Update: After having The Happy Planner for a few months, I’ve found a few things I don’t like and my opinion has shifted a bit about some details. I’ll talk about those things at the end of the review.
I have found something that has made me incredibly happy, so, of course, I needed to share it on Be Happy Tips. It is a planner that brings out your creative side and helps you plan all at the same time, and I love it! It’s called The Happy Planner. I use it to keep track of my Lifebook and all my daily goals. I got this planner in a kit, which includes a few extra things on top of the planner itself.
- 1 The Happy Planner Discs
- 2 The Layout of The Happy Planner
- 3 A Note On Notes
- 4 The Happy Planner Kit
- 5 Some Extra Thoughts About The Happy Planner
- 6 Update: What I Don’t Like
The Happy Planner Discs
The rings of the binder are called discs. Before I bought The Happy Planner, I couldn’t understand how these worked, but once I played around with it, this became my favorite feature of The Happy Planner.
As of now, and as far as I can see, the only discs available are ones with little hearts in them. But, they come in different sizes to match whatever sized Happy Planner you bought – and to help you expand your planner if you want, and they come in different colors. I like the gold, but pink would probably be my preference – or maybe the black ones. But, these do the trick and they make me happy!
As you can see from the picture above, anything that goes into the happy planner has a unique hole punch that sits on either side of the disc. The hole punch looks like a half circle with a small slit coming from it to the end of the paper. This allows the paper to move freely around the discs, and it also allows you to remove the paper from the discs and add paper onto the discs.
I found that being able to remove the paper so easily from the discs and then put them back in has a few advantages.
- You can take out sheets that you don’t want in the planner.
- You can add extra pages into your planner.
- You can take out your weekly spread and plan outside of the planner and then put the two sheets in when you are done. This helps to avoid that dreaded left side that’s hard to write on because it’s too close to the discs!
You can buy a special hole punch for this planner, but it’s quite expensive. At Michaels, it was $50 CAD, and on Amazon, it’s $38.12 CAD. It looks like this:
I bought a small single hole punch that fits nicely in my hand for about $10, and I’ve found that as long as I line up the piece of paper with an already punched page from The Happy Planner, I can kind of punch enough little bits out to match the hole perfectly. Of course, there are 9 holes that need to be punched, so this could be time-consuming if you are doing a bunch of pages. I may need to invest in the hole punch if I decide to start adding a ton of extras into the planner.
The Layout of The Happy Planner
1. The Monthly Dividers
You do get monthly dividers. They have little tabs on them so that you can label your months correctly.
In this particular Happy Planner, there are some dividers that I’m not really digging, like this floral design or the black dots. However, I can definitely cover them over with designs I like, or I find a way to be happy with them. It may be a good lesson in making the best of what you get?
2. The Pre-Month Sheet
This is something else I didn’t really like. This sheet comes before each monthly spread. How can I know what I’m currently doing this month if I haven’t started the month? And the notes section and goal section is way too small.
I saw another woman who was decorating this page to make it her own, and it gave me the idea to do a vision board on this page. So, what I plan to do next month is glue some cardstock paper onto this page to cover it up, then put little pictures and motivational quotes all over it to inspire me for the month! And, that’s one of the things I’m loving about The Happy Planner. There are a lot of people out there making it their own in very creative ways, and because of them, and the potential with my planner, my creative side has popped back out!
3. The Monthly Spread
The Happy Planner seems to leave their monthly spreads totally blank. I saw some of the planners, from a while back, that were labeled, but I think they’ve figured out that it’s best to leave them blank so that you can do what you want with it and start when you want to start.
It’s like a blank canvas waiting for YOU as a unique individual to work on. Again… creativity.
Need some inspiration on how you would decorate a month? Check out this cute video for creating a unique December spread.
4. The Weekly Spread
I had never worked with a vertical spread like this. All my planners look like regular planners with the date and horizontal lines, so I had no idea what to do with these boxes.
I thought about labeling them ‘morning’, ‘afternoon’, and ‘evening’. But, when I started watching people’s videos on creating their weekly spreads, I realized that I could choose any theme I want and organize it in any way that makes sense to my brain.
