Neat, Practical Planning Without the Fuss · 7 Simple Planner//Journal Tips and Elements

Neat, Practical Planning Without the Fuss · 7 Simple Planner//Journal Tips and Elements


I adore the look of a beautifully decorated
planner or bullet journal. When you have the time and patience for it,
the practice of creating intricate, colourful spreads can be a calming and grounding and
creative release. But the long and short of planning is sometimes
just to get the information down and record your thoughts and tasks as a matter of organisation. And the fear of making a mess can actually
end up holding you back from just putting pen to paper. So I’ve got a few tips for keeping a practical,
useable planner with minimal effort and a pretty, cohesive look. These tips should work across any planner
or journalling system you might have, and- just to demonstrate that, I’ll be using
examples in both my bullet journal which is the system I currently use and in this 2017
Ban.Do planner as well. One of the most difficult aspects when it
comes to neatness is handwriting. As pretty as calligraphy and brush-lettering
can be, they’re not the most practical for when you’re in a rush to note down an appointment
or an idea you don’t want to forget. Now obviously, if you’re happy with your
writing then this doesn’t apply, but I’d suggest working on a writing style that comes
easily and naturally and looks nice and tidy. And I’m not talking about learning a new
style of handwriting from scratch, just adjusting what you do already, so it’s not even something
you have to think about. Here are some things to try to take your writing
to the next level. The first and easiest adjustment you can make
is just by trying a few different pens. I find that a medium thickness nib and generous
ink flow gives me the most control. Biros take too much pressure and aren’t
as dark as I’d like, finer lines make my writing look scratchy. It’s really all up to personal preference. Now for lettering, what about trying to write
a bit smaller, that always makes my writing look neater. Or you could go bigger. Try writing in all caps. Or italics. Or both. Another less thought about adjustment would
be the angle at which you’re holding the pen or the angling of the page in front of you. Experiment and practice, making little tweaks
each time, and see which combination gives you your neatest writing yet. A huge factor in having a page look well put
together and easily readable, is a sense of order that is most apparent in straight lines
and borders. Basically, getting things right on a plain
page is difficult, and wonkiness almost always equals mess and confusion. So I’d recommend using dot-grid paper where
you can. It’s a great option for drawing lots of
different shapes, straight lines in different directions, and it has an unobtrusive design
that doesn’t distract the eye too much. In a lot of notebooks, the dot grid is almost
invisible. If you don’t have the option of dot-grid
paper, an easy fix is to print out a template to have behind a plain page, to show through
and give yourself some faint guidelines. I’ll include a few free printable options
in the blog post that goes with this video, linked in the description below. I use two or three different writing styles
to help differentiate certain parts of my writing, be it headers or key points I want
to stand out. I know that it’s hard enough nailing one
style of writing, but the changes between them don’t have to be drastic. It could even been a difference in lettering
size, boldness or spacing. To break up your pages, or show and highlight
certain aspects, separate from others, you’ll need a few go-to elements to make particular
things stand out. For example, headers or lists or a key point
you need to remember. Keep it really simple with some easy-to-remember
shapes. For me, I find it best to stick to a variation
of simple boxes and lines and the occasional dots. You might also want to use a few icons to
signify certain common or repeated things, to save yourself from having to write it out
in full. And have variations on common bullet points
and check boxes. Here’s an easy quick tip that help with
the stress of messing up AND takes into account the changeability of plans. Forget having to erase irrelevant entries,
simply write anything uncertain on post-it notes and stick them in. Get some nicely coloured ones from etsy to
give your pages a bit of flare. Speaking of colours, I always have one or
two accent colours to go to. They’re an easy way to make something stand
out without much effort and a great way to break up a busy page. All you need is a highlighter or felt pen
or a coloured fine-liner. If you’re not so into colours keep it grayscale
or go pastel. And if you are into more bold colours, stick
to ones that compliment each other and use as few as possible. Remember, the less components you NEED with
you to be able to plan, the better, so you don’t want to be relying on a hundred different
pens. Finally, if you want to, there’s nothing
wrong with embellishing a page with a few basic doodles. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t
need to be able to draw to have a decent little decoration. The best approach for me is to pick a theme
and think of a few things that could go with it. For example plants could involve flowers,
flower post, leaves, even water drops. Or how about a space theme with the sun moon
and stars. If you’re not into drawing but still want
a bit of decoration, try using stickers. These ones came with the Ban.Do planner and
all go really nicely together, to avoid a clashing or overly busy look. Okay and just as a quick bonus, one tool I
ca’t live without when it comes to neat and stress-free planning is a simple, white
gel pen. I know that whatever mistakes I make, I can
easily cover and write over again when the white ink has dried. And you’d never know. All tools. used are listed below if you’re curious
about my specific materials. If perfection paralysis is holding you back
for setting out your important info, just remember to keep it simple. The most important thing is to get it down.

