Fun Ways to Organize Your Planner with Decorative Tape

Four rolls of colorful decorative tape and washi tape decorate a weekly desk pad calendar.

A paper planner is an essential tool for goal setting and productivity -- you feel so much more organized and motivated when you have all your deadlines, tasks, and info all in one place. 

But did you know that a planner can also be creatively and mentally fulfilling? 

There are so many ways that you can customize your planner using markers, stickers, and other fun accessories. And If you’re looking for a fun and budget-friendly option for taking your planner personalization to the next level, look no further than decorative tape. 

Go on Pinterest or Youtube and you’ll find myriad ways to decorate your paper planner using washi tape. Not only is decorative tape a simple and affordable way to spice up your planner, but it’s helpful for goal setting and productivity as well. You can use washi tape to color code to-do lists, prioritize your goals, and help celebrate your milestones. 

Below are some tips on how to use decorative tape to make your planner pages more fun and functional. 

You’ll feel the benefits of tapping into your creative side (relaxation, focus, calm), and the act of putting hand to paper will also help you feel more mindful of your time and priorities as you put them in your planner. Let’s get crafty!

What is washi tape?

Washi tape is a type of decorative tape that comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. 

Crafters and planners love using washi tape because it doesn’t have a sticky residue like scotch tape, which makes it easy to move around without damaging the paper or surface underneath. Plus, washi tape is semi-translucent so it’s perfect for decorating or making labels. 

Reasons to use decorative tape in your planner

  • You can add color and personality to your planner without spending a ton on supplies or devoting a lot of space to craft supply storage.
  • If you’re making your own planner binder, you can use decorative tape to add structure and borders to your pages. (For an easy how-to guide on creating your own planner binder, read our tutorial here.) 
  • You can turn plain notebooks and journals into something more eye-catching, organized, and structured by adding decorative tape on the cover and throughout the pages. 
  • You can have an easier time noting important tasks and deadlines by adding decorative tape to your weekly layout. This brings focus to specific dates and creates a visual reminder to do that task. 
  • You can create more motivation and excitement around mundane activities like paying the bills or going to the gym. Adding pretty and colorful tape next to your to-do list can give it that extra bit of cheer. 
  • If you’re a creative person without many creative outlets in your life, this is an easy and productive way to get crafty without a big time commitment.

Decorative tape supplies

Of course, when you’re ready to decorate, you’ll need a roll or two (or ten) of decorative washi tape that makes you smile. But on top of that, a few other essential tools can make your practice smooth and streamlined.

  • Scissors - make clean cuts in your washi tape so your pages look clean and neat. Try cutting thinner strips of tape for finer detail, or cutting pieces on an angle to create a sharp point.
  • Color pens - metallic gel pens are also a fun and sparkly option. 
  • Paper planner - decorative tape is great for adding structure and fun to a planner, though it is also great for creating your own bullet journal in a plain notebook.

Creating page borders with decorative tape 

Give your planner pages a colorful upgrade by adding decorative tape to the edges of the page. If you prefer a more simple and streamlined look, just add decorative tape to one or two borders. 

Since washi tape isn’t sticky, you can experiment with it and move it around -- see what looks best for you and your style. If it’s too much, simply remove the washi tape and use it more sparingly throughout the book!

Create layouts in your planner 

If you’re using a plain notebook as a planner or bullet journal, you can use decorative tape to create your own sections and columns. 

Add decorative tape to your pages in a grid pattern to create a weekly layout, or create your own daily time blocking area. You can also create your own to-do lists and color code them depending on the project/task. For example, use one color for tasks/errands and another color for homework/assignments. 

Use decorative tape for recurring tasks and events

If you know you have to pick up the kids every Monday or if you have a monthly goal of running every day, you can place washi tape over those days, instead of just writing it down. 

The colorful tape will make those activities stand out even more and help you organize around those recurring events. Plus, your pages won’t get crowded with handwriting and you won’t have to record the same task day after day.

DIY page flags with decorative tape

You can use your planner to record all your tasks, errands, and deadlines all in one place. But how can you visually prioritize all the things you have to do? Enter: DIY flags. 

DIY flags are a colorful way to call attention to a certain task or date, which in turn help you make sure that you never forget to go to the gym or submit an assignment on time. 

You can create your own DIY flags with decorative tape. I like how this planner creates her own flags out of washi tape using these simple steps:

“To make them, simply cut a rectangle out of the washi tape and then cut a triangle out of the short end of one side. You can place them any direction you’d like. Most page flag stickers seem to have the pointy ends pointing down, but place them as you like.”

Celebratory banners 

While planners can help you be more organized and efficient, they don’t have to be all business. In fact, you can use your planner to help you cultivate more mindfulness. Some users like to journal or doodle in their planner. Others like to use their planner to record milestones and achievements or celebrate the simple things. 

You can inject some positivity to your planner by creating a celebratory banner. Does Friday seem so far away? Create a cheerful banner out of washi tape and place it over the weekend section of your weekly layout. You can also place a celebratory banner over birthdays, anniversaries, or any time you’ve reached a small goal. 

A celebratory banner is a visual motivator to help keep you going and to remind yourself to be more mindful and celebrate the little things. 

Here’s how you can create your own celebratory banner out of washi tape:

“To make the DIY weekend banner, use a color-coordinating pen to draw a line from the top left corner of the Saturday column to the top right corner of the Sunday column. You may wish to make your curve less swoopy and more flat so the tops of the triangles line up better.”

Feeling inspired? Here are a few other ways you can use decorative tape:

  • Decorate gift tags or make your own colorful gift tags with cardstock or index cards
  • Label your jars or lunch bags
  • Wrap a gift in newspaper and add pops of color with decorative tape
  • Decorate a flower vase
  • Create your own bookmark
  • Decorate a photo frame
  • DIY greeting cards
  • Decorate place cards
  • Create DIY bunting with washi tape and twine
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