Welcome to Chasing Planner Peace's 'Spotlight on a Planner' series. We aim to show the world how planning has changed people's lives and showcase the different methods people use when chasing planner peace. This month, June 2019, we chat to Kimberley Luty from Adelaide about her love of planning and how it has helped her manage life with a chronic illness.
I’m about to turn 36 in June. I have two boys aged 12 and 16 (both giants), and recently remarried in January this year. I have a brown belt in krav maga and a blue in Muay Thai. My two best friends are also martial artists and my husband is purple belt Brazilin jujitsu, brown Muay Thai and has competed in MMA. I also get to teach beginner females defence and kickboxing so this is definitely a big part of my life.
I used to be the full-on career, super fit single mum (who would run on 4-5 hrs sleep and 6 coffees a day). In 2017 things were super stressful at home and at work and then I caught that severe flu that hit Adelaide, followed by multiple secondary infections. After that I just never got ‘better’ and had to reduce my hours at work to the point I ended up taking extended sick leave. In 2018 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/CFS and multiple early stage autoimmune diseases.
So since changing to my new surname this year the family have nicknamed me Loopy Luty. At least there is some amusement in all of this - like when I go out with two COMPLETELY different shoes (and own it!) or race around trying to find my phone, have everyone looking and then realise it’s in my pocket. Or when fatigue hits and I just start joining words together into new words (saves energy saying one word not two apparently).
I used to use planners a lot when I was working full-time. I'd often have a physical planner/s plus my work phone calendar. Then last year when planning my wedding, juggling all the insurance processes, my health roller coaster and parenting, I was losing my marbles (more than usual). So I bought a planner (Otto Wellness from Officeworks). I started putting EVERYTHING in it. I then stumbled across Planner Addicts Australia Facebook group and hello rabbit hole, into another level of planning. Who knew I could have functional combined with a hobby? So I started with functional stickers - appointments, reminders, etc. Then it was character stickers and then kits and washi and new planners and accessories...
On a more serious note, I do have to put everything into a planner as the extreme fatigue and cognitive issues that come with my illnesses mean I forget all the time, from little things to big things. Even my kids know if it’s not in the planner it’s not happening. As a bonus I found that ‘pretty planning’ actually helps me to plan out stressful days/weeks. I find the process of creating a spread before starting to plan and picking characters, icons or boxes assists my brain to manage the stress which in turn helps to stop the flare up. Maybe it’s a left brain/right brain thing?
I now have multiple planners which help me manage and organise my life and my necessary lifestyle change.
BUT I am changing my EC over to a classic Happy Planner. I am also likely getting a hobo for my birthday which will supplement my B6 and getting a Happy Planner micro notes which will have some custom bits and pieces in it. Watch this space cause it could all be COMPLETELY different in 6 months!
I'm currently loving my B6 TN. It's my go everywhere, life bible. It has monthly inserts, weekly inserts, WO1P with dot grid for expense tracking (where I confess my planner spending sins), planner shop insert (codes, promos, fave stores, wish lists etc), meal planner with shopping list insert, dot grid insert, online order tracker and a kit tracker insert.
I also love character and icon stickers. I have a building collection with more to come. I use these everyday!! While my planner will look crazy busy or confusing to some, these stickers actually help my challenged fibro brain process what’s there faster and find what I’m looking for. The other benefit is finding those awesome characters that sum up EXACTLY how you are feeling that day and it can brighten an otherwise crappy or challenging day.
Don’t judge yourself by others or what you see on social media. Definitely use the gorgeous spreads or layouts from others as inspiration or find little tips/tricks from some of the fabulous YouTubers out there. However, find your own way/style. Often mine ends up a combination of different things I’ve seen or I may try something and realise it’s not for me. I’m pretty sure some of my spreads have looked like a fairy vomited all over it but if it worked for me and made me happy then that’s the point.
Also, it’s ok and in fact is good to be a planner girl work in progress! It’s ok to change your mind or try new things (even if it results in previously mentioned fairy vomit). This is like everything in life we’re should be constantly learning and growing. I think the best place to start is asking these types of questions:
If you’re anything like me and often change your mind or just need a bit of a fresh look regularly, then I would suggest investing in a planner that you can customise like a TN, rings or a disc bound system. That way you can change inserts, add or remove things (then add them back in if you change your mind again).