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 goodness...no 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 spreads...one for each month, then a 2 page spread for each week of the month.
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 name...how could a HAPPY planner not make you just want to smile?! :)
So these are a few reasons my Happy Planner is making me happy...it 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?