Happy planner planners

Happy planner planners DEFAULT

Getting started with The Happy Planner? You’re in the right place! This Happy Planner for Beginners guide will answer all your questions about how to get started with The Happy Planner, including The Happy Planner sizes and what accessories you should buy if you’re just starting out!

It’s the first of the year… and that means time to make some New Year’s Resolutions!

Lose weight, drink more water, work out consistently… I’m sure you’ve had one of these resolutions at least once in your life. But as the kids get older, life gets more and more hectic, so maybe your resolution is to get your life organized.

And maybe you’ve thought about purchasing The Happy Planner to do just that!

I’ve recently gotten a lot of questions about which planners I recommend, so I thought I’d go ahead and write a GIANT post about one of my absolute favorites!

I started using a Happy Planner about a year ago when my trusty old Blue Sky weekly planner expired – I used that planner to track my family’s expenses in just 5 minutes a day using this easy method!

How to use your planner to keep track of your finances

I had been tempted by the long aisles of cute planner accessories from Happy Planner, and when it came time to buy another planner, I caved to the cute stickers, washi tape, and planner charms.

Heck, yes I want to bling-up my planner with some fringe tassels!

But beyond the cute add-ons, the Happy Planner (sometimes called the Create 365 Planner) is actually REALLY well designed and super useful!

If you just jumped on the Happy Planner bandwagon, then here is everything you need to know as a Happy Planner beginner.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission from these links if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

First off, let me answer some common questions from Happy Planner beginners:

FAQs from Happy Planner Beginners:

Who makes The Happy Planner?

The Happy Planner (sometimes referred to as the Create 365 Planner or the MAMBI Planner) is made by Me and My Big Ideas.

What is a Happy Planner?

The Happy Planner website puts it best…

The Happy Planner is a disc-bound planner system that combines your love for Creativity with your need for Organization.

The Happy Planner

Did you notice the part about the wildly popular planners being “disc-bound”?

That’s what sets the Happy Planner apart from your normal planners. Happy Planners have a nifty disc binding that’s kind of like a cross between a 3-ring binder and a spiral notebook.

The discs that hold the planner together not only look BEAUTIFUL, they’re also extremely functional and brilliant!

And the discs are just one example of how the makers of the Happy Planner are super detail-oriented… notice the cute heart in the center:

And, of course, the people at Me and My Big Ideas (the makers of Happy Planner) spoke to our whimsy-loving hearts and created the discs in a multitude of colors, sizes, and finishes!

You can purchase the Happy Planner discs in pastel colors, bright colors, rainbow packs, and metallic finishes. Plus, you can choose metal or plastic discs. And, as if that wasn’t enough customization options (and remember… we’re only talking about the disc binding here!), you can also get the discs in classic or large sizes depending on how thick your planner will be.

I have the gold metal classic size discs, and I LOVE them, though they are a bit pricier than the plastic option.

What sizes does The Happy Planner come in?

The Happy Planner comes in three sizes:

  • The Big Happy Planner – The pages of the Big Happy Planner are the standard 8.5″ x 11″, and the cover size is 9″ x 11.25″. The nice thing about the Big Happy Planner is that you can easily add your own printables without having to go through the hassle of resizing them.
  • The Classic Happy Planner – The pages of the Classic Happy Planner are size 7″ x 9.25″ and the cover measures 7.75″ x 9.75″. It seems to me that there are WAY more accessories available for the Classic size.
  • The Mini Happy Planner – If you want a purse-sized planner that’s still cute, then this one is for you! The Mini Happy Planner pages are size 4.5″ x 7″, and the cover measures 5.125″ x 7.5″.

I have the Classic size and it suits my needs just fine. I actually don’t think that there is much difference in the box sizes on the calendar pages from the Classic to the Big size.

Here’s a picture of the three Happy Planner sizes for reference:

Does The Happy Planner have refills?

Yes! And loads of them, with most priced below $12!

The calendar/planner style refill pages are called “Extension Packs”, and they come in a LOAD of different varieties based on how you use your planner.

You can also buy regular lined or bullet journal dotted style paper packs, perfect for taking notes or practicing your doodles.

I use the Classic Extension Pack (for the monthly calendar and weekly pages) combined with the Budget Extension Pack (to track our income and expenses).

