5 Tips for Becoming a Happy Planner

This is not a sponsored post. I just really, really love my Happy Planner and want to help new people on their journey to becoming a Happy Planner, too!

Unless you are brand new to the planning world, then I’m sure you’ve heard of “The Happy Planner”, an amazing planner made by the company “Me and My Big Ideas”. Their first planners started in July of 2015, so they are still fairly new to the planning world. Their second generation planners just hit the market, and they are already flying off shelves at local Michaels and Hobby Lobby stores. I plan on using 2-3 planners for the 2016-2017 year, and I’ve already picked up one of my new planners! It is the gorgeous Botanical Gardens planner! This one is exclusive to Hobby Lobby and is even more beautiful in person than it was online! (You can find my review of this planner here.)

None of the Hobby Lobby stores near me had this one in stock- so I stopped and got it in Waco one weekend on my way to visit my sister in Houston! I was way too excited when I found it!

I became a Happy Planner in August of 2015. Every August, I would tell myself that this was the year I would be more organized and use a planner. Every August, I would fill in important dates for the year. Every August, I would diligently keep up with my planner. But then, September would come. And every September, my planner would find a nearby shelf in my classroom and wouldn’t move for the rest of the year.

This year was different. I was starting a new job that had a million different pieces to it, a million different meetings, a million different “To Dos”. I started putting everything in my Outlook calendar so that I wouldn’t forget it, but I’d still forget some things. I’ve always been forgetful, but I’ve found that writing things down helps me to remember them. I had seen some teachers with their Happy Planners at some summer professional development sessions, and I was instantly intrigued.

I searched for a few weeks for my own Happy Planner, but everyone was sold out of them. I finally found one towards the end of August, and made the switch. I purchased the “Good Things Are Going to Happen” planner because I loved the water colors and the simple weekly layouts. I haven’t looked back since! I have kept up with everything in my planner for 6 months now, and I feel like a completely different person.

My very first Happy Planner- Good Things Are Going to Happen. I used this planner from July 2015-June 2016!

Of course, with six months of planning under my belt I have also learned some do’s and don’ts of the planning world. These are things that I wish people had told me when I started my Happy Planning journey, so I decided that is what I would do here! So if you are the girl (or guy!) who has gone out and purchased their first Happy Planner, follow these tips and you will fall in love with this organizational tool!


  1. Buy sticky notes! Sticky notes are an accessory that I didn’t use at all in my first six months of Happy Planning, and I’m kicking myself for it now! Sticky notes are a happy planner’s best friend. Back in August, I went through and wrote on stickers all the important dates for the year, and then stuck them on that page on the monthly calendar. Now that makes me cringe. There have been so many events/meetings that have changed to another day or canceled– but you can’t move a sticker! This year I will write all future events on a sticky note and then stick it where it belongs. That way it is easily moved until the event is certain to be set in stone.
My new planner- all important dates are marked with sticky notes until I’m ready to decorate that month!

2. Don’t decorate too far in advance. When you get your Happy Planner, you will fall in love with decorating it. You will have no self control, and before you know it, you’ve decorated all the month layouts and half the week layouts. Do not do this. You will regret it. Your style, layout design, and preferences will change or you will see someone else’s layout and be inspired to do something similar. But if you’ve already decorated them– too bad, so sad! I did this so many times I lost count. I decorated half of December before I realized I wanted to do it differently. I had already decorated the majority of the month layouts before I realized I wanted to use the month layouts for a completely different reason. My new goal is to not decorate more than a week in advance, and to leave the month layouts alone until it’s time for that month. (That’s the beauty of the sticky notes mentioned in tip one too! They aren’t permanent in your layout too far in advance!)

I decorated March back in August. When I finally got to March, I hated it so much that I covered up a lot of the boxes with the scrapbook paper, stickers, and the washi tape. And now I think it’s just too much. So basically, trust me. Don’t plan too far in advance!!


3. Don’t buy all that washi tape. Do you need washi tape? YES. Should you buy some to start your planning journey? YES. Do you need 200 rolls of washi? NO. You will see a million people post a million adorable washi tapes. You will also want to go out and buy all.the.washi. However, you will never use an entire roll of washi tape. I went crazy with washi tape, and now I have so many rolls that just sit in a box because I’ve found that I really just love the Me and My Big Ideas washi. Buy washi as you need it- not because you’ve found 30 new cute rolls at Michaels!

If you can’t tell, I’m really loving Me and My Big Ideas washi tape!

4. Use social media for inspiration. Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope have completely changed the planning world for me!

  • Join the “Me & My BIG ideas! The Happy Planner Addict Group” on Facebook. The girls on this group are amazing! They post so many different inspiring layouts, coupons, deals, and so much more!
  • Search hashtags on instagram- #thehappyplanner, #happyplanner, #plannergirl, #planneraddict #showemsunday, etc! I started an instagram just for my planning habit! I have made so many planner friends through the IG community, and it’s really inspired me to keep going in this planning journey!
  • Follow Me and My BIG Ideas on Periscope! You will get sneak peeks at new product and will always be caught up on their newest items! If you miss the videos within the 24 hour time span on Periscope, you can also catch them on their Katch page!
  • Follow me on IG! (@kellofaplan) I would love to help you along your new journey as a Happy Planner!

    IG: @Kellofaplan

5. Make a sticker book. You will collect tons of stickers throughout your journey! I own more stickers now than I ever have in my life. However, I found that I would stick them in a box and forget about them. This wasn’t acceptable to me because I knew I should be using them. My solution was to make a DIY Happy Planner Sticker Book, and it’s helped me use my stickers so much! It is so easy to flip through and know exactly what kind of stickers I have. I wrote a blog post all about how to make this sticker book, and you can find that post here.

DIY Happy Planner Sticker Book

If you’ve been Happy Planning for awhile, what are some of your tips for beginners that I might have forgotten? Leave them in the comments or go tell me on my IG: @kellofaplan ! I look forward to hearing you favorite tips as well!

I hope these five tips help you on your journey to becoming a Happy Planner! Check back again soon for more tips on improving your planning journey!

Happy planning!


15 thoughts on “5 Tips for Becoming a Happy Planner

  1. These are great tips! I just started using my Happy Planner about a month ago, and I am in love! Since I started my weakness is Washi tape. Every time I see a cute design, I have to have it. I am just like you! So many rolls are just sitting there. I LOVE your DIY Sticker book idea, in fact, I think I am going to start mine today. Thanks again for the great tips and ideas 🙂


    1. Thank you! I’m thinking about doing a washi destash on my blog soon. I just have SO much, and I don’t need it all! I can’t wait to see your sticker book! It’s sooo nice once you have one, you will love it!


    2. Love!
      I’ll get my FIRST Happy Planner tomorrow!
      Looking forward to seeing it and and using lots of your ideas.
      Thanks for sharing! ☺


  2. This is great! I giggled throughout. I’m so glad I read this. I am new to planning and I just bought my first items today so I come home and start researching “how to’s”. I have a list of everything I want to add to my planner including stickers, files, quotes, balloons for people’s birthdays, the hole puncher and how I am going to plan for the next 12 months in advance and WASHI WASHI WASHI haha🙈 Right before I started writing in it just now I read your post. Good advice! Thank you so much!!!!!
    *** picks up purse and goes to Michaels


  3. Thank you for posting this! I am just getting started and the Michaels class is such a great idea!! I am such a hands on person, I think it will really help!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s