91 thoughts on “Neat, Practical Planning Without the Fuss · 7 Simple Planner//Journal Tips and Elements

  1. Don't forget to read the description for info on all tools used, music and a link to my blog where you can download a free squared and dotted paper template 🙂 Thanks for watching!

  2. Thank you for the helpful tips! I was already planning a journal for the new school year and this was just in time

  3. Great tips! I use bullet journal too. I would like to add, that if you have trouble keeping your journal neat, try bigger size! I had A6 sized that just always looked messy, now I use A5 and everything is much more easier to read and pages look much more nicer and cleaner.

  4. What perfect timing. I bought a lovely diary at the start of the year but go all derp when it comes to actually filling it out with plans and just writing about my day. I just dusted it off to try again!

  5. This video is so aesthetically pleasing! Love this and your handwriting and journal layout is so beautiful! Was just wondering Minnie, what do you use to get the coloured backdrops you use for your videos? are they specific products or do you just use regular coloured paper?? I notice you also do this for a lot of your instagram posts too! Such a beautiful way of presenting your work 🙂 Thank you for sharing, as always it's a joy to watch your videos! 💜💙

  6. This is super helpful and your journal is so aesthetically pleasing! I still have a unfinished journal because of my fear of messing up, but I guess this is the time to try it again

  7. YES YES YES PERFECT TIMING GIRL!! my 3rd year at uni starts on Tuesday and I am binge watching bujo videos lol. Also, practicality over aesthetic, anytime (not that you can't be both at once but you know)

  8. I love your videos Minnie. I also used your promo code for Skillshare, and I love taking some of the classes. Thanks for giving that to your subscribers. I appreciate your quiet, and calm nature; I come to your channel to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of life. I've also gotten more personal with my art, and am more unapologetic with what I create. It's helping with my confidence. Thanks 🙂 -Chris

  9. Could you start doing more Life style videos? Don't get me wrong, I do love you art related content, but I love seeing how you organise and set things out, it's a great source of inspiration.

  10. I would love to see a video on some of the things you did to grow your youtube channel! I remember subscribing to you very early on in your youtube life and it was only a matter of months before you had gained a great level of traction! Would love to know some of the things you did to grow! As always this was another fantastic video! Planning and doing so effectively have never been my strong points so i'm going to give this a shot! 😀

  11. this was so helpful!!! i bought a new moleskin weekly planner last week and was struggling to start writing in it thank you!!!

  12. I'm absolutely in love with Ban.do planners! I just purchased the 2017-2018 one even though my old one runs trough December of this year. Your spread are beautiful and you just gave me a view of my planner potential 🌸

  13. So beautiful! I've been using a modified version of the bullet journal system. It has actually been so helpful for me. I started putting doodles in my bullet journal to decorate it and it got me back into drawing and even painting after not doing it so much for a few years. Now I create art constantly and I started a YouTube art channel.

  14. i love this i really don't like overcomplicated planning and that helps me to make my messy simple planning into simple less messy planning (eleminating mess completely with me would be impossible haha)

  15. Not usually one to comment on videos but I really love your content. It's extremely creative and inspiring. The effort you put is apparent and your videos have really motivated me to draw and paint more often. So thank you!

  16. I started a bullet journal a few weeks ago. At first I was excited so bought a big dotted notebook and started decorating more than trying to organize. I soon stopped because it was overwhelming. I realize I needed something smaller with a simple layout. I ripped off the white pages, fold them in half and made myself a small less decorated journal that I now enjoy using 😊 Thanks for the video and the tips 💕

  17. Wow. This is SO great! I recently did a "illustrate a to-do list" video, and really wish this video had come out before I did. Wonderful ideas and, to be honest, you are the goto planner diva! Simple, clear, and achievable advice! Excellent video! Cheers, Minnie, and thank you! 🙂

  18. My problem with bullet journals, or planners in general, is that I'm not consistent enough to use them. I start out strong, going every day for about a week, but then I get lazier and lazier, and eventually, I forget it exists. I've yet to find a system that works for me… If anyone has suggestions, that would be great!! xx

  19. I came here from Dodie's most recent video and your videos are very relaxing and really entertaining!! You're voice is really soothing as well. cx 💕💕

  20. This really helped me! I haven't touched my bullet journal for 3 months because I was scared of not making it look perfect, just like you said. But today I started it back up!

