What’s in Your Pen Case?

That Planner Chick grabs her bag of tools to head off for a busy day…

Today I want to talk about the tools that we use when we plan and use with our planner. I like many people out there carry my planner with me wherever I go and my pen case goes wherever my planner goes. I get looks sometimes when I am spending time with my friends and we need a pen and I open my pen case and there is a selection pens. I do try to keep my pens to a minimum but I fall in love with a pen and then I need more of them and end up with way too many pens in my case. However there are several pens that I keep with me at all times and use them all the time. So here is a look into what I keep in my pen case.

The case:

For my pen case I use an Orla Kiely cosmetic bag that I got from target. I have been happy with this bag until I started getting into fountain pens and some of them don’t fit in the bag as well as I would like.



Here is where the list gets long. I am trying to work on a way to carry fewer pens and feel like I have everything I need when I go out. I love fountain pens and own many of them. I use them all everyday so the ones I have in my collection are not super expensive or fragile so the can handle the wear and tear.

  1. Pilot Metropolitan in violet leopard with a fine nib filled with Noodler’s Red-Black ink.

I have four; yes four Pilot Kakuno pens all with fine nibs. They are all different colors with different color inks.

  1. Pilot Kakuno soft blue with white body filled with Iroshizuku Ama-iro.
  1. Pilot Kakuno soft pink with white body filled with Noodler’s Red.
  1. Pilot Kukuno soft violet with white body filled with Iroshizuku Muraski-Shikibu
  1. Pilot Kukuno soft green with black body filled with Ironshizuku Chiku-rin

I love these pens because they are inexpensive beginner fountain pens that write like a dream. They were designed in Japan as a teaching pen to help children learn how to write properly with a fountain pen. Because they are designed with children in mind they are light and chunky with a cute little smiley face on the nib. They are just cute fun pens.

Next up is my Lamy collection. Another inexpensive fountain pen that is AMAZING. This is my new favorite pen and I want to use it for everything.

  1. Lamy Safari Neon Coral with an extra fine nib filled with Iroshizuku Tsutsuji.
  2. Lamy Safari Yellow with extra fine nib filled with Diamine Pumpkin.
  1. Lamy Safari Charcoal with a fine black nib filled with Noodler’s Bad Black Moccasin

I have several Coletos that I use to use with my planner so they have my color-coding colors in them plus a few extras.

  1. Coleto Blue with purple, orange, teal, pink, and green inks.
  1. Coleto Pink with red, blue, brown, black and blue-black ink.

I do like to sketch so I keep a couple of sketch supplies in my bag.

  1. Bic Velocity 0.9 mechanical pencil
  1. Micron .2 black pen

I also keep a set of highlighters for school and things I want to stand out in my planner. I feel in love with the Zebra Mildliner because the colors are less harsh on the eyes and have interesting colors like the gray.

13 – 17. Zebra Mildliner in the Cool and Refined color set. The colors included are mild red, mild violet, mild gray, mild dark blue and mild green.

Odds and Ends:

Mostly my pen bag is full of pens but I do keep a few extra things in my bad to help out through the day.

  1. Erasers- the erasers on mechanical pencils just don’t work that well.
  1. Post it Tabs- I keep a set of post it tabs in my bas so that I can mark important pages in my planner or in my textbook.
  1. Oli clips- these things are great! They are magnetic paperclips that will hold a lot of paper. I have several in my bag for various reasons.
  1. Paper Perforator- this is an odd one. I in general hate tearing a page out of a journal or a notebook. I hate it even more when the pages aren’t   perforated. I have a small pocket rotary perforator when I need to tear a page out.
  1. Ink Cartridges- All of my fountain pens have convertors on them so that I can use bottle ink and not create a lot of waste from cartridges. That being said I do keep a few spare cartridges in my pen case just in case I run out of ink while I am out of the house.

So there you have it. That is what I keep in my pen case. It seems like a lot and for some it is. I am actually amazed at how many pens and accessories I can keep in my pen case. If you are interested in any of these products please check out the notes section of the video.


Stay tuned for another That Planner Chick adventure.


Is it a Woman Thing?

That Planner Chick is stopped dead in her tracks as she comes to a strange realization…

I have been thinking about the planner world and the type of people whom plan and how varied they are. Then one day I stopped and thought about all of my friends, family, and Internet friends who are planners and realized that about 90% of them are female. Is planning a woman’s thing?


