Early this year, before the Covid-19 Pandemic exploded in our faces, I had a few things I wanted to do in 2020. One of them was starting a new hobby with Happy Planners If you are not familiar with the Happy Planner as a brand, this is a system of planner that allows you to customize and decorate a planer as you'd do a scrapbook, a planner and a journal all in one. The possibilities are endless! That's not only good to boost my creativity, it is also an activity that I find soothing and extremely rewarding and satisfying. Keep reading to learn why!

The new mini-planner for fitness purposes has a special layout and theme for health and fitness planning.

My purpose for planning was being able to fit everything I want to do in one day.

Why planning?

Planning is quite obviously a good thing if you are a busy person, you have several activities to keep track of and lots of appointments to remember. If you have a job, or you are a student, you have a household to take care of, you have different social occupations, church, or any club, or you are a parent, whatever you do,  you definitely need a bit of planning. Right? A lot of people opt for digital calendars on their phones or laptops, which are great and very functional!
But I've always prefered paper calendars and planners.
I've started planning since I was a teen, my ultimate purpose for planning has always been to organize all my tasks and duties the most efficiently possible in order to ENJOY all the leisure activities I love!
One of my recent Happy planner purchases this Pink planner to note down my reminders

I struggle with a few "flaws", which are actually my nature and I can't change them, but I can TAME them a bit with planning.
Unfortunately, I focus so much in what I am doing that I lose the notion of time. When I'm reading, or crafting, it seems I've been doing it for one hour, but nope, suddenly three hours go by! How does that happen!????
However, Planning helps me keeping the notion of time, because before starting the day I have different goals and activities I want to accomplish and that allows me to "keep it in mind".

Much to my regret, I tend to procrastinate certain duties, because I want to finish something else first or because those duties are too long and intimidating and I never get determined to start!
But planning helps me stopping procrastination. How? I simply divide my goals and duties in smaller tasks that are doable in an hour or a couple of hours, so that they don't seem so difficult to go through and I do them more automatically.

I also tend to accept doing a lot of things that get me out of track and I end up messing my whole plan. When I planned on digital calendars, I kept changing my original plan multiple times in the day to fit new requests! In the end leaving me with no spare time at all.
Planning on paper, I commit more to my original plan. Except unexpected events out of my control aka LIFE, I really commit to my plan! That's why I think it through very well and this gives me more determination to say "NO" to other apparently "urgent" requests. Working from home is very easy to get distracted, to get requests from friends, family, neighbours to do certain things when they want, but when I accept, I end up doing my work at night instead of getting some rest. Which is not a healthy choice for me!

So, in summary, I plan because:

  • It helps me organize my tasks and appointments and visualize my spare time
  • It helps me keep a more accurate notion of time
  • It keeps me from procrastinating
  • It allows me to have more determination and giving more value to what I do

You can customize your Happy Planner with one of the numerous Sticker books they have. This is a virgin page of my "Homebody" Happy Planner.
One of the pages of my "Homebody" Happy Planner, decorated and filled in with all my plans.

What is Happy planning?

If you are not familiar with "The Happy Planner" as a brand, this is a system of planner that allows you to customize and decorate a planer as you'd do a scrapbook, a planner and a journal all in one. The possibilities are endless! The happy planner brand offers different types of planners with different layouts for everyone's needs, but also a huge range of stickers, colourful pages, washi tapes and other elements to decorate and organize your planner.
The original happy planners consist of a set of disks and opened-punched pages so that they can be easily taken out of the planner. This way, all pages, calendars, notes, even the covers of your planners are exchangeable. You can change it all, you can add or take away all the pages you want and you can of course change their order. You can put two planners together and used them for different purposes (e.g. job/family) all in one planner.
To have a better idea, you can visit their website here.

The classic happy Planer has a Vertical layout that you can decorate as you wish. Here is an example on my Catch all planner.

Taking my Happy planning to the next level

I've been using a Happy Planner every year since 2016 and I found that I was also making lots of lists on sticky notes I ended up losing. That was because I had a lot of things to organize and my happy planner was no longer enough.
So at the begining of this year I decided to expand my happy Planner game and get 3 planners for 2020. At the end of January I took advantage of a huge sale they were having and I got a mini- planner for my health and fitness program, a classic planner for my blogging and another for keeping track of all the reminders and small tasks I noted on sticky notes flying everywhere around the house.

What I had in mind was taking three months of each calendar, collapse them together and build my own planner with three sections: Catch all (appointments, to do, etc), blog and social media, household tasks reminder. At the end of each month, I would take a month away and add the following so that I always have three months on sight. It really worked for me this way.

Then Quarantine happened! So I needed to adapt my planning a little to answer to our new needs. But I'll tell you more about it in my next "Happy Planning" post.


What about you? How do you organize your life? Do you plan? Do you use a paper or digital planner? Let me know in the comments!

*The items shown were purchased by me unless otherwise stated.