Practical Advice for Planner Events

We are less than ONE month away from Go Wild, which is a gigantic planner conference that is being held in Fabulous Las Vegas. In the event group, there is a lot of excitement around the lead up to the event and a LOT more questions from first timers about all sorts of aspects of going to their first “planner event”. I’m certainly no expert in this but I did go to Go Wild last year in Austin, as well as 5 other planner events of varying scales. There are lots of people imparting advice on their spaces, and I am going to join the ever growing throng to give you another point of view. Whether you’re “Going” with us to Vegas, or heading to one of the other planner events that are happening this year, allow me to pass along some wisdom.

The Advice I Wish I Had Listened To Before Going To A Planner Conference

Wear Sensible Shoes – NOT FLIP FLOPS

Y’all, I love me some flip flops but let’s be 100% here, they are not useful shoes. You’re probably going to be doing a LOT of walking at these things. Walking all the way across the hotel to get to the conference. Walking all your swag back to your room during breaks. Walking around the city during your down time. And, you’ll be doing a lot of standing as well. Standing in line for snacks. Standing in line to get on the elevator. Standing in line to get a photo with that speaker you really like. You know what kind of shoes SUCK for that sort of stuff? Flip flops. Get yourself actual shoes. Sneakers. Maybe buy some insoles. Baby the fuck out of your feet. They will thank you for it.

Take The Damn Pictures

I know, it’s weird to go up to someone and go “Hohmigod can i get a picture with you?!” I struggle with it, especially after working with musical acts and remembering they are people who fall going up the stairs too. But you know, you’re gonna get home and be really sad that you didn’t do it. Get in line for those photos; that’s why they have those times set to take the photos. Take the selfies with your friends. Make a gookie if you’re afraid to look dumb… that way you know you’ll look dumb on purpose and it’ll be a cool homage to Wakko Warner/Harpo Marx.

Image Shown: Gookies. Wakko on first.

Nobody Cares What You Wear

There was one event I went to where someone had a light up dress on. The only reason I remember it is because I remember thinking, “Shit… how is she gonna get that dress and all her swag home?” Plus, remember all that walking and standing I mentioned before? You’re probably gonna have to be clothed while you’re doing those things. Pick comfortable stuff that you can hike back and forth in. My go to is black leggings, a t-shirt, and a flannel for if I get cold (actually… that’s my go to everyday. I have no sense of style). If you are flying somewhere and you know that you’re gonna be a tad spoiled by your sponsors, pack light – or make a plan to ship stuff home, and remember to leave some in your budget to do that.

Erin Condren was really excited to take a picture with me. Please note that dressy ballet flats are not much better than flip flops.

Find the Bathrooms BEFORE You Have To Pee.

Just… trust me on this. And when I say find the bathrooms, I mean… don’t just find the closest ones. Find ALL of them so that if one is full you can go down the line until you find something that is open.

Schedule Time To Do NOTHING

So, for a bigger event like Go Wild it’s really tempting to want to schedule in EVERY SINGLE THING. You’re on vacation, you’re in a city that you want to explore, and you need to eat ALL the things. But, give yourself time to just wander around the hotel and hang with people. Sometimes there are hidden goodies around the hotel block. Sometimes you meet your favorite shop owners and get exclusive samplers. Sometimes one of your roommate does a really bad Australian accent to one of the main people of a major planner company (who happens to be British) and you need to have a spare half hour to literally roll on the floor laughing at her. So yeah… make time for those random things to happen.

Everyone is Awkward AF And That’s The Magic Of It

Me and some fellow awkward people being awkward with confetti.

When you get right down to it, this is a weird hobby for a bunch of adults to have. We play with stickers and mostly know each other through the internet. Sounds super legit, right? But you know, we all have that experience of unsuccessfully trying to explain what this hobby is and why stickers are a vital importance to it. We all have that one horrible layout we will NEVER show anyone. Everyone is as awkward as you are and is hoping you don’t notice that their shirt is on inside out. Embrace it. You are among your peers who know that HP means Happy Planner and not Harry Potter, but we are probably obsessed with both.

Where ever your planner related adventures may take you, I hope you have fun, find a new shop to love, and that your pen doesn’t skip while you’re filling out your spread.

