I’m excited to bring you my FOURTH Planner Behind the Planner with Ashlyn from @bluenittany on Instagram!
Ashlyn always impresses me with her colorful, creative spreads and she comes up with tons of fun ways to track her life in her journal. She’s also recently started a website & an Etsy shop! We’ve been connected since I first started journaling back in 2016, and it so much fun to see what she comes up with each and every week! Also, she’s one of the co-hosts of the #BetteringwithLettering challenge on Instagram ~ so be sure to check that out.
She’s recently started posting some awesome journaling videos on Instagram – these are so much fun to watch! Check out this video of her setting up her planning pages for 2018 or this flip-through of her all completed spreads of January to March 2018. I’m so glad she took the time to answer some of my questions – she shares some of her favorite supplies and Instagram accounts, her ONE tip for beginners, and what color she just despises!
A little about Ashlyn…
I currently in Rockville, MD, but I’m originally from Michigan.
I have tons of family in PA and went to college at Penn State though, so I also feel like I’m kind of from PA too.
I graduated as biomedical engineer, but currently I’m working in software development for healthcare.
How long have you been journaling? What is your favorite part about it?
I’ve been actually creatively journaling for a little over two years now (April 1st was actually my ‘two year anniversary’).
I actually started while I was still in college and without it, I probably would have gone crazy!
It definitely gave me a creative outlet during college, while still keeping me organized.
My favorite part about creative planning and bullet journaling is that I can consistently change and update my layouts to reflect my ever changing schedule, style, and needs!
Like most people, the flexibility is definitely my favorite aspect!
If you could only have 3 journaling supplies (not including your journal), what would they be?
Dang this is tough! I would have to go with:
1. A pencil – I always have to draft my layouts before writing. Things would be a hot mess otherwise!
2. My trusty ruler – I crave straight lines. I’m a bit of a perfectionist in that regard.
3. My Tombows – Is it cheating to put all of my Tombow pens in one category? I regularly use my MONO Drawing pens to actually create my layouts, and then I add color with my Dual Brush pens. It was wayyyyyy to hard to choose between the two!
“My favorite part about creative planning and bullet journaling is that I can consistently change and update my layouts to reflect my ever changing schedule, style, and needs!“
Have you always been a “planner” or is it something you recently realized you needed in your life?
Yes definitely!!! I’ve always been quite the planner in general. Whether it be remembering dates in my head, using iCalendar, or using a day planner, I’ve always needed some sort of structure in my life.
I used to regularly use a normal day-to-day planner, but found those quite restrictive and always gave up on them.
Then once I started college, I highly relied on my iCalendar to keep all my dates in order, but that just wasn’t enough.
The bullet journal has definitely given me a middle ground!
Do you use any digital planning?
Mostly just iCalendar to supplement my bullet journal, or to quickly note down dates.
I have a shared iCalendar with my fiancé so we can plan around each others event.
Otherwise, I haven’t used many other apps/sites. I’ve tried a few, like Trello, and just felt the need to write detailed plans like that down on paper.
I guess I’m a little old school that way 🙂
What is one piece of advice for anyone beginning their creative planning journey?
Please, please, please try not to compare yourself to other creative planners.
Thats’ something I still struggle with. Wondering if my style isn’t pretty enough, or clean enough.
But at the end of the day, all that matters is that your journal works for you.
Whether you prefer a simple list, or a beautiful, decorative layout. As long as your journal helps you accomplish what you want to accomplish, then you’ve succeeded.
Its also important to remember that it takes time to figure out what works best for you. Find some inspiration and cater those layouts to your life and style.
What is one book that has changed your life?
I’m actually not the biggest reader, but as silly as it may sound, the Harry Potter series had a big impact on my life.
I only recently read the series for the first time a few years ago and it helped me realize how much I take my family and friends for granted.
I’ve since realized the importance of true, meaningful friendships and the importance of staying close with family.
What is something unique that your followers don’t know about you?
If you take a look at my layouts, I don’t really use red for much. I just find it too harsh of a color.
If I’m coloring something thats normally red, I use more pinkish or orangish hues.
The only time I’m really cool with red is in the fall or around Christmas, because well it just kind of is the color scheme.
What are some of your favorite spreads in your journal?
Who are your favorite inspiration accounts you follow?
My current favorites accounts on Instagram are:
“As long as your journal helps you accomplish what you want to accomplish, then you’ve succeeded.“
What are you currently learning or working on and what would you like to learn?
I’m currently learning font making thanks to Teela’s (@everytuesday) amazing course! I’m finally turning my lettering into a real font!
I’m also working on my hand lettering and trying to get into watercolor.
These are definitely both works in progress, but I’m having a lot of fun learning some new creative skills!
What is your favorite social media network & where can we find you online?
And I just recently opened an Etsy shop – Blue Nittany Designs.
But you can also find me on these other sites from time to time as well: –
Thanks again for putting together this awesome series and including me! It’s been so fun learning about everyone so far! 🙂
THANK YOU so much Ashlyn for all your wonderful answers! I am seriously not a fan of red either!😂 I think because all of my life our college football rival’s colors were red and white – it’s how I was raised! ha!
I hope you’ll give her a follow (if you’re not already) on whatever social media you’ve got.. And be sure to check out her new Etsy shop – you’ll find some super cute journal decor!
👇Please – let me know in the comment section what you think or anything else you want to ask Ashlyn – I’d also love your suggestions on future questions you’re dying to know from other pro-planners.👇
If you wanna stay informed about future Planner Behind the Planner posts (PBTP), be sure to subscribe to my newsletter or follow along in my Instagram story. There’s a featured story there with all of the interviews (or you can head to the PBTP archive).