Tag Archives: Planners

I Tried a Planner for a Week and…

This guest post is brought to you by Amanda Evanston, a painter and maker from Chicago. She blogs at auntpeaches.com.

There are two kinds of people in this world; people who write things down, and people who write things down on napkins. I fall in the second category. Sometimes I run out of napkins and it ends up on my hand or the back of a receipt. One time I wrote down important tax information on tissue with lip liner, and then blew my nose in it. It’s a problem.

People make fun of me for it. I have a friend, let’s say her name is Theresa (it actually is Theresa but I’m spelling it different to respect her privacy – am I a good friend or what?), and every time I see her she finds an opportunity to rub her superior organization skills in my face. She’s always pulling out her leather bound book of magic. This thing. I’m telling you, it is like her third hand. It started as a calendar, I think, but she guards it like a child, carrying it with her everywhere, consulting it before meals, even buying it outfits. Stickers. Ribbons. Miniature markers from Tokyo. This strikes me as excessive, but you know who is never late? Theresa. You know who always has a stocked pantry, clean laundry, and a seasonal wreath on her front door? Theresa. You know who has sent me a birthday card every year since we met? Theresa. Why? Because she keeps a stack of cards right there in that leather bound book of magic of hers, along with a pocket full of stamps, return address stickers, and two different colored pens, and everything else on the planet she doesn’t want to forget. Because that is what planner people do. They are diabolical. AND I WANT TO BE IN THE CLUB SO BAD!

Day planners have reached near-cult status in the last couple of years, and I have been outside looking in the window, standing in a pile of crumpled and inked up paper napkins. So when Michaels asked me if I wanted to try a week with one of their most popular planners, I said “Let me at it!”

We are looking at the Create 365 “The Happy Life” 18 Month planner. First of all, it’s a honker. Second of all, if it’s anything in a word, the word would be flexible. It wants you to customize it on every level. Lots to cover here but in comparing it to the others on the shelf, this one had three major selling points that tugged on my purse strings.


1. Disc Binding

You can add and remove pages, or move them around however you want. Want to put March in front of February – go for it. I don’t need all the daily pages of the last three months – so they got yanked out. I also don’t need daily pages for more than 6 months from now – so they got yanked too. Boom. Now the book weighs half as much. Much more purse-friendly. Now you have room to add stuff (we’ll get to that later) or keep it slim and seasonal. Your call.
Granted, the same could be done with traditional clamp ring binders, but if you have ever accidentally sat or stepped on those things, you know they are temperamental – if one ring goes slightly off track, the diagnosis is terminal; it’s only a matter of time until you buy another, or quit using it altogether. Spiral bound ring binders are even worse. You can’t add or subtract pages, and stuff gets caught in the spiral. I was using a spiral bound calendar for a while there a few years ago, but then one day at the grocery store I had to get to my wallet and yanked it out my purse and you know what yanked up in it? A dirty sock. It was mortifying. It just flung up in to the air and landed on the scanner, then they had to clean wipe the thing off with Windex while I watched in horror and disgrace holding my dirty sock. (I know what you are thinking, and yes, it’s a long story, but I switched socks earlier because sometimes that happens, then it got caught up in the spiral at the bottom of my purse, then it got flung out, then it got handed back to me by the clerk with pinched fingers and a look of disgust. Not that I blame him. I blame the spiral. Never again! ) Create 365 Happy Planner

2. There isn’t Too Much Muchness

And by that I mean, in addition to the monthly overview, each spread is a week and there’s plenty of room devoted to each day, but not every day has page with times and itemized lists. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that exciting. I don’t need to look at a book full of near-empty pages. And anyway, anything time specific goes in my phone with an alarm attached, which is handy, however, it does not allow me an overview of my week – a hard copy planner is perfect for this. You can see the big stuff and small stuff at once, break down benchmarks, etc.. For someone like me who is self-employed, most of my goal setting is on a weekly basis, so this is ideal. I suspect some people work in daily or monthly rhythms instead. Knowing how you are naturally wired is key to getting a planner that works for you (and doesn’t just look cute) (but let’s face it, looking cute is key too!). After a week of using it as a functional planner, my spread looks occupied, but not dysfunctional. Some folks like their planners to look like ten pounds of sugar in an eight pound bag. I’m okay with what I have. A year from now, come back and let’s see if I mix it up a bit more.

Create 365 Happy Planner

Bonus track: The space allotted for each day is around 3”x 8”, which, if you are really on top of it, also doubles a swatch space for adding photos, keepsakes, and or special memories of each day as it passes, turning it into more of a retrospective journal or a scrapbook than a forward facing planner. It does double duty. Nice!

Aunt Peaches Planner

3. Monthly Highlights

I have not seen this in other planners. It’s an open block for birthdays, important dates, rememberings, and a list called Currently. That last one is the one that grabs me because it will make me list what I’m reading, planning, watching, eating, drinking, listening, celebrating…etc. Granted, I drink things every day, but do I have a signature beverage this month? Maybe I do and I don’t know it? Or maybe I need to get one? Would that be hard? No. Would it feel special to switch to a new one next month? Umm, yes! Now THAT is goal setting I can handle.