The “It’s Going To Be OK” Challenge

Real talk for a hot minute; life is currently bit… well… let’s call it busy. Had a few curve balls thrown at me in the past week. It all got sorted. Side eye was given to the appropriate people (you know who you are). All in all, it’s fine. Nobody is on fire.

Sunday night, it was NOT fine though. One of the great “perks” of anxiety is that it takes a perfectly reasonable or slightly irritating situation (applying for a new apartment, and the running around that goes along with it) and makes it the END OF THE WORLD. So, while hyperventilating over the extremely unlikely situation of having to live in my car with my cat, I did a little bit of what I like to call “Fix My Problem Googling”; type in whatever is bothering you in a statement and let the great unknown algorithm attempt to fix your problems. And I came across this wonderful post from Evergreen Counseling listing 101 Reasons Why It Will All Be Okay. It’s a great list with great resources and worth a bookmark for the next time you feel overwhelmed with life.

After reading that, and screaming in to the void a little more, I got to thinking….

Source: A Dead Tumblr Account

… although that is a fantastic list that is full of really good legitimate resources and advice, it would be a good self-care exercise to make my own version with items specific to me so that when I’m doing the anxiety brain pacing, I can reference it and get a dose of reality as it relates to me. I’m not one for the whole “positive culture” (I actually think that mindset is kinda toxic), but I do believe in the study of positive psychology and finding the aspects within yourself to help bring you out of your dark patches.

Make a list! Find 10 things that remind you that everything is going to be OK. Not a gratitude list or things that make you happy (although those are good too), but a list of things that reaffirm that everything will work out and that there is still good in the world. You can scribble it on a napkin or make it into a vision board. I don’t care. I just want you to make a list. If you want to share, tag me on Instagram @glitterandprofanity or post it on my Facebook page.

With that and in no particular order, I present my 10 Ways Everything Is Going To Be Ok.

1: I’ve made it this far and through far worse challenges. I have the wherewithal to take on those challenges, even if I stomp my feet like a toddler while doing so.

2: I can, and do, function fairly well as an adult when I actually make the effort.

3: This Charlie Chaplin Quote:

Source: WealthyGorilla.com

4: There is a 3rd person showing signs of being cured from HIV.

5: I can do hard things. I can walk away when I know I’ve had enough. I can say no to people I care about.

6: This Tina Fey Quote:

Source: Marie Claire

7: I have a group of strong and powerful women, both friends and family, that have faith in me when I don’t have faith in myself.

8. Anxiety actually has legitimate benefits, like always having backup plans and being able to anticipate problems before they happen.

9. This video of voice actor, Rob Paulsen, talking about battling throat cancer.

10. Things like the Internet and Google exist, making it possible to find answers, solutions, and other people in your situation without having to leave your house or talk to another person. 10 seconds of frantic typing and then you can see that you’re not alone in whatever is troubling you, others have survived it, and here’s how you can too.

Write your lists. Keep them handy. Add to them as needed. You’ll thank yourself later.

I Don’t Want A Hobonichi

I see it all over my Instagram. The twee vertical layout with the doodles everywhere, the avalanche of new kits by my favorite shops, the near constant display of new planners written in Japanese. The Hobonichi craze has arrived and I am surrounded by skinny notebooks with dainty lines and weird paper.

I’m not new to the Hobonichi Planner. I got one for Christmas 2017 where I did a halfassed unboxing and kept calling it a “Hobo-chini”. I bought my mother one this past Christmas (and struggled to find stickers for it… totally side-eyeing all the options now). I’ve held it in my hands, smelled the paper, and butchered the name like a clueless white woman.

I can safely say with full conviction, I do NOT want a Hobonichi planner. Yes, they are beautiful to look at and alluring to covet, but this is the one siren song I can resist. This is not to planner-shame anyone who has paid for the express shipping on Jet Pens to get theirs at near Amazon Prime quickness; I will ooh and ahh at your unboxing videos and planner spreads. This is one voice in a sea of many saying, “ehhhh… not for me”, and I will tell you why.

