OK Planner Crawl

Get a sneak peak at all this planning fun at the OK Planner Crawl. More planning resources & freebies at plannersquad.com

Have you ever been on a planner crawl?  If not, check out all the fun Wendie had!


Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the OK Planner Crawl, an annual planner event in OKC. Tickets are limited but my friends, Susan and Sami of Chirps & Cheers, sponsored me and made it possible for me to attend.

I had no idea what to expect and the only expectation I had was to have a good time. The morning started off at a local hotel, our headquarters for the day, and everyone was buzzing with excitement. I ran into Dani, the organizer for the OKC planner group I attend.  We waited in line for the doors to open to the conference room where the crawl was set to start.

Upon entering the conference room, we signed in, received our name tags, marveled at the massive de-stash table, and broke into our groups. We were all assigned three local shops to visit where we would complete an activity. Once that was done, we were to eat lunch and return to the hotel.

My group, The OPP (Oklahoma Planner Posse). From left to right: Lindsey, Leslie, Me, Ellen, Leslie.
My group, The OPP (Oklahoma Planner Posse). From left to right: Lindsey, Leslie, Me, Ellen, Leslie.

 

Beginnings of the de-stash table at the OK Planner Crawl.
Beginnings of the de-stash table.

I didn’t take any pictures of the stores or the activities we did inside of them, but I can tell you that we visited Paper + More, Paper Crown, and Chirps & Cheers. At Paper + More, we were to design a gift tag.   At Paper Crown, we were to make a dashboard. At Chirps & Cheers, we were to design stickers. Each activity had a winner that received a prize.

On our way to our first stop on the OK Planner Crawl.
On our way to our first stop.

OK Planner Crawl

Chirps & Cheers is by far my favorite store, and not just because of my relationship with the owner. They carry unique accessories that you can’t find at every other stationer. The store is also clean, bright, uncluttered, and has a high-end feel that I like. The card selection is one of the best in the area (in my opinion) and they have a good selection of custom invitations and stationery that they display beautifully, as well as fun, random items. Lots of letterpress, too. Oh, and fountain pens!

Paper + More is a large store that has a lot of things in it. It is part gift shop, part invitations, and part planners and office supplies. They also have a baby section. A large portion of the store is the gift shop and while that is not what I prefer in a stationery store, they carry LAFCO candles, something that I think deserves noting. I have shopped there several times before for specific things and have often been able to find what I need. While this store does not have as large of a selection of unique cards, they have a massive selection of cards from Crane & Co., Kate Spade, Rifle Paper Co., and an impressive selection of Original Crown Mill.

Paper Crown is a store that I had only visited once before the crawl. It seems to be geared towards people who like to scrapbook. While they do have planners, their selection is limited. I will say that they have a unique paper collection that is different from the typical finds at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. They also have washi and some unique stamps.  I can see myself visiting again if I ever have the urge to delve into scrapbooking or if I need a very specific item. One thing that stood out to me was the large work-space in the back of the store where I imagine they hold classes/workshops. Chirps & Cheers also has a space for workshops (not sure about Paper + More), but the space at Paper Crown is much larger and better for events that require spreading out your supplies.

Our last stop was Chirps & Cheers and when we left it was lunch time. Since we were in Midtown, we walked down the street to Waffle Champion. If I remember correctly, only two of us had eaten there before and I think lunch was a hit! There is no doubt that we all left stuffed and ready to take on the remainder of the afternoon.

Pork Verde Benedict waffle.
Pork Verde Benedict waffle.

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for the last activity, which was to make a planner clip and film a tutorial for setting up a planner page. Once all of the groups had returned to the hotel, the winners of each activity were announced and prizes were awarded. We all got a numbered ticket when we checked in earlier in the day and there was a drawing for prizes. The prizes varied from stickers to planners.  One of the girls in my group, Lindsey, won the grand prize – a Whipping Post tote!

The Whipping Post bag-grand prize at the OK Planner Crawl.
Lindsey’s tote.

 

I almost forgot to tell you about our swag from OK Planner Crawl that was on the tables after lunch! We all received a small binder full of stickers, along with a few stamps, washi, and planner clips. I am not someone who uses stickers in my planner but I definitely want to start, so I was excited. Stickers were from vendors such as Lillie Henry, My Queen Bee Designs, Lucindadori Planners, and many others.

 

Conference room with sway at OK Planner Crawl.
The conference room, waiting for us with our swag.

 

Some of the swag we received at the OK Planner Crawl.
Some of the swag we received.

The most exciting moment of the day for me was when we thought the crawl was over and reps from Day Designer came in and gave us all our own Day Designer! It was also fun to see all of my teammates win a prize in the drawing. After the giveaways ended, we were all invited to stay the remainder of the day and evening to talk planners to our heart’s content. I had a prior engagement that evening and unfortunately, I was unable to stay.

The event was well-organized and I feel that deserves recognition; it is not easy to execute this sort of event.

One of the things that I would have liked to have done differently would have been to have branched out from my group a bit and get to know some of the other planners in the community. I will be sure to do so next year if I am lucky enough to obtain another ticket.

A few fun facts from the day:

• Leslie (I’ll let you guess which one) can fit a good portion of her lower body into a Whipping Post tote.
• One of the members of my group used to be in the FBI.
• One of the members of my group is on the design team for Mommy Lhey.
• I had the chance to see and flip though the Kikki K Vänskap planner. OMG, I die, so unbelievably cute.
• To quote Lord Byron, “We of the craft are all crazy”.

All in all, I had a fantastic time and am thankful for the opportunity.

Have any of you attended a local planner crawl? What was your favorite part?

I was not compensated monetarily for my review and was not asked to give a review of the OK Planner Crawl. Everything you read here is my own opinion.

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6 Quality Planner Bags & Totes For Your Wishlist

What are your favorite planner bags & totes?  Check out Wendie's dream bags and share your own!

I have been wanting to do a post about planner bags for some time. When I attend my local planner meet-up, our bags are often as talked about as our planners. And why shouldn’t they be? What we carry every day is a big deal and it’s important that our bags can accommodate our planners.

Totes are huge right now, so that works in our favor. Totes have certainly been updated to be more stylish and less plain, though thanks to companies like Whipping Post, Madewell, and Cuyana, a traditional tote is still in style.

I own several “planner bags” and want to share the pros and cons I have discovered for each:

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The Whipping Post Vintage Tote is probably the most popular planner bag right now. It’s everywhere! It is roomy and it can be thrown around because scratches and scuffs actually add to its appearance. I particularly love the longer handles that make it easier to carry. I do find the leather to be a bit stiff, though that can also be a pro due to its durability. It can hold just about anything you throw at it, and the price point is fantastic for what you get with this tote.

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The Mulberry Bayswater  is not technically a classic since it was created in 2002, but it is an icon. It doesn’t look tote-like at first glance but if you pull the top flap back, it opens to be a roomy tote and the belted sides can be loosened to afford you more space. It can easily hold your 13″ laptop in addition to your planner(s), wallet, folders, and other purse goods. I find the handle on the Bayswater to be a bit short, which can make it hard to carry if you’re wearing a coat or sweater. The price point is high, but this is the original British “it” bag and it is very versatile. Mulberry has an outlet in Southern California where you can find past season’s bags at a discount.

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The Smythson Panama East West Tote is a favorite of mine. The tote easily transitions from work bag, to everyday carry, to overnight bag. It is casual enough that is is not flashy, but has an understated elegance. Within reason, your planner supplies and other everyday items will easily fit inside. The handles are comfortable, though I prefer longer handles like the ones found on the Whipping Post Tote. The price point is higher but Smythson heavily marks down past season’s bags and if you make a few calls, you can find a good deal on a beautiful bag.

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The Proenza Schouler PS1 in large is a workhorse of a bag. It has tons of pockets and is deceptively large. The pocket in the front holds an A5 planner well as long as it is not too bulky, and the main pockets opens up to accommodate most of what you can throw at it. However, this is not a bag that will do well with a laptop or folders. The handle is adjustable all the way to crossbody, which makes it the most comfortable bag on my list. When you’re carrying multiple planners and a case full of planner supplies, you need a strap that you can adjust to your most comfortable length. Another bag with a higher price point, Proenza Schouler can also be found at deeply discounted prices if you’re willing to do the work.

