Saturday, May 22, 2021

Stitch Planning & Tracking

 I'm one of those stitchers who loves keeping track of all my WIPs, new starts, finishes, etc. I've been doing it since 2005 using a spreadsheet I initially created in Microsoft Excel, but then moved it over to Number on my Mac when that application was introduced in 2007. I've been pretty happy keeping track of things there and will continue to do so, but I decided I would also like to track what pieces I work on from day-to-day. Obviously, some type of calendar would be a much better fit for this purpose than a spreadsheet.

My initial purchase for my daily tracking was a Canvo bullet journal from Catherine Pooler Designs. That choice was mainly driven by the fact I had a $20 gift card I could use for the purchase. It arrived in just a few days after placing my order and I went to work creating my initial spreads. Since all the pages are just a plain dot grid, it's up to the individual user to create whatever types of layouts or spreads they want. It's literally a blank canvas.

After doing the spread for May, I quickly realized a few reasons why this wasn't going to be a good fit for me. Firstly, it took quite a bit of time to draw out the calendar and I still didn't get it 100% right. Secondly, it's much heavier and bulky that I really wanted. Lastly, I realized I'm just not a fan of spiral-bound planners. I use a disc-bound Happy Planner for work and much prefer that style because I can easily take the pages out to work on them on a flat surface and then just pop the back into my planner which just isn't possible with something spiral-bound.

Since I realized the Canvo just wasn't going to meet my needs, I decided to look at options from Happy Planner since I knew I liked the disc-bound system. After shopping around a bit, I ended up purchasing the Indigo Skinny Classic planner and the Blue Florals Mini Notebook at Joann. I'll use the Skinny Classic planner to track all of my day-to-day stitching and will be using the Mini Notebook as a project tracker.

Since the planner I purchased is for July 2021 - June 2022, I purchased an undated Skinny Calming Blue planner from the Park Lane line at Joann in order to have calendars to cover May and June until the dated version starts in July. Even though it's from a different company, it's the same size and layout as the Skinny Classic from Happy Planner and the blues work quite nicely together. 

Each month starts with a month at a glance spread. I'm using these pages to keep track of my planned rotation for the month, the called numbers for WIPGO, as well as any SALs or special events I'll be taking part in that month that take place on a certain date. Since May is one of the undated months, I just used a pen to fill in the dates in both the monthly and weekly spreads. I won't have to do that once we get to July since that's when the dated calendars included with the Happy Planner will begin.

After the monthly spread comes all the weekly spreads. There is plenty of room each day for writing down what I'm working on. In fact, there's enough room I was able to document two projects I worked on in a single day on May 6. In the notes section at the bottom right section of the week, I recap the number of new starts and finishes I had for the week, if applicable.

After the five weekly spreads comes a notes page and the divider for the following month. I'm using the notes page to do a monthly recap where I list any new starts and finishes I had as well as any SALs I participated in that month. I also include the number of days out of the month that I stitched as well as the number of projects I worked on during the month.

I decided I wanted to include my WIPGO tracker in my planner, but there really wasn't a good place to put it. I decided to just create one from scratch. I created my WIPGO list in Numbers (Excel would work fine, too) then printed it on some 32 lb paper on my home printer. I prefer using the 32 lb paper when printing pages for my planners because it's heavier than regular 20 lb printer paper, so it holds up nicely and has less chance of writing from the opposite side of the paper showing through. I used a paper trimmer to cut it down to 4⅛ x 9¼" which is the same size as the Slim Classic pages. I used my Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings along the left edge than popped it into the front of my planner. 

Even though the Mini Notebook came with ruled filler paper, I also opted to create my own pages for tracking my projects. I did this one a bit differently than my WIPGO tracker. This time I used the Pages application on my Mac (Microsoft Word would also work). I created both sides of the page in order to have the "ditch" necessary to accommodate the disc-binding since I wanted to print on both sides of the paper. I trimmed down a bunch of the 32 lb paper to 4⅛ x 7" which is the same size as the Mini Notebook paper from Happy Planner. I created a custom paper size in my printer settings with those measurements than just double-side printed all of the pages. Once printed, I used the Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings then put them into the notebook.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my stitch planning and tracking idea. Do you track your stitching? If so, what method do you use? I would love to hear other ideas!

1 comment:

  1. I keep track of my stitching using Annie's (joyfillstitcher) wip cards,a stitching journal from as the yoo flies and my happy planner. I like having the information written in my journal and planner because I use both regularly ( probably planner over kill) but I love it.