Leah O’Neil's Blog Posts

Hello again everyone! Leah here today and I’m excited to show you some different ways I’ve been using the Carpe Diem Planner sticker tablets to experiment with new weekly layouts in my Typewriter Circles TN.

I have been using the daily insert for my day-to-day plans for a while and I am still loving it. At home, decorating my planner pages is a creative outlet for me, so it’s important to me that whatever layout I am using allows space for the décor and the planning. However, one thing I’ve been missing with this daily layout is not having a weekly view. The good news is, there are lots of options to easily incorporate a weekly view into my TN. Carpe Diem Planners has a horizontal weekly insert which I may try out soon, but I decided to experiment with a couple of other formats this month within the inserts I currently have in my TN.

Because the daily insert is undated, one simple option is to use one day’s pages as a weekly view in between weeks. There are hours listed on the right page, but since the numbers aren’t super bold, I don’t feel the need to cover them up, although it would be easy to do so with a thin strip of washi tape. I like the ease of building my weekly view right into the daily insert I’m already using.

I used a lot of the January stickers from the A5 Seasons sticker tablet to decorate this layout. The color palette for January was pretty subdued with lots of wintery shades of blue. I really wanted to brighten things up by adding in pops of pink. I pulled a few pink functional stickers from my favorite sticker tablet, Planner Basics, to use on the layout. I tied the blues and pinks together by using a couple of my favorite colorful washi tapes that had similar blues and pinks in the design.

Carpe Diem Planners has a few basic sticker tablets that do not belong to any particular collection. What I love most about these tablets is just how flexible and functional they are. You get loads of stickers in each one and there are so many colors to choose from, so you will always be able to coordinate them with other sticker tablets or Simple Stories collections.

For this week’s layout, I decided to design my own weekly layout in a separate grid notebook insert. While this does mean my week will be in a separate insert from my daily planning pages, both inserts would still be right next to each other in the same TN which works just as well for me.

I created this simple layout by dividing two pages into 4 sections using thin washi tape. This created 8 total sections, one for each day of the week and one to write in tasks for the following week. I decided I wanted to go for a fun rainbow color scheme to decorate this layout so I chose a neutral black and white washi tape to create the boxes.

I really love that I was able to take stickers from the Planner Basics, Calendar, and Numbers sticker tablets and group them by color into the separate boxes on my layout. While these stickers are all more functional by design, I added a little whimsy to the layout with a few flowers, birds, and butterflies from the Hello sticker tablet that coordinated with the colors on my spread.

When using a bunch of stickers like this in a confined box, you can sometimes end up with little “awkward” corners or spaces between stickers where you know there isn’t enough room to write anything. To fill these spaces, I used some icons from the Get it Done and Seasons stamp sets. I decided to use black ink so that the stamped images and words wouldn’t compete with the colors.

While there is a lot going on in this layout, grouping stickers together by color helps create some order. If I had used this many stickers in this variety of colors, shapes, and sizes without grouping them together by color, the layout would have had a much different impact. Everything would have been “floating” separately and the eye wouldn’t have known where to look.

I decorated ahead of time this week, and since I’m going to be planning as I go, there are some elements that I repeated in each box to establish some consistency and to allow for greater functionality. For example, I have designated space for a checklist on each day. I also added the weather forecast. On days where I knew I had a scheduled event or deadline, I added a separate sticker to write it in so that I wouldn’t take up space under the checklist.

Do you have a set planning style/format that has been working really well for you? The search for “planner peace” can be a bumpy one, but unless you get really lucky, most of us don’t figure out exactly what works on the first try (or second, or third, or tenth…). Sometimes you just have to keep experimenting until something clicks with your brain. If you are not consistently using your planner, then that’s a good sign that your current format isn’t working for you. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try something new, and don’t think you have to spend a bunch of money to do it. You can test out different formats in a single blank notebook using just a pen at first. The beauty of having these undated, customizable TN inserts is that I am not obligated to stick to one specific style or layout when planning. I can adapt my planner to my needs and change up my format any time.

No matter where you go or where you end up, you cannot go wrong with the value and versatility you get from the Carpe Diem sticker tablets. They are flexible enough to transition with you throughout your planning journey. 

Follow along with me on my planning journey over on my Instagram @sunny.leah. Until next time friends, happy planning!

Supplies

Hello creatives! I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season. Leah here with you all today showing you more into my December TN before I start transitioning my setup for the new year. If you’d like to see how I decorated the front pockets and the cover of the front notebook, you can check out my last blog post here. I’m excited to show you how I’ve been documenting December and using the Simple Stories free printables to help me keep track of holiday plans and December stories, and to capture more of “me” in my holiday memories. 

I’ve been participating in the December Daily project for a couple of years now. The holiday season can get a little crazy and very busy, so I’m usually not very successful in sitting down to create every day. Sometimes I have a week or longer that go by where I may not have had time to work on my December Daily album. However, I always try to be as consistent as I can about at least jotting down the stories and memories so I don’t forget them before I can work on crafting the layouts. I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the December free printables to help me do this. I’m keeping the printables in a separate notebook behind my December Daily insert.

What I love about the free printables is that you can really use and customize them in any way you wish, but they are also cute and festive enough to use them exactly as they are. Not only are they helping me keep track of all my important lists and information throughout the busy holiday season, they have also helped me plan out some of my December Daily layout ideas and document parts of this season of my life that I want to remember.