5 Reasons why I don’t want a Hobonichi:

The paper is a chore to work with:
This seems like a thing people either love or hate. Since it is the most important thing in the Hobonichi appeal, I would like to go on record and say that I hate it. Hobonichi uses “Tomoe River Paper” which is super thin and supposed to be resistant to bleeding. My problem with it is that it takes a while, like a couple minutes, for any kind of more viscous writing fluid (gel, felt tip ink, etc) to fully soak in and dry. Which means if you don’t let it dry, it smears… badly. The planner doesn’t lay flat so, you either have to hold it open for your pen to dry, use a special blotting paper, or use a ball point, which still smears but not as badly.

If you’re artsy and want to do beautiful doodles, this could be a great option for you. I imagine that Tombows would be right at home with this paper. But, if you’re like me and you want to jot stuff down on the go without hunting for the right pen… not so much.

I can’t write that small:
A big part of the Hobonichi appeal is how small it is, and I get it… small things are cute. Case in point, me. Whereas my stature may be on the petite side, my handwriting is not. I blame working in preschool where I had to write large for the littles to copy, or maybe it’s a handwriting based Napoleon complex. Regardless, I need space for my big loopy d’nealian style letters and I can’t fit more than one word per day in the Weeks layout. If the point of the planner is to plan, then I need space to write said plans. Otherwise, how will I know that I went to that Facebook event with the squirrel mascot?

Space constraints:
This seems very similar to the previous reason and it’s in the same vein. I like to put a LOT in my planner. I track things, I chart things, I provide color commentary on the state of my life… my planner is a living scrapbook and I shove a lot in there. The Hobonichi is on the small size and would require me to curate the details of my life to fit in the pocket-sized pages. So much of our lives are curated anyway, and I love having my planner be a semi accurate representation of how I want to live my life vs how I actually do.

Starting a new planner system SUCKS:
This isn’t a cheap hobby. Like, let’s just lay that out on the table right now. The planners themselves cost money, plus shipping is always a pain. You’re potentially looking at ordering from overseas. It adds up fast.

There’s also a “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” situation going on… So you get a new planner. Then, you probably are gonna have to get a couple new pens to see which ones work the best. Chances are a big reason why you are tempted by the Hobonichi is because you’re seeing all the pretty kits and accessories that shops are coming out with for this style, and you’re gonna want some of those.

Next thing you know you’re buried under your $2 Tuesday purchases and multiple pens in slightly different shades of black and you’re slightly aghast at the Etsy charges on your PayPal account, but you STILL don’t have what you want to make this layout work right for you.

Bandwagons and such:
Fucking FOMO. It gets us all at some point. In fact, I bet everyone reading this right now can think of three things in their office/planner/craft area right now that they bought just because they were popular and you didn’t actually need them.

Planning is a double gut punch because not only do you get the “omg I want the cute things” feeling, but you feel as though by owning the cute things you will gain the skills to get your life together. But it won’t. You’re still not gonna update it regularly, forget what day it is and miss that appointment, and not check all the boxes on your hydration tracker. Maybe this particular planner is the key to unlocking your productivity and inner organizational goddess, and once you do that please let me know what it’s like. Chances are that unless you already have that level of success using something similar, this is just gonna be another planner on the shelf of “well-this-didn’t-work” items.

I don’t want a Hobonichi. I know how my brain works and I know that this is a trend I don’t need to jump in on. You shouldn’t feel like you need to jump on it either to keep up with the Planner-Joneses. We can like the Instagram posts and imagine what life would probably be like if we were “Hobonichi People”. Then we can go back to our well worn, over stickered, monster planners and appreciate the beauty they contain too.

JetPens Purple Gel Pens Sampler Test

To start, thank you so much to my beloved Jennifer Dudley who I am very fond of and who sent me this because I was having a bad day.

I searched “Thanks Friend” on Pixabay and got this piece of pie.

Jet Pens is an awesome resource if you are pen obsessed, like myself. One of the cool things they do is that they offer sampler packs in different colors so you can try a plethora of different pens and find which ones work best for you. The link to my set can be found right here, but they have a bunch if you just search “samplers” . I’m eyeballing up a few more as we speak.

Anyway, my pen test is below. I recorded it a while ago, but you know… life happens and you forget about the stuff you upload and mark on private… it’s like a need a planner for this stuff or something.

Additional Thoughts:

List of Pens Included for Reference.

