DIY Project Planner

Hi, SWEET friends! Tiffany here, and today I’m excited to share my Project Planner (a separate planner that is focused on one area of your life). I use this one for all my creative plans; from creative team assignments, to cards I need to make, and things I want to share on Instagram. This same idea would work for any long term project like a house remodel, health and fitness, work, school or volunteer projects – the possibilities are really endless!

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I took these details out of my main planner because many of my creative projects are optional, and having too many unchecked boxes in my main planner stresses me out :). I also have a hard time enjoying my creative time when I have my main to do list in front of me. This also gives me extra sections dedicated to my creative thoughts, plans and inspirations.

I’m using a personal sized ring binder, which is really customizable. That’s one of my favorite things about creating my own inserts using stamps – I can make it exactly how I want.

In addition to the inserts that came with my planner, I used: White 32lb paper cut down to size, black ink, coloring medium (I used Tombow Brush markers here, but you could use anything you like), acrylic blocks, patterned paper and 3mm washi tape.

Lots of stamps! I love the variety of combining different sets, but if you’re doing a lot of work planning (or fitness planning, etc) you can start with just one set and go from there.

I used many stamps from Plan to Work and Just Icons, but also: Blocked AlphaCheck It TwicePlan SchoolScript UpperSweet StampTags,  Take Note and Unicorn.

THE WEEK

When you think about planning, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a calendar, right? That’s where we’ll start, with a week on two pages (you can absolutely use any layout that works best for you). The first thing I am going to do is set up my framework using some patterned paper and 3mm washi tape. I like to add a little structure to separate things I do every single day (Instagram in this case) from the rest of my plans.

*TIP: I use the palette knife pictured to get nice clean tears on my washi tape. You can get them at your local craft store in the paint section. An old gift card or a ruler with a narrow edge works too.

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I like to have three ideas for Instagram every day, so I’m using the camera checklist from the Check It Twice set, but I’m only going to ink up three of them.

*TIP: If you get ink on the other cameras, just dab the ink away with a damp paper towel or q-tip.

I’m also going to add “Next Week” to the notes section using letters from Blocked Alpha. I love how easy it is to get these all lined up, because the actual stamps are all rectangular.

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Now that my foundation is laid, it’s time to start planning out my week.  I start with any deadlines and then fill in other ideas.  A flag from Tags and “deadline” in red makes a great, eye catching marker.

*TIP: I use red ink ONLY on deadlines, and I mark deadlines the same way each week so it stands out. This is also the only thing other than decor that I stamp on the monthly view of this planner.

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Usually, planning means thinking ahead, I start with my deadline and think backwards. That way I’m sure I start with plenty of time to finish without stress!

*TIP: Outlining smaller tasks is a trick I use in all planning to keep from getting overwhelmed. It also creates margins in case life happens (and let’s be honest, doesn’t it always?), rather than starting out with a plan that has just enough time to complete my project.
I start with the day before the deadline, and stamp out each big task using the banner from  Plan to Work turned horizontally. Labels and icons together help me identify the tasks at a glance, plus they’re cute!

I also need to create something for social media this week, so I’m going to add that to the day after my deadline. Don’t you just love the letters from Script Upper? Then I’m going to use the selective inking trick to stamp three of the six hearts from Check It Twice and label them.

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This week is definitely coming together, so I add a few more details. First is my weekly planning session on Sunday, and then I look at my main planner and see that I need a thank you card for Thursday.  I add that in as “Stamp Card”.

TIP: Just like inking up only some of a checklist, I used the “credit card” stamp from Plan Home and only put ink on the word “card”.
I can always add in other things throughout the week, but I’m going to call this done for now and do a little decorating! I think the Sweet Unicorn is one of my favorite images ever.  I use it to remind me to dream big, so that is definitely going on here. I add “Think Pretty Thoughts” to the Next Week box, then some simple coloring to add a little pop to the page and all my stamping is done!

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The last step is to write in the details, and there you have it! A week in my Project Planner that helps me focus on just one area of my life.

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EXTRA SECTIONS

Today I’m also going to tell you about you two other sections I use for the Sweet Stamp Shop Creative Team. I love the “Sweet Stamp Shop” stamp from Sweet Stamp (whoa, say that five times fast), and the banner stamp from Tags fits the words from the planner sets perfectly. I use these to label all of the inserts.

The first section has one page for each month, and lists all of the projects I need to create. I fill these in as I decide what I want to do, and the icons act like a checklist as I complete each task.

The second section is where I do my brainstorming. Blog posts need more space and have more steps, so they get their own page, but social media ideas share.  I like to use skinny washi tape to create sections and keep everything neat. I still have plenty of space to write ideas or even draw out a sketch.

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*TIP: When trying to line up a row of icons like this, it really helps to lay down (CLEAN) stamps where you want them to go on the page. Then use a large acrylic block and press it on top of the stamps. When you pick it up, they’ll all be in a nice even row just how you want them!

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USING TWO PLANNERS

How do you coordinate the rest of your schedule with this planner, without being redundant? I only put deadlines into my main planner. I use the “deadline” stamp in red, which makes sure I don’t forget about them in the hubbub of normal life.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who daydreams about stamping when I’m stuck in a waiting room or school pick up line; or who wakes up with an idea in the middle of the night. Ok, I may have a problem, but since my A5 goes everywhere with me and my project planner doesn’t, I needed to get info flowing the other direction too. You have to be able to jot down strokes of pure genius when they strike, after all :).

I set up a pretty page in the brain dump section of my A5 planner. I stage some sticky notes on this page make it easy to capture ideas and move them to my project planner without writing everything twice. To make it even easier to see the purpose at a glance (and because it’s cute), I stamped them with my favorite little stamp guy, a heart, and “Sweet Stamp Shop.”

TIP: Using a light tone-on-tone color means I can write directly over it, too!

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There’s a glimpse into how I use stamps to create a project-specific planner that is customized to my exact needs. What kind of project planner do you use or want to create? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

You can also share your projects using our stamps with the #sweetstampshop hashtag on Instagram, and don’t forget to come find even more inspiration on the Sweet Stamp Shop Facebook and Instagram. See you there, and happy stamping!

<3 Tiffany

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