How to start a Planner & Journaling

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“I’ve been in-love to planner, notebooks, paper, stickers, ephemera, pens, and stationery!” There, I admitted it – so commit me to be a planner paper addict… boho! I know planning and collecting papers (stickers as well) are fun things to help keep organized and even relieve stress, so I enjoy it tremendously.  While I use many different thingies to keep me on track and my planner simple and pretty, I think it’s an individual choice for many. I want to share with you a starter kit or list of planner essentials and supplies to get you on your way. Whether it be for pretty planning or just to hoarding supplies on hand, I hope this post helps you on your journey.

Like any individual, it will come in one’s taste, preference, and needs. While I prefer a binder style planner, I can appreciate those who like coil bound ones or prefer electronic styles. Here is a list of planners that you can look into and possibly select from.


Grabbed from Tumblr. Courtesy to the owner of this photo.


This can be bought Internationally thru their online sites:

Kikki K Time Planners or Personal Planners: These are binder style planners that allow you to customize by being able to remove, replace or add inserts to your heart’s content.

Filofax: A favorite of many, Filofax is a brand name most planner lovers alike are familiar with. Known for their quality and well-made binders, you can expect a planner that will last for years with proper care. Similar in size to Kikki K’s.

Erin Condren Life Planners: (ECLP)  A popular planner among the Planner Community.  The ECLP’s are great for those that love pretty planning but that also wants to have something easy to use.  It’s a coil bound planner and while you can tear out pages or use coil clips to put things in, it is different from a binder planner when it comes to reusing and customization.  Interested in the ECLP?  Click here to get a $10 off coupon.

KIT – Keeping It Together Planner:  It is a coil-bound planner similar to that from ECLP.  I never yet tried this planner but soon once I have it (I’ll let you know).  These planners are made from a small company that sells on Etsy and they offer lots of writing room, quotes each day and everything a blogger or planner lover would need.

Punctuate Planner – Barnes & Noble:  These handy little planners come in all kinds of styles, sizes, and prices.  They are binder style and you can reuse them.  Punctuate also offers paper planners or a variety of calendars for your needs.  At an affordable cost, this would be great for students or someone starting with planning.

Don’t worry! You can start planning by looking and buying locally:


Tita Witty’s The “Papayat ka rin at dudurugin sila” and Other Food For Thought Planner 2016 This is a hardbound planner filled with hilarious musings on love and everyday life, there’s no dull moment leafing through Witty’s planner. Get this: Fully Booked and Quirks for P520 and may also be ordered at 09064652191.

The Kislap notebook from Alunsina Handbound Books These organizers, featuring handcrafted leather covers, include refillable jotters that you can buy according to your needs.

EsKWELAhan Planner Especially made, according to their social media account, “for high school college students and the young at heart,” this planner also includes discounts and freebies from the makers’ partners.

Get this: Order it from their Facebook page or any local bookstore.

Design Your Life Planner Designed to help you visualize your goals, hopes, and dreams, and inspire you along the way, there’s a lot to like in the Design Your Life planner.

Get this: Visit their website here for more information

The Daykeeper datebook Part planner, a part diary for your innermost thoughts, in the Daykeeper, there’s space to write down good memories, things that made you happy during the day, little details you want to keep for later.

Belle de Jour Power Planner  Every year, BDJ comes out with the Power Planner, perfect for the woman out to change the world and do it with style. For its 10th year, aside from its usual ring-bound Power Planner, BDJ also has a Smyth-sewn version and a leather cover version for you to choose from. I missed buying this one.

Get these: National Bookstore branches, PowerBook branches, Fully Booked branches, or online.

The Moleskine planners Smooth, sleek, premium, and it comes in oh so many styles and colors. You can get them from different bookstores, too.

Starbucks Starbucks is partnering with the Italian-based notebook brand, Moleskine, for its 2016 planners. As in the past, you can get the Starbucks planner 2016 in exchange for buying a certain number of regular and Christmas menu drinks. I don’t have this because I don’t drink coffee. (even the smell of it!)

Papemelroti pocket-planners These come in a host of different designs featuring the brand’s trademark cozy look and feel.

Get these: P20 each, visit their website for more information.

Scribble and Doodle planners The Scribble planner, though, features “inspirational typography artwork,” dateless and rearrangeable pages, and is ribbon-bound.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: The Giving Journal 

Seattle’s Best Coffee Dream Journal Get these: Collect 10 stickers by getting regular drinks and 8 stickers from the holiday drinks to get your Dream Journal.

Leuchtturm1917 planners Colorful, straightforward, and premium, each notebook, and planner from Leuchtturm includes an overview for 2016 and 2017, phases of the moon, and a booklet for anniversaries and addresses in the pocket.

Get this: National Bookstore branches

Best Buy calendars A National Bookstore staple, these un-fussy planners in no-nonsense colors undoubtedly do the job, and they also come in pocket and A5 sizes.

