One of the biggest trends in organizing and planning these days is the Happy Planner.
Not so long ago, I took a class on the Happy Planner and learned all about it — what it is, how to use it, and most importantly, how to embellish it!
If you’re curious, embellishing is the big difference with the Happy Planner. It’s got all the features of a regular planner, but it’s specifically made for getting creative within the pages. This is accomplished with doodles, stickers, markers, colored pencils, washi tape, and more.
The Happy Planner doesn’t just track appointments, it becomes your own personal art journal documenting your life! Here’s a quick Happy Planner guide to get you started on your journey to fun planning and organizing — plus two free Happy Planner printables here!
The Happy Planner is a great way to keep yourself on track during the day — even when Facebook and Pinterest are calling your name! Even if you just have 1 minute to yourself, there are so many ways to be productive, and that’s just one of the many ways to be happy every day!
A standard Happy Planner 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)
You’re probably wondering where to get started with the Happy Planner, and I’m happy to offer my favorite tips. The layout is pretty straightforward and the information is easy to fill in, but there are a few tricks!
1. Set aside time each week to work on your planner.
My favorite time to work on it each week is a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. I make sure I’ve written everything I did down from the week behind me and I plan for the next week.
2. Brainstorm on scraps of paper.
I like to write in my planner in pen, and sometimes I’m not exactly sure how my to-do list is going to shake out. I briefly scrawl notes on my scrap paper and then when I have it locked in, I write it fully in the planner in pen.
3. Use sticky notes.
This goes along with the tip above! Purchase small sticky notes or cut up larger ones and use them for items that you know might change. I highly recommend this especially for events that are in coming months.
4. Shop your stash.
Grab a plastic bin and shop your craft stash and office supplies for things you can use with your Happy Planner — stickers, paper clips, pens, etc.
Keep a plastic bin just for your planner supplies. This also helps you manage the amount of supplies you are buying for your planner so it doesn’t get out of control.
5. Don’t decorate too far ahead.
If you decorate your entire planner the week you get it, you will regret it! Trust me. Your tastes will change, your mood will change, and supplies will come and go. Decorate a week or two (at most!) at once.
6. Explore your artsy side.
Use the sidebars and headers/footers for sketching and writing quotes. Sure this is your calendar, but it is also your life journal. Let your creative side loose!
7. Turn to social media for inspiration.
Pinterest especially has a lot of layouts. You can search for “Happy Planner to-do lists” or “Happy Planner Christmas” depending on what you are looking for. The official Happy Planner board from Me & My Big Ideas is here.
Once you get hooked, you’ll never go back to a standard planner — trust me! I’ve been using a Happy Planner since July 1st, and I can’t get enough!