The best way, the only way, to ensure you create the perfect Happy Planner for you is to plan for, well…..you! It’s okay to be inspired by another planner, but, how they use their planner and page layouts are unique to them. If you follow their lead you might find yourself unhappy with your Happy Planner -and we don’t want that now do we?!
First, let me welcome you to the underground world of Happy Planners and planners alike! If you are just starting out with your Happy Planner (or any planner of choice), this post is for you! Even if you have been planning for a few months now there are sure to be tips and tricks that might inspire you to change up how you have been planning. So, let’s just dive right in!
As a happy planner, you are already aware that your Happy Planner comes from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI for short). MAMBI is still a somewhat new business, having just started in July 2015, and is run by Stephanie Fleming. I began planning again during the release of their second generation of planners.
Check out planner tip #1, 5 Reasons to Chose the Happy Planner (over other planners) and you’ll understand why I chose this planner system for my everyday and business planner needs.
I’ve been a Type-A planner all my life and have always reveled in the paper planner. I did try electronic planning for a short time, but, it just wasn’t for me. I love to be creative with my planning which is one of the reasons why the Happy Planner appealed so much to me. I also like need to be able to cross To-Do’s off my list. It makes me feel good and at peace to see I’m accomplishing something during my busy days. I’ve been an official Happy Planner since April 2015. I’m a fast learner and during this short time I’ve learned a great many Do’s and Don’ts (by trial and error).
Below are my 5 tips to help you become (and remain) a Happy Planner, regardless of the planner style you choose.
STOP. After you buy your first Happy Planner my #1 tip is to NOT decorate too far in advance. I did this and now regret it. When I first got my Happy Planner I was so excited I got a little carried away with the decorating. Not only did I pre-decorate monthly and weekly views; I also went back and re-decorated some monthly spreads!
Shown above was what I thought was my finished September 2016 monthly spread after I had re-decorated with stickers to cover up a pink butterfly stamp that I had changed my mind on. Notice the quote on the sticker “What you create does not have to be perfect.” Yeah, my September month realized this a few times over -as you can see, it’s not easy removing stickers! Needless to say, this ended up not being my last layout for the month. Stay tuned to the blog for the final (and may I say beautiful) September layout.
Now that I’m nearly five months into my Happy Planner, I wish I hadn’t pre-decorated with stickers because I’ve discovered along my planner journey that I prefer to have themed weeks (and now months). I like how easy on the eyes a theme can be and how easily it flows into my needs to plan. So, how do you solve the problem of wanting to jump right in so you can start planning? Read on for Tips #2 and #3.
PRE-PLAN. Go out and get a bunch of sticky notes that speak to you (or like me use the colorful sticky notes available from MAMBI!). Use those sticky post-it notes to enter in appointments, birthdays, important dates and reminders.
That way, if an appointment changes you won’t be faced with having to find a way to cover up the incorrect appointment.
GET INVOLVED. Do some research and seek out planner groups, videos and more on your favorite social media outlet(s). You will find an abundance of inspiration from Facebook, Instagram and even Periscope! Also, check your local Michaels craft store, they have begun offering planner classes. But, beware….planning and decorating your planner can be addicting (you have been forewarned!)
- Me and My Big Ideas Blog
- MAMBI The Happy Planner Group (can be found on Facebook)
- Come Craft and Plan with Me on IG! (@behindthedesigns). I’m always sharing my Happy Planner journey, inspiration and would love to help you on your journey to planner peace.
- Finally, check out some of these hashtags on Instagram to connect with other planners: #thehappyplanner #happyplanner #meandmybigideas #mambi #create365 #behindthedesigns #btdplans
DON’T BE TEMPTED. One downfall to getting involved in the planner
underground community is that you will be bombarded with so much inspiration and great buys (pens, markers, organizers -oh my!). It may seem a little intimidating at first and you could easily get caught up in all the exciting products fellow planners’ are sharing they found or found at a great price. Especially the washi tape.
Warning: Don’t be tempted to BUY ALL THE WASHI. If you have joined a Facebook planner group, you’ve no doubt seen some of the funny quotes and cartoons on planners and washi tape (all are hilarious and sadly…true!). But, seriously don’t be tempted. Trust me when I say that once you buy a few rolls -you’ll end up with 100’s!! Some may call it an addiction.
Another temptation: Stickers! Don’t be tempted to head right out to the stores and clear your local store(s) of stickers. Equally so, don’t just head over to Etsy and start buying stickers. Don’t get me wrong there a ton of fantastic sticker designers and kits out there. But, one low cost way to introduce yourself to planner decorating and discovering what you do and don’t like is to do a simple Google search for ‘free planner stickers’. You will be amazed as some of the free stickers out there.
ORGANIZE. My last tip is whether you have collected up washi tape, stickers or paperclips you will undoubtedly need to organize at some point. Again, do some research as there are a ton of creative ideas out there to explore. Find the organization system that works for you!
Save Your Discs. You may find that once you start getting into your Happy Planner that you will need to pick up the expander discs. When you do that, hold onto the discs that came with your planner because you can later use them to create a sticker book to organize, what will become, your growing MAMBI sticker collection.
Looking for creative ways in which to store and organize your washi? Get inspired browsing my Washi Tape Storage Pinterest Board! If you are ready to plan I’d love for you to join me over at Creative Planning Expressions the Facebook Group for Behind the Designs.
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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I just really love the product(s) I’ve willingly chosen to feature. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.