I am a sucker for stationary, especially planners. I buy one almost every year. Now, whether or not I end up using it is a different story…Over the years, I have bought planners from a number of different places including Target, Erin Condren and this year, from Michael’s. When looking for the right planner, my must-have’s are a monthly view, weekly spreads and space for quick notes. It’s important to me for the planner to be as pretty as it is functional because I want to look forward to using and looking at it everyday. Erin Condren planners fit well into that mold, which is why they’re so popular. But since there’s a risk that I may not use it regularly, dropping $50 on a planner wasn’t an option this year. I also looked at the Passion Planner and Commit30. I liked the set-up of them and that they were very goal-oriented but in the end, they were a little too plain for me in terms of looks. I searched Instagram using the hashtag “plannerlayout” and found The Happy Planner, which you can find online and at Michael’s. Today, I want to break down why I chose this planner for 2021:
Multiple layout options
The Happy Planner has a few different size, date range and layout options including a vertical, a horizontal and a dashboard layout. I ended up purchasing the Desert Flower Classic Happy Planner which is 8.75″ L x 1.25″ W x 9.75″ H and spans 12 months. They also offer a mini and a large size, along with some that span 18 months. For maximum flexibility, undated planners are also available.
I ended up going with the dashboard layout because I liked the space for errands, calls/emails, bills to pay and things to buy. I like to write down my errands for the entire week and then assign each of them to specific days. The “to buy” space is great for my grocery list which I update throughout the week as I run out of stuff. I didn’t realize how much I needed the “bills to pay” square until I had it. Now, I won’t be caught off guard anymore when automatic withdrawals deplete my bank account…It also has a “focus on” area that I’ll be using for both professional and more personal goals for the week. I like to put reminders there to meditate, take breaks or work on a passion project.
This planner is unusual in its binding because it uses the discbound system. I’ve had several journals with discs but never a planner. The discs allow me to reorder pages easily or even add my own pages. I like the details on mine as well because the discs have little heart-shaped cutouts. What can I say? I’m sucker for pretty things! The discbound system also allows you to add any extensions such as this budget calendar extension. Furthermore, because most journals that use this binding method are universal in terms of sizing, if you already own a discbound journal (from say Arc, Levenger, or TUL) and want to add pages from your planner to your journal or vice versa, you have that option.
The week starts on Monday
For some reason, most planners have weekly views that start on Sundays. Look, whatever floats your boat! But in my opinion, the week starts on Monday and Sunday is still part of the previous week. The way my brain works, a Monday start-day is a must!
The Happy Planner has a lot and I mean A LOT of sticker options. I’m talking budget stickers, to-do list stickers, inspirational stickers, metallic stickers, stickers for teachers, stickers for fitness, stickers for a digital detox…I could go on! And because they’re made by the same company, they fit the planner really well. There’s something incredibly satisfying about finding the perfect sticker. Needless to say, my sticker collection has grown exponentially over the past month. Here’s a quick look at how I used some of the stickers (from the stargazer pack and the budget planning pack) in my layout from last week.
As you can see, I like to use a mix of functional stickers as well as inspirational ones to keep me motivated throughout the week.
There’s always a sale
Because this planner is sold at Michael’s, there are almost always sales. And if there aren’t any specific sales for the planner, you can use a Michael’s coupon. When I bought my planner and a few sticker books, everything from The Happy Planner was 60% off!
Overall, I’m pretty happy with it so far and have been using it daily. What planner are you using for 2021?