Most of us creative planners use stickers, washi, and other premade items to keep ourselves organized and excited about our plans, but what if we told you that you could also embrace your inner artist while planning? That's right, it's time to break out the colored pens, markers, and pencils, and turn your planner into a canvas of creativity. Drawing in your planner is not only fun but it can also help you stay engaged and inspired throughout the day. So, let's dive into the colorful world of planner artistry and discover how to unleash your inner artist while getting things done!

The Planner Palette - Choosing Your Weapons of Creativity

Ashley Kelly Planner Art Tools

Before you dive headfirst into planner doodles, it's essential to gather your artistic arsenal. Invest in a set of dual-tipped markers, colored pencils, or gel pens. You might even want to keep a small pouch of your favorite tools within arm's reach, making it easy to add a splash of color to your planner whenever inspiration strikes. Colored pencils, markers and even some paints can be really good to use in your planner. I picked these Tombow dual brush pens for this spread, and I did not notice any bleeding or ghosting on the other page.

Pick a Theme

If you've been here for a while, then you know that I'm probably going to default to drawing florals. However, it can be fun to consider choosing a weekly theme. Each week you can pick a different theme or color scheme, and stick to it. For example, a "Beach Week" theme could include seashells, waves, and a sandy color palette. Themes not only make planning exciting but also allow you to experiment with different artistic styles. I chose messy Fall florals for my theme this week.

Overcoming the Fear with Art Journaling

Art Journaling for your Planner Deco by Ashley Kelly

In the world of creative planning, there's often an intimidating barrier for those who are hesitant to take that first step and draw directly on their planners. Personally, I was absolute terrified. Lol! The pristine pages seem to whisper, "What if you make a mistake?" and the fear of ruining an expensive or cherished planner can be paralyzing. (This is actually where a lot of my sticker design ideas come from. I tend to draw digitally and make stickers so that I can place the perfect design exactly where I want it to be.) But it's crucial to remember that a planner is meant to be a reflection of your life, and that includes the beautiful messiness of creativity. 

It can really help to have a journal or a few extra pages in your planner where you draw or doodle some of the ideas that you want for your theme first. I drew a bunch of messy floral designs using different colors to help me decide on a color palette and which designs I would use in the final spread. This help me get more comfortable with different flower sizes and how much pressure I could use with my markers too.

Doodle Your Way to Focus

Doodling is not just about making your planner look pretty; it can also enhance your focus and concentration. You can start small. Try drawing simple shapes, patterns, or even small sketches next to your to-do list or appointments. These visual cues can help you remember tasks and deadlines more effectively. You can also practice your hand lettering skills by drawing your own headers, days of the week and month in a spread.

Although I was terrified to actually start drawing directly on my planner, the process was actually pretty peaceful once I got going. I was able to lose myself in the moment, and it felt a little like art therapy.

Planner Perfection Meets Artistry

Drawing In My Planner Spread by Ashley Kelly

Incorporating art into your planning routine doesn't just make your days more colorful, it also adds a personal touch to your organizational system. Embracing your inner artist in your planner allows you to enjoy the process of planning and helps you connect with your goals and aspirations on a more personal level.

So, grab your planner and your favorite art supplies, and let your creativity flow. Your inner artist is ready to make planning a visually stunning, inspiring, and enjoyable experience. Happy doodling!

If you're not quite ready to pull out your markers and paint, then feel free to visit my stationery and sticker shop where I draw and hand letter all of my designs. That way, you can still get a hand drawn feel in your planner. Just go to