The Happy Planner – My FAVORITE planner!
I totally get the struggle with finding the perfect planner. If you’re looking for a new planner to use this year, I’d love to introduce you to The Happy Planner! I’ve spent, like, maybe 10 years trying to find a planner that works for me! I hope this Happy Planner Review gives you all the details you need to know if it’s the right planner for you this year!
I’ve always loved planners, even back in high school to map out my homework, tests, and after school activities. I’m totally a paper and pen planner type, and I’ve tried so hard to use digital planners, but they just don’t work the same for me (if digital is your jam, I totally support that).
I’m going to go into as much detail as possible in this Happy Planner review, and hopefully you’ll be able to decide if this is the right option for you!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission when you make a purchase through one of these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, check out my disclosure.
My Happy Planner Experience
Alright, before we go a lot further, I’d like to talk a little bit about my own journey to find the Create 365 Happy Planner, and then break the whole planner down in more detail.
And don’t worry – I am writing an honest Happy Planner review, and I will list all the pros and cons as we go along, and again in one place at the end! And please let me know in the comments what you think of your Happy Planner!
My Planner Struggles
Okay, so I will start with what worked and didn’t work for me in other planners. Maybe you can relate to some of these things, and I’m hoping it’ll help you decide more of what you’re looking for in a planner!
You’ll also see what kind of planner user I am, and if you identify as the same, this review might be even MORE helpful to you!
For the longest time, I didn’t really know what I was looking for in a planner. I really didn’t realize all the different options that were out there, and I think now we have a lot more options than we once had years ago.
So, at first I got one of those fancy Franklin Covey planners in college. I thought it would be perfect for filling in all my classes every day, work, and homework. It was great for helping me prioritize tasks. But it was bulky!
Also, since then, I’ve learned I like a planner with a little more design to it. Once again, maybe currently Franklin Covey has planners like that, but at the time it wasn’t really offered that I could find.
Then I went through a few planners from Target.
The Target planners were pretty and I loved the looks of them. I liked the weight and size of most of them. A lot of times, there wasn’t enough room for me to write in them everything I needed to, because I want to put EVERYTHING in my planner.
I wanted more than the daily or weekly pages, and I wanted more space for notes or maybe to create my own sections.
I’m super duper type A, and I hate tearing a page out of a planner, even if it is just in the notes section.
I know. Maybe I’m weird. But I hate it! I also felt like I couldn’t write as many notes in those sections because I had to use them sparingly – once they were used up, they were done until my next planner!
I also tried the Recollections planners from Michaels. These planners are beautiful, had the layouts I was looking for, but I was still running into the same issues of space for notes that could be used the entire year and replaced if necessary.
The binder ring type planners just don’t work for me, they feel so much more bulky (once again, just my opinion and personal preference!).
Then I found The Happy Planner.
The Happy Planner came with pretty much everything I was looking for!
- Multiple weekly layout options
- Monthly spreads with plenty of space
- Different planner sizes
- Discbound – So I could remove and/or add pages as needed
To be honest, I didn’t even know I was looking for a discbound planner. I didn’t even know what a discbound planner was!
What is a discbound planner?
A discbound planner is a planner where the pages are held together by multiple round discs rather than binder rings or a spiral or coil binding.
The discs have a little bit of a lip on the edges of the circles, and that holds the pages in.
Using a special hole punch, the discs are able to hold pages that can be added and removed – without damaging the page!
Let’s get into the details for this Happy Planner review!
Happy Planner Sizes
The Happy Planner comes in three different sizes:
I have used all three of these, and my favorite is the Classic. I feel it’s the perfect size for my use, and offers me plenty of space.
Happy Planner Size Comparison
Let’s take a look at each size Happy Planner and see what might work best for you!
The Classic Happy Planner is 7.75” L x 9.75” H
I find this to be a great size to fit in most handbags, and it also is comfortable to write in space-wise. This is my favorite size, and the one I use every single day.
The Mini Happy Planner is 5.125” L x 8.625” H
I’ve used the Mini in the past. I like to have 2 planners, one being my “master” (or main) planner, where I write out all my weekly and monthly goals, workouts, budgeting, etc. The second I usually use to keep in my purse with all of my appointments and scheduling information (which is also in my main or every day planner).
The Mini is great, however, I write a little on the larger side so it doesn’t usually contain as much information as I’d like it to for my own purposes. Style-wise I think it’s just as wonderful!
I have used the Big Happy Planner in the past as well, and I got one for myself for this year again!
