Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Decorated Planners Series: Why use stamps in a planner?

Welcome to the first official instalment of my Decorated Planners Series. For a little background as to why I’m posting this, check out this earlier post.

So…as the title suggests, today we’ll be discussing why you would consider using stamps in your planner.

For those of us that are already stampers, the answer is obvious…stamps are completely awesome! *grin*
However, I do get that if you are new to stamping, I might need to do a little convincing. The sheer variety of supplies can be overwhelming, not to mention the time invested in learning a new skill. Aren’t most of us using planners to try and save a little time? So yes, I get it. Why you might be reluctant to add yet another “thing” to your To Do List. Hopefully, my list below will inspire you to give stamping a chance.

1. Long Term Savings
You might not believe me, but once you get over the initial investment of purchasing your stamps and ink actually using your supplies is incredibly cost effective. Stamps, when cared for properly, will last a lifetime. A quality stamp pad, especially if you purchase a matching reinker, will last 10+ years. When you compare this against the cost of individual sticker sheets or if you print your own, the cost of labels and printer ink, I think you’ll discover that stamps come out ahead in the long run.


2. Consistency
As I’ve already said, once you own a stamp, it is good for a lifetime. You are no longer at the mercy of a company who discontinues your favourite weather stickers, an Etsy store that is continually out of stock, or have to experience the frustration of running out of your blue coloured “family” labels halfway through planning your week. Your stamps will look exactly the same this week as they will 5 years from now. This can come as a great relief to those searching for their “planner peace.” Once you find a stamp you love, you can love it forever. I will still sign off my handwritten letters using a stamp I bought when I was 12 years old. How’s that for consistency?

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The original "Ink On My Whiskers"
3. Customization
Just because you can own the same stamp for a lifetime, don’t think it becomes boring! One of stamping’s greatest strengths is how versatile it can be. By varying the color and style of inks and employing different techniques, one stamp can be used hundreds of different ways. Don’t believe me? Check out this Pinterest link.

In relation to planners, a great example of this feature is colour coding. By using just one stamp but several different colours of ink, I can easily glance at my weekly calendar and know which family member the activity pertains to. I’ll be giving you lots of other practical applications in upcoming posts.

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While I could use coloured pens or highlighters to achieve the same result, I like the touch of whimsy stamped icons add to my planner pages.
4. Artistic Expression
For those of you that have the time or inclination, stamps can be used as a purely decorative feature in your planner. The possibilities are truly endless. Your daily pages are a great place to experiment with different styles and techniques. If you don’t like how something turned out one day, you can just try something different tomorrow!

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Just a small sampling of decorative stamping.

5. Reduce Bulk
Unlike stickers and washi tape, stamping adds zero bulk to your pages. Who doesn't want a little more space in their planners?

6. Drawbacks
Finally, as much as I love stamps, this would not be an honest article if I didn’t address a few negative aspects surrounding stamping. The first involves portability. Stamping on-the-go is generally a difficult thing. Lugging around stamp sets, inks, acrylic blocks, and cleaning supplies does not make for a light carry bag. Second is speed. You really can’t rush stamping. It takes time to choose your stamp, mount it, ink it, stamp your image, clean your stamp, and allow your image to dry. While practice certainly speeds the process, it can be tedious if you are a jot-it-down-quickly-type of planner.

I plan to share solutions to both of these drawbacks in future posts, so if they bother you, stay tuned!

Thanks for reading, and be sure to chime in under the comments. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on stamping and if you have any requests for future articles.

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