Being a mom doesn’t always lend itself to staying organized. Kids schedules can be all over the place, different activities can have you running back and forth. Add in a work at home hustle (like this blog) and things can be downright chaotic! But I’ve found a solution that works REALLY well for me! Plus it’s fun, too! This is how I use my Happy Planner as a life and blog planner.
Finding The Happy Planner
The world of planners was a surprise to me. I always thought of planners as inconvenient portable calendars. I have a smartphone, so why on EARTH would I need a paper planner.
But then I started finding it hard to keep up with everything I needed to be doing with this blog. I’m trying to get this thing off the ground and turn it into something that is really useful for all you lovely readers. Of course, that means there are specific things I need to do.
I have to do writing, editing, graphics, posting on all the social media and staying on top of the latest and greatest practices for digital marketing. My website didn’t wake up like this!So, I got my happy planner. I ordered mine off Amazon, but have since learned that going to Michael’s or Joann Fabric would have been better. You can use coupons sometimes.
After some recommendations from a planner genius friend and other googling around, I found the Happy Planner. It seemed perfect. There was space to plan everything I needed, plus a lot of fun customization options.
So, I got my happy planner. I ordered mine off Amazon, but have since learned that going to Michael’s or Joann Fabric would have been better. You can use coupons sometimes and you should absolutely do that.
What I Like About It
NOW! I’m blown away by how awesome this tool has been. I have been able to get and stay on top of all the tasks I’m trying to get done, not only with my blog but also with the whole family!
It’s also totally dynamic. It changes with me. If one week I need to track diet stuff, I can use a section to do that. Then the next week I can use that same space to track spending. Or water intake. Or sleep habits or if I took my pills or Christmas gift crafts.
It has the skeleton to give you a direction, but you get to fill in the guts however it suits you! And by its nature, the Happy Planner encourages you to get creative! And what grown-up doesn’t love a legitimate chance to play with stickers and markers!???
What Is A Happy Planner?!
Now I want to walk you through the planner a bit more before I show you how I use it. Then I’ll talk about my favorite stickers, printables, and other planning tools. This is just how I use my planner. Other people use theirs differently. Some people use them as planners to organize, some as journals to record, some as scrapbooks. There is no wrong way to do it!
Happy Planners come in three sizes. Mini, classic, and big. There are pros and cons to each. Mini is portable but there is less space to decorate and write. The Classic seems to be a good balance of portable and space. The big is not very portable at all but gives you a ton of space to spread out.
There are also different designs. The inside of each planner has special touches. The cover, each monthly tab, and the page decoration are a little different for each. Pick a planner that meets your size and layout requirements in the design you love and then get started!
Once you’ve got it, you can leave your planner as is. If you love the design of the planner and a lot of white space, go for it. Grab some awesome pens and get to planning.
ORRR Get some stickers, some washi tape, and/or some stamps and get creative! There are no rules. If you like a lot of colors, use a lot of colors. If you want to decorate according to a theme, do it. You can just use stickers to help organize or you can use them just to be pretty.
How I Use My Happy Planner
I use the monthly spread to write down events I know ahead of time as well as an editorial calendar. Things like late start days for the Bigs’ school, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc.
I use the notes section to the side to write down my goals for the month. Typically, these are related to my blog, but sometimes they are weight/diet related or just personal goals I have for myself.
The notes section is again used for goals. These will be tied directly to what I’m using each of the three sections for. The top is always my blog. So weekly blog goals will go there. The middle is almost always family/life stuff. So I will put a shopping list or something like that in the middle. Then I will use the bottom section for whatever things I want to track.
Then, of course, each day I write out my plans. I have lists of things to do with my blog each day. I put school events, doctors appointments, play dates, and any other events of interest in the middle. Then I use the bottom section for tracking things. Sometimes I use it as a nap tracker for The Baby, sometimes it’s a pill tracker for myself, sometimes it’s just for how I’m feeling or things I did that weren’t “planned”
My Favorite Planner Goodies
Printables are, well, things you print for your planner. These can be custom page inserts that have the categories you want just how you want them. Or it can be custom designed stickers you print off on sticker paper and then cut out. Designers offer both paid and free printables, so even if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on stickers you can decorate your heart out.
- MINE! I made a custom Thanksgiving Dinner planner for your Happy Planner! CLICK HERE to get it!!
You can get stickers everywhere. You can get MAMBI brand stickers made JUST for your Happy Planner at Joann Fabric, Michael’s, Staples, and sometimes even Walmart. The value packs of stickers are awesome for starting out. You can get themed packs like mom or fitness or rainbow or productivity. These give a great foundation for a sticker collection.
You can also get just plain stickers that are not “planner” stickers at all. Target, the Dollar Tree, Walmart, wherever. These are great for decorating and adding fun little touches.
Or you can get custom designed stickers. Just like the printables above, designers make these stickers and they are absolutely wonderful. The only difference is that you order these stickers already made and use them like any other sticker. You can find sticker packs with just about any theme you could dream of!
Pens and Markers:
So having something fun to write with isn’t totally mandatory. You could use a regular ole pen and be done with it. ORRRRRR you can get some fun pens that you use to color coordinate to your weekly layout or to color code your schedule.
The writing tools a planner likes is as varied as colors of hair. Some like felt tip pens, some like gel pens. Some like erasable pens, some like colored pencils. If you go for fun pens, you might need to try a few to find your favorite.
My favorites are:
- Papermate Flair Medium felt tip pens (no bleed through on the paper)
- Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers (bleeds/feathers on paper but great for writing on store-bought stickers)
- Papermate Inkjoy Gel pens with a medium point
Paper planners are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But for me, stepping into the world of planning has been awesome! It’s given me a hobby, a system to stay organized, and even a new topic to add to the blog here! Join me in my new craziness!