Planner Experimentalists: @nursenovaplans

Oh my poor little blog has been neglected these past few months, and I decided to start on some cleaning up tonight only to realise there were a half a dozen blog posts that were scheduled but didn’t actually publish because someone (i.e. yours truly) forgot to hit the publish button amongst the haze of life. I did away with most of them, but I did want to salvage this amazing blog post penned by Nova (@nursenovaplans_) last year about her wonderful thoughts around her planning and organising. Thank you, Nova, for being so amazingly patient with me getting this blog post up, and for taking the time to write fantastic content :)

Hola! I’m not Spanish but I like greeting people in different language (not that I know many). Anyways, hola! My name is Nova and I am a Melbourne-based registered nurse and I love coffee.

Since high school, I have always been a planner except that in high school, I didn’t have a proper planner. I would literally just write lists at the back of my notebook. I also like journalling, or back in high school I call it diary writing. I just finished my post graduate certificate in critical care nursing and it was such a battle. I probably won’t be able to make it if I didn’t have my reliable planners.

I have been using Kikki-K since 2010 and for a while, it worked for me. Of course I was very inexperienced with the whole creative planning but it worked for me. But as I started working as a nurse, I had to juggle between being a wanna-be kick-ass nurse, amazing wife and a student all at the same time. I had to think of something or some way to plan ahead, write daily updates and be creative all at the same time.

My cousin, Jenny, actually introduced me to MTN. She mentioned it to me during one of those family gatherings we have during Christmas and really didn’t pay attention to it as much. Instagram is such a life-changing app as I kept seeing recommended posts involving MTN and piqued my interest. One shopping later, I got me my first (or one and only for that matter) Midori Traveller’s Notebook.

How I Set Up My Planner

Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I actually don’t have a permanent system and I think it is important to know that you don’t have to stick to one system alone. As long as it works for you, it’s okay. It definitely works for me. Because I am a nurse, I have to plan around my hospital roster as well as my university time table.

As soon as work roster comes out, I tend to enter it to my MTN straight away. I just then add details to it as I go. Occasionally, I cover up the initial writings especially if there are changes in my schedule, and I use stickers for that. I also pre-decorate, especially I get new washi tapes and funky stickers. They’re fun!

I use the pre-dated insert of the MTN my cousin Jenny gave as a present from Japan. I like it because I don’t have to write my dates anymore and I can also already see the current and next month overview on top. I can circle or highlight important dates and just flip through that current date to see what is happening that day. Sometimes though, I cover it up with stickers or stamps, especially when I know what my month will look like already.

On top of my hospital roster, I also add my university time table as well as my made-up study schedule. My friend @plannergirlmusings suggested to use my Kikki-K for study schedule and I like the idea and used it for sometime but because I am pressed with space at the moment (moved back to my in-laws as hubby’s deployed in Sydney), I thought I’ll go back to my original set up and use the MTN as my all around purpose planner.

At some stage, this is how my MTN looked like:

Since I finished the course, I still try to incorporate study schedules (because you know, you never stop learning). Most of the time though, it’s just work rosters now, trip to Sydney schedules and daily updates.

My spread varies every week however.

In a nutshell: My MTN is basically my everyday planner, bullet journal and diary. It’s a great tool especially for someone who has a rotating busy schedule like me and wants to keep up but also wants the creative side of it.

Nova’s words of wisdom planner-related:

  • You don’t have to stick to one system because circumstances changes all the time. One system might work for you today, but not tomorrow. The idea of planning is set up not to be perfect but to be flexible when something changes. It’s called back-up plan for a reason (pun intended).
  • Be inspired by others. Be open to ideas of other people but have your originality as well. There are plenty of planners on Instagram and Pinterest and these place are basically Disneyworld for people like us. I am thankful that I get inspired by @decadethirty (Dee), @cursivebird (Dani), @plannerbynature (Jess) @plannergirlmusings (Michelle) and @aina.kristina (Aina) everyday.

For more MTN related posts by yours truly, click here:

Thank you Dee for giving me the opportunity to share my obsession with MTN and for thinking that I can impart my planning style to the world :) Being featured here means I am doing something right, I hope.

The Planner Experimentalists blog series will be up and running again next month, so if you’re an Aussie or New Zealand planner, send me an email ( and I can send through some simple guidelines for your post :)


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