Same with other stuff like music and tv shows etc. We all move in seasons and cycles of these things all by ourselves, but there is something oddly compelling about improving the intake when you know you’ll be putting them into a list. I have had the same book on my bedside table for months, but if I knew I’d be listing it twice, I’d probably hurry up and finish reading it. Lists are powerful like that.

Also, if your quality of life is determined by how you spend your days, then it is small, daily shifts that add up to big changes. So, I like this. I’ve got this! I mean, the cover of the book literally says YOU GOT THIS! and it might even be right!


4. Accessories

Now let’s talk about accessories. I love any kind of accessory, but paper accessories? This is my jam. Michaels carried over 100 accessory items in this aisle, but I decided to start slow with a handful of item-specific sticky notes and some washi tape. The Create 365 line has a bunch of pre-punched add-ons; double-sided pocket folders, dividers, journaling prompts, loose leaf paper, inspirational quotes and inserts. I thought these would come in handy…


It’s a pre-punched stack of lined paper, 40 sheets, the front divided in half with a long list of check-off boxes on the left, and an hourly list on the right, with a box titled “Grateful For” on the bottom. I don’t need a calendar like this for every day, but there are certain days or specific projects where this format is perfect – having it as an occasion add-in is crazy helpful. Plus the back is titled “Brain Dump” which sort of inspires an opportunity to say/think/write whatever you want. I don’t care how organized you are; everyone needs a mental junk drawer. And the fact that the planner invites these moments of organized chaos and layers them in-between clean design and pretty graphics makes me that much more anxious to use it. A good sign if ever there was one!

I’m only a week in to the journey, but it’s feeling pretty swell so far. Will this be my official segue into the day planner club? Only time will tell, but I am excited to find out!


Memory Planner Memory Keeping

Hello everyone.  My name is Lindsay Bateman and I am excited to talk Memory Planner Memory Keeping with you all.  I am a member of the Heidi Swapp Media Team and as members, we absolutely love to share our memory keeping passions with you all.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

Speaking of these passions, memory keeping in the form of a ‘Memory Planner‘ (for me personally) has become my one true love.  I cannot tell you how excited I am that it is also a brand new year!  That means a fresh start….AND a brand NEW planner!

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

Some of you already might be seasoned planner keepers and lovers, and many of you might be new to this whole “planner movement”.  Regardless of where you may find yourself, there is SO much inspiration and creative work out there to get your heart inspired and the creative juices flowing.

Today I wanted to share some basic ideas and creative inspiration when it comes to using a Heidi Swapp Memory Planner and a Heidi Swapp Memory Keeping Embellishment Kit.  Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming as to how all the pieces “work” together.  No fear! I am going to break that down for you into simple steps to get you going and started on your very own Memory Planner for 2017.

As you can see I have an array of products from the Memory Keeping kits displayed.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

These kits look like this in store.  There are 4 of them and they come with an array of beautiful embellishments and supplies….including stamps!


Memory Planner Embellishment Kit Memory Planner Embellishment Kit Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Family Embellishment Kit Memory Planner Embellishment Kit

I want to share with you how I get started each month.  For me getting started always begins by building my monthly calendar page.

Step 1:  Date Stickers

Date StickersLocate the calendar date stickers that are included in the Memory Keeping Kit.  There are 2 sizes, the smaller one is meant for the calendar page.  The other larger numbers are for your weekly pages.  Simply peel off and adhere onto the corresponding days of the week.

Voila!  Step one is done.  So easy and already your month is coming to life.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

Step 2:  Decorate that Blank Canvas!

Heidi Swapp Memory PlannerI always love to then add a little bit of embellishment and personality onto my calendar pages.  They are so much fun to personalize and make pretty.  The kits come with so many wonderful pieces that make this part a breeze!  There are chipboard pieces, tags, glitter stickers, tabs…you name it!  Choose what ever pieces you love and place as desired.  It is incredible how quickly these embellishments can transform a basic calendar into a work of art.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

Step 3: Add Stamps

I am obsessed with stamps for various reasons.


I love their simplicity, their ease of use, the endless designs, layering possibilities….I could go on and on.  They are also wonderful tools for planners.  They add such a professional looking touch to anything they are added too.  Plus, I just think they look amazing on calendars.  Simply choose your design/designs and stamp on your calendar as desired.

Using Stamps in Your Planner

You can use as many different images or stamps as you wish. No rules here!

stamping in your planner

Step 4: Printing & Adding in Photographs

Instax Share Printer

Memory Planning for me always means incorporating photographs into my pages.  I love placing a current photo from the beginning of each month onto my calendar pages.  I do this for many reasons but mostly to see how life changes from month to month once the year is complete.  I always print my photos for my Memory Planner using my Instax Share SP-1 printer.  It prints straight from my phone and the Instax photos just look so adorable.  I love that the Memory Keeping Kits come each with their own set of unique clips and washi tape.

Fun clips for your Memory Planner

That makes it super easy to add in my photos simply and effortlessly.

Once you put all these steps together, voila!

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

Your month is ready to be filled with even more memories, notes, journaling and fun extras!

