My journal story has evolved over the years. It changes and grows to fit what I need at the moment. I think that’s what I love most about it.
It all started in 2017. As a stay-at-home mother of three, I needed a way to keep track of the day to day and chose a popular weekly disc-bound planner system. Then, I found the Instagram planner community! I bought all of the stickers and started decorative planning. It was so much fun! Decorating my planner every week, sharing, and making friends awakened something in me that had long been missing. I got back in touch with my creative side, a side I had ignored for years. The creativity in my planner was just mine (something rare, us moms know about). The time I had with my planner gave me much needed quiet and self-expression.
Over the years, my passion and planner Instagram grew. I was representing companies, started a YouTube channel, perfected my hand lettering, and collected more planners and stickers than I could count. I was content, set in my planner ways with what I thought was enough. Then 2020 came along.
2020, the year that changed everything. Suddenly, all three of my kids were home all day. We were busy but still had nothing to do. Distance learning became an adjustment, baseball and soccer filled weekends were canceled, school events were non-existent and my planner was empty. My planner, my sanctuary that I relied on to give me solace was not needed anymore. I found myself feeling empty. I would try to plan something, anything, just so I could decorate those pages. At the end of the week, all those stickers and trying to create just to see reminders to vacuum and dinner plans left me disappointed. I need to change things up!
In July, I got my first daily planner/journal. It was so different from what I had used before, so much blank space, decorating every day rather than once a week, but I was up for the challenge! I started out with the familiar, just keeping track of to-do lists and kid things, and added a touch of washi. As the summer passed, home with the kids, still nothing to do, it evolved. I was, again, cherishing my planner time. I started printing pictures and buying printable stickers from Etsy. I added crumpled paper, and more washi and started writing! This planner was becoming a journal. Beyond the creative outlet, my journal was an emotional outlet. I was writing memories and feelings along with to-dos. It became exactly what I needed.
My journal, planner, creative time is still just mine. It gives me cherished moments of fun and quiet in this crazy life. I still share it all on Instagram @according.to.ali and love giving and getting inspiration in the planner community. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Sometimes I daydream about how it has become a time capsule and someday, maybe, my grandchildren can read it and get a peek into my world. For now, I’ll just create, grow, and share each day as I fill up those precious pages with all I hold dear.