This week, we're featuring Carie Harling and her innovative planning style. Carie has been a Chic Sparrow friend and collector for many years, and you'll often see our notebook covers featured in her Instagram and Youtube content. Read on to learn about her story and creative process!
Carie Harling Artist Bio
Carie Harling is a Reader, a Planner, a Writer, a Hockey Wife, and a Mom to many boys. She has been a bookseller, a barista, an office assistant, a typesetter, and a house cleaner; now she still does a lot of those things at home with and for her family, where the pay is worse but the benefits are outstanding. She lives a Life of Interruptions, so she values the small moments and how much can be accomplished within them.
Carie has a sporadically-used YouTube channel where she loves to talk about planning and planners. She is deeply interested in the parallels that can be made between science (the ways things work) and planning (the ways we can make things work for our growth). You can find her online on Instagram and YouTube.
JOURNALING & CREATIVITYDescribe your journaling & planning history. How long have you been doing it?
I was always that kid who had a book and a notebook with them. I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, and that, for me, naturally led to being a planner and a journaler. The little town I grew up in had a Ben Franklin store, and one of my favorite things to do as a young child was to go in and pick out a new notebook when I had finished my previous one. As the years went by, my love of reading never wavered, and my love for journaling only grew. The growth of the internet and the amazing accessibility to small businesses all over the world has given me access to products that I’d previously only dreamt of being able to own, which has brought a whole new level of joy to my journaling and planning.
How does planning and journaling help you stay focused and productive?
My planner is my surrogate brain and my journal is my surrogate heart. Planning helps me to stay on top of tasks, appointments, and projects, and journaling helps me to have a healthy, uncluttered mental environment to accomplish those things.
What are your favorite stationery products to use when journaling?
I love tabs, clips, sticky notes, and all kinds of paper. I adore stickers and washi and journaling cards. I delight in strings and rings and bindings. It all brings me joy. I love it all!
This might sound silly, but I think my most favorite “accessory” that makes planning and journaling more efficient is the super-pointy pair of machined tweezers my grandpa gave me. He was a machinist and tool and die designer, and he gave me this pair of incredibly pointy, heavy-duty tweezers that are built to last forever. They make laying stickers and washi super quick and easy, which maximizes my planning and journaling time. Every time I reach for them, I think of him, and that makes them extra-important.
What inspires your creativity?
I’m very passionate about the idea of what we feed our brains. The person I am and the person I want to be are the direct result of what I put into my brain on a daily basis. All day, I take in my environment, the feelings and actions of those around me, the things I’m reading and watching and listening to, and I process it all, let it marinade, and then pour it out onto the page. Other people’s stories inspire me deeply. Nature offers solace that keeps my well full. My love of science constantly challenges me to look at the world in new and different ways.
COMMUNITY & SELF-CARE
What is your favorite way to stay connected to the journaling community?
July is Social Wellness Month in the USA, reminding us that a healthy relationship with ourselves and others is vital. What does social wellness mean to you?
To me, social wellness is about both giving and accepting support. The online community is a great place to both give and receive informational support, and that brings me a great amount of joy. We also strive to provide instrumental support locally through social activism. The last year has been deeply challenging for everyone, and we all need each others’ emotional support. One of the biggest struggles of my life has been accepting help and support when it is offered. Supporting others always reminds me that it is just as healthy to accept help as it is to offer it.
Other than journaling, what are some of your favorite self care practices?
Reading is and always has been my favorite thing that I do that is solely for me. It is extremely rare for a day to go by that I don’t at some point have my nose in a book. I also love watching planning, journaling, painting, and drawing videos. Watching people in their element, creating things that are meaningful to them, can leave me awe-struck. I can’t do justice to a stick figure, and words are my art practice, but I find watching others work in their chosen mediums to be extremely satisfying.
What is your favorite way to stay connected to friends?
We have a rather large family, which is extremely time-consuming. I love to text and message online with my friends because I can carry on a conversation and not subject them to this noisy house during a phone call!
REFLECT & LOOK AHEAD
How has your creative process evolved over the last year?
I’ve become much more open in my journaling. I write more and I dig deep. This last year was a lot to process, both personally and in the whole world overall, and my journal has continued to see me through it all.
Looking ahead, where do you see yourself 1 year in the future? How will journaling help you achieve these goals?
We are in the midst of huge changes at home, and I hope to continue on the trajectory we are currently on. If things continue as they are where we live, all of our kids will be back in school during the day this coming fall, which feels like a massive shift after having everyone home for the last year. Journaling helps me to navigate changes and work through stumbling blocks when they arise, and planning keeps me on task and focused in the right direction.