Having had these a while now, I can comfortably say that the two top pens for me are the Pentel Energel X with the 0.7mm tip and the Uni-ball Signo in Lavender Black. The Pentel wins because it has a thicker tip, and what can I say… I like a thicker tip. But, the deep dark purple of the Lavender Black Uni-ball is so satisfying to write with. It’s what Maleficent’s ink would look like.

I am already plotting my next sample pack to purchase. Should I stick with my tried and true black in, or break out and do something a little less conventional?

Plan With Me Video & My Current Planner Layout

I’m gonna be honest… I don’t understand the whole appeal of Plan With Me videos in their full 27 minute glory. Speed them up and set them to music, and I’m there! So, that’s what I did this week… Make the content you want to see, right?

There’s a lot talk about “planner peace” and, although as far as I’m concerned it’s a myth, I think I’ve gotten pretty close to that with my Happy Planner and the way I do my current layout.

It just works. I know where to look for what I’m trying to find. I can use the full deco boxes that spark joy when I have them. The simplicity works for my chaotic brain. It’s functional and pretty.

Sticker Kit is from the Birds Fly Monthly Nest Sub Box. No, I’m not PR or anything for her, I really do use her stuff a LOT. Date Dots are the Rose Gold ones from Erin Condren; I grabbed them from the store when I was in Austin last year. I have some foiled stickers from Azalea City Planning and The Cynical Planner in there too.

Make Anything Happen Book Review

Mini Fangirl Confession: I love Carrie Elle. I have seen her speak twice (at two Winter Planner-Lands) and regularly peep her instagram and blog when I should be doing other things. She’s one of the people in the Planner-verse I find extremely relatable. When I saw she had a book at her booth this year at WPL, I snapped it up (and got her to sign it too, because of course I did).

Make Anything Happen: A Creative Guide to Vision Boards, Goal Setting, and Achieving the Life of Your Dreams is part guide book, part activity book, and part confessional. The book is broken up into three sections; defining your dreams, visualizing those dreams, and making them happen. Carrie Elle walks you through with little tales from her own life that have worked, or caused her to make those changes. No major adversity or mountains to climb; no tales of redemption or heros journey’s to get through. Just the things that have worked for her, and some that didn’t but maybe they might for you. Overall, it’s a nice, easy breezy read that gets you motivated to put those ideas in to practice. It’s not a deep read by any means, but it’s a handy motivational tool to have on your bookshelf if you are struggling with a brain block and need a creative way out.

Some highlights for me were the talk about creative notetaking and how your brain remembers info better when it’s doodled as opposed to just written down and the connection she made to her poster covered high school bedroom walls essentially being a giant vision board. There are a handful of worksheets sprinkled in to nudge you along the way, but not so many that you feel like they’re just padding the length of the book.

Additional perks include additional book recommendations for relevant topics sprinkled throughout, links back to full worksheets and templates on her blog, a facebook group, and beautiful photos that are a bit like an ISpy of craft items.

It’s a fun way to get motivated and creative to make a vision board. There is even a template that you can use to get started. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon productively procrastinating. I made mine instead of doing my laundry!

Reading Make Anything Happen was like having a conversation with your “has it all together” friend over coffee who assures you she puts her pants on one leg at a time and then gives some tips on how you can get going down that road yourself. The advice isn’t preachy or deep, but helpful reminders on how to go about setting and achieving goals that you can go back to again and again. It’s a worthwhile addition to the crafting cart.

How To: Sticker Book

If you’re like me, you’re an adult woman who owns a LOT of stickers. And if you’re like me, you are in a constant churning process of getting rid of “trash”. The problem of these two simultaneous occurring things is that you possess a lot of mostly empty sticker sheets that should go in to the trash, except there is that ONE sticker on it that you want to keep. This is a problem – especially with my current sticker storage set up.

My solution is to get a sticker book. And you can find them on Amazon and that’s just dandy. Or, you can raid your craft supplies and DIY that mofo.

Basically, all you need is contact paper and some sort of blank book or construction paper you want to use for your sticker book. I am using those books you can find in the Target dollar spot. These also work really well. And scissors, unless you can Jedi mind cut your paper.

I filmed a tutorial to show you exactly how I do.

