Project: Planner Peace and Why I Don’t Believe

1.28.16 Calendar

Ok, I’m calling bullshit on “Planner Peace”.

There. I said it. Planner peace is bullshit.

Planner peace, in theory, and in my understanding, is having one planner that is perfect and does all the planner things you need it to do. It tracks your water intake, your meeting schedules, your kid’s soccer practice, your boss’s nieces birthday party. It keeps your grocery list, your dry cleaning receipt, and your tax information. All the things! All in one place!!

It sounds great, right? Your life is finally organized. You just need this ONE thing. This ONE system will solve all your problems.

But let’s be honest, that isn’t going to happen for most of us.

Or at least in my opinion, that’s not happening. At least not for me.

My problem with planner peace is that it makes me feel like I’m not doing it right. I’ve got two planners. And a system on my computer. And then the calendar on my phone. Planner peace makes me feel like this is wrong. But what if I’m not wrong? What if planner peace is wrong? After all, entropy is natural, right??

At any rate, I don’t want planner peace. If you do, that’s fine, I’m happy for you. But for me…I like planner FUN. I like trying new planners, themes, layouts, stickers, etc. It’s FUN. Why should I give that fun up just for one system?

Right now I’ve got 3 main organizational tools. Ok 4. Let’s be honest.

Paper-planner-wise, I use the Bullet Journal system for my daily planner. This goes with me everywhere. It’s a basic notebook, no stickers, not super-exciting. However I DO sometimes doodle and journal in it. I use it mainly for my daily schedule, to-do list, and habit tracking. Here’s a sample day:

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I also keep a long-term calendar and other long-term planning things in it…like my upcoming half-marathon schedule.

1.28.16 BuJo

Then, for mostly personal tasks, and for just keeping my week overview organized, I use a more traditional, super sticker’d, planner.

1.28.16 Lilly Planner.jpg

For me, this planner lacks the detail and minutiae of what my daily life needs. However I love it, I love the stickers, and every Sunday it makes me sit down and review the week ahead. The Bu Jo does NOT make me sit my happy ass down and figure out my upcoming week. I mean it could…but….I like this one better. Plus I’d run through like a notebook a month if I did weekly planning and To-Do lists AND meeting notes all in one place.

Then, I also use two computer systems. I use google calendar for super-long-term things…like if I by tickets to Elton John and the concert is 6 months away. It goes in the google calendar then later it gets transferred to my weekly and then to my daily paper planners.

Then for shopping lists, lists of movies to rent, and my work-related notes, I use Evernote. For more about Evernote, feel free to check out my other blog here. (#shamelessplug #idontwanttorewriteitsoohwell) The nice thing about Evernote is that it syncs to the cloud and I can access it from my phone, computer, or sister’s boyfriend’s uncle’s computer if I have to. Realistically, I could run everything out of Evernote, but the paper planner and the super-fun stickers make me pay more attention to my schedule than Evernote does. Not gonna lie.

So some of you might say that I have NOT achieved planner peace. I won’t necessarily disagree, but I’m also not actively seeking it. I’m perfectly fine with the system I have, but I’ll also be ok if I decide to change it in the future. In fact, I KNOW it will change rather soon and I look forward to it. I have requested (and bought and then exchanged for cash) a Kikki-K planner from my mother for my birthday. So eventually…either around my birthday or maybe next year, I’ll be switching to a vertical layout. No idea how I’ll like that but I think it will be fun to experiment.

What are your thoughts on planner peace? Do you think you’ve achieved it? Did you think you achieved it and were then proven wrong?

Project Planner Peace| Lifeofprojects

Pipsticks Subscription Review – Welcome Box

Have you all heard of Pipsticks?? It’s a monthly sticker subscription service curated by Maureen, the Head Honcho. She created the company after spending tons of cash on stickers for her kids. Pipsticks offers several different levels of membership, for both adults and kids! (Also I’d like to just inform you that I was not asked to review this box, Maureen doesn’t know I’m reviewing this unless for some reason she follows me on instagram, the box I’m reviewing was paid for with my money from my pocket, of my own volition.)

I’ve had my eye on Pipsticks for awhile, I think I came across it on someone’s instagram…I honestly can’t remember. But the thought of monthly stickers mailed to my door makes the 80’s kid in me squeal with excitement! I finally caved and signed up on New Years Eve. According to their website, orders/subscriptions placed before the 1st of the month would arrive to your mailbox by the 15th. And turns out, that was true! I got my order last week!!

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Here’s what was inside:

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All told there are 20 different sheets of stickers of varying quality and number per sheet, a pre-stamped post card, and a cardstock 5X7ish frameable print/quote. There was also a welcome letter that makes me think this is the special welcome pack and not the January Monthly. (Instagram stalking further confirms this thought) Personally I don’t mind that this is different than the monthly that everyone got. I would be willing to bet that having a pre-arranged “welcome kit” ready to go, allows Pipsticks to ship as fast as they do for new customers. Pretty smart thinking in my opinion.

