Back to Basics Planning Challenge: Conclusion

The end of November marks the end of the Back to Basics Planning Challenge that I undertook. To refresh you with the concept, here’s what I wrote in my previous post about the challenge:

The idea of the challenge is simply a no-decoration planning challenge, to demonstrate if we are able to plan without the expensive accessories such as stickers, washi tapes, and stamps. The terms of the (completely optional) challenge is as follows:

  • Weeks 1-2: Absolutely no stickers, no washi tapes, no stamps. However, you are allowed to use an unlimited amount of pens as you like, which you can use to draw your decorations, aside from actually planning with.

  • Week 3: Functional stickers and stamps are now allowed. Examples include water intake trackers, arrow stickers, etc. Washi tape is only allowed if they served a functional role, such as tabs.

  • Week 4: Decorating with stamps is now allowed, along with the functional stickers and stamps. The idea is to use only the items that can be reused.

Here’s a sample page of the last two weeks of November planning.


And here’s another one of the first week of December.


If you are saying that there’s barely any change, then you are correct. My conclusion of this challenge is basically that this sort of planning works perfectly for me. I find that I rarely need any stickers or washi tape when I plan, and the only stamp that I ended up using are these coffee trackers. It’s nice to have something to fill up all the empty spaces afterwards, and I tend to use it almost consistently as a brush calligraphy practice area.

It really depends on how the brain works. I feel quite cluttered and pressured if I think that I have to decorate my planner with a certain theme, which detracts from the actual planning process. I appreciate the simplicity of this planning style, and it helped me realize as well that I do not need to buy more stickers and washi tape just for the heck of it.

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