Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guest Post~Pretty Organized: Back to Basics with Paper Planning

*This is a guest post done by Dawn F. You can visit her fabulous blog, Break Of Light, here! :)*
Hi everyone! I’m Dawn and I blog at I’m from the Philippines and one thing you should know about me is that I love planning and organizing. I am currently addicted to Filofaxes and other craft supplies that I use in my planners. I am very thankful to MJ for giving me this opportunity to do a guest blog here at Little Panda Crafts. Hope you enjoy this post and thank you for reading! 
I have always endeavored to be an organized person. And like most of you, I have gone through different types of calendars, diaries, and journals just to find my perfect planner. I even tried electronic planning using my cellphone and laptop, but it just didn’t quite work out for me. I guess you could say that I am really a paper kind of girl through and through.
But, in today’s generation where technology and gadgets take center stage, paper planning can be easily overshadowed. For this post, I would like to give some TIPS, based from my experience, in how you could go back to the basics of paper planning and make it work for you.
1.) Choose your perfect binder/planner.
(from Left to Right) The Binders I currently use, a pocket Metropol in Red, a personal Domino in Purple (my Journal), a personal Malden in Black (my main planner) and my Dad’s old college planner(my archival binder)
It is important to get that perfect planner that would suit your need since this is the one that you are aiming to use frequently. Identify if you want to use your planner for work, for personal schedule, as a wallet or even to keep track of your projects and plans. Of course, this is just one of the many factors that could affect your choice aside from the size of the planner, its material and price, and even the number of pockets or pen loops that it has. Anyway, a lot of thought should go to choosing your planner because what’s the point of buying one if you won’t use it in the end right?
2.) Customize and Personalize.
Own your planner. You’re the one who have to use it, so might as well make sure that you love it. Let your planner showcase your personality (and creativity). One thing for sure is that the more you do this, the more you’re gravitating towards using your planner.
My planner’s cover page feature one of my doodles. I also have included a charm which I adore.
Since I am currently using binders, I customized my dividers and my pages. I even decorate and beautify my pages just because it makes me happy and it encourages me to look through my planner. You could get as crafty as you like since you’re the one who would use it.
One of my favorite decorated pages.
One thing I definitely love about binders is that you could easily change your setup or rearrange your pages should you want to. I have also gone through different types of calendar inserts from the traditional to those that scream originality. I have tried the standard ones that came with my actual planner, printing the ones that I like from the internet and as well as designing my own. You have the freedom to choose what you need.
3.) Accumulate craft and stationery supplies.
In my opinion, one of the best parts of paper planning is the supplies and the stationery.
Through the course of my planner search, I have gone through a lot of materials to personalize my planner. From sticky notes, colored pens, washi tapes, stickers, doodles, stamps, and almost everything under the sun, name it, I had probably used it. I don’t know why but thinking of all those craft supplies just makes me really, really happy. You could dump me in a stationery store and leave there for hours and I won’t bat an eye.
Current addiction: Washi Tapes! I use this for decorating my pages and everything else.
You don’t actually have to have a lot. You could make use of what you already own. This is just another way for you to show your creativity in planning. Some of my planners over the years also doubled as my journal, so I really got to make use of a lot of craft supplies.
4.) Write on!
Practice writing on your planner. May it be your thoughts, your schedule, your plans, your notes, your to-dos, whatever it is, write it down. Utilize your planner so that you’ll get used to it. Take your planner wherever you go. And make it a habit to constantly check it and update it.

5.) Research and reach out.
Don’t worry if you don’t immediately get the gist of paper planning. There are a lot of ways you could improve on this. There is actually a planner community out there that would be a great deal of help, especially for those who are new to paper planning.
You could visit Philofaxy ( and look at how different people use their planners. There are also a lot of YouTube videos that you could check out just so you have an idea of how to setup your planner. If you’re more into pictures, you could check out the hashtag #filofax on Flickr ( or Instagram ( Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask others how they plan. You might get an idea that you like and you could just tweak it a little bit to fit what you’re looking for.

Going back to the basics of paper planning could be a challenge. You may or may not be cut out for it. But of course, you wouldn’t know that unless you’ve already tried it. Don’t be afraid to experiment, get crafty or edit. It’s your planner! You don’t even have to follow the tips I had just listed down. The important thing is that your planner works and it suits what you want. 
Good luck and happy planning!
Thank you for reading guys!  Sorry for the long post, Haha. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at and check out my blog at Thank you so much MJ for inviting me here. I had a lot of fun.


  1. Again, just want to say thank you for guest posting, Dawn--it was a fabulous post! :)

    1. Thank you so much for the chance MJ! I really enjoyed it :)

  2. I love your Filofax Dawn--lol washi tape is my favorite craft supply to use for decorating, etc. my Filofax! :)

    1. It's my current obsession! Haha. I can't believe that I acquired so many already. LOL

  3. Great post! I love it when people decorate their planner, it gives a nice touch and feel to it. Awesome job!

  4. Great Filofax. I've heard about them from YouTube and other blogs--but never thought of getting myself I don't want to miss out on all of the organizational fun!

    1. It's very addicting :) I actually discovered Filofax through YouTube haha. You should try it out. :)

  5. Hi Dawn, your Filofax is so nice and organized!
    I like those frog memo notes you used for your pages as well..I have a set of animal ones I ordered from Etsy, and they really come in handy for my they makes it cute!
    I'm eyeing your collection of washi tapes, lol. I have like two rolls, and I use them as "separators" for my pages.
    I only have one planner, and I can barely handle you can keep up with four, I have no clue...! :)

    1. Hi Jan Lin! To be honest, I don't really know how I ended up with that number of washi tapes. Haha.

      As for my binders, I use one as a journal, the other as my main planner, and I store done pages on the last one. I'm currently not using my pocket metropol since I'm quite content with my Malden. :)

  6. Love your planner...and you have a heckload of washi! So many fun colors and patterns! Great tips too! :D

  7. I really enjoyed your post, Dawn.
    I have been searching for different ways to stay organized as well. I use numerous calendars and notebooks--but a friend gifted me with a Saffiano pocket that also works well in keeping organized. :) I have been eyeing the original keyrings though, he he. :)

    1. Thank you! :) I' sure you'll enjoy your Saffiano. :)

  8. Hi Dawn and MJ! I just loved your post! Your planners look like so much fun! Hugs! Kimberly

  9. I am a planner lover and enjoy decorating my planner as well.
    Love what you have done to yours :)


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