Those are just a few planners you can find throughout your planner search.  I have a few others like DIY planner (from old binder), PNJ, a generic pocket planner (served as my wallet and shopping list), a KikKik cute planner medium size (the most expensive I bought so far), wishliststudio spiral planner (as my reflection journal) and Daily planner from National Bookstore (for my work).  Each one can be used for various things and offer you many uses for years to come.  

If you decide to opt for a binder style planner, remember – if you take care of it, you can get years of use out of it. See if you can find a binder that will work for you, size and ring wise.  My collections (pictured below) is one that I used for my everyday agenda, it was reasonably priced and works well as a planner too should I decide to use it as such.


Choosing the planner is just the start but making sure you have all the proper accessories, that’s the fun part.  Of course, you need things like pens and other items to keep you on your planning journey.  Here is a list of a few things I like to have on hand when planning or things I make sure to buy if I’m out.

Pens – Of course, you need this for writing.  I use a variety of pens in my planners but since I color code much of what I write, I’m constantly using pens that have a similar color range.  There are several pens available for use, it all depends on your preference, what you like and how you’ll use them.

Sticky Notes, Page Tabs – You can get a variety of sticky notes and page tabs in all sizes, colors and designs.  Use your imagination with this one and look for what will work for you, your budget and your style.

Page Markers, Bookmarks, Paperclips (anything to mark your pages or your insert) – This is fun where you can create your own as well as find awesome and fun designs throughout the web and in stores.  I love to make my dashboard or bookmarks, paper clips, and page markers, but I also find awesome local online shops that do great ones as well.  If you can’t buy online, you can visit NBS, Mall’s stationery section, bookstores, and other local arts & crafts shops.

Journaling Cards, Stationary, Quote Cards or Project Life Cards – These are not a necessity, but if you are looking to add some inspiration or a little pretty to your planning, see if you can find these cheap and try it out.  I like to take scrapbook paper and write in my quotes (or stamp them) and insert them into my planner.  The options are endless, so use this opportunity to practice your creative side.

Washi Tape & Stickers – I am addicted to washi tape and have a pretty large selection to choose from.  I think washi tape is my lazy way of decorating because I can always add pretty to my planner with a bit of washi without going too in detail and feel like I’ve decorated it.  Washi has been my favorite go-to for pretty planning and it’s versatile in many ways.  You can find washi in all sizes, designs, widths and even now – shapes since many are showing up die-cut and not just regular tape-shaped.  You can use them for a variety of purposes, including decorating your planner.  

Find them at your local store or anywhere that sells them and have fun.  Stickers, well you can get those everywhere and for everything.  Find a sticker sheet or two, or three that makes you smile and use it to decorate your planner till you were satisfied.  I make and print a lot of my planner stickers. You can also print on your own or grab some free downloadable items.


There are a few extra goodies you can have on hand – but like everything I discussed here, they are certainly not required or needed. Here are a few and what I use them for:

Scrapbook Paper – I love to create my dashboards and dividers as well as my journaling cards.  The scrapbook paper is fun to allow you to customize what you want and make use of your binder in your way.

Laminating machine and/or paper-cutter – you can certainly use scissors (oops – I didn’t mention that one above) and you can find laminating sheets like those from Scotch or 1M, but I find both useful and I use them often.  Search around and see what works best for you and your budget.

Tape Adhesive – you can find these at any store in the scrapbook or arts and craft sections.  It’s an easy to roll out adhesive that allows you to bond or attach things inside your planner.  I love using these for everything I would tape down – they are permanent and secure.

Gift bags, gift wrap, etc. – You don’t need these, but should you have one with a design you like, save it and turn it into a decoration in your planner.

Stamps and Stamp Ink Pads – They are reasonably priced and pretty awesome.  You can find a variety of traditional wooden block stamps or clear stamps from a variety of stores as well as the ink pads.  Again, this is optional but the options are endless. 

Remember, getting organized with a planner or even pretty planning is all about creativity and making tools work for you and your needs.  Everything I listed and discussed here is not in any way required nor needed to get the job done.  A basic planner with necessities like a pen will get the job done just as well.  I love designing my planner, though I find that some days I don’t have enough time to do so.  

Planning allows me to get creative and it also inspires me to keep up with my planner, update and be motivated.  If you find that you want to get started with planning, but even with a nice planner and some fun pens – you can be in the habit of looking at it everyday… try to add glamor on your planner and see if that will work for you and have fun. The options are endless and in the end, is a fulfillment of your heart’s content.

Image from Kikki k

Are you a basic planner, a planner nerd or a pretty planner?  
What works for you?  
I hope this post helped you with your planning journey.  
Have fun and plan away!

Disclaimer: Throughout this post, there may be affiliate links or referral links.  Some of the products discussed or mentioned in this post were my personal preference for future consideration to use while others were purchased by me with my own money.



Kris Lacanlale

Hey! I'm Kris. A Dream Catcher collector, your tech-savvy sassy girl behind Dream Catcher Girl, a fur-parents and married while waiting for our super baby to come! Come along with me as I strive to live a life I love to do creatively and chic.