Biely Shoaf Presents Louise Mulgrew

The Work/Life Balance

Since our lives are still far more complicated than our phones can handle, the paper planner resurgence shows no sign of slowing. That is great news to the stationery community; meanwhile I find it endlessly interesting to see the approach each takes to staying on top of it all. Over the years, I have seen dedicated doodle areas, inspirational quotes and cartoons, to say nothing of days, weeks, months, even just afternoons laid out at a glance. It’s all in the name of staying on top of our responsibilities with a confident smile.

So while there are as many ways to tackle tasks as there are tasks, I am really liking the easy approach of Kyle of Sommer Letter Co. Looking at all the fantastic florals and hand-lettering Kyle churns out, I was a little surprised to learn she launched her vibrant brand while severely depressed. “I was inspired to create stationery that is heartfelt and kind,” she wrote me. “My art is inspired by nature, flowers, and vibrant colors.”

Kyle’s Undated Personal and Work Life Planners were created to promote a sense of peace by separating one’s tasks into personal and work. There’s a page for each, and I would even argue that by being on the left, the personal is a little more important — as well it should be!

Kyle recalled. “I absolutely needed some stability, and dividing my planner into personal life and work life brought a tiny sense of order to a dark season. Customers who love my planner feel that same sense of order. There’s something about having a visual separation between personal and work life that really provides a sense of mental clarity.”

Their undated nature also removes a certain sense of urgency many planners have, she continued. “Beyond that personal and work separation, undated planners offer structure without being demanding. By that I mean some planners can be a lot of work; the effort required to fill them out becomes a task itself. One of the best parts of having an undated planner is there’s no guilt for missing or skipping a few weeks. No pages are wasted; you can just jump right in whenever you’re up to it.” 

Most interestingly, Kyle didn’t intend on selling these — at first. “This was just a homemade system that worked for me in a hard time. My customers slowly convinced me I should make it available for purchase! I am so glad I listened to their feedback. People with depression don’t have a lot of emotional resources or energy to work with; the planner setup I made during that time was really un-fussy and simple to use. I’m really overjoyed and honored so many people have adopted it as their planner of choice!” 

I would be quite remiss not to mention Sommer’s greeting cards, as these were the first product Kyle created. Her vibrant fruits and blooms could have bloomed from my Fresh Pick pages in the latest issue of Stationery Trends — they are utterly gorgeous!

I couldn’t resist sharing a few more below. I am going to really enjoy watching this range evolve!

Start your shop here. Good luck choosing a favorite planner — then fill your cart with fantastic cards, art prints, notepads and stickers to hit the $75-mark for free shipping.