When I was a kid, my favorite time of year was the last few weeks of summer. Want to guess why? I was completely smitten with shopping for back to school supplies. Just ask my mom! My dream as a kid? To own my own stationary and craft store. Little has changed for me, my friends. I don’t get to do back-to-school shopping anymore (technically) but January is a great reason to start fresh with a new 2016 planner. I’ve tried several throughout the years, and this one is by far my favorite! Check it out!
To start with, I’ve used a paper planner for years. Even when it wasn’t trendy and cool and everyone was only using iCalendar. I couldn’t do it. I have tried a ton of different brands and types of planners. My one last year was from Erin Condren. It was okay, but didn’t really fit my needs. I LOVE my planner this year. I’ve actually been using it since September (it’s an 18 month one) so I can confidently say I’m committed to this guy.
It’s called the Happy Planner. How cute is that name? 😀 This post isn’t sponsored by them or anything, I just love it that much! It’s made by Me & My Big Ideas (or MAMBI as us cool kids call it), which you might recognize as a scrapbooking and craft brand. Since they are already a crafting brand, their planners are totally cute and craft friendly!
This is the planner I started out with. It’s the standard Happy Planner that runs 18 months and has dated monthly and weekly/daily spreads for each month. Pretty standard for a planner right? But here’s where it gets really cool. This planner is totally customizable! You can order new covers (I got this set, yay for gold!). It gets even better though! This planner is disc bound, meaning that unlike a spiral notebook where things are stuck in that order forever, you can take the pages out and reorder them easily. I was worried that the disc system might be flimsy or paper might fall out, but after months of carrying it I’ve had zero issues.
For awhile I was taking my planner plus a notebook out for meetings and such. Then I realized that I could just buy notebook and graph paper inserts for the planner which was a total game changer for me! I could now take notes or jot down blog ideas in my planner and move the individual sheet paper into my calendar section if I wanted. I also found they made a Home Planner insert and then became obsessed. It has a to-do list pad, monthly budget sheets, cleaning schedules and meal planning sheets. My favorite has to be the “to-do list” insert since I LOVE making lists. I take this sheet out, use my calendar to write down what needs to get done, then put it back in the to-do section. Easy. I also love the meal planning sheets! I found I didn’t use the budget or cleaning schedules, so I removed those sections from the planner.
I’ll level with you guys, the planners can get really thick when you add in all the extras. MAMBI knows this, which is why they even sell expansion rings (which I also bought!). Then they did the most brilliant thing of all time and released a fitness planner. You guys. OBSESSED. The fitness planner is undated and has monthly calendars and a weekly spreads where you can record your goals for the week, meals and calories, workouts and water intake.
It’s seriously my favorite. But again, it can get bulky. A lot of people were carrying around their regular planner plus a whole other planner for fitness, but I decided to combine my two. My current planner has the Happy Planner Dec-March as well as the Fitness Planner Dec-March. I also have the blank paper and graph paper, the to-do lists, the meal planner, these folders to put my extra papers into and these (and these) stickers. I keep my current planning stuff in the black and white planner with pink rings, and all other months go into the blue one with gold rings until I’m ready to switch them out. See how much thinner the pink one is?
The sad news is the MAMBI Fitness Planners are really, really hard to find. They were sold exclusively on MAMBI.com (sold out) and at Michael’s stores. I found mine by having Michael’s stores call for me until they found one…so getting a fitness planner might be tough. BUT you can get the Fitness extension pack on their website directly (right here) which is all you need if you have the Happy Planner anyways. Plus, I just saw they also have a recipe organizer expansion and a wedding planning expansion pack!
And in case anyone is wondering, I do decorate my planner (I’m a bit sticker happy!) but I just wanted to show you all the pretty blank pages full of possibilities. Perhaps I’ll share the decorated pages in an upcoming post. You can see this Trendspotting post chalk full of inspiration in the mean time.
Lastly, I wanted to share how I practically use my calendar. I don’t carry it with me everywhere. I take it to work and use it at home. That’s about it. I know some people are hardcore and carry it everywhere, but it gets heavy! I put important dates/appointments in my phone via google calendar to get reminders (and in my planner) and use my planner as a running to do list/blog planner/fitness tracker!
Do you guys have 2016 planners all picked out? I’d love to hear about yours. Geeking out so hard here! Also, if you want to see even more pretty school supply-ish things, check out this post I did featuring my favorite school supplies for adults. 😀