As I said above, I like to use two planners. Now I use the Classic Happy Planner as my everyday planner, with all of my time and schedule commitments. It’s also a great size to add in my goals as well.
I use the Big Happy Planner as my master planner, that includes everything in my everyday Classic, but also has all of my business and blogging information and goals in it.
Here they all are stacked on each other so you can get the idea of the size differences, the Big, Classic, and Mini:
Note: If you’re in the market for a Mini, this is one of the 2020 designs, so I’m not sure if it’s a design offered in 2021 or other years, but you can see all the Mini Happy Planner designs here!
Classic Happy Planner
Since it’s the middle size, and the one I’ve used consistently for the last 3 years, I’m going to focus on everything with the Classic Happy Planner, and will have photos primarily of the Classic and Big Happy Planners since those are the ones I have that are most current!
The other sizes do follow the same types of formats and have similar designs inside. It’s just a matter of what will work best for you! The other sizes also seem to have just as many add-ons you can purchase to really customize your planner!
Happy Planner Review: Covers
You can choose from different cover designs, buy different covers, and you can also make your own customized cover.
I like the thickness of the cover, and it being plastic laminated really makes it easy to wipe of and clean or disinfect when needed.
First Few Pages
The first two pages have quick calendars for this year and next year at a glance.
The next 4 pages have columns for each month, along with the day of the week and the dates. You can write in important events, when bills are due, holidays, etc.
Personally, I use these pages for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. I leave events like birthday parties for my weekly and monthly spreads.
The monthly spreads are two pages, and have a simple calendar with a thin notes section on the side.
At the beginning of each month, you can write down monthly goals, important dates coming up, notes, and a reminder. Sometimes for the reminder, I like to write in one of my favorite quotes.
Happy Planner Review: Weekly Layouts
The Happy Planner comes in three different weekly layout options:
- Horizontal Layout
- Vertical Layout
- Dashboard Layout
I’d say the horizontal layout is a very traditional planner layout, and one you’ve probably seen many times before. I do not use the horizontal layout, but you can see an example on the Happy Planner website!
Basically, the horizontal layout is a weekly layout that is spread over two pages.
The vertical layout is going to be the most comparable to something that has time slots for each day. You can write those in yourself, or you can get a little creative with it!
You could use the vertical layout to map out morning, afternoon, and evening for each day.
Or you could use it for different areas of your life…such as work, family, personal. Or fitness, work, school. There are quite a few ways to use the vertical, and once you get started you will find what works best for you!
This is an example of the vertical layout in my big Happy Planner:
The dashboard layout is my favorite – and it just squeaked by the vertical layout for me. I love the vertical layout, but the dashboard works so much better for me and all the things I have going on.
With the dashboard layout, the left page can hold all your notes and to-dos for the week.
The right page has each day of the week to fill in as you need to!
Here is the dashboard layout in my Classic Happy Planner!
For someone who might have more commitments each day, this layout may not be ideal for you because it is a smaller writing space per day, and another layout might work better for you. Our brains all work differently – so it comes down to personal preference on the layouts!
Happy Planner Add-Ons
There are SO MANY different add-ons and accessories you can get for your Happy Planner. Seriously. So many.
Which is amazing because you can really customize your planner to how you like it, as well as change it throughout the year as your needs may change!
The amount of add-ons is one of the biggest pros for me and why I love the Happy Planner.
Check out their website for the most comprehensive list of all the different add-ons, but here are the ones that I got for my Classic and Big planners:
- Extra lined pages for notes (pictured above)
- Adhesive pockets to use as folders (pictured above)
- Days of the week add-ins (not pictured, these are great for busier weeks, for meal planning, workouts, or breaking down a big project through the week)
- Dry erase page (not pictured, and I haven’t tried this out yet – I’ll report back with how it works!)
I’m not a huge sticker user. Some people can make stickers work beautifully in their planners, and I do not have such talent. I primarily use stickers as decorative additions for things like birthdays!
One more accessory I want to quickly chat about, that I am SO excited about, but haven’t tried just yet, is the hole punch.
Like I mentioned earlier, disc bound planner systems use special hole punches so you can add, remove, and move where certain pages are within your planner.
If you’re into making your own planner pages, you can get your own hole punch on their website! I recently bought one, and I’m so excited to make a couple pages for myself and try it out! I will update this post as I get this done! 🙂
I also got this pencil case on Amazon, and the elastic band makes it fit perfectly around both my classic and big Happy Planner.
As a side note, my favorite planner pens are the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens. They’re thin, and they do not bleed through the paper, plus they come in quite a few different colors!