Rather than going over every single sticker in detail, I decided to pick my top 5 favorites to share with you. So here goes.

#5 – Korean Stickers

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I love Korean stickers!! Now I could be wrong, but I’m 99% sure these are pulled from sticker packs by a Korean company (or two) I’ve seen on Amazon. It may be a few different companies but I recognized the branding on one. Either way, these are super fun and they are sheets I didn’t have. Now, some of you might be put-off by getting sheets from existing sticker packs but to me, that’s the whole point. Pipsticks never claimed to have originally created stickers or anything like that. Most subscription boxes are curated from existing companies. And I also like that I can get variety without having to buy a pack of identical sheets. Since I had seen this company/brand before but love the stickers anyway, this set gets the bottom of the top ranking.

#4 – Opaque Graphics

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Hello, what’s this? I’ve never seen a sticker like this before. And honestly I’m only 70% sure it is a sticker because I didn’t fiddle with the back of it enough to confirm that. I HATE accidentally peeling off backing because it NEVER GOES BACK HOW IT WAS. At any rate, this one is kind of an opaque sticker (I think) with some super-fun graphics. It has almost an eggshell finish so I can’t decide if I can write on it or not. It’s too big to be used in my planner but I think it would make a fun addition to some penpal letters!

#3 – Around the World

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These are some really adorable die-cut stickers with different cultures represented. I can’t decide if these will be planner-stickers or penpal-stickers. If can find some flags from around the world I could make a fun international planner spread…hmm…

#2 – Matte Writeable Stickers

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HOW AWESOME ARE THESE?!?! They are a plain paper matte sticker that you can write on, or color with colored pencils, or just keep as nice black and whites! I want to know where these came from and BUY THEM ALL.

#1 – Qubies!

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So I have no idea what these are actually called but I’m calling them Qubies because they look like little cube people…or the Qubes plush figures. I don’t know what characters these are supposed to be…the top one kind of looks like Dr. Who to me but these are just too cute for words!!!

Overall, I loved this welcome box from Pipsticks. The print was awesome and will go on my desk at work. I’ve already sent off the post-card to a friend who collects them, and I just love the stickers. I’ve read a few reviews that say it’s not worth it for the price, but if you consider how much it would cost (both time and money) to buy all these packages and split them up with friends so you came out with the same stickers…yeah for me it’s worth it. Also I think the kid packs would make AWESOME gifts for my nieces and nephew….I might get them a 3 month subscription, crown myself “Best Aunt Ever” and call it good…

Have you tried Pipsticks? Any other subscriptions for crafters? Do you want me to share my February pack when it comes?? Let me know!

Pipsticks Review |


Project Planner: January Layout

It’s also “Project start blogging regularly” time. I had to take the last 6 months or so off. We had some family illnesses to deal with. My dad is thankfully ok, but I did lose another family member to cancer, sadly. It’s been rough but I’m so thankful my dad’s cancer is gone. It was really just luck that we caught it when we did.

In other news, I completed my PhD so that was taking up a lot of my writing time and efforts. I’ve got a few weeks before I start my new job, so I’m using this time to get organized, plan my year, and get some personal things in order.

As you may have noticed, last year I developed a full-blown planner obsession. I’ve always been a planner…I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a planner (except for pre-high school, but ever since then). I used to use a Day Runner yearly planner…the plastic-y kind that you could slip photos in to the covers of…that was my high school go-to. I still have some of them somewhere…so hilarious to re-read. When I taught high school, I had more of a lesson planner than a daily planner but I MISSED my regular planner. I felt like post-college I should be all grown up and adult without a net.

Then, going back to grad school I got a new planner (YAY) and I also carried a second “To-Do” notebook for lists and meeting notes (I was basically bullet journaling before I knew what it was).

Around the last year of my PhD program I found Passion Planners thanks to DomesticatedAcademic…and then I found the #plannercommunity on Instagram. And that’s when the addiction started.

Excuses to hoard stickers again…WHAT???

1.5.16 Sticker Hoarding

I even went through my closets and found my sticker collection from middle school. Not gonna lie. I had planner stickers then.

These days I’m using my Lilly Pulitzer 18 month agenda for my personal planning and a bullet journal style notebook for my work and daily to-do listing. I love my Lilly Planner so much. It makes the 8th grader in me so happy…however I would feel really silly taking something like this in to a business meeting:


1.5.16 Lilly Planner

But that being said, since this is more of my personal daily planner, and my personal blogging site, we’re going to go with it. Plus, it’s really helping me stay on track with things I want to get done. I do include work-related events in it, but not specifics.