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Alexander McQueen… the brand has stolen my heart due to its perfect juxtaposition of classic, clean lines and edginess. The Padlock Zip-Around Satchel is no exception. Another bag that can hold more than you think it would, this bag opens to one large pocket that can hold a 13″ laptop, folders, and definitely a planner or two. The Padlock Zip-Around is less flexible than any of the other bags on my list and due it’s short handle, it is the least capable bag on my list, though still capable of doing the job. McQueen has a higher price point and even if you find a good sale, you will still pay quite a bit for a bag. I like to use rewards dollars I earn from Neiman Marcus to help soften the blow.

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Last but certainly not least, is the Mulberry Tessie Tote. Mulberry is known for it’s soft, luxurious leather and this bag highlights that fact perfectly. The Tessie Tote is roomy and beautiful; when you see it, the first thing you want to do is reach out and touch it. Then smell it. Then marvel at what a perfect representation of a classic tote it is. Much like the Whipping Post Vintage Tote, there are no bells and whistles, here. It’s a simple tote that gets the job done. Another bag that can take just about anything you throw at it, and easily transitional from everyday carry to overnight bag. I do wish the handles were longer, but they are still a comfortable length. And don’t forget that you can add a matching Mulberry agenda to go with your tote! With it’s slightly higher price point, again, the Mulberry outlet is your friend if you want to find this bag at a more affordable price.

I know that many of the bags I have highlighted are pricey. The reason is because I have purchased and used a lot of bags. My experience is that you really do get what you pay for. That is not to say that there aren’t more affordable bags out there that can get the job done, my opinion is simply based on my personal experiences. If you are looking for a less expensive bag, Madewell and Cuyana make totes very similar to Whipping Post and at the same price point.

What are all of you using for your planner bag? How is it working for you?
What is your dream planner bag?

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Planner Season Is Here! Chat About Planners For 2017

What planners do you have on your radar for next year?  Chat with us about 2017 planners-updates, new features, & more!

It is that time of year… the time I like to call planner season. I have deemed this proclaimed season the time of year when many of the planner companies are releasing their planners for the upcoming year and announcing any changes that will be made.

I use a bullet journal, as I’m sure most of you know by now. I know that most of you that don’t bullet journal probably think all I have to do is pick out a simple notebook, but there is so much more to it than that.

I decided a while back that I want to use something other than a Leuchtturm to plan in for next year. There is nothing wrong with a Leuchtturm and it is arguably still the best notebook for the job. It is the staple of notebooks for bullet journaling.  But, I can be a bit ADD about my planners and it’s time for me to try something new.

I ordered the Hobonichi Cousin Avec in July and have been trying to find a way to bullet journal in it. I like it. That Tomoe River paper?  Oooooh, baby!  It makes my fountain pens sing! I also like the month-on-two pages format. However, I feel a bit boxed-in by the one-page-per-day format and the Type A in me is having a hard time ignoring those numbers on the tops of the pages.

2017 Hobonichi Techo Cousin

I have been waiting quite impatiently for the Hobonichi announcements about the changes to their planners for 2017. Much to my disappointment, the changes that I was anticipating were not made, and I don’t know if the Hobonichi is the right choice for me.

I’ve been eyeing the Stalogy 365 Days Notebook as an alternate option. It’s a nice, clean notebook that still has the Japanese feel to it, minus the Tomoe River paper. The paper is better than the Leuchtturm, though, in regards to fountain pen use (and I know all of you are using fountain pens after my last post, right?).

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Stalogy 365 Days Notebook

There are a couple of other notebooks I am considering, but the aforementioned are the forerunners. My search for the perfect planner doesn’t end there-I still have to choose a notebook cover.

The notebook cover is big for someone that uses a bullet journal because the cover is a prelude to the planner inside. As a bullet journaler, we don’t get those pretty planner covers as easily as many of the other planner people.

I have a list of potential cover options. I am like the Louis Vuitton desk agenda. Mommy Lhey is rocking hers and I had to see one, so I visited a LV store. I particularly like this style of planner because you can fit more than one notebook inside and it’s a big fat sandwich that you just want to take a bite out of.

I am also looking at the Smythson notebook covers.  I LOVE Smythson. However, the covers are expensive and I can’t see one in person.  I would want it personalized and then it would be non-refundable.

