If you delve into the new decorated planner phenomenon even a little bit, you’ll notice that there are a lot of YouTube videos called “Plan with Me.” These are, I discovered, much like the YouTube Beauty Guru phenomenon, and some of the Beauty Gurus are also doing Plan with Me.

Did you think there would be awesome time management tips? I did. Nope. It’s all about the decorating. In fact, one Plan with Me guru confessed that she buys expensive planners and lots of accessories, gussies them up, and then doesn’t use them for fear of messing them up.

I did learn how to decorate a planner in a fashionable style, however, and tried it out.

Here are some of the customs of the Plan with Me community.

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Some just decorate their planners scrapbooking style and otherwise just use them as planners. This is known as “writing a ton.”

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Some fill up almost the entire surface of the planner, using all the elements of a sticker packet to do so. Some even layered the stickers on so that parts of the planner had two or three layers of decoration.

I tried it with a very pretty set of stickers, but it seemed like overkill. Those who follow this method often begin by putting washi tape over all the words on the page, fill in all the boxes with full box and half box stickers (you have to get all the jargon), and fill the sidebars either with complex borders of washi tape or with lots of big stickers.

I think the checklist stickers will be perfect not only for to-do lists, which seems to be the most common usage, but also for tracking habits. Even if I don’t keep any other part of this fad over the long term,I’m delighted to have discovered these checklist stickers.

I also followed someone’s idea for meal planning with sticky notes. This way, I can create a collection of meal stickers and just use them over and over.

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The anatomy of a planner layout:

  • Headers with “To do” and “To clean” and so forth — in my example I have just a few, but to do planners comme il faut, you should put them on each day. Many use “To do” across the top, “Today” across the middle with the day’s appointments, and “Little things” across the lowest section. I might do that, but with habit trackers across the lowest section.
  • Checklists, often under the headers. These can be to-do lists, shopping lists, cleaning plans, and such. They can also be habit trackers, although I’m liking the specialized stickers for those.
  • Full box stickers are mostly decorative, providing a background for journaling or smaller (half box, quarter box, eighth box) stickers used for appointments and such.
  • Tracking stickers for meal planning, workouts, and whatnot.
  • Icons, little round or shaped stickers to quickly note a haircut, lunch date, blogging time, and such.

I think I don’t really have the knack, or I’m not being lavish enough with the stickers, but I think I get the idea and can improve over time.