Here are a few different Happy Planner Extension Packs that you can purchase for the Happy Planner:

  • Classic Extension Pack – The classic 6 month undated extension packs are great all-around refill pages for your Happy Planner. They include space for to-do lists, shopping lists, errands, etc. The Classic Extension Packs are more for your regular planning stuff with weekly and monthly views.
  • Budget Extension Pack – This is the one I have, and I LOVE it! It’s got space to track all of your monthly expenses and budget. I use separate Expense Tracker pages to track my blog’s income and expenses and our family’s recurring monthly bills.
  • Fitness Extension Pack – This one is great if you want to track your food and water intake and your exercise goals.
  • Home Extension Pack – Keep track of your grocery lists, chores, meal plans, and more home management stuff with this extension pack.
  • Christmas Extension Pack – Great for keeping track of all things holiday related… or check out The Ultimate Christmas Planner here!
  • Wellness Extension Pack – This extension pack is focused on self care and “feeding your soul”.
  • Wedding Planner Extension Pack – The PERFECT tool if you’re going to be planning a wedding!

The great thing about the Happy Planner extension packs is that most of them come with their own coordinating stickers and dashboards, too!

Which brings me to my next question…

What is a Happy Planner dashboard?

A Happy Planner dashboard is like a thicker, super cute divider page.

The dashboards are a great place to stick your sticky notes, decorate with motivational quotes, add photos, doodle, or write down your goals for the month.

You can make your dashboards reflect your personality and motivate you to start your day off right when you first open your planner in the morning and notice that you’ve got 326 things to do for the day.

Or you can just leave them as-is and treat them as monthly dividers.

The Happy Planner dashboards are so cute already that you don’t need to do a thing to them!

Here are some of the dashboards from the Happy Planner extension packs that I have:

Is a Happy Planner dated or undated?

Both! You can get undated and dated versions based on your personal preference.

Most of the refill packs (or “extension packs”) come undated, which is great because you can start off with whatever month that you need, rather than buying a 2020 Happy Planner in April and missing out on being able to use the first three months.

What do I need to get started with a Happy Planner?

If you find yourself overwhelmed and standing in the planner aisle of Joann’s wondering what the heck to buy, don’t worry!

It can be tempting to load your buggy with ALL THE THINGS, but if you’re just starting out, I recommend buying only a few basic supplies. That way, you can get a feel for your planning style and what you like and don’t like.

I recommend that you start out your Happy Planner journey with:

Why just one sticker/accessory pack?

Well, those little sticker and accessory books contain A TON of stickers! And a lot of the packs come with different sticker finishes and sizes… some of the stickers are matte and some are clear-backed. Some are GIANT to fill up an entire day’s box and some are the size of a dime.

Just one pack should give you plenty of variety if you’re just starting out, without overwhelming you.

What if I can’t find a Happy Planner cover that I like?

Well, I was in the same boat when I first started!

I looked and looked for the perfect Happy Planner… I wanted one that had a lined weekly layout, and I didn’t want anything too cute-sy or brightly colored.

What can I say, I’m a neutral girl at heart.

So, what did I do?

I bought a BEAUTIFUL black quilted cover, gold metal discs, and an extension pack, and I created my own planner! The cover that I have is now discontinued, but you can still get similar plain leather covers.

If you go this route, you can choose from a HUGE variety of refill/extension packs based on what you want to track in your planner. And you can choose from a HUGE variety of discs to bind your sheets together, too.

If you’re a Happy Planner beginner and you want a LOAD of customization options, then this is the way to go!

Any Happy Planner ideas for what to track in my new Happy Planner?

Why… I’m glad you asked!

I’ve got a list of over 75 things to track in your planner to help you get organized!

Whether you want to track your water intake, how many miles you ran last week, or what show to add to your Netflix watch list, I’ve got you covered!

Where can I buy the Happy Planner and accessories?

I purchased all of my Happy Planner goodies from Joann’s, because I felt like they had the best in-store selection.

If you don’t have a Joann’s nearby, you can also get Happy Planner supplies from:

My Favorite Things about The Happy Planner

Okay, now that I’ve explained what Happy Planners are and answered some common questions from Happy Planner beginners, here are my absolute favorite things about the planner with a cult-like following:

1. You can easily take pages in and out and change the order or pages.

Let’s face it… life is crazy… sometimes it’s Thursday and you could have sworn it was Tuesday…

And plans change. Sometimes you need to take out a whole page from your planner and put it in a whole new section. The Happy Planner makes it super easy to do that!