Etsy has about a million leather planner covers at all price points. My head is spinning and I don’t know what I want.

I made a list, along with a note, about each planner cover I am considering and in no order of preference:

  • Louis Vuitton Desk Agenda
    • I like this cover, but I feel LV may be a bit too flashy for me. I love all the pockets on the inside and the ability to add my initials. My favorite part is the pockets on the inside. 
  • Burberry Ziparound Grainy Leather Diary
    • Simple, classic Burberry cover. I called several stores in both the US and the UK.  The ones that I want are not available at this time.burb
  • Smythson Grosvenor A5 Lippiatt Writing Folder
    • Whoa! $725?! It’s gorgeous, though, and matches the bag I just purchased from Smythson. I’m not crazy about the style of the pockets. Initials can be added. 
  • Smythson Dover A5 Writing Sleeve
    • Look at that gorgeous teal! Still a bit pricey and doesn’t have pockets on the inside. Able to add initials. 
  • Mulberry A5 Notebook Cover in Glossy Pink
    • This cover is from 2012 and sold out due to its popularity. I called Mulberry in the US and the UK and it is long gone. Of course, this is my number one choice for a planner cover. I have searched the internet and this item cannot be found. I have been advised to keep an eye out on eBay.
    • Mulberry items can be customized, but since I would have to purchase this item used, I don’t know if I would have that option. No pockets on the inside, but I love everything else about it so much that I don’t care.

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For all of you out there looking for your 2017 planners, what hurdles have you encountered?  What helps you make your final decision each year?

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An Introduction to Fountain Pens and Planning

Curious about fountain pens & how to use in your planners? Get an excellent introduction to fountain pens & why these quality materials can add more beauty to your planning world.

As this is a blog about planning, today’s subject matter may seem less obvious. I want to talk about fountain pens, why I think they’re the best, and why you need at least one in your life.

Check out this fountain pen-a beautiful addition to any planner girl's world!
My first fountain pen, a Lamy Studio.

Stepping Up Your Stationery Game

Making the decision to switch to a fountain pen is akin to making the change from, say, rhinestones to diamonds.

Not following?

For me, fountain pen use is the height of class and luxury when it comes to writing.

I’m not talking about your Grandfather’s fountain pen (unless that is what you like) and they can be used for a lot more than calligraphy. I’m talking about how fountain pens can be used and enjoyed today, though it may not be so different from yesteryear.

I use fountain pens because they’re awesome and it’s a whole other world to discover. It’s not just that it’s a pen… it’s THE pen, it’s THE nib, and it’s THE endless ink options. 

Beautiful designs and strokes can be created in your planners with fountain pens.
Noodler’s Black Swan In Australian Roses, a popular ink.

Fountain Pen 101

For those of you that don’t know a lot about fountain pens, I am going to offer some very basic info. I am by no means a fountain pen expert and I am not the person to look to for the inner workings of a pen. I can tell you how they work at the most rudimentary level and you can look to the likes of Brian Goulet for further information:

A fountain pen is a pen that draws ink from an internal reservoir. The ink goes through a feed to a nib, and the nib puts the ink on the paper.

(See, I told you it you if would be rudimentary)

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A Natural Progression

We have all started somewhere in our planning journey. Maybe you started with a composition notebook or maybe your started with a Filofax; my point is that we all started somewhere.

I think it’s fair to say that we have all progressed or are progressing to some extent. A few years ago, I would have happily taken a Mead notebook over a Leuchtturm. I also would have happily taken a Paper-Mate over a Montblanc. The more things we try, the more our tastes change because we have that option.

(For the record, I still don’t own a Montblanc)

Fountain pens can be a beautiful addition to your planning. Consider these tips when selecting fountain pens for use with your planners.
My first “big girl” pen purchase; the stunning Omas Milord in London Smoke.

Fountain Pens & Planning

Fountain pens and paper were made for each other. Our planners are filled with paper, so why not use an instrument to write with that enriches the experience and makes it more meaningful?

Planning is very much about the ritual and for me, using a fountain pen keeps me grounded in that ritual. What you write is written with more purpose and you will soon learn that there can be immense pleasure in the act of writing.

