Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Happy Planner (and why it makes me happy)

I'll admit that I've been out of the planner loop for quite some time now.  Oh, right after Christmas every year I go in Marshalls and notice a few fun, new planners that catch my eye...but up till this year I hadn't succumbed to buying one.  After all, I've tried quite a few different systems.  The Confident Mom planner is free, and comes complete with a daily chore list (which admittedly I've never stuck with for longer than a month, at most), and I've tried that.  I've tried Flylady's "Control Journal" and that worked for a time.  Mostly what's worked best for me over the past few years is a simple spiral notebook, where I write a daily to-do list (if I remember).  Since Ari arrived, even my notebook use has been very sporadic.

This year I decided to change things up and I started researching planners online.  Apparently planners are all the rage nowadays!  Not only can you find fun printable planners (say that 10 times fast) online, but there is a whole sort of planner culture out there for creative (and organized?) souls to take part in.  In my browsing Pinterest, I found all kinds of neat stuff.  Bullet journals are cool (and popular), but my way could I find the time to come up with all THIS on my own.  I don't have the brain power at this point in my life, nor the creativity, nor the time.  I have the utmost admiration for those who do, though!!  Some people adore Erin Condren planners, but hello...pricey!! Then I saw the Happy Planner...ahhh, this is more my speed.  Only they're not exactly cheap, either.  I checked Marshalls in case they happened to have any...maybe they do on occasion, but not when I looked.  I priced them on Amazon, where they were around $18 apiece.  Still a little more than I wanted to spend.  Then I heard somewhere that they were on sale at Michael's for 50% off, the week before New Year's.  We didn't make it down to Michael's (an hour away) till December 31, and lo and behold that weekend they were actually 60% off!!  So, I got the "holiday planner kit" for $13.99, which included the planner plus some stickers and sticky notes, and a magnet.  They had all the Happy Planner accessories for 60% off, too, but I was a bit overwhelmed just looking at all the choices and decided to stick with the basics for now.  By this time next year, I should have a better idea if I want or need any other "extras."

So I've been using my Happy Planner for almost 3 weeks now and I've been having so much fun with it!  Obviously it's early in the year yet, so it remains to be seen if I stick with it for the long haul, but since I am really enjoying it, I can see myself using it consistently.  It comes with basic calendar for each month, then a 2 page spread for each week of the month.

 I love the unique disc system that makes pages easy to add or remove.  The only thing I wish I had is a special punch to use when I add free printable pages I've found online...but they are expensive, and I'm going to wait and make sure I really USE this thing over the year, and if I do, maybe I'll invest in one next year or when Michael's has a super sale again.  So far I've added pages like a health/fitness/weight loss tracker, a bills due page, food journaling pages, and I even went so far as to punch and insert these "best of my days" cards that my mom gave me, which I think will help me be much more faithful in actually remembering to record a highlight of each day!

 My kit also came with seasonal stickers, which I've been having fun with, and I found tons of free printable planner stickers on Pinterest, too.  Since I don't have a fancy Cricut machine, I print them onto sticker paper and then cut out by hand...which sounds like a lot of work, but I only do one or two at a time to put here and there on a page, and I find it fun and relaxing.  It's a small, simple way to get creative and personalize the planner, and it scratches that "crafty itch" to just do a little something to pretty things up!

I also really like the size of the planner.  One thing I've never liked too much about the printable planners I've used in past years is the big 3 ring binders I have to put them in...too bulky and it takes up a lot of space to leave them sitting open on the counter or table.  But this size, while not super small, is fairly compact (especially when folded in half), yet with plenty of room for writing a to-do list every day.  (Happy Planners come in other sizes as well--one larger and I think two smaller, so there are options for everyone!)

Last but not least, this planner makes me happy just because it's pretty...there are lots of different fun designs.  And I love the could a HAPPY planner not make you just want to smile?! :)

So these are a few reasons my Happy Planner is making me might sound weird, but it's been a fun highlight of my month.  And nope, I haven't used it every single day...but I've used it enough days that it's starting to become a habit, I think!  Do any of you use planners or journals? What's your current favorite?


Julie Ricker said...

I was excited to read your post on the Happy planner. I just bought one last fall for the school year. I found myself nodding the whole way through your post. We have similar thoughts on things.... I too have tried many planners and they have gone by the wayside, I find bullet journaling overwhelming to my busy brain at this time in my life, I was surprised by the creativity in the planner community. In the end, I settled on the Happy planner. I used it off and on through the fall, but when we started back to schooling after the New Year, I have been using it more consistently. I hope it works well for you. Julie

Mrs.T said...

This looks like so much fun! The best planner I ever found was "The Fruit of Her Hands daily planner" which I think was from Focus on the Family. I received it as a gift and have never been able to find another anywhere. So basically I just stick with my weekly calendar sheets and just jotting a daily time schedule on a list-size piece of paper. Works for me at this stage of life.

But with a busy household like you have, I can see a planner is pretty important. Glad you've found one (at a great price!) that is working so well for you and gives you that little creative fix that we all need every day!

Carrie said...

Julie, so fun to hear from you!! Glad you are enjoying your planner too. :) Wish you lived closer; I think we would have a lot in common!! You'll have to come up and visit the Angleas sometime and maybe we can chat in real life again. :) Thanks so much for commenting!

Carrie said...

Mom, thanks for being my dedicated reader and commenter! :) I think the creativity part and the beauty of this planner are my favorite parts!

Nikki said...

Hi Carrie,
I always love a good planner. Not pricey but one with lots of places to write. I usually just buy them cheap. :) After they go on clearance somewhere. :) They are fun to look back at later too.