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, October 2020, we chat to Desley (from Desley Plans) about her influences and favourite planner brands and find out more about her own planner business.
Hi, I’m Desley, known as desleyjane everywhere on social media. I live in Melbourne, having moved here from Brisbane in 2016. My constant companion is my little Maltese cross puppy, Miss Gidget – she’s 10 and pretty sassy.
I am the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for a big not-for-profit genome sequencing company, and in my spare time, I am a photographer, and I also run a little stationery store called “desleyjane plans” where I’ve used my photography (think abstract watercolour, florals and desserts) in my planner products - this has really made me so happy to be able to do this.
I've been planning in one way or another my whole life, always having diaries as a kid, the most memorable one being a red and white polka dot hardcover diary from Women’s Weekly – my mum gave this one to me and I think I’ll always remember it – the glossy pages and the space to write down all the things that were happening to 13 year old me. I did a lot of studying during my eight years at university and didn’t use a planner – not many people know this, but I’m a scientist, I have a degree in Chemistry, and two postgrad degrees in Biochemistry.
Eventually I moved into an Applications Specialist job, which involved a lot of travel all over the country and overseas. In 2009, I did 53 flights – what an exhausting year! But I had a simple notepad as a planner to help keep me organised.
And then I found kikki.K. I walked into the store in Brisbane (shout out to the Garden City store) and I was at home. I fell in love with the designs and ideas and was truly inspired to implement those into my own life. I bought the A5 Ice Blue Perforated planner as soon as it was released and my obsession began.
I’m now a kikki.K Planner Insider (yes, it’s still going, new content soon!) and I have more than 20 kikki.K planners in my collection, as well as other brands. I use so many of them at once – some just to house information that I want to keep all together, as well as my beloved every day planners and journals.
I’m loving the planners that I’m in at the moment, in particular my kikki.K B6 Quilted Blush planner, I adore this thing, as well as my Hobonichi A6 Techo for journaling – I don’t share this one online so much as it’s pretty personal, but it’s one of my favourite things. Next year, I’m moving into the A5 Cousin so that I can have some more room to be a little more creative in my journaling.
I’m also really loving washi at the moment - my go to shop is Hobby Hoppers. It’s so versatile, I use it to decorate absolutely everything, I have such a variety of designs and styles and colours to choose from and it immediately makes a spread look better. And I’ve just released my photography on washi tape as well!
I’m also just loving stickers, flags and sticky notes at the moment - I’ve recently put in my first (and very large) order for stickers from The Coffee Monsterz Co and picked up some of her washi in one of the Destash group on Facebook - they’re the cutest washi ever! MayPaperCo has just released her transparent page flags and I’m in love those too - I subscribe to May’s bi-monthly sub box - her minimal style just speaks to me for my work planner - I absolutely love her design aesthetic.
Finally, I get all my branding stickers for my shop from Denise at Luscious Labels - such delicious sticker paper makes my logo look fabulous! And Denise has done heaps of custom stickers for us all as well - including my favourite, the Bubble Buddy Day sticker, to mark our social bubble isolation visits during these Melbourne Covid restrictions.
There are so many other products that I love as well, but far too many to mention here sadly!
When I got started in planning, YouTube was my favourite place (actually I still love it and I watch planning videos every single day). I recommend watching planner setup and scrolling through your favourite Instagrammers feeds – it’s such good inspiration.
But then, you need to sit back and assess which styles and ideas work best for you.
Every planning style is different and that’s totally ok. You have to do what works for you. I went through so many styles and sizes and pages before I settled on where I am right now, but even now I’m thinking about changing it up again. You have to be willing to embrace change – as your life changes, sometimes your planning style has to change too. I used to be in multiple planners at once and that worked super well because I had so many facets to my life. I still do, but I was starting to get overwhelmed.
I love using multiple planners, but you have to decide where to stop replicating things – it just doesn’t work for me to have 4 versions of the same calendar, plus my hands get tired of writing all those dates. Thank goodness for dated inserts! I think a lot of people avoid dated inserts because they feel bad when they skip pages, but you know what? Your planner is yours and it’s there to do what you want. If you don’t have anything on one day, then that’s ok, skip the page. Sometimes I just put down some washi and maybe a sentence about the day and then I move on – it’s totally ok.
Immerse yourself in the planner community - I love it - such a beautiful, supportive and open group of people – I’m very grateful to be a part of that.
For such a long time now, I’ve wanted to incorporate my photos into a line of stationery, and finally I’ve been able to do that. My little shop, desleyjaneplans.com is a sweet, happy, pretty little place where you can find exclusive photography-based planner pockets, dashboards and washi tape – designs you won’t find anywhere else.
You can find out more about Desley via her Instagram page and website: