Did you know that there is subculture of “planner people?” Now – before we go on, let me clarify that I mean that in the most complimentary way. I just recently took a free class at Michaels where we were introduced to the Happy Planner, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! If you are new to the Happy Planner, let me tell you what it is: it’s a basic planner, but it’s a LOT more useful for those of us that like to be creative. It’s not just a boring planner with a grid! The colors and graphics are bold and vibrant or soft and beautiful, depending on the planner you pick (and there are a lot of styles).
The planner covers are 7.75” x 9.75” and the pages are 7” x 9.25”. It includes:
- an 18-month planner with tabbed dividers
- weekly and monthly calendar pages
- colorful pages, quotes, and gorgeous fonts throughout (that fit with the theme of the planner you select)
- space for creative planning and scheduling – including stickers, doodles, reminders, and more
- rings so that pages can be easily removed or added (you can add anything with this punch)
I’ll explain more in a minute, but first let me mention “planner people” again. At the Michaels class I went to, I met some of these planner people in addition to getting introduce to the planners themselves. The course was called “Planners Night Out” – so I was able to see firsthand how people are using their Happy Planners.
And boy is it cool! I want to be one of those planner people!
As you can imagine, you are using the Happy Planner to plan your months, weeks, and daily activities. But here’s the different between the HP and a regular planner – you’re going to use all sorts of art supplies, stickers, pens, pencils, tapes, and other fun craft goodies to accent the planner and turn it into more of a creative journal and scrapbook. Yes – it serves a dual purpose.
So here’s what I did. I first went to the Michaels Happy Planner display and picked my planner. You see that pretty floral one that is second over from the right? That’s the one I chose.
The covers of the Happy Planner are beautiful – I really, really love them! They are also laminated for people who are hard on their planners like me (guilty as charged). Having said that, I did see some girls at the class had customized their own covers. That was cool too!
The inside of the planner has pretty calendar pages and dividers with a different graphic or quote on each. This is what mine looks like above. Before each month starts, there’s a place that lists:
- Birthdays (you write these in)
- Important dates
- This month’s Goals
- Currently – reading, planning, watching, cooking, eating, drinking, pinning, crafting, listening, feeling, and more!
I hope you’re starting to get an idea of what the planner is like. Here are a couple of other layouts so you can see the variety inside the planners:
You’re going to want to either flip through in person or look at some images online to see what’s best for you and fits your creative personality the most!
So let’s say you bought your planner – what’s next?
How to Customize the Happy Planner
This is where it REALLY gets fun. This is also where people get confused so let me tell you where I started. With stickers!
Now – the are a bajillion stickers in existence. You can purchase your own, or the Happy Planner brand ones (a small sampling of which are shown above). What I have to say about the Happy Planner ones is that they are made to go with the planners in terms of design – and they fit in the allotted spaces like borders and date areas quite nicely. They’ve also provided areas to write in a lot of the stickers.
You would NOT believe the selection: washi inspired, gold foil, clear, chalkboard . . . and in every style you can imagine! There are family themed, school, vacation, wedding, fitness, travel – it can be really overwhelming. So my advice to you – what do you have coming up in the next few months? Buy for that, as well as a few general themed that you might like. Don’t go crazy. You can always go back to the store or place another online order!
I started with:
- Everyday Reminders – going to use these for work AND personal
- Colorful Dots – love all the colors of these symbols and shapes
- Don’t Forget – these go in the vertical calendar areas and I’m always forgetting (ha ha!)
- Washi Sticker Pack – love that these are made of washi material!
Yeah, I went a little crazy with the stickers. And related to the stickers, there is washi tape available. Washi tape is cool to use to line the pages, to mark important dates, or just to decorate in general. It’s patterned so it adds instant “pretty” to the page. I already have tons of washi tape so I didn’t purchase any . . but you could!
My next stop? Sticky notes!
Here’s what I like about the sticky notes – they are removable. And temporary. You can transfer them from day to day if need be, rip them off, throw them away. You can also easily place them on your dashboards (I’ll address those next) so you know what you have to do for the day – then you can rip them off and replace them for the next day. I got the “To Do” pack. I like that the left edge is pre-punched so I can keep it in the planner.
Now – about those Dashboards. When I first heard the term “dashboards” from the planning people in my class – I had no idea what they were talking about.
Dashboards are just clear dividers with tabs at the top. They can be constantly taken out and replaced in various areas of your planner, including the current week, an important upcoming week, or anywhere you need a bookmark. The surface is clear plastic for stickers, temporary notes, etc. that can easily be removed. I bought a pack.
Next stop – Folders!
The Happy Planner has folders . . . which for me, were a MUST have! These folders clip into the rings like the sticky notes, and they hold receipts, bills, invitations stamps, photos, etc. I absolutely have to have these for work. So I bought one pack (the design you see in the middle above).
There’s one last thing I want to share with you that I learned about in my Michaels class. Extension packs.
Extension packs are used if you have a specific need. There are four extension packs I think are pretty cool:
- Home Planner – includes to-Do Lists for the home, Meal Planners, House Cleaning Schedules, Budgets (45 pages)
- Wedding Planner – includes 42 pages and 10 dividers: Vendors, Inspiration, Budget, Checklists, Wedding Party, Guests, Wedding Events, Wedding Day, and Honeymoon
- Fitness – 4 months of weekly food and exercise logs – 24 pages and 4 dividers. 2 sheets of stickers to help you customize
- Recipe Organizer – 20 total pages with 4 dividers; a sticker sheet that helps you organize
Now I know what you are going to say to me. Let me just guess:
“Amy – you’re nuts. I can’t afford all of this! If I want to become a planner person, I’m not buying all of this stuff.”
You know what? I totally agree with you! This post was meant to convey what I learned about the Happy Planner and share the possibilities. Here’s what I think you should do if you’re interested.
- Get a Happy Planner. There are frequent sales online or at Michaels (download the app and/or get your coupon); ask for it for your birthday/Christmas/other holiday; get it in your hands.
- Watch the videos. My & My Big Ideas makes the Happy Planner, and you can see their videos here.
- Start decorating with pens, pencils, stickers, or anything else that you have in your stash. Do you have a Cricut or a Xyron sticker maker? Use what you got! Then you’ll know what you want to buy as you go along.
- Get inspired by browsing planner layouts. Check out Pinterest – Google “Happy Planner” online . . . let other people’s creativity inspire you. Do what they are doing until you find your own way.
- Download some free printables to use with your planner. Me & My Big Ideas has a tag on their blog for download some freebies here.
- Take a class or go to a meet up. Enroll for a Michaels planner class (mine was free) the next time you see one on the schedule, or see if there’s a meet up near you on Meetup.com. You’ll be surprised at how many there are nationwide!
Most importantly: don’t intend to be one of those “planner people” on your first day. I was truly inspired by some of the gorgeous layouts in my Michaels class and thought “wow – how I am ever going to do that?” But you know what . . . I’ve thought about that before EVERY single one of my creative pursuits! I find my path eventually.
I am excited to be starting with a Happy Planner in late June – yes, that is when my planner dates start. Until then, I’m going to be browsing what others are doing with their planners and getting ready. I will be doing an updated post to show you what I do with my planner!
Looking for free Happy Planner stickers? I’ve got some available – check them out: