Back in July, I briefly spoke about the planners & notebooks that I use to organise my life and one of those was a Paperchase personal organiser. There I talk about how I use the planner and the reason I purchased it. I also mentioned that I have some pretty inserts and since then, I have been asked a few times to do a planner setup and show you around the inside of this beautiful organiser. And I’ll admit, it’s a lot harder to capture the setup in photos so I ought to have done a video. But this is a blog (and I currently don’t have a good method of filming) so I thought I would just to have to try my best to show you around with tons of photos and a very indepth description!
This planner has been my main organisation tool since I first brought it, around four years ago. Every year, I buy some new refills, whack those in and bam, we’re ready for the next year! Normally I opt for the plain Paperchase 12 month refills but last year, I came across a set of refills that they did (but they were quite hard to find). These were not available online when I purchased them but they were available in some of the stores. However, they are available this year – both online AND in store!!
The planner itself is a personal sized organiser from Paperchase. I am a huge fan of their organisers – they come in a range of great designs, a variety of sizes and are super affordable. There is this gorgeous new range and I just want to buy it all – especially their planners and diaries in this range. I can’t remember exactly how much my organiser was but it was definitely under £20, which is nothing compared to some of the other brands out there. If I remember correctly, the planner came with 18 month diary inserts for a week on two pages, as well as other things you would typical see in a diary of this sort (note paper, addresses section, calendars and so forth). Paperchase also stock a whole bunch of accessories and refills that you can add but other brands, like Filofax, that also have accessories and refills will work in these planners too. The organiser has a simple strap closure, with a pen loop on the strap itself and there’s enough space to store a pen without it being a problem. I often store an erasable pen in here, which I use to mark down any appointments or events. I prefer using something that can be erased easily in case I make any mistakes or any plans need adjusting after they’ve been written in. Typically, I would use this to keep track of important dates, upcoming events or appointments and any important things I needed to do that day or week. With all of the inserts, accessories and information, my planner has almost reached its maximum capacity I think and adding anything more would probably not work with the ring size. But let’s open it up and get into the contents!
In the front cover, there are five small pockets and one larger pocket at the back. It’s quite a common layout for an organiser. I personally like to put some things that I might need whilst planning in this area. For example, it’s mostly filled with sticky notes and paperclips, just in case. Typically, the top pockets contain bank cards that I don’t use much or need to close (you can see the edge of one of them poking out behind the sticky notes). I have online access to these accounts so don’t really need the cards anymore but I store them here, just in case I do. I keep a ziplock pocket with some sticky notes & page flags inside the big pocket on the front cover. The page flags inside them are one of my most used items in this area. I love to have some to hand as it allows me to write down a provisional event and stick it to a page, giving me the freedom to be able to move it to another date if need be without any hassle.
The other side – and the first page of my planner – is another ziplock pocket that contains some Project Life cards (I think these particular ones are from the Blush edition) and I like to use this space to change the cards around, based on my mood. I believe I got both the ziplock pockets for the planner in a pack together, from Paperchase. It is not long enough to display two full 3×4 cards so instead, I pick one that I want to fully display and then put another peeking from behind it. On the front side, the pink heart with the word ‘love’ is peeking from behind whilst, on the reverse I have a flower one shown in full and one with the quote ‘life is better with a smile’ peeking from behind.
Next I have a bunch of stuff I have made. This red, white & black pocket to the right hand side (with the club, diamond, heart & spade symbols) is created out of card & some washi tape. In here, I currently store a little card, that is the same size as the Project Life cards. It’s an image of a girl in winter clothing with a little snowflake in her palm and as the cold is coming, this card is starting to seem very appropriate very quickly! The “For You” post it note with the owl is stuck on a clear dashboard that I made by recycling some packaging. I attach some sticky notes there, such as important bills or finances that need to paid regularly or a list of items I want to buy and so forth it. After that I have another clear dashboard that I have made out of a piece of acetate. These things are all really easy to do but they allow you to customise your planner as you see it so I definitely would recommend thinking about what you would want in yours, if you are currently looking at setting up a planner. I personally like the odd pocket to stash a few bits but I mostly love having plain dashboards that I can cover in sticky notes.
After the dashboard, we get into the inserts. The refill pack I purchased came with 6 dividers: Information, Agenda, Planner, Diary, Addresses & Notes. Each divider is a lovely pale kraft colour with a flower pattern but has a different coloured tab to make it easy to recognise. Each section comes with paper inserts that are designed to match the dividers. The paper is a lovely colour and each sheet has decorative elements to it. There are strips going across the top and bottom of the inserts to look like flower washi tape, lace or dollies – for example. Some sections also have a flower in the corner, like the diary section that also contains a little image of a butterfly. It’s nicely decorated, which makes a good change to the usual plain white inserts you get. These particular inserts did not come with the planner originally but were available as a refill pack from Paperchase last year, when I purchased them. I opted to buy these inserts as I love decorated planners but I simply did not have the time to do it so this seemed like a good compromise. Occasionally, I did decorate the weekly sheets further. For example, I would stamp a border in them or add a strip of washi tape. However, I never felt like it was boring and that I needed to add something – I just did it when I could because I wanted to and this was quite nice. The inserts all work well together, throughout the six sections.
