I usually start off with a theme and color idea. My theme this week is summer, and my color is yellow. That naturally led me to the Sun>circles>doily.
I don't want the background to draw too much attention away from the planning. It needs to just sit there and look pretty, and tie the whole thing together. With that in mind, I chose some lighter distress ink colors in yellow, green and orange.
I placed my blank planner pages on my craft mat and laid the stencil over top, and secured it using some post-it tape. I use post-it tape to take notes about my schedule for upcoming weeks, so when I'm ready to plan those weeks, I just re-use the tape for masking and 2nd-generation stamping.