 month perpetual calendar, which is basically blank for you to write your own dates on, but the spaces for each day are only as big as the squares you can see above. So I bought this refill which is from their Time Planner range; the month view is the squares across two pages, and the week on two pages is just like a larger version of what I've been using in my Filofax. Looking on Etsy, there are sellers who do vertical pages for the Kikki K (a bit like the vertical boxes in the EC Life Planner), so if I fancy a change, there are other options. This diary starts in December 2016 and goes through to the end of December 2017, so I'm trying to decide whether to start using it from December or wait till January - I don't know if I can wait that long!

So after all the pondering over whether to get an Erin Condren, I ended up with a Kikki K instead, but I'm very happy with it and I'm really looking forwards to using it. 

As for the stickers that I bought. Well, I got them with the intention of using them in my Filofax, but now I think I'm going to save them for my new planner. When you search for 'planner stickers' on Etsy there are over 206,000 results! In fact, looking at planner accessories etc on Etsy has become one of my favourite wastes of time procrastinating essential hobby-related things to do!

I got the biggest selection from Happy Cutie Studio who just seemed to have almost everything I wanted, and their stickers really are happy and cute!:

this was on the envelope - definitely happy mail!

Strawberry Place was one of the few shops which seemed to specialise in stickers for Filofax, making sticker sheets in three different sizes (pocket, mini and personal), and hole punched to fit in your planner.

I bought these from Stickers Swiss Made - I wanted something to do with blood(!) to record the result of a blood test that I have regularly, but a lot of the ones I found had words like 'give blood' or 'donate' on, and I just wanted something plain. They arrived quickly from Switzerland and were really nicely packaged (but I forgot to take a photo).

I also bought some stickers from Fox And Cactus who I follow on Instagram, and who were one of the first shops that I found where I thought "I have to buy some stickers from these guys!". They haven't arrived yet, but they are coming from the other side of the world, so I don't mind waiting :-) I'll try and remember to update this post with a photo when they turn up.

So that is my planner news. If you're reading this and you too are a bit of a planner addict, I'd love to hear about it, and any ideas you have for organising it, or recommendations for places to buy stickers, inserts etc.

Bye for now, and happy planning!


  1. Oh, this is a slippery slope you have started on! Planners are addictive! I have been through Filofax, Midori style notebooks, Moleskine and back to Filofax before grabbing a Kate Spade and my current happy planning book, a Leuchtturm. I can't spell it, I can't say it and all I really wanted was a book to write in. But I'm organised and happy and that's what matters! Personal size was too small, A5 size too large with the folder, I like rings, but I need the thinness of a notebook. I've even had the clipbooks, probably the closest to perfect I had, but still too wide for most handbags. Now I have my a5 book and it works. I use Bullet Journal principles and plan as I go. There. I bet you're sorry you asked.

  2. Ha, not sorry I asked at all, but slightly scared that you may have just described my planning future for the next few years! They really are addictive, aren't they? I understand there is a thing called 'planner peace' which only the very lucky planner addicts actually achieve. It sounds like you may have found it (for now).
    I'm tempted to have to have a look at a couple of the ones you mention... although I probably shouldn't ;-)