In the Information section, I keep a sheet for Personal Information (that I never use as I rarely take my planner out of the house but I kept it there in case I decided to start taking it around with me) and Important Dates for the year. The Agenda contains my Year Planner, allowing me to see my year at a glance. I don’t use these on a day to day basis but I like to fill it in with important events or holidays & trips after the event so I can look back at my year and see what I have gotten up to for memory & scrapbooking purposes (rather than for planning purposes). To quickly get to the current month in that section, I have a page marker that I made using Monkey Washi Tape. It has a tab at the top that quickly lets me open up to the month I am currently in for that section. I love having different page markers or accessories for different sections as it allows me to be able to go to the correct page quickly, without much effort or thought.
Next up, you have the Planner section. I think this is where the yearly inserts normally go (with the agenda being the important dates or something). However, I printed off some free monthly inserts, hole punched them and whacked them in here. Honestly, I can’t remember where I got these inserts from now but I just used Google to search for some free ones that were the right size for my planner and printed off the first ones I liked. I lined each month with a strip of washi tape on the edge to give it a pop of colour, whilst partly helping to reinforce the holes, and added a few generic stickers too in the empty spots. I used a pink arrow paperclip to clip the old months together with the divider. This allows me to quickly flick to the correct month just by opening up that divider (as it pulls the previous monthly pages along with it). I also have a cat sticky note on the corner of the current month that I can use to flip to the current month. As it is a sticky note, I was worried it would fall off so the paperclip was a backup option to that. However, it has actually surprised me by lasting this entire time. I think I have used the same sticky note each month since I first got it and it has not lost its stickiness – which is amazing as I thought I would need to use a few each month!
In the fourth section, the Diary section, I have done a similar layout as I did for the monthly inserts. This time, I choose a binderclip that lets me attach the old inserts to the Diary divider. I can quickly open up to this week’s pages by now either pulling the divider open or using the binderclip at the top to do so. I actually only started using this clip about half way through the year, when there were too many old weeks to flip through. I wanted to keep them in but I didn’t want them to get in the way and thus, I opted to use the clip to keep them together. Before that I used a page marker that I made myself and this was from acetate. The reason I made a clear page marker was so I could see the week’s spread, without the marker getting in the way. I added some gold washi tape to the top of the marker so that it could be seen from the top only. I still keep this marker in my planner but often find myself just using the binderclip now instead, just because it sticks out a bit more and is easier to grab. I absolutely love that it is transparent though and for your daily or weekly spreads, I would highly recommend using something like this – that does not get in the way.
The fifth and sixth dividers are probably the ones I use the least but I keep them there just in case. These are the Address and Notes sections. I don’t store any addresses in this planner but I keep one of the address inserts in this section, just in case someone gives me their address and I need a place to write it down. The final divider, the Notes Section, was one that was greatly used at the start of the year or even last year and I would often make notes using that paper before transferring it to wherever it needed to be. However, since discovering how easy carrying a small notebook around was and falling madly in love with pocket notebooks earlier this year I have not really used this area as much and tend to just grab a notebook instead. I have some inserts in there, again, just in case I do need them though.
Finally the planner ends with an acetate sheet that I cut up and put at the back, just to protect the last page from getting dirty. There’s a single large pocket that I store some spare refills in, which I may occasionally need. Right now, it has some Day Planner inserts for particularly busy days that happen to need them as well as some more note paper. There is also a folded tissue (clean, don’t worry) in the back pocket. My friend – very randomly – wrote a message on a clean tissue one day and put it inside the notebook I was using at that time. I thought it was really sweet and have just kept the message in my planner this whole time (it was so many years ago that when I mentioned it recently, she was so shocked).
That’s all from me today! I hope you enjoyed this very long tour of my planner set up. I absolutely love this Personal Organiser and think it’s a great value for money. It has lasted and in fact is still in good shape this entire time. However, sadly, I won’t be using this particular planner in 2016. This decision is simply because I have used it for many years now and I want to change it up and try something new. I enjoy experimenting and want to see if there is any other systems out there that I prefer or also enjoy using. That being said, I have no idea if I’ll like the new system or not and I already know that I love this little fella (I would not have used it for so long if I didn’t). I will still use this organiser but for a different purpose. So watch this space as you will see a new planner set up in the coming months as well as a new purpose for this planner, if all goes to plan. Without a doubt though, I would highly recommend giving the Paperchase Personal Organisers a go if you want something that’s affordable, as well as pretty!
Note: These refills are currently available in Personal & in A5 – in both the stores and online. I recommend getting them online, which you can use the Click & Collect service for, simply because it is not always in stock in stores. They are definitely a popular range of refills! Sadly this particular planner I have is no longer available from Paperchase but they do have a variety of other options that I would recommend checking out if you liked what you saw here.
I love the new Mystic Rose range, which has a personal sized as well as an A5 sized planner. There are also diaries available with this range. The inserts for this are amazing as they are undated and include other sections like a meal planner, budget planner or shopping lists. If you prefer a dated planner, I would opt for the Patent Spot organiser (though I think it is only available in A5), which has a 2016 diary as well as a section for To Dos, Meetings and four blank sections to use as you see fit. There are also tons of other planners they do that are beautiful – these are just my favourites from their current stock – so I highly recommend having a look on their website.
The Paperchase inserts also work in other Personal sized planners, such as Filofax, Kikki K or Love Doki planners so if you prefer the inserts and accessories but not the planners then that might be a good option for you (or vice versa)!
For more information, click here to go direct to their website.
Here are some pictures of my favourites (click the picture to go direct to the item on their website!):