A few days ago I was scrap booking and journaling the memorable events of August 2017 (i.e. Road trip to Oregon and KCON 2017), when I realized I only had a couple of months left in my Happy Planner.
I actually started a planner and finished it from beginning to end!!!
This may sound unusual to some of you, but I never finish a planner in the past.
I would get excited at the start of the year but then it would fizzle and I would neglect the planner after several months. Not that is my intention. I just wasn’t diligent at it. I would resort to using post its, my iPhone, or my memory to plan out my day.
But ever since I started using the Happy Planner I felt the motivation to fill the pages. I would find time (which usually means cutting my sleeping hours!) to do my reflections of gratitude, contemplate on my goals, and journaling the special events.
Not really sure why but the only thing I can attribute it to is that it is much more fun with the Happy Planner.
Why is that?
It may have to do with how the creators of the Happy Planner and its hundreds of thousands of planner followers have set up the overall planning process. And it is simple really – BE CREATIVE.
Use stickers, use scrapbook cards and colorful paper. Use an assortment of gel pens, the brighter and bolder the hues the better. Draw, sketch, doodle, and if you’re fancy show off your calligraphy.
There are no boundaries to how you can creatively express yourself. However it turns out it is going to be beautiful, and best of all it is all you. You did it. In your own personal and unique way you showed off your creativity!
And if you are looking to share ideas or get some, just look up the hashtags #HappyPlanners, #MAMBIHappyPlanners, #PlannerGirl, and many more on social media and you will get a mirage! The Happy Planner community is encouraging, empowering, and best of all it is full of happy people!
With this anything goes planning mindset, I no longer follow a structure of going through month-to-month for overall important dates, week-to-week of to do lists and jotting down of appointments.
Nope. I use my Happy Planner for what works for me.
I know the most practical scheduling tool I have are still the apps on my iPhone.
My Outlook keeps my work calendar together and COZI (will post more on this later) keeps my family tasks, events, grocery lists, and appointments in sync. There’s also EXPENSIFY app to track down my blogging business and personal expenses. I am a gadget girl after all, so I definitely make use of tried and tested software applications.
So how do I actually use my Happy Planner?
I use it for all the things technology cannot seem to give me. Month-to-Month I jot down my blogging editorial calendar and social media interactions. It gives me a great overall view my posts.
For the Week-to-Week pages I use a variety of topics:
- Projects for the Week
- Tasks for the Week
- Weekly Expenses Summary (base on the tally given by EXPENSIFY)
- Health Journal Summary – a statement or two of a self-reflection how I did against my health and wellness goals
- Weekly Accomplishments – an anecdote of what have I gained, learned, or experienced that week
- Statement of Gratitude for the week
- Ideas for Upcoming Blog Posts
- Brainstorming area for general ideas
- Then additional Inserts would be a weekly summary of my COZI Family calendar and any add-on scrapbook page on anything special that happened that week (travel, birthday celebration, conference, etc).
As you can tell from the above that it is mostly a weekly-plan, with no specific day targeted to accomplish my tasks (since I already use my apps for that).
I will also add Extra Tabs in my Happy Planner. They are:
- GOALS tab – this contains pages of my set goals for the year, from my health, career, home, family, and personal. I approach this section in a technical manner. I formulate the goal using the S.M.A.R.T. System. I will reflect on the Why’s (I may even use fishbone diagrams), and use more pages to brainstorm how I can break down the goals into simple achievable steps.
- HOBBIES tab – this contains what are my down-time interests. From compiling a list of the K-Dramas I have seen, to the books I have read, and to sketches I have done in my iPad. I may also add picture cutouts of the succulent arrangements I made or a collection of things I curated from Antique and Vintage Shops
- VISION Board tab – Pages in this are are cut-outs on anything that inspires me. It can be a trip to Seoul Korea, a Home Design project, or an entrepreneurial venture.
Here are some of my pages that curated a list of books I own in my home library:
How about you? How do you set up your planner? What works for you?