  21. My favorite thing is listening to your videos on low volume so all I can hear are the t's and s' in your narration. It's really soothing.

  22. besides this just being a nice video, i love this because a lot of journaling videos people seem like they're screaming at me, and this is more of a convo. it's soothing and nice and not rushed.

  23. I love your videos to much!! Your voice is so beautiful and calming! I love your style of art, content and creative flow, always an inspiration.

  24. Absolutely needed this, I sometimes feel reluctant to journal because it's such a hassle to make everything perfect. This was so helpful!

  25. Probably one of thee most relaxing videos I've ever watched. I genuinely went to lay down to watch it 😂 p.s I need those pastel highlighters in my life!

  26. Thank you so much for this Minnie! I just started a bullet journal a little while ago and soon found myself avoiding the task of making new spreads because I was so overwhelmed. This gave me the inspiration I need to start back up again in a more minimal direction 🙂

  27. Just Beautiful…I can purchase an art book and never be afraid of the pages but a Daily! pure terror…so this is Just Beautiful and I will purchase a daily tomorrow and attempt what you have shown…

  28. Hey Minnie I was wondering about the mechanical date stamp I've seen you use a few times. What kind is it and how can I get one? Thanks love your work!

  29. I was struggling with the idea of continuing my bullet journal or whether to just simply drop the idea 😶. Honestly this video could not have come at a better time! 😍 Keep up the good work 😘

  30. I am a 75 year young fan.  I have spent the last several days watching all your videos (some 2 or 3 times).  i find your voice and presentation to be very relaxing and calming.  I hope when i grow up (better be soon) I will be almost as good an artist as you are.

  31. hey minnie, love the vids! i was just wondering if youve heard about a project called The Sketchbook Project? it could be a cool idea for your channel? i dunno i just found out about it this evening and immediately thought of you…if thats not too weird. anyway your videos are theeeee highlight of my week xxx

  32. Has anyone else tried to go to Minnie's shop? I've been trying to for the past three days but it continues to say that it's under maintenance

  33. thank you this came just in time and really useful! your voice is so calming that I can't watch other youtubers after your videos haha

  34. I've been considering to start a journal/daily planner thing because I wanted to be more productive so this video is very helpful. Definitely agree that keeping it simple is the way to go otherwise you just start overthinking and taking time to make it pretty and lose sight of the actual purpose. And this also gives me an idea to use that dotted journal I got that I have no idea what to do with 😆

  35. Hi, Minnie!
    I really enjoy watching your videos. They are very inspiring and beautiful))
    And I was wondering, if you could film a video about your creative path as a video blogger? Like why you decided to start, what difficulties you faced, how (and how fast) did you find your audience, etc… and perhaps some ideas for those who would like to start their own way;)) I think it would be really interesting to listen to))

  36. Does anyone have any tips on how to get back in the mood to do art? I'm applying to an art high school next year and I just haven't been able to produce art I'm happy with. Which I need to do for my application.

  37. Lesson Learned: Don't watch Minnie in bed. Her soothing voice laid me right out to sleep! Real talk, this was one of the most useful videos on journaling that got straight to practical tips I can use for elegant, useful journaling/planning.

  38. Ive always wanted to be organized and make those pretty planners everybody else makes. But you said exactly what was holding me back from doing that, which was how worried I am of turning it into a mess instead. Crazy how you just know my worries and come up with ways to solve them. Thank you for this video, Minnie!

  39. I really enjoyed watching this video. Your style of filling your daily planner is impressive. I have found one planner with dotted pages, I think I'm going to buy it http://www.amazon.com/daily-planner-2018/dp/B075L1ZR6H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&sr=8-1&keywords=daily+planner+2018 to try some tricks with dotted pages. It does not have a lot of them, but it is enough for some experiments

  40. You are awesome with your handwriting and creativity. I am better as an illustrator and designer on my Mac but I wish my handwriting was like yours. Very neat and tidy

  41. oh so that's what it is called dot grid paper. thank you. anyway you're just so neat i'm jelly! i'm organized, i want things in order but gotta train myself to improve on my neatness 😅

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