My husband carries a Midori traveler’s notebook in passport size as his wallet. He even jots down notes in his notebook, but ask him to keep track of his own schedule and he looks at me like my head is spinning. As I have mentioned before, it is an important part of my husband’s job that we keep track of the hours he works and what location he is at. But it seems that that responsibility has fallen to me. I know other couples that work in the same field and it is the woman who tracks the schedule.

Is it that women are just natural planners or are women planners because we are expected to keep track of everything? Please don’t get me wrong, I do know men who plan and have systems that would put mine to shame. It just seems like they are far and few between. Most of the men that I know who plan usually only keep track of their own schedules, whereas most of the women I know who plan keep track of their schedules as well as all their family. Why is this?

My husband has never asked me to track his schedule and I do it because it needs to be done. He does ask me to add things to my schedule or write something on my list and he actually takes an interest in my planning but he has never shown an interest in planning himself. I enjoy planning but sometimes I resent the fact that I have to maintain the schedule for both of us. I try to keep up with my planning by working on it each night but it does take me a couple of hours each Sunday night to prepare for the next week.

I remember that my mom was always the planner. With five kids it is hard not to be. She knew all of our school schedules and all of our activities and yet my dad never even seemed to worry about it. He showed up and picked us up when she told him it was on the schedule. I know many women who physical planner or not, seem like that they are the “keeper of schedule” in their family. I know that hundreds of years of gender roles just don’t go away over night, but there has to be something that caused it to be a gender role in the first place.

So what do you think? Do you think women are just natural planners or do you think we plan because we are expected to do so?


See you next time at the same planner time, same planner channel.

Picture courtesy of allyou.com

Keep on Using It

When last we saw That Planner Chick she was about to reveal some of her planning secrets…

Last post I talked about how I developed several tips to help me stay focused and working with my planner on a daily basis. I am sure other people have talked about these or use similar tips but these are the ones that work for me.

  1. Take time every morning to review what your day looks like. In the morning when I get up I take a few minutes to review what my day looks likeI am not surprised by anything on my schedule. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, maybe while you are having your morning coffee or eating breakfast.
  1. Add anything you might have forgot or last minute additions. Sometime when I am reviewing my planner in the morning I realized that I forgot to add a chore or errand that I either remember or my husband reminds me about. I make sure that I add it to either the current day or I add it to the next available day I have time.
  1. Get in a habit of looking at your planner throughout the day. I keep my planner open and with me when I am working at home and when I am out and about I have it in my bag. I never leave it in the car because I never know when I am going to need to write something down.
  1. Do a review of you planner at the end of the day. This is my favorite part of my day. I get to look at everything I accomplished and what I have planned for the next few days. I get to take pride in what I have managed to do and I bond with my planner. I know that sounds funny but I will explain in my next tip. This is also a great time to mark off things that you forgot to cross off and add anything that came up during your day that you didn’t have time to add.
  1. Make the planner part of you. This is the most important thing I have come to realize through my years of planning. I can have the best to do list and organization but if I don’t feel a connection to my planner I will never see it. It is great to have an organized schedule and have everything color-coded but I think it is just as important to put personal things in your planner as well. I add quotes, sketches, 365/30 list, photos and other things that remind me that good and happy things happened in my life during the running around dealing with a busy schedule. Not only do these things make me smile but they make me want to flip through my book. Because I have these added personal touches when I don’t use my planner as often during the day I feel that something is missing and I make sure that the next day I am back to using my planner.

Once I got in the habit of doing these things everyday, I use my planner more often and more effectively. Do you have any tips that help you keep on track?

Stayed tuned for the next installment of That Planner Chick.

Failure is Not an Option

That Planner Chick senses that a planner is about to be abandoned! She rushes into action.

You have started your planner. You have picked out your favorite inserts or style of page layout. You have picked your sticker and washi tape and you have decorated each page to its cutest perfection. You are on top of the world because you have a well-balanced planner that you love. You use it every day and spend extra hours making sure every detail of your schedule is ready to go when the week starts. You use it and you use it often.

Then… one day you noticed that you didn’t check off a few things the day before, and you really didn’t look to see what you have going on for the day. Then what every planner person fears comes true and you stop using it all together.

