This planner is both fully customizable and fun to use
Did we mention it has stickers?
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You may be thinking, “It’s only June! Why are we talking about planners already?” But, this time of year is a good time to zoom out, reconsider your goals, and adjust your systems. Consider it a Mid-Year Reset, like Jules Acree, one of my favorite business owners, would recommend. I rely on my Google Calendar and written planner to stay organized, but there are still things that slip out of mind or that don’t quite fit on either document.
In an effort to fully commit to one method of organization, I swapped out my usual hard copy planner for the Happy Planner, an ultra-customizable and colorful option. Here's how it went.
What is Happy Planner?
The Happy Planner is an adjustable planner where you can essentially mix and match the types of pages and date outlines that work well for you. There are hundreds of designs and layouts like dated and undated pages, vertical and horizontal layouts, and skinny or mini page sizes. Happy Planners all use a set of rings as binding, so you can add and remove pages to create a planner that has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
I’ve seen Happy Planners in stores like Target and Michaels, but the online site has more options than I could imagine. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to look through everything to find the right fit for your lifestyle.
What I liked about the Happy Planner
I was surprised by how many features I ended up using and enjoying in the Happy Planner, especially because I’m used to a simple white page with dates and lines. Obviously one of the best aspects of the design is how customizable it is. You can use filler pages, blank pages, dated monthly pages, and note pages in whichever order you prefer. You simply pull them out of the binding one flap at a time and then snap in the pages you want. I opted for a dated monthly layout and a dated weekly layout, both of which had plenty of room for me to add my activities and meetings, as well as stickers and notes to myself.
The vertical daily layout worked really well for me, which may be because it looked like my Google Calendar. I added in my daily to-do items, meetings, errands, chores, and grocery lists. The horizontal shading was also useful to break up each day: I used the shaded blocks as time chunks like 6 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, and 10 pm to align with my day-to-day.
The stickers were also a fun part of the experience. I already had several packs of Ban.do stickers that I use to brighten up my planner and lists, but it was really convenient to have stickers that are made to fit the layout of the Happy Planner. The weekly meal plan stickers and daily chores or tasks stickers fit in the time blocks I had laid out, and it was visually satisfying to have them instead of just writing on the page in places. I want my planner to be fun and effective! The stickers definitely helped me achieve it.
There is also a Happy Planner Punch, which is like a three-hole punch seen in schools and offices. This one, however, punches nine cutouts into any paper so you can then add that paper to your planner. I think it’s an amazing tool. I used it to include scrap pieces of paper with lists, passwords, and reminders in my planner. Adding in those custom pages can help you keep everything in one place without using all the writing space in your weekly layout.
What I didn’t like about Happy Planner
Though I loved most of the features of the Happy Planner, there were a few things I wished I could change. There is no bookmark to keep you on your current page, though you could use a tab or sticky note to mark your place. The planner is also pretty thick, so it didn’t fit in my tote bag as well as my previous, slimmer planner. I could have taken out months of pages to make it smaller, but it will only ever be as thin as the binding rings. I was surprised that the pages were easy to add and remove, but I did rip a few in places because it was a bit tedious to move them around one at a time.
But the biggest issue for me was that I needed to remove pages to write on them near the binding, especially the pages on the left side since I’m right-handed. My hand would run into the binding rings and mess up my handwriting. I didn’t mind taking the pages out to plan my week, but when I needed to just add a single item it was annoying to contort my wrist to remove the page, write, and add it back in.
Should you buy a Happy Planner?
If you need a fun way to stay organized, absolutely. Teachers and students heading back to school would undoubtedly find it helpful, and anyone with an irregular schedule can use the filler pages to add in elements that work just for them. As someone with a side hustle, it was helpful to use filler pages to organize different aspects of my work.
The planner is also great for creative people who want to design their pages but don’t want to fully commit to a bullet journal. And lastly, I think it could be a great option for people who tend to use planners less often; since you can get undated planners you can use the planner when you need it and not let any pages or months go to waste when you don’t.
Because Happy Planners have so many options, I truly think anyone can find a style that works for them. Plus, you can move pages around and add your own flair. What's not to love?
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.