How to Create a Monthly Memory Spread in your Erin Condren Planner
By: Kelly Cosgrove (@kellysprettyplanner)
When I first started planning, I had no idea how to utilize my monthly spreads. Copying down the same dates and appointments that I had in my weekly spread wasn't appealing to me but, there also wasn't any information that I wanted to track separately from my weekly spreads either. This left me with a dilemma that's taken three years to finally come up with a solution for!
First, I tried just leaving it blank but that felt like a waste. Then I started marking birthdays and vacations...but that still left me with quite a bit of room. Finally, just this year, I feel like I've found the right way for me to use my monthly spreads and that's memory planning! I started in January of this year and I haven't looked back! You can make this as in depth as you want or you can keep it simple, but I'm going to share the methods and strategies I've found that work for me.
The first step in my process is to pick out a monthly kit, like these from Creating and Co. This gives me some basic colors to work with and helps guide the rest of my process. Once I receive my monthly kit in the mail, I put down the big pieces, like the header and sidebar, and then move on to sorting out what other stickers I want to use in the spread.
Once I've made some room on the sticker sheets by using the big header stickers, I like to go through my sticker stash and find any stickers that color coordinate. I do this because I like to keep all the stickers I get on freebies. I put them all together on blank sheets and then when I'm monthly planning, I just grab that ones that match the spread. This is probably the step that makes my process a little bit different but it's something I really like to do because it guides my planning for the rest of my month and it helps me use a lot of different stickers that I might not normally get to.
Memory planning is not something I can do day by day. I use a pencil to jot down a little note for each day which reminds me of the memory that I wanted to keep. I also still use my monthly spread to mark birthdays and vacations, but you can do whatever works for you. Once I'm ready to sit down and memory plan, I first use my pencil to sketch out the general look of the words in each box. Then I ink with a pen, usually just the Inkjoy gel pens, and erase (after a good long wait!) the pencil marks.
I have whiteout listed on the supply list because I do like to white out the moon phases, even though I think they are kinda cool. I use the sidebar to keep track of all my sticker purchases for the month and whether or not they have arrived, but again, this is totally optional and you can do whatever works for you.
What pen do you use?
A: I usually use an inkjoy gel pen, but lately I've been liking the Muji gel pens. I even switch back and forth between .5 and .7 so I'm not very consistent.
How do you get your handwriting to look like that?
A: Practice! I practice a lot and I sketch with pencil first. And honestly, my handwriting is nowhere near as good as some people in the community. I'm still learning and practicing all the time. My biggest struggle is spacing so it would not look nearly as good if I just went straight in with pen first.
How do you decide what to mark for each day?
A: I usually try and mark something that I don't mark in my weekly spread, so it's usually something small and not like a big event of the day.
Where do you get the stickers for your monthly spread?
A: I get my stickers from lots of different places and I try to use a kit from a different shop each month. My stickers vary a lot especially in my monthly spread because I like to utilize all my freebie stickers.
What if I don't have anything to mark on a certain day?
A: I try and find something every day, even if it's something really small like surviving the night alone in the apartment or not having any cavities at the dentist.