How I Use My Happy Planner

Last year I jumped on the planner bandwagon.My sister-in-law loves hers and it looked really cute! My mom always had one to keep track of all of our school stuff, sports, and activities. She called it her "brain" which made it funny when it got lost and she was looking for her "brain." :)

My wall calendar wasn't cutting it and I was having a hard time remembering everything. Something had to change so I picked up a Happy Planner at Michaels (mostly because it looked cute).

Regular Happy Planner
I started out having no idea what to do with all of those boxes! I consulted my sister-in-law, the planner expert, and she gave me some ideas. One of her best suggestions was finding free planner sticker printables on Pinterest. (Of course now I have a whole board of them HERE.)  I print them on adhesive paper and cut them out with scissors. I was worried it would use up all of my ink, but my ink cartridge lasted a really long time, so it wasn't as bad as I thought.

As the year went on I gradually started to try new things and find ways to make the planner more useful to me.

That also changed depending on what life looked like at the time. Sometimes I used boxes to write out to do lists and sometimes I listed my accomplishments for the day (when it felt and looked like nothing was getting done). Sometimes I used planner boxes to write down little things that I wanted to remember and sometimes I used them as a gratitude journal, recording things that I am thankful for. Sometimes they recorded milestones, and sometimes I just added decoration because I felt like it.


I got some adhesive pockets on clearance at Michaels and they are pretty nice for storing appointment cards, extra stickers, or little things I need to save.

I previously used a calendar to keep track of meal planning, but I incorporated that into my planner, too. It is handy to have everything in one place.

Meal planning with a Happy Planner
I also kept track  of my decluttering progress with a post it note in the cover.

So, after one full year of using my planner I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

How to use a Happy Planner
I like to use the top row to show what we have planned for the day- appointments, practices, birthdays, etc. In the middle row I write my to do lists or anything that I may want to remember. In the bottom row I write out our meal plan for the week.  In the side column I write out my major goals for the week. Besides the printable stickers, I like to keep some washi tape, coordinating pens, and a pair of scissors in a little jar on my desk. (The kids are always swiping the scissors, though!)

The washi tape is handing for dividing boxes, sectioning off certain days (like a weekend for wrestling tournaments), or making the boxes smaller in case my printable stickers are not the correct size. I like to alternate the pen color that I use because it helps things stand out a little better for me to visualize and remember. (I used that trick for taking notes in college.)

I also learned that it is a good idea to grab your new planner as soon as the store starts carrying the new line for the following year. They got really picked out and it took me 3 or 4 trips to Michaels to finally find mine. (It was like it magically appeared! It was NOT there before!) I really love the color scheme of this one, so I plan on trying to match my stickers as much as possible. (Although, I might get tired of it and change it up later- we'll see!)

I also decided to try putting my craft-related stuff in a Mini Happy Planner. I hope it isn't a pain having two planners, but I felt the need to compartmentalize. Does that make sense? The layout is a little different.

I am officially hooked on this whole planner thing!

Do you have a planner? Do you have any tips or preferences? I am always looking for new ideas!