The design of the planner rings allows you to remove pages without damaging the page, see:

2. The Happy Planner pages are heavyweight.

This is a major plus for two reasons:

  1. Heavier weighted pages means that your markers and pens aren’t as likely to bleed through.
  2. The pages are much less likely to tear when you’re taking them in and out.

3. The Happy Planner has so many fun accessories!

Stickers, washi tape, pen bags, bookmarks, tassel charms, stamps, dashboards, oh my!

From modern black and white to whimsical pastels, you can find a wide array of planner accessories to fit your style!

4. The Happy Planner Extension Packs are the BEST!

The extension packs are SO well designed and SO helpful for keeping my crazy life organized!

There is ample space to track anything and everything that you could ever want to track.

For me, that’s every single penny that my family spends and earns and my HUGE to-do list for this blog. And, of course, basketball games, doctor’s appointments, birthdays, social events, and the regular planner stuff.

The Best Happy Planner Tips for Beginners

If you’re just starting out with The Happy Planner, then here are my absolute best tips for Happy Planner beginners:

Use erasable pens!

Your plans will change, and you WILL accidentally spell “birthday” B-I-R-T-D-A-Y.

If you’re a perfectionist like me, then it will drive you CRAZY, and you won’t want to whip out the ugly white-out every time that you make a mistake.

Lucky for you (and me!), you can buy really GREAT erasable pens! These pens are an absolute favorite of mine, and I’ve tried them ALL!

Don’t go overboard on buying Happy Planner accessories.

Load up on washi tape, stickers, refill papers, and 38 pens and before you know it you’ve spent $200 on your planner… eek!

Stick with basic supplies in the color combo of your choice, and slowly add more accessories as you start to go through them. The sticker books have a TON of stickers in them, and it will probably take you a while to use them up.

For pens, you probably only need 8 different colors at max, because eventually 3 different shades of pink will all look pretty much the same. Resist the urge to buy the GIANT pack of pens that include slight variations of every color.

Shop the 50% off Sales or use a Coupon!

If you have a Joann’s or Michael’s nearby, then take advantage of the high value coupons that you can find pretty much any day of the week. And be sure to sign up for their mailing lists, because both retailers send great coupons in the mail all the time.

I recently bought the Classic Happy Planner hole punch to be able to insert my own printables into my planner. I waited to buy it until I had a 60% off any regular price item from Joann’s, which was a HUGE savings on this $30 tool!

And, both craft stores accept competitor’s coupons – something that I take advantage of ALL the time!

Also, about once a quarter Joann’s also puts their Happy Planners and accessories on sale for Buy One Get One FREE or 50% off, which is a great deal! Wait for a sale to replenish your sticker books or washi tape for huge savings.

Invest in the Line it Up Check it Off Stencil.

If you’re a perfectionist that can’t write in a straight line, then this tool will be your best friend.

Most of the monthly calendars in the planner don’t have lines, so this little gem is great for adding your own lines to certain boxes that have a lot of writing. And, you can also add cute checklist boxes to your lines to make your own perfectly straight and even to-do lists!

I DO recommend having a super fine tip pen to use with this stencil… 0.3 or 0.4 mm tips work best!

More isn’t always More. Don’t over-decorate!

Leave room for last minute things that come up! You don’t want to cover your pages so much in stickers and washi tape that you don’t have room to add things to your calendar.

Use a sticker to cover up mistakes or schedule changes.

Make a mistake?

Throw a sticker on top of it!


Extension packs and refills are your friends!

There is absolutely NO reason to have to invest in a brand new $30 planner every year!

Just save your discs and your Happy Planner cover and switch out your old pages! Most of the extension packs are around $12 and come with everything you need for 6 months. Grab your refills when you’ve got a 50% off coupon for even more savings!

Use the Habit Tracker Half Sheets to track daily goals!

If you plan to track water intake, exercise, or anything else really, then you will LOVE these inserts.

The Habit Tracker half sheets come in a pack of 60 and can easily be placed wherever you want them as a reminder to get in your steps, update your budget, workout, etc.

And there you have it! Pretty much everything you need to know about the Happy Planner for beginners, and then some!

I hope that I’ve answered all your burning questions! And I hope that I’ve inspired you to get organized this year using a planner.

