the planner experimentalists – @thecursivebird

Today I’d like to introduce a series of guest posts I’ll be showcasing on my blog throughout my maternity leave called The Planner Experimentalists. The idea came about a few months ago when I was perusing through Instagram and Facebook, and the thousands of new blog posts about bullet journalling. I enjoy looking and reading about different planner set-ups, but I also want to know the how and the reasons behind each set-up, which only seems to be glossed over as a given. I want to know why you used a particular layout – for example, a weekly set-up helps with forward planning – and not something else. I want to know what you culled from your planning experiments – why you kept one system over another. I want to know what didn’t work and why. All of these thought processes can be as important and valuable as the finished ‘product’ to your ‘ongoing planner peace’, especially when you’re starting out, or restarting your planner journey.

Along with this idea, I stalked followed a few Australian Instagram accounts and blogs, and invited a few of them to write a guest post on my website. I really wanted to showcase some of the Aussie planners out there. We’re a bit underrated and not represented quite as much in the planning community, and I think we provide some creative solutions for planning needs and processes. Mate, we can be chilled out and laid back folk, but we can also plan and organise like there’s no tomorrow :)

Without further ado, I’d like to share with you all Dani’s guest post:

Hello.  I’m Dani.  I have an Instagram account over @thecursivebird.  I am honoured and excited to have been invited by Dee to write a guest post for her blog DecadeThirty. I look forward to the opportunity to tell you a little more about me and my planner.

I am an Australian planner and a stay at home Mother with a lot on her mind.  What started as a hobby, a method to become organised and inspire to organise, has now turned into quite an adventure.  I joined the planning community and created TheCursiveBird account in August 2015 when my enjoyment of bullet journaling took hold.  I have been inspired by so many in this community.  There are too many to name.  Your words, pictures, advice and connectivity have been a welcome addition and a continued source of inspiration.  I created my IG account to learn and share.  It was, and is, never about performance for me.  So, I find it surreal and quite overwhelming at times. I need to thank the people who tune in to my corner of the world, follow, like my posts and leave positive messages.

My planner, at present, is a personal Filofax Malden.  I chose it because it is a natural method of planning for me.  Some may find my method of planning conservative but I like the ability to change, remove or add information without having to tear out pages.  Yes.  I am a tearer.  I enjoy using the Fabric Lyradori (from @lyraandco) which contains a soft cover Moleskine to plot and plan new layouts, write notes and cursive letter in.

I require the structure of the “whips and chains” in this season of my life, I am a diary girl. I need to write in a diary layout and colour code it to retain information. I enjoy this method. So, my non-negotiable are the week on two pages (from Filofax) and a bulleted “to do” list adapted from Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal system.  I need to document my family’s future plans promptly and I require an area to brain dump and collate daily information.  This is my best system.  I find comfort and regularity in it.



Hurdles are the desire to record some home ‘statistics’ such as family schedules, home reset and clean schedules, meals, finances.  Personal goals and habits such as exercise, journaling, me time etc.  My brain compartmentalises and separates this information so I like separate sections in my Filofax.  I would like to house this information all together as I wouldn’t forget where I am up to.  I would be prompted to do the next chore, task or habit but it makes for a heavy Filofax and unwillingness to carry everywhere.  I want to overcome these hurdles and work out a new system which collates all the information on as few pages as possible.  I am almost there.  I am working on this new discipline and trying to negate my nomad existence with my growing collection of planners, notebooks and Traveller’s Notes. I feel as if I am trying to be Captain of all things, when really I am the Master of none. I would like to carry my planner with me.  I will find a new way to do this.

When I am in sync with my system it is a calm and comforting way to plan.  I want the simplicity I have created for my Future Dates and To Do’s. I feel less overwhelmed this way.  I have to maintain my natural system while trialling a new system as I easily lose my way and my focus and become extremely forgetful.

Along my instagram journey I have been given some wonderful advice and inspiration.  It’s hard to limit the advice I have been given but here are my top three tips.  Some I still have to have the determination to obey myself.  I tend to be stubborn even though I am trying to be more creative.

  1. Just start. Begin with what you have and what you trust to do the job for you. No need to blow the bank account on 1,000 new things. It hinders creativity and leads to blockage. Trust me on the tip *taps finger to nose*
  2. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover new methods and systems. We gather inspiration this way. However, just remember that everyone is different, our needs are different, and our way of expressing ourselves is different.
  3. It is best to discover what YOU need. Don’t feel as if you have to emulate others. Your system, your way is ALWAYS best. I promise.

Thanks again Dani for some wonderful advice and for sharing your feelings and thought processes around your current planner. Next on The Planner Experimentalists is Jess of @plannerbynature, another Aussie blogger/planner who incorporates all sorts of planning love with her Hobonichi and Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

I’d like to extend my invitation to the planner community to share your own planner process/experiments as a guest blogger on website.  Send me a quick email to express your interest ( and I will reply some guidelines.

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of the series and has helped you think about some of your own goals/processes throughout your planner experiments.


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