A few things to note:

  • You could use laminated pages, but the won’t bend as much and will make it harder to get the stickers off.
  • Both wet and dry erase markers work on contact paper, which makes it easier to label and relabel as your needs change.
  • Acrylic nails make any kind of fine motor work eleventy-billion times harder.

Give it a go and tag me with your results!

Winter Plannerland 2018

This marks my 6th, that’s right, 6th planner event of 2018. I might be in deep.

So, I drove to Atlanta to hang out with my friends and go play with stickers at an annual event called Winter Plannerland. I went last year, and it was amazing. This year, I have my planner squad and I’m thrilled that some of them came too. 

​The excitement is there… it just needed some coffee to make it out of my brain. All told, it was about a 5 hour drive down to the Lake Lanier Resort thanks to traffic, gas fillups, coffee breaks, and the fact that my kidneys make me pee all the time now.
It was a super busy weekend, and so I’m just gonna hit the highlights.
Workshops on Friday Night were awesome.

​We got to pick three. I planned a 365 Day project with Wonton In A Million (above… ignore the 100… it’s 365), Talked about project planning with Carrie Elle (who I think I want to be when I grow up), and made awesome dashboards and cards with Capitol Chic Designs (who’s shop is sadly on vacation and who I also want to be when I grow up).
Roomed with planner bestie Leslie, and after a disappointing dinner of Doritos because apparently a fancy resort doesn’t have any food available after 11pm on a Friday (wtf?), we wisely ordered breakfast room service to greet us bright and early for Saturday.

​Best Life being lived.

Then it was down to the conference hall for the main day of Winter Plannerland.

We were at Table 11, generously sponsored by Triple Threat Planner. Everything was Nutcracker themed. Omigod, was it beautiful. KitLife gave everyone these beautiful pale blue Pashminas (which I have been wearing non-stop since getting it). Our tablemates were awesome and SO generous with their gifts as well. Hands down the best table I’ve sat at all year.

Leslie is thrilled that this isn’t the shitshow that the Knoxville Plannerland was!

 So, let me tell you about this shoe trophy that was part of our table swag. Triple Threat Planner is an “arts” themed shop, so a lot of dancing, theater, stuff of that sort. Those pointe shoes are from the New York School of Ballet. Actual ballerina shoes. Probably danced in the Nutcracker at some point. I’d like to think mine was the Sugar Plumb Fairy. Anyway, how awesome is that?

Chillest table ever.

Speakers started and once again… Carrie Elle is my favorite. What can I say. This year she talked about budgeting.

 The other speaker that really stood out to me was Teresa Collins.

 The meat of her presentation was moving and encouraging, I suppose. I also think that I’m not much for this kind of motivational speaking. But, there was an exercise that really hit me hard.

We each had a post it, wrote down the “head trash” or things that people had said to us over the years that made us feel like shit. Which… I don’t dwell on for a reason. But ok… I wrote down all the shit that made me feel like shit. Then we ripped up the post it. Ok… still feel like shit. Then we had to throw it out – BUT since there were so many of us, we passed it to one person at our table so they could throw it out. 

So… Bring up all the things I’m insecure about during a really difficult period of my life and I don’t even get to dispose of my own “head trash”… I have to pass it off to someone else and hope they can’t figure out what my little pieces of insecurities are and use them against me? And now I’m left sitting here while we immediately change gears and start talking about your story?

NOPE. Cue the panic attack. I had to leave the room. I needed some follow through with that… like writing the good things about myself on another post it to keep in my planner… or a session with an actual board certified therapist. I’m still feeling rough over that.

Once I got back in the presentation was fine, I guess… I just felt like shit for the rest of the day.
Then it was Planjama, Bingo, and some Plan With Mes. Then it was time for bed.
But first… the obligatory swag shot.

Thank you SO much to my table sponsor, table mates, friends, event sponsors, and donors. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait until next year!

December Weekly Layouts

Initially, I thought I’d be taking off from Atlanta early in the A.M. and home by afternoon to do something fun and witty. Instead, there was “winter weather” and since this is the South and they don’t do 4WD, I delayed and took off much later.

So let me take this opportunity to show off my December Planner spreads!

Continue reading December Weekly Layouts