With the monthly view, I can track bills, birthdays, and events. I find that writing it down on paper really helps me remember what I’ve got coming up. Sure, it’s in my google calendar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s committed to memory and I’ll actually do or remember the event. It forces me to sit down, look at my google calendar, and see what is coming up. The decorating is really kind of a motivator for me to sit down with a planner. I think that if it was just plain and I was just writing down what is in my google calendar, I would quit after awhile. But the different colors and stickers really do make me want to take the time to be organized about my schedule.

Here’s part of this month’s layout:

January Monthly | LifeofProjects

As you can see, I added my blogging schedule to this month. Hopefully this will keep me on track and I can blog more often.

What do you do to stay on track? Do you use a paper planner? An online system? I’d love to hear about it.

Next time I’m going to go over some of my Bullet Journal pages. Stay tuned!

Project January Planner | LifeofProjects

Project: March Planning

Hi all you crafters, pinners, and planners!!

I’m so excited to start my March planning this week! I’m beyond ready for spring! How about you? We had a few good snow storms here in Virginia, and that was enough for me. Today it’s freezing rain and sleet outside, so I’m going to stick to inside activities for the day!

Also…I have this tiny tickle in my throat. Crossing my fingers it’s nothing because I have too much fun stuff coming up this month to be sick! So let’s talk about the plans I’ve got for the blog this month.

This month on the blog:

  • Oh Fransson Crazy 7’s quilt (Ok so her original is crazy 9’s. I needed to modify it.)
  • Super cute and quick crochet projects
  • Yoga retreat in Charlotte!
  • Other surprises!

But for today, it’s all about planning.

Recently I got a coupon for $5 off $10 at Jo-Ann’s. Whaaatt??? So off course I had to buy all the washi.

The collection is getting a little out of hand.

Oh well. There are worse vices. Also, picked up some SUPER cute new stickers from VintageGypsyRoad and LifePlannerWashiTape.

So I started planning my March month view with my new washi and some St. Patrick’s day stickers I got from the Dollar Tree.

Who wants some free printables??

A Life of Projects | Free Printable Planner Stickers

Click here for the PDF: A Life of Projects March Printable Planner Stickers

I recommend using an inkjet printer set to “best” or “photo quality”. You can get the sticker sheets I printed mine on here. If you use the stickers, please leave a comment down below! This is my first free printable, so let me know what you think! I think I sized them to fit most planners, including Erin Condren!!

Enjoy!! Happy planning!

A Life of Projects | Free Printable Planner Stickers

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Project: Organization

So we are a little over a month in to 2015. I know a lot of people have “Get organized” as a new years resolution. Was it one of yours?
For me, I usually don’t do new years resolutions. Generally, I might have some goals i want to do for the year, but I don’t write them down and commit to them with any sort of significance at the start of a new year. However I do find this time of year to be good for revamping, cleaning out, reorganizing etc.
In particular, this new year meant a new planner for me! I had heard about the Passion Planner from Domesticated Academic. It was a Kickstarter that grew to epic proportions. (Sidebar: I do know they have had issues filling orders, the strikes at the west coast ports have slowed them down, and a lot of people are unhappy. I ordered mine in November and it got here the last week of January. I can’t find much to complain about, she offered the printable for free, you can’t predict when something is going to go viral…or shipping issues. I still think it’s a great company.) Last year I didn’t use a planner much at all and relied mostly on Evernote and google calendar. (More on how I use the Evernote system can be found on my other blog, here.) I missed the physical list-making and planner. I like organizing my week and day.
I really love the Passion Planner’s features. It has several writing and goal-setting prompts. These aren’t available in the free printables as far as I can tell. At first I thought it was a little corny but then I went through the exercise and it’s really helpful for me right now, as I’m trying to finish my dissertation, find a job, graduate, and work on some personal goals. This systems helps me be able to sort through all the different projects and zero in on the specifics I need to attend to each month and each week.
But more than that, I’ve discovered the planner community. And the 10 year old kid inside me with a massive sticker collection is SUPER excited about this. In fact, that 30 year old woman went digging through every box, folder, and closet she could think of to try and FIND said sticker collection. But after roughly 8 moves in 10 years…I think it may have been a casualty somewhere along the lines. (But the back of my head SWEARS I’ve laid eyes on it in this current apartment, in a folder…). So I’ve started rebuilding the sticker collection thanks to Etsy and Instagram.
And washi tape. Ohhhh the washi.
So now on Sunday I take some time to plan out my week, then I fill in parts as I go through the rest of the week. Do I need all the stickers and washi? No. But it makes my heart happy. I actually find it fairly relaxing. It’s like painting or drawing but without all the materials and mess. It really does engage the artistic part of my brain, and I need that sometimes after hours and hours of lit review.
But mostly, taking dedicated time each Sunday to plan my week helps me to consider what’s coming up, what projects I need to focus on, weekly goals, travel, and other things.
Do you set aside time to plan each week? Are you part of the planner community?? Do you love planner stickers too?! I’m thinking about doing a free printable planner sticker sheet for March! Stay tuned!!!
Here are some of my favorite sticker sellers!:
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