The way a certain ink flows, the smoothness of the nib, the feel of the pen in your hand. A fountain pen allows you to savor the moment. It also makes you and your planner looks pretty badass.

Fountain pens for planning. Get great tips & ideas on how to incorporate fountain pens with your planners.
Doesn’t a Waterman look nice in a Filofax?

Disclaimer

You have been warned: this is an addictive hobby. The entire fountain pen community, along with myself, will enable you the same way the planner community enables you. If you think all of these newfound planner conferences are fun, take a seat and learn from the pros at the fountain pen shows (it’s a thing!). Pen people are everywhere and you will be surprised at how diverse the community is, as well as how willing they are to help you learn.

How To Get Started With Fountain Pens

To get started using a fountain pen, visit any of the pen sites and/or stores out there. A quick Google search will do the trick. Start small for your first pen with something like a Lamy Safari, Pilot Metropolitan, or a Twsbi Eco. Once you receive your pen you can ink it up and you’re ready to go. 

I know that many people have questions about how to use fountain pens. If you are one of those people, please comment and I will be happy to help to the best of my ability.

Wait!  There’s More!  Fountain Pen GIVEAWAY!

To make things even more interesting, I would like to give away a fountain pen to one lucky person.

To enter into the drawing, like @PlannerSquad and @PenZealot (that’s me!) on Instagram, repost from my account about the giveaway, tag a friend, and leave a comment letting us know why you want a fountain pen.

Winner will be chosen August 4 and I will pick out a super cool pen for you while I am at the DC Fountain Pen Supershow that week, and mail it to you as soon as I get home. Good luck!

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Perfectionism and Planning

Does perfectionism weigh you down in your planning?  Discover why you need to let those perfectionistic tendencies go & get on with loving your planners!

Like so many of us, when I started bullet journaling, I was inspired by all of the beautiful journals I saw on YouTube and Pinterest. I am a perfectionist by nature and I didn’t come into “creative” planning easily.

In fact, I went through three notebooks that only had a few used pages before I landed in a notebook I felt like I could live with. I once threw away a brand new Erin Condren planner because I didn’t like the way I wrote my name in the front. Perfectionism is a burden to bear, believe me.

Perfectionism and planning-a myth? Weigh in & discover why letting go of perfectionism can help you rock your planner.

Perfectionism and Planning:  A Myth?

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the right and wrong way to plan. I have seen countless negative comments online about the way people choose to use their planners and the content they contain. I have also seen comments from people that feel discouraged because they feel like their planners don’t measure up.

Don't let perfectionism weigh down your planning! Embrace it all because it is you!

I visited one of my local stationery stores the other day. I know the owner of the store and her daughter, a shop girl who we’ll call Dani, and because I’m a regular, we have a relationship. They always seem excited to see me when I come in and we enjoy trading notes. My planner has been a topic of conversation for some time and we look though it together when I visit so I can share my new spreads and ideas.

Perfectionism and planning make for frustration and disgust. Shed that perfectionism and love your planning!

I had dinner with Dani a while back so I could help her learn more about bullet journaling and help her get started. When I saw her the other day, I asked her how her new planner was coming along and she shared with me that she is discouraged. She shared with me that she, a fellow perfectionist, wants her planner to look like mine and when it doesn’t she feels she doesn’t measure up.

While I have had a general irritation about some of the recent negativity in the planner community, I have had a hard time understanding people that are discouraged because it isn’t a feeling I have experienced. However, when Dani shared her feelings with me, I felt heartbroken.

Don't let perfectionism ruin your planning!

I believe there is no right or wrong way to plan, a comment specifically addressed to all of the naysayers out there. What works for you is the right way for you.

For me, taking my planner one page at a time and building from there is what got me through my need for perfection. Each page, each spread, and each event is a lesson learned. I have learned that the more I plan, the less irritated I am by my mistakes and my own perception of what is perfect.

Perfectionism in planning can be the thief of joy. Enjoy your planning!

I hate to think that there are people out there who are not planning because they feel discouraged. The saying, “comparison is the thief of joy” couldn’t be more true.

I encourage each and every one the perfectionists out there to jump in and not look back, regardless of how you feel about the way your planner looks. Before you know it, you will have a full planner and you will love it for all of the work you put into it.

Believe me… if I can do it, so can you.

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