Welcome to Chasing Planner Peace's 'Spotlight on a Planner' series. We aim to show the world how planning has changed lives and showcase the different methods people use when chasing planner peace. This month, May 2020, we chat to blogger Alinta McMurdo and find out how planning can become a welcome distraction from life with a chronic illness.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, I’m Alinta. I live in Melbourne with my three little rescue dogs, Pickles, Kobi and Bonsai. I am chronically ill, so I spend most of my time at home with my dogs. When I’m well enough, I like to write posts for my blog. My favourite posts to write are in-depth beauty product reviews. I really like testing products and researching ingredients. I only ever feature cruelty free items, as I’m against animal testing.
I actually spent a lot of my childhood at the Melbourne Zoo because my mum worked there, so it’s not much of a surprise that I went on to study conservation at university. I’m going back to finish the very last bit of my double degree next semester. I’m excited to start using my study planner soon.
How did you get into planning?
I've always had some sort of little diary to jot down important dates in, but I would always forget to check it. Then one day I stumbled upon all these colourful planners with lots of stickers, and I wanted to give it a go. It took me some time and experimenting before I really got into it, but now it is a part of my routine. When I’m stressed I really like sitting down and doing my weekly sticker layouts. It’s a great opportunity for me to just focus on the task at hand, and not worry about everything that is on my mind.
What products are you currently loving?
The products that I absolutely must have are a personal ring bound planner - I currently use a Webster’s Pages Color Crush because it’s compact and vegan friendly. For inserts, I always use Chasing Planner Peace personal size colourful month on two pages and personal size weekly planner inserts with Erin Condren boxes. I have used these inserts for quite a few years now and they work really well for me.
For my monthly planning I use the tiny stickers from Peaceful Mind Design to track all appointments, birthdays and events, which really helps me to keep organised and reduces my anxiety.
For weekly stickers, I always use full Erin Condren sticker kits from shops on etsy, as I’m able to get three weeks from one kit. I have lots of the old Little Miss Paperie kits that I love (but they have changed their kit style now), and I really like a lot of the Nicole Hutch Design kits, but I am on the lookout for new stores that stock EC kits in my style.
What are your best tips for achieving planner peace?
Don't follow the planning trends, do what is right for you. When I first started properly planning, everyone was either using Erin Condren planners or Bullet Journalling. The Erin Condren is too big for my needs and Bullet Journalling was going to be too much energy for me. So I did some research and found the personal size weekly planner inserts with Erin Condren boxes, which are perfect for me. If you have no idea what you want, then test out different insert styles, it will cost a lot less than buying multiple different planners.
Don’t stress about perfection. This is a hard one for me, but it has made planning so much more enjoyable. Your planner is for you, you don’t have to show anyone else, so experiment and make mistakes, it will help you figure out what you enjoy the most.