A few years ago I pulled out the only planner I had ever bought and thought, "I really should use this". I started looked on Facebook for some groups to get me motivated and started seeing a lot of planners similar to this one:
My mind was blown, to be quite honest. I had stopped scrapbooking in 2003 as soon as my 2nd baby's first year baby book was finished (say that 3 times fast) and this planner looked like it was scrapped! No, I didn't have time for that and eventually the thought of using a planner was set aside.
Fast forward a few years and I looked a little deeper in some of these groups (I'll tell you about my favorite one this week) and began to see there were definitely different styles that ranged from functional planning to the heavily decorated planner.
It's all about a combination of what you like and what works for you. I like the looks of these colorful planners and I know I could have fun galore with stickers and washi tape but actually decking out my planner wouldn't work for me for two reasons: 1. I definitely don't have the time and 2. I wouldn't have enough room to write in my planner!
Last July is when I jumped back into keeping a planner. I made my first set of monthly pages and started writing dates in. I would doodle in the boxes of the dates that were past if they were blank. It was lots of fun - but then (home) school started and the rest is history. I was glad to have done that though because it gave me an idea of what I liked. I like clean, crisp, white pages and I do like a pop of color. I also like room to write and lined dates. That's when I made my second set of monthly pages!
These pages had less white space at the top - the month covered the entire page - and I added faint lines in each day to write on. Yeah I liked these better. It was right around this time that I started using weekly pages that functioned as my to-do list and my monthly pages began to take a back seat. Now I only use my monthly pages to write in dates, not to decorate. It has worked out very well for me.
I am glad I found my decorating style early on because it saved me from making a lot of unnecessary purchases. I still am tempted to buy Washi tape just to have it because it is so cute! :) Speaking of Washi tape - I do have some. I came across a deal when I first started and ended up with about 20 rolls of thin tape in different colors. I will sometimes put tape on the outer edges of my monthly pages (like red for December/Christmas). Some pretty stickers came with my Vera Bradley binder and I've used those on the corners of some of my weekly pages.
So, that is my decorating style: very lean to leave lots of room for functional planning. Not to say that other styles are dysfunctional, but functional for me. What's your style?