My Planning Journey

Hello there and welcome to my blog! This site holds my musings about planning, stationery, pens, time and project management, and using artistic minimalism to make both a functional planner and an unassuming little work of art.

I’ve always loved planners, pens, and stationery. I spent years and years trying out (and usually abandoning midyear!) different planners – from Quo Vadis to Whitney English to brandless Korean and Japanese designs to Hobonichi. Once I even designed and printed my own planner – peak nerd! In November 2017, though, I discovered bullet journalling and the amazing Instagram communities that go along with it and I was hooked. Finally: folks who felt about planners and ink and timetables the same way I did. What really closed the deal were all the minimal accounts out there.

Inspired, I dove in to the world of bullet journaling, grabbed a classic Leuchtturm on a lunch break whim, and just tried it out. Like many folks in the stationery/planner communities, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but the bullet journal system helped me face that fear and handle that tendency in a much more healthy way. Because the system says you don’t need to go in any order (you have an index for that! and besides, I’ve never been the type for bookmarks anyway, I like flipping through pages and spreads to find what I need) – I was able to just try things out. A spread didn’t work? It’s OK, I could try again right then or start a new page, no harm done.

After a few months of experimenting I decided to join the community for real instead of just perusing, and started @line.unfolding, an Instagram account to share my bullet journal spreads. Although I barely follow the original system anymore, its spirit of mindfulness, customization, and flexibility has helped me be a better planner, in two ways. First, it’s helped me channel my artistic creativity into something that feels useful. I work a full-time job as a non-profit arts educator and it’s as exhausting as it is rewarding, so being able to be creative in a low-stakes, who-cares kind of way in my planner feeds the artistic side of myself I’ve kept slumbering for a while. But it still feels like I’m doing something productive, because I am – I really use every page of my planner, for work and home! Second, it’s helped me be kinder to myself. In pre-printed planners I’d kick myself for messing something up or doing something slightly differently than I’d originally pictured. Knowing I can make it work or just flip to a fresh page and start over is liberating and helped me realize I should forgive myself and try again.

As I’m writing this, it’s August 2018, and I’ve had my little “bujo”/minimal planning Instagram account for about 8 months. Once I realized how much I loved posting to my Instagram and that I could actually stick with it, I invested a new camera lens, a tripod, and lugged some poster board home to make a more legit photo setup to upgrade my images. And finally, I decided to start this blog, after being inspired by so many of my favorite Instagrammers and bloggers, especially Paper Love Story and Minimal Plan. Instagram captions just couldn’t contain all my thoughts about pens and planners – it had to overflow somewhere!

Speaking of which, in case you hadn’t noticed – I’m long-winded! I made a promise to myself in both my Instagram and this blog that I wouldn’t over-think it or kick myself for being overly wordy, and just go with it in this blog. So you’re getting 100% little (anonymous) me – rambling on about stationery and pens and planning and all the like!

So for anyone who’s out there reading, thank you! Please join me in this little journey of geeking out about planning, bullet journalling, stationery, minimalism, and more. I’m so glad you’re here!

I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds, but very far from being perfect–completely removed, in fact, even as we ourselves are. —Agnes Martin

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