I am planning to incorporate some of these planning pages and lists directly into my December Daily because they document so much of what I’m actually doing this time of year. These are great “filler” pages for those days in your album where you don’t feel like you have a particularly “document-worthy” story to tell. In reality, we all have days where we are really busy with work or other “boring” life things and don’t do anything eventful. I like to use some of those days to tell parts of my real, personal day-to-day story. While I absolutely love documenting extra special memories like time spent with family or doing fun holiday activities, an important part of this project is capturing the essence of who you are and where you are in your life during this time, and I feel that my lists and planning are a big part of who I am.

Because I plan to move several of these printables over into my December Daily insert eventually, I purposely chose not to glue them down into the notebook they are in now. I tucked most of these into this notebook and am holding them in lightly with a small piece of clear tape. I also used washi tape or non-permanent/repositionable tape under some pages, but I avoided using anything too sticky that would prevent me from easily moving the pages later.  

I limited myself to using primarily just the printables to keep things simple and functional in this notebook for the sake of time. The goal is to have a notebook to easily jot things down in to plan and track my December.

Because I’ve been giftwrapping, I had a couple of doilies and decorative tissue paper laying around that I was able to layer into the pages for a little added flair, but these printables are really so cute on their own, I would have loved them either way.

Since this contents of this notebook are so simple and functional, I decided to amp things up for the cover. I’ve shared my process before on how to easily create removable covers for TN inserts, which you can check out here on Youtube, but I tried something new for this one and added an interactive shaker element. The glitter “snow” is such a fun detail to compliment the snowy/wintry theme of the Simple Stories Freezin’ Season collection that I used to create and decorate this cover.

This is the first time I’ve created a shaker insert cover so there were a lot of missteps and errors along the way, which I promptly found ways to cover up and conceal. ;) However, this is definitely a process video I’d like to film for YouTube soon. Let me know over on Instagram if that’s something you’d be interested to see.

Here is one example of where I’ve already incorporated the monthly calendar from the free printables into my December Daily. I always like to add a calendar in my album that just captures the “main events” from the holiday season. Since this is not where I keep my day-to-day plans, I can really add lots of décor.

You can see I went a little sticker crazy here… I think my favorite thing on here are the color Christmas bulbs which are a stamp from the Seasons stamp set that I colored in with my Tombow markers. The ugly sweater, holly leaves, and snowman are all stamps from the same set that I added color to as well. You’ll notice I don’t stress myself too much about trying to color in the lines. ;)

Anyway, I’m excited to get to working on more of the pages and layouts in my December Daily notebook. Have you checked out the free printables Simple Stories offers every month? You can check them out here, or via the “Project Downloads” icon on the Simplestories.com home page in the future. Stay tuned here on the blog or over on the Carpe Diem Planners Instagram to see the other fun ways people are using the printables.

Until next time friends, happy holidays!

Supplies

Hello there creatives! Leah here with you on the blog today. I often feel like I have a million tabs open in my head. The more stressed I get, the worse that seems to get. Then the more information that is flying around in my head, the more stressed I get. It’s a spiral. When I feel too overwhelmed, it can be paralyzing. I know there is so much to do but I can’t figure out where to start. When I get to this point of feeling stuck, I have a process that helps me get the information out of my head and onto paper, and then organized in a way that allows my brain to figure out a path forward. I wanted to share this process today in the hopes that maybe someone else out there will find it helpful.

Check out my process of planning through the overwhelm in the video here -

It starts with sticky notes, lots of sticky notes. I am using the adorable Bloom sticky notes here, but any sticky notes will do. I take some time to write down every task or goal in my head I can think of. It takes me a while because it’s been too long since I last did this and consequently, my brain seems to be more jumbled due to the overload of information. This is my version of a “brain dump.” Writing every random idea onto sticky notes gives me flexibility to move the thoughts around and organize them into some sort of structure that makes sense to me.

When I’ve finished writing everything down, I start looking for common themes so that I can start grouping the thoughts into smaller categories. Everyone’s “categories” will probably be a bit different, but most of my goals/ideas/to dos seemed to fall under seven topics for now - home, budget, general to do, creative, relationships, self care, and work. I used some alpha stickers from Simple Stories to label several sheets of grid paper from the A5 Basic Inserts pack, giving each category a separate page.

 

Now that the million tabs I had open in my head have been broken down into a few more manageable groups, I feel I am able to sit down and plan out my day with a clearer mind, and I can incorporate some of the goals and tasks that I’ve written down into my plans.

I love the daily TN inserts because they give me plenty of room to break my pages into compartments that correspond to the categories I’ve created.

I’m keeping the sticky notes in my A5 Mint Blossom planner so I can easily flip through the pages as I’m writing out my plans in my TN. I can move the sticky notes around anytime and get rid of or replace them as I start getting some of the tasks done.

You can see where I’m simply taking things I wrote on the sticky notes and transferring them to my daily layout, doing my best to make each idea into a reasonable action item. For example, I wrote “start yoga” on a sticky note, but on my actual planner layout, I wrote “pick a new yoga routine” for this day.

I hope this method of organizing lots of random thoughts into a few more manageable categories is an idea some of you may find useful if you have been feeling overwhelmed lately. If you have a technique that you use to help you work through overwhelm, please share in the comments here, or over on my Instagram or YouTube. What works for one may not work for all, so someone may really benefit from hearing your method. Thank you for joining me here on the blog today!

Until next time friends,

Supplies

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