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Lessons Learned after going down the planner rabbit hole.
If you’re coming from my Youtube channel or Instagram, you already know that this is going to seem a little hypocritical consiering my hauls and other planner purchases. I have literally bought all the things.
So, since I’ve already done that – you don’t have to! I’m so serious. Learn from my poor spending habits and just step away from the online shopping cart. Your wallet will thank me later.
There are really only two things you need to begin as a paper planner.
#1. A planner
#2. Your favorite writing utensil.
That’s it! All of the other things are extremely cute and decorative but they aren’t necessary. In this post I share with you lessons learned from things that I didn’t need to buy, with the hopes that it encourages you to think about what you’re purchasing and how you’ll use it. Or, at the very least, encourages you not to buy a ton of it.
Tons of Washi
Literally, the amount of washi tape I own weighs a ton. Who needs all of that? There is most definitely a shelf life on the adhesive used. That means, in a few more months I will have rolls of thin decorative paper. I know the feeling of FOMO. Especially when it comes to the beautiful collectible washi tape that make for great photo props and has all the right accents. I know – I bought it too. Lots of it. Why? I wished that I could be like the cool kids (is the song stuck in your head now?). Now, I have rolls of it that I’m doing nothing with. It looks good but it’s not useful. There is only so much washi tape that you can use in your planner.
Lesson Learned: While it’s ok to be a collector of things, consider the actual value of the collection for the long term before investing too much into it.
All the sticker kits that caught my eye
Because I didn’t want to not have it incase one of my siblings got married, someone I know had a baby, I wanted to use it for the week of April 15th, 2020. You get the point. I don’t even fill out my planner half of the time because I get overwhelmed with the idea that I have to put down perfectly coordinated stickers. I don’t need stickers to plan! My kids still have annual doctors appointments if I have a script Dr. Appt sticker or not. Now, I have my favorite shops and I don’t brand out much because I know how I am about sticker kits & timely delivery. I also have a system that keeps me accountable to using what I buy.
Lesson Learned: It’s all cute but that doesn’t mean it’s useful. Make sure that what you buy works for your style and you have a solid plan for using it.
I have multiple things going on – I need multiple planners, right? I’m a mom, wife, blogger, teacher, entrepreneur, and planner. How many planners is that? 10? Instead of looking for the one thing that would fit my needs, I bought many things and struggled to make them work. I will also admit that seeing other planner people with multiple planners made it feel normal to buy paper in excess. It’s not normal. At least, it’s not my normal. It also isn’t environmentally friendly. Now, I have several bound planners and books that are out of date, mostly empty, and collecting dust. I’ll be repurposing them and showing how it all turns out in a future blog post.
Lesson Learned: Finding the one thing that will work for your planning style doesn’t mean you have to buy all the things. Get clear on what you need before you make a purchase.
The latest fad
Ring planner, string planner, die cuts, foiled unicorn fairy dusted planner accessories – obviously I needed these things. Don’t we all? I noticed myself jumping on to the fad of whatever was new when traveler’s notebooks began to gain more popularity. A few TN companies were producing beautiful leather notebooks and I saw how people were decorating them with all of the other planner stuff I had been collecting. I thought ‘that’s what I need to put all of this other stuff to use!’ One notebook turned into 5. With a shelf-full later, I saw that I had jumped on another fad of planner stuff. Actually, when I took a look around, I had way too many things that I had’t used. All of them bought with the idea of doing something great but never really following through. This usually happens when you buy something because it’s cute for the moment or popular among the crowd. I had to really think about what my purpose for planning & paper crafting was. It sure wasn’t to be surrounded by things I wasn’t using.
Lesson Learned: Being clear about your reason for planning, crafting, or anything you enjoy will help you make smarter purchases.
Subscription Boxes (that come with lengthy terms of agreement)
I need three to twelve months of paper and embellishments for sure! At one point I had about 6 subscriptions of stickers, papers, and ephemera being delivered to my home or PO Box. I also had zero time to craft (uh, hello brand new baby and two year old) The boxes began to pile up. I didn’t even open half of them until months after they’d been delivered. I wouldn’t have known if they had every item that should have been included or not. What was I thinking? I was afraid of missing out on something awesome. Whether or not I was using it didn’t really matter. I seemed to be satisfied with just the knowledge of owning it. FOMO (fear of missing out) can lead us to buy things with no real intention for using them. At least it did for me. After I’d canceled every subscription and really looked at the items I was receiving in the subscriptions, I realized that nothing in any of the boxes were really exclusive. They all had things that I could get elsewhere. It won’t be the exact pattern and print. However, I don’t need that item in that exact pattern and print. I’m enjoying being able to hand select the paper crafting items that I will use.
Lesson Learned: You don’t need all of the things. It is ok to look at something, enjoy its beauty, and then pass on it. It really is ok.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a couple things I purchase without fail and a few subsciptions that I love. But, I’m no longer buying it because I think I’ll use it. I know that what comes through the door, has a place and purpose.
What lessons have you learned about your planner purchases? Did you identify with any of these?