Whether you want to track your daily workouts, remind yourself to drink more water, keep track of your kids’ 68 extracurricular activities, or just jot down your daily reminders and to-do lists, I’m sure that you will LOVE The Happy Planner as much as I do!

Happy Planning!

And Happy Nesting!

The Happy Planner for Beginners

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Happy Planner for Teachers and More – Our Honest Review

Not every planner is going to give you the versatility and functionality that you need. However, the Happy Planner gives you exactly what you need to ensure that you have a successful and well-planned school year! This planner has everything from beautiful template choices, versatile spreads, varied daily, weekly, and monthly layouts, stickers, and tons more features.

Over the years, I have used many different teacher planners, but the Happy Planner by far is the most versatile, stylish, and adaptable for my busy schedule.

What is a Happy Planner?

Happy Planner is a customizable planner to meet the needs of your busy lifestyle. This disc-bound planner allows you to make your planning book exactly what your want it to be. Even better, there are several different categories that you can purchase in!

Want to jazz up your planner by adding stickers? This planner has every kind of sticker you can imagine. What about extension packs? Happy Planner has many different types of extension packs that will meet every need that you have for your lifestyle. They have everything from fitness extensions to meal planning, budgeting, goals, and more.

happy planner teacher review

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How to Use the Happy Planner

Planning the Happy Planner is easy and fun. However, because there are so many different planning spreads, it can seem overwhelming, but everything you need has a place.

What to Do First!

First, you need to decide as to whether or not you want a dated or undated template.

Once you have taken this step, you can decide if you want a verticle, horizontal, or dashboard layout.

Choose either a 12-month or 18-month calendar.

Next, choose what size planner you need:

  • The Classic Planner 7.75″x9.75.”
  • The Big Planner 9″x11.25.”
  • The Mini Planner 5.12″x7.5.”

Choose Your Needed Extensions!

Decide whether or not any planner extensions would be needed. Depending on what you need to put in that planner, these extensions could make your life much easier when compartmentalized. For example, do you have fitness goals and need to keep track of weight, diet, and exercise? Then, happy Planner has you totally covered.

Types of Extension Packs

  • Wedding Planner – Just like it sounds, this pack is perfect for planning your big day. With so much to be done, this extension pack is a great addition to your already awesome planner that meets your specific wedding planning needs!
  • Fitness & Wellness – One of the biggest keys to success in fitness and wellness is planning and keeping track. This extension pack sets you up for success in all of your fitness and wellness goals.
  • Budgeting – Like fitness success, making sure every dollar has a name and having a place to plan your budget is important. If you have specific financial goals, or you want to know where everything is going, this is an extension pack you will want.
  • Teacher Pack – As a teacher, this is my kind of pack! Everything from lesson planning, class schedules, student notes, and more is available with this extension.
  • Caregiver – Life is already hard to keep track of, and if you’re a caregiver, it is challenging. This extension pack has exactly what you need to make sure you aren’t missing a beat.
  • Meal Planning – Meal planning is crucial to keeping within your grocery budget and so you aren’t buying unnecessary things. This meal planning extension pack will help you stay on track with your grocery list and what meals your family is getting.

Just a tip: I LOVE using colorful pens in my planner to make it entirely my own! That being said, I would recommend the Dual Brush Marker pens on Amazon. These pens will allow you to really make your planning experience a lot more fun and usable.

Are Happy Planners Reusable?

Yes! While the pages themselves are not reusable, you can get new pages and extensions for your planner to replace the ones you can no longer use. With all of the different page options to choose from, you will love to replace pages.

Does the Happy Planner Come With Stickers?

While the initial planner does not come with stickers, the Happy Planner website has many different sticker options to choose from to make your daily planning a little bit more fun!

What Kinds of Stickers Does Happy Planner Have?

Student Stickers – These are not your everyday stickers! These stickers allow students to plan for exams and big assignments in a fun way. Also, many of the student sticker packs have sticker checklists to help stay organized.

Disney Stickers! – For the Disney fan, this is so awesome. Brighten up your day by looking at the fun and heartwarming figures of the classic Minnie and Mickey mouse. Watch the preview for the new Disney Be Happy Box below:

Teacher Stickers – Just like the student sticker packs, the teacher stickers cater directly to the needs of an educator in a fun and colorful way.

