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Why Journaling and Planning is Good for your Mind, Body & Soul

Here, Mariane shares her joy of planning for mental health and personal growth.

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Meet Mariane Cresp, a planning enthusiast who uses journaling and organisation to promote self-care, productivity, and well-being. With over 120,000 followers on Instagram, she shares tips and tutorials to inspire others.

Q.         What got you into planning and journaling?

I have been journaling for as long as I can remember, back in my teenage years with my “Dear Diary” journals and it’s been a great way to capture my thoughts and feelings throughout the years.  Journaling is a great way to help manage stress as it’s a great form of self-relief, helps with self-expression and is a wonderfully creative outlet.

Planning and journaling have been helpful tools to organise my thoughts, my to-do lists as well as my goals. Not only do I use it to help with my productivity, but it’s also a great creative outlet and a great form for self-reflection.

Planning has always been helpful at work but more so when I had to homeschool my younger son full time back in 2019, (who is on the autism spectrum), I needed a way to plan and manage our daily lessons and activities and for me to also organise and nurture my own creativity and self-care needs.

Q.         What are the benefits practically, emotionally and mentally?

Planning out the day, week and the months ahead helps with organisation and time management by having appointments and self-care breaks scheduled and written down.  It helps prioritise urgent and non-urgent tasks, which reduces overwhelm and stress.  By writing things down on paper, it gives space to focus on the tasks at hand, allowing clarity of thought and the art of writing itself is a great form of mindfulness.

Q.      What sort of equipment do you need? Do you need lots of books and pens?

To start off, all you need is a simple notebook, your favourite pen, highlighters and colourful markers to be able to plan your day effectively and also create beautiful pages that you will more likely use again and again. 

Q.      How much time does it take? How often do you do it?

It can take anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes at a time. If I am short of time, I quickly jot down quick tasks and to-dos for the day. When I do have time, my journaling includes writing down my thoughts, mood, self-reflection, gratitude journaling, memory keeping, braindump and more. This is so important as part of my self-care, mental well-being and keeping self-doubt, overwhelm and stress at bay. By writing all these down on paper, it allows for space for me to reflect and be able to see things with more clarity.

Q.         What if plans change? Does it make you inflexible and unable to adapt?

It’s very important to be flexible and adapt to whatever curveballs the day brings. Don’t be afraid to cross things off your planner if you change your mind or if things get cancelled.  This is why I love using erasable pens and markers because you can easily erase any changes and reschedule for another day and time without messy mistakes on the page!

Q.         Tell us about your business.  What sort of products do you sell? How popular are they? What is the most popular?

When I started homeschooling my younger son back in 2019, I had no idea if I could do it or if I was going to lose my own identity.  To make sure that I was still looking after myself and my creative needs, I started sharing my love of planning and journaling on Instagram. And through my own planning, habit-tracking, well-being and budgeting I was able to grow organically just by showing my planner pages and the stationery tools I was using on a daily basis.

Because I was showing up for myself by taking the time to look after me through the art of planning and journaling, I became a trusted source for planning, planners and stationery inspirations. 

I created my own planner printable downloads which are available on my website at They are a hybrid of traditional planning pages with a touch of bullet journaling which allows space for individual creativity, embellishment with stickers and colourful markers. 

Through Instagram and my YouTube channel @marianecresp, I showcase the planners and stationery tools I use daily.  I have sold over tens of thousands of printable downloads. Habit trackers are popular as it not only helps with motivation and seeing your progress, it gives you a great feeling.  A lot of my customers and followers want to be able to build more effective habits for their daily lives and as a result, I recently launched my 8-Week Transformative Journey Course “Plan with Purpose,” which I will run again in July 2024.

Q.         How important is social media to your business?

Social media like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube is a wonderful tool for my business as it helps connect me with followers and customers, build brand awareness and helps me engage and build connection with my community.

It helps me reach a much wider audience and build trusting relationships with my followers and customers.  My daily posts, reels and stories provide entertain and value through my how-to, unboxing, and product demonstrations content. When my followers see me use my favourite stationery tools, they want to know what it is and where they can get it from.

It’s also important for me to sometimes show my vulnerability and flaws and it helps my audience see themselves in me and that they are not alone if their planner pages don’t look like what they see in the curated pages and posts of social media.

Q.         If you could recommend one daily planning/journaling practise, what would it be?

It is important to write things down as you are more likely to action it than not. Write down what you need to do and when.  One of the 4 Laws of Behaviour Change according to James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” is to “make it attractive” and so it’s worth taking the time to add some colour with a nice layout to create a beautiful page.

Q.         What is your favourite book/pen and why?

I do transition between different types of planners and journals as it’s important for them to be versatile and meet your current needs.

You don’t need a lot of writing tools, but you do need quality tools.  A personal favourite is Pilot Frixion Clicker erasable gel pen. It keeps writing smooth and the vibrant colours make planning and journaling more enjoyable. As it’s erasable, you don’t stress out if you make any writing mistakes, plus it’s refillable, so an environmentally friendly choice.

Having the right tools to enjoy my day-to-day planning and journaling is important as it helps bring me joy, achieve those happy moments in my day and be able to share my love of stationery with my community.

Q.         What benefits have you personally experienced through your daily planning and journaling practise?

The act and art of writing in my planner and journals has been beneficial for me not just to help retain information, but to write down my goals, in prioritising my tasks and time management. It’s been a powerful tool to help me get my thoughts and feeling down on paper, self-reflect on my wins of the day, what I am grateful for and help me achieve mental well-being. 

About Author

Pilot Pen Australia

Here at PILOT we believe in possibilities and expression for all who love to think, play and create. ​
For over 100 years we have been guided by our principles of innovating and creating beautiful writing instruments that simply provide a writing experience like no other, making the possibilities endless with PILOT in your hands.​

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