As part of my mini series on Planner Stamps* I’m taking inspiration from yet more PlannerFest chats and have put together a bit of a guide to how to choose the best sort of stamp for what you might need.
One of the best things about using planners is how you can adjust your set-up to fit what you need. But in someways that’s also it’s downfall - you need to give yourself the structure and sometimes that can be really time consuming and daunting.
A massive benefit of stamping in planners is that you can you add structure - simple or complicated - to your planner quickly and in a way that’s easy to reproduce time and time again. But of course while you might know what you want to achieve you might not quite know the best format to go with so here’s my run down of how some of the Mint Maker Studio Planner Stamps can help you.
If you want to time block, schedule or record working time
Although the Chronodex can look a little daunting or complicated, it’s actually a brilliant tool for time blocking/management as well as recording things manually if that’s what you need. The benefits of a stamp are that it’s quick and easy to add to page, especially compared to if you wanted to hand-draw or even stencil it. Once stamped (in whatever colour you want) you can colour-in sections and plan time blocks ahead or record tasks you’ve already been doing. (For more on how to use the Chronodex I’ve got a blog post here)
If the Chronodex goes into too much detail for you and you want a simpler break-down of your day then some bullet points can help you split down morning/afternoon/evening/tomorrow and encourages you to be concise and prioritise too. In fact, it’s not uncommon to use both systems at one time or another (or even on the same spread) which is why with the clear stamp packs they’re together.
If you want to track habits or progress
Habit and progress tracking are one of the most common uses in a planner, and I can see why as it’s satisfying and motivating for relatively little set-up. There’s a few different stamps you can use to help you record these, which mainly depend on whether you want it to be time-based or not, and just how long you want to be recording for.
The Habit Tracker stamp is a great starting point as it gives you space for more that one and whilst you can use it across a calendar month, you don’t have too so there’s built in flexibility too.
A simple month set-up, whether it’s a grid or a circle, can help you personalise your tracking too and you can either stamp it once, or stamp it multiple times across your spread depending on how much you’re tracking. And of course it works as a calendar too!
But if those are giving you bit too much structure then a simple grid like this honeycomb stamp can give you something tangible to record your habits on, without any time pressures.
If habit tracking, or establishing new habits, interest you then you might like a read of this blog post from earlier this year with a few different method suggestions.
If you want quick headers
Whether your planner style is maximalist or minimalist, headers are a universal way of providing structure and focus to planner spreads and stamps are such a quick way for getting headers on the page while also keeping things neat. And unsurprisingly the days of the week and months of the year sets are perfect for this.
Because they’re clear stamps you only need one acrylic block to use them so they’re not a bulky set to have around, and of course like all other stamps you can use different coloured inks to help add a little more interest to them and keep them on-theme (if you’ve got one). And you don’t have to have just those words - there’s sets of other planner words or maybe even use some of the common icons, which are just as portable and interchangeable.
If you want to be planning ahead
Looking ahead longer-term is one of the most fun things you can do in a planner (well, I think so), and whether it’s planning goals for across the whole year or things to do on your week away, perpetual stamps give you so much flexibility. Not to mention they can look really attractive once they’ve been stamped on a page and annotated (in lots of different coloured pens and tape etc).
And we can’t mention keeping track of dates etc without mentioning the Manual Date Stamp. This everyday stamp is a workhorse and, to be frank, an unsung hero. Keeping you stamping dates for the next 9 years, not only can you play pretend at being a school librarian (you’re not alone) but actually it’s a really neat and quick way to annotate with dates across so many different spreads.
If you want some quick decoration (so it looks nice without too much effort)
What people consider ‘decoration’ for their planner spreads ranges massively, but the one thing common across most is a way to differentiate between the structure and headings on a spread and the content within it. Stamping, and especially layering stamps, is a pretty minimalist way to add something visual to help navigate the spread and then from there you can take it as far as you’d like.
The Washi tape strips are great for this, as stamped in one light colour you can layer headings of any sort over the top, but actually planner icons or even letters from the bigger alphabets can work for this just as well too. And again because they’re clear they’re not as bulky so are easy to store and even carry around with you if you need to.
So this won’t have covered off everything but one of the best things about stamps in planners is often how versatile they can be. If you’re still not sure about something though, have any questions or even have a sort of stamp you think you’d like making for you to use in your planner do just drop me a message and I’ll help as much as I can. (One of the best things about being a handmade stamp maker is that I can adapt to different requirements too!).
*This series came about after some fabulous chats at PlannerFest in July 2023. If you’d like to read about 3 things stamps can help with in your planner here’s the link.