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

This really is only just the start.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Heidi Swapp Memory Planner

I hope you enjoyed my basic tips and tricks for establishing and creating your monthly planner calendar and are inspired to create your very own!  Grab yourselves a brand new Memory Planner and Kit for 2017.  I just know you will love it…your memories are waiting for you!


How to Start Bullet Journaling

What exactly is a bullet journaling? Well, consider it the love child of your personal diary and your never-ending to-do list. Then add in some future goal planning, daily trackers and fun little doodles. It’s the trendy new way to help you get your life organized.

Intrigued? Confused? Let me break it down for you.

First, you’ll need to get a journal. We like these since they come with dot grids and lines that make it easy to create lists, graphs and charts. Any journal or sketchbook will work though.

Bullet Journals Dot Grid Journals

You’ll also want to pick up a ruler and pens, markers or colored pencils of your choice.   We love these Staedtler® Triplus® Fineliners and of course Sharpie® markers. As far as a basic black pen, the Pigma® Micron® Fine Line Pen is a no-brainer.Pens, Markers and PencilsBullet Journaling Necessities

Once you have all of your supplies, it’s time to get started! Many bullet journalers start off by creating an index. Nothing fancy, just a list of page descriptions and their corresponding page numbers so you can find what you need when you need it. From there, your journal is whatever you make of it. Some create monthly logs, daily logs and task lists.


Below we’ve doodled some ideas of how we journal here at Michaels.

Monthly Calendar


Here’s a monthly view that utilizes a color coordinated key for reminders. And, of course, the typical shopping and to-do lists.

Weekly Calendar


Laying out the week within a spread is a great way to merge your planning addiction with your dot or grid journal.


We love how this one incorporates the weekly grocery run as well as those cute water glass stamps. What a great way to ensure you’re drinking your H2O!



New year, new you? Writing your goals down is a great way to help keep you accountable.

Meal Prep & Planning


Whether you’re on a fitness journey or a mission to cut grocery costs, writing down your meal planning is an essential way to prepare for the week ahead.


Bullet journaling is a great way to keep track! You can track pretty much anything you can imagine. The layout above is a tracker of good habits. Mark the days for each time you complete a “good habit”.

New Mom Journal


In those first few months of life, mothers track every little detail of their newborn baby. From feedings, to sleep and even diaper changes, you can keep track of it all in your bullet journal!img_1196

Another great layout for new moms — self care! Create a list of ideas to remind mom to take care of herself too.

Wedding Planner & Checklist


Nothing feels better than checking items off of your to-do list! Use dot and grid journals to keep you on track for planning your big day.

If you love to-do lists or are planner obsessed, then this trend is for you! Have you tried bullet journaling? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Michaels Makers January Challenge: Make a Fresh Start

A new year means it’s time to make a fresh start. While some may resolve to exercise more or spend less, this year we challenged our Michaels Makers to get organized!

Whether it’s planning the family schedule, cleaning out your pantry or getting the kiddos ready to head back to school, Michaels has everything you need to help you get organized this year.

Check out all of the Makers’ ideas below and let us know how you are planning to get organized in the new year too.

 Loading InLinkz ...

DIY Planner Accessories

Today we have a very special guest post from Kari who blogs at U Create where she encourages “U” to create by providing tutorials, patterns, craft tips, and endless inspiration.

My favorite trend in the craft industry right now is definitely “planners” – they are EVERYWHERE.  I have to say at first I didn’t understand the hype and wondered why people didn’t just use their cell phone apps and calendars, but after chatting with My Planner Envy, I understand it completely and now I’m hooked! She told me how her readers are using this as another “creative outlet” and even use them like a scrapbook or journal.

I was surprised to see all of the different sizes, themes, and accessories for the planners, too!  Well, today I’m teaming up with Jessica at My Planner Envy to bring you two different DIY accessories that can spice up your planners!

DIY Planner Tassel




  Directions: tassel-tutorial

  1. Wrap the DMC floss around chipboard or thin cardboard to desired length of tassel (we used 5” piece).


  • Slide off cardboard and cut loop.



  • Thread one end of floss into the jump ring and place jump ring in the middle of tassel.tassel-diy-steps



4. Grab a different color (or same color) and wrap around the top of the tassel to secure it, thread the floss and hide inside the tassel. 5. Comb the tassel to even out and trim edges. tassel-clip Now you have a fun, bright tassel that also works great as a bookmark to save your place!

DIY Interchangeable Planner Charms

planner-charms-tutorial Supplies:











  1. Cut chain to desired length. (Tip: cut to the size of your wrist as a bracelet so you can wear it, too!)
  2. Add a lobster clasp to each jump ring and charm.
  3. Lay out your design and the order you want the charms placed evenly. Attach to chain.
  4. Find secure place to attach your chain to the planner. We went right up the center of the top ring on The Happy Planner.
  5. Attach with findings and lobster clasp.

Use as a decoration for the outside, a marking place, and of course a bracelet for you to wear! The charms are super easy to interchange, too!


Are you jumping onto the planner bandwagon? Show off your DIY planner accessories on Instagram using #MadeWithMichaels!