I am sure everyone has had this experience at some point in time on his or her journey for planner peace. I know that I have. Then the cycle starts all over again. In order to break this cycle you have to find out what caused this to happen in the first place.

With my classes ending and my schedule freeing up quite a bit as a result, I am now faced with this very thing happening to me again. You see, I discovered that it is not the “Oh My God I am so busy I have to schedule when I brush my teeth,” busy that keeps me from using my planner. In fact I use it more when my schedule is that busy. It is when school ends- I don’t have any real deadlines and most of my tasks are based on my hobbies and fun things. In this regard I am extremely lucky that I have a life that lets me do these things, however I find I actually get less done, even the fun things. Why is that? I have more free time during the day so why am I not getting all the things scheduled done?

I realized that this is the situation that generally causes me to lose sight of my planner. This is when I start failing my planner, not the planner failing me. Over time fortunately, I have come up with several things that can be done to keep me interested and keep me using my planner.

I decided to create a list of dos and don’t that will help me focus on my planner and in turn on my schedule. Maybe these tricks will also help you stay focused and not yo-yoing so much with your planner.

Next week That Planner Chick reveals her secrets!

Planner Fail

Chaos strikes a deep wound against organization. Can That Planner Chick comeback strong and push Chaos back?

For the last couple of weeks I tried something new in my planner. Instead of planning out each day and splitting my tasks throughout the week, I decided to work off of one master task list. I made this decision because I wanted to cut back the time that I was spending planning and I hate having an item scheduled and then it not get done until the next day. With a busy week of school last week I took this short cut so that I had more time for my projects.

In fact what happened was just the opposite of what I wanted to have happen. I wanted this great realization that a slight change can open up hours of work time during the week. It was as if the sun was shining down on me. What I didn’t know was that it was the sun before the impending storm. And let me tell you the storm came on fast and furious.

It started off with a freedom to do things when and in what order I wanted to do them in. I knew I had a lot of schoolwork and I sat down to get my work done. As the week went on I noticed that I was getting things done but no longer was I marking things off of my task list. Then I stopped looking at my planner at all. But hey work was getting done and turned in, right?

Oh how wrong I was. It wasn’t until almost the end of the second week of this experiment that I realized one of the projects failed to get turned in. Set in panic attack! I completely freaked out. I felt like I was in a dark tunnel with a small light at the end that was my degree. Instead of moving toward that degree I was now moving backwards. I have never turned in an assignment late and this was a big one to miss. My grade this semester is going to suffer for it and in turn my GPA.

That little mistake woke me up and made me realize that the few hours I save every week from not planning could cost me big. So now I am back to my old system and I have a peace of mind that everything will get done and in a time frame that will not overwhelm me. But I am still not quite happy with the original system. I start off using my weekly chart to list all the tasks that I have for the week, like the image below.


Then I split up those tasks evenly through out the week based on when things are due and what other appointments I have planned. So a typical day might look like this.


Now here is the part that is a little messy or just not working in the process. When I complete a task on a day that it is scheduled I just mark it complete. Now if I don’t finish the task on that day and I finish it another day. I have been marking it complete they day it is scheduled. I usually don’t have extra room to add in the task the day I complete it but I feel that I am not getting a good look at what is getting done when. I am sure that this is my OCD affecting my ability to come up with a sensible solution.

Have you ever had a planner fail like I did? How did you fix it?

Stay tuned next week for more adventures of That Planner Chick.

October Flip Through

That Planner Chick is putting October to rest.

I know it is a few days last, but I wanted to do a flip through of my October so you can see all the differences from the beginning to the end. The biggest difference is that I started the month using stickers and washi tape and slowly moved over to using my own art work to decorate my planner.

One of the issues that I came across, was that I didn’t want to put my pages away. In the past I have had no problem taking my pages out of my binder and storing them away. The stickers and washi tape made me happy to use my pages and kept me coming back to my planner when I needed to. However the pages that have my art on them are pages I just don’t want to let go. I loved flipping through them and see what I have done and how it inspires me to do other things. So it took me a couple of days to remove them from my binder.

I am excited to see what comes out of my mind for November.

Armed with November, That Planner Chick is prepared to tackle the disorganization of the month.