My first week, I ended up being pretty logical and putting down little quotes, pictures, and scheduling in important things. I put some washi tape on to decorate the top and bottom. But, I have a feeling as I move through the year, my creativity for these weekly spreads is going to get pretty wild!
Here’s a video with some creativity when it comes to the weekly spread.
A Note On Notes
As you can see, there is not a lot of place for notes on your weekly or monthly spread. There was ONE page for notes in the back of the planner, which isn’t going to cut it for me.
This is where creativity comes in. You either have to create little inserts to put into The Happy Planner for whatever kind of notes you want, or you have to buy them. There are some people out there making some useful inserts like this woman on Etsy. And you can buy inserts at Michaels, on the Me And My Big Ideas site, or on Amazon.
Just make sure you buy the inserts that match your Happy Planner. Whether you have a mini, classic, or the big Happy Planner, you will be able to find some pre-made and already hole punched inserts.
The Happy Planner Kit
Instead of just buying The Happy Planner by itself, I got the kit. It included two extra things that were both fun and practical.
1. Three Book Marks
Seriously… how cute are these! They are little magnetic bookmarks. They are super thin, so they don’t bulk up your Happy Planner.
2. Stickers Galore
Stickers are so fun and these stickers are also practical. As you can see they include the months of the year along with some cute quotes.
And numbers to fill up your dates.
And more numbers and dates. Plus some hearts.
And then some little headers and note stickers.
There are also stickers attached to a plastic sheet attached to the discs. Good for notes or a small to-do list.
The great thing about Me And My Big Ideas – the company that created The Happy Planner – is that they started out with stickers, so they KNOW their stickers well. You can find some of their stickers on their shop here. You can also get them from Michael’s. And, you can get them on Amazon.
Whatever your interests are and whatever you are planning for, you can find stickers. I can’t guarantee that you won’t go over budget.
Some Extra Thoughts About The Happy Planner
There are a lot of different designs for The Happy Planner, and even niche planners like a fitness planner. So make sure to look around and do some research before you buy your first Happy Planner. While they are highly customizable, it’s just more fun to get some premade stuff that fits what you want to plan for.
They also have horizontal planners if you don’t like the vertical spread. I actually think I like this vertical spread better than the horizontal, but I’ve been known to change my mind once in a while. 😉
I find that The Happy Planner brought out my inner scrapbooker, and I’m so excited for Sunday to roll around so I can make my next week all pretty and put new memories in it. But, you can be totally practical with this planner too. You can label each one of the boxes to match your needs and add inserts to help you keep track of things you want to keep track of. You don’t need to use a bunch of stickers, stamps, pictures, washi tape, and cutouts to make your planner work for you – but it’s definitely more fun!
Lastly, I’ve been much more motivated to stick with my weekly goals thanks to The Happy Planner. I always want to head to my planner and fill things in or check things off, so the more action I take on my goals, the more I can play around with my planner!
Update: What I Don’t Like
So, we are in the beginning of May, and I just bought a new Happy Planner. There were a few things I didn’t like in the old one, so I needed to switch out.
- Too Small: The one I talk about in this review is too small for me. I can’t fit everything I need to into it, so I went out today and bought the BIG Happy Planner. If you don’t have a lot to plan, then the regular size one might be OK, but I can’t fit my work plans, family plans, thoughts, surprises, and daily activities into it.
- No numbers: I thought that not having any dates would be great, but I started to dread it each week. Sticking numbers into the planner is time-consuming and usually comes out looking unattractive. Even my writing is lacking, so it looks like a kid was writing in the numbers and I don’t like that. So, in my big Happy Planner, the month and the weeks are already dated. I suppose if you are using weekly kits, you won’t mind that there is no date, but, for me, it just wasn’t working out.
That’s it so far. I still like the room for creativity that the planner offers and that the pages are easily taken in and out. I like the vertical spread over the horizontal spread. And, my new Happy Planner has light pink rings, which I love. I was getting a little sick of gold. 😉
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