Other Colorful Packs – Aside from packs for specific needs, there are literally over 180 different sticker packs to choose from. Everything from florals, to watercolor designs, to inspirational sayings, will certainly brighten up your planner.

Other Happy Planner Accessories

While it doesn’t seem that there could be anything else, there is! Happy Planner has thought about everything you need to store stickers, dry erase boards to put up on your wall, desk calendars, and desk organization tools.

  • Storage Totes & Cases – This planner has some super cute storage cases that you can use to organize all of those great accessories! If your planner helps you organize your life, why not get a tote to organize the things you use for your planner?
  • Planner Storage Covers – Don’t want your new planner getting the edges bent and dinged up? Get yourself a pretty storage cover.
  • Planner Purse – What’s better than having a personalized planner? Having a purse attached to it!
  • BIG Weekly Box Punch – Want to be really creative with your Happy Planner? This box punch works with any type of thick cardstock if you want to add a pop of personality.
  • Dry Erase Boards & Decals – Happy Planner has beautiful dry erase boards to hang on your office wall. Plus, with their removable decals, having your plans right up on the wall where you can see them makes life easier.

Is the Happy Planner Worth It?

Yes! So in 2021, the Happy Planner should definitely be your go-to planner to make sure you don’t skip a beat. Everything about this planner allows you to personalize the pages to make sure that your day-to-day activities.

For Tutors, Lesson Planning, Planners, Teacher Planners

About the Author

Brittany Ray

Brittany is a dedicated educator to students in high needs schools, a habitual DIY’er, and an avid runner. She is a high school teacher by day and a passionate freelance writer by night. Her passion and life mission with her work is to help students and teachers in practical ways that will allow them to flourish. Brittany loves spending time with her family and being outside any chance she can get. She loves taking the family on long bike rides and on family hikes in the beautiful surrounding areas of the Midwest. You can check out her projects and life encouragement on her blog.

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Shop huge markdowns on top-rated planners at the Happy Planner warehouse sale

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— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Even though so many things are digital these days, it's still nice to put pen to paper once in a while—and a day planner can be so much more satisfying to use than a digital calendar on a smartphone. Just in time for all those back-to-school plans, right now you can save big on one of the most customizable physical planners around, with up to 75% off select planners and related accessories at The Happy Planner's virtual warehouse sale.

Get expert shopping advice delivered to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the deal-hunting nerds at Reviewed.

The Happy Planner sells customizable, disc-bound planners as well as sticker books and related accessories, all of which work together to help keep your life organized. The sale runs through 11:59 p.m. PT on August 13—but only while supplies last, so don't miss out.

When we tested Happy Planners, we found them to be super fun to use. We loved how easy it was to create the planner that suited us by mixing and matching the types of pages then easily adding, removing or re-ordering pages as needed thanks to the ring binding. The stickers are designed to fit the layout of the Happy Planners perfectly, helping you keep track of everything from a meal plan to daily chores. Overall, we found Happy Planners to be perfect for creative types, and even those who use planners infrequently, since you can get them with undated pages so nothing goes to waste. 

Use the included floral print dividers to keep your calendars, to-do lists and more organized.

The sale includes 12-month notebooks like the 2021 Just Bloom mini planner, which is marked down from $21.99 to just $5.99, saving you 73% or $16. Finished with an inviting floral pattern on the front, it has 12 dividers with floral prints as well inspirational quotes inside. With dates running from June 2021 to July 2022, the notebook is small enough to pop into your purse or bag to take with you on travels. Track everything from book club and dinner parties to gym workouts, daily appointments, and more. Pleased buyers raved about the compact size (perfect for popping into a bag) and called out its pretty and functional mini dashboard layout.

Disney fans will find inspiration in this mini notebook.

For kids, the 2021 Disney Minnie Mouse Kindness classic 12-month planner is slashed in price from $32.99 to just $8.99, a savings of 73% or $24. Disney artwork is featured throughout this 5-star rated planner with a focus on the character Minnie Mouse, including both prints and quotes on all 12 dividers. To add some Mickey to the equation, consider the Disney Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse value pack sticker set, which comes with 477 pieces and is marked down from $24.99 to just $14.99, saving you $10.

A perfect gift for a student, teacher or anyone who likes to keep their daily activities organized, the Happy Planner is just about the most customizable daily planner you can get—but these savings won't last, so shop now to find the one that suits you.

Shop The Happy Planner Annual Virtual Warehouse Sale

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