My second favorite pen is the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel pen. These come in a few less colors, but they do come in all the essential colors! They write very smoothly and are a little thicker. I haven’t had them bleed through the pages, but the ink does go on a little darker than the Staedtler pens.
Get the pencil case here.
Get the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens here.
Get the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel pens here.
Happy Planner Discs
The discs that come on the Happy Planner are generally plastic. In addition to all the other customizations you can make, you can buy different discs!
You can get different colors, and you can get bigger sizes called “expander discs” if you need to add quite a few pages to your planner. The extra discs also come in metal options.
I’ve never purchased expander discs for myself, and I have never had an issue with the plastic discs
Happy Planner Review: Pros & Cons
It wouldn’t be a proper review without a list of pros and cons! Let’s get this part of the Happy Planner review taken care of!
Customizable. I think this is the biggest pro for me! I am able to easily move pages around, add my own pages, add pages from their various other offerings (like a fitness planning pages, budget planning pages, etc.). I can even add more notes pages in the back, which you might realize by now is a huge deal for me so I don’t have to ration the notes pages throughout the year!
You can even swap out your discs for a different color, or purchase bigger discs so you can build out your planner to be a little bit bigger, if you’d like! (links)
Layout options. I love having options for the different layouts. The different layouts offered are horizontal, vertical, and dashboard. At first, I loved the vertical layout (I still do!). But since The Happy Planner came out with a dashboard layout, I am absolutely obsessed and find this the most helpful for me.
Plenty of accessories and add-ons. If you’re someone that likes to put a lot of stickers (link) in your planner, they offer a TON of different sticker options (link) in different styles!
If you like to add a weekly meal plan, there are pages for that too! There are pages you can purchase for daily priorities and reminders (link), notes and filler paper (link), envelopes (link), sticky tabs (link), and extension packs (like budgeting, wellness, undated, etc) (link).
Their website has free printables. You gotta love free printables! They offer various free printables from things like Spring Cleaning, Summer Reading, Holidays, etc. Don’t forget to buy a discbound paper punch so you can print out these pages and add them to your planner!
The discbound system. In general, I just love this system so you can move things around, add, and remove pages as needed. I love my Happy Planner hole punch, and I’m working on making my own pages for it!
When I do, you’ll be the first to know (make sure you’re on my email list – you can sign up below AND get some FREE 30 day declutter calendar). I’m currently testing different paper sizes and then I will be offering my existing planner pages in different sizes as well!
A discbound system is wonderful, and I have had NO Issues with pages falling out or not staying in.
That being said, if you have one or two pages you move around a lot throughout the planner, it could weaken the paper near the hole punches and those specific pages may not hold up as well.
Some people might find the discs a little big and bulky. I did at first, but I am totally used to it now and love it.
Honestly, that’s the only con I can think of right now. I’m seriously in love with these planners.
Happy Planner Review: Q&A
Let’s get into some really popular questions about the Create 365 Happy Planner! After using these planners for 3 years now, I have been asked these questions by quite a few people.
Here are the most common questions I’ve been asked, and questions I’ve seen around different groups!
Do Happy Planner pages fall out?
Nope! As I said before, I’ve used the Happy Planner for 3 years now. I have not once had a page fall out! You can even hold it by the covers upside down and shake it and the pages won’t fall out!
I think I mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth bringing up again. If you move a page around a lot, you may run into a situation where the hole punch area gets a little weak. This hasn’t been an issue for me, and I had a few pages last year that I moved around multiple times and I noticed one or two areas getting a little weaker, but still no pages fell out!
Can I reuse my Happy Planner?
I think this is up to each individual person. I personally would not reuse mine, as I don’t want to re-date things and prefer to have all the calendar and date pages done for me. I would, however, use different components of it!
For example, if you just love the cover and it doesn’t have the year on it, you can always buy a new planner and swap out the cover.
If you have an unused dashboard page, you can put that in your new planner as well!
You can also take the dividers and put them into your new planners if you’d like to make a new section for yourself.
There definitely are parts of the planner you can use again and repurpose, so when you’re setting up a new planner keep that in mind and your old planner nearby just in case!
Where can I buy The Happy Planner?
You can buy the Happy Planner directly on their website – which I think is the best option because this is where you’ll find the most accessories and additional pages for it.
One of the pros to buying directly on their website is you can enroll in their rewards program! You earn points for each dollar you spend, as well as when you leave reviews! Check out the rewards program here!
You can also buy the Happy Planner and accessories on Amazon, at Hobby Lobby, and Michaels.
What should I put in my Happy Planner?
Here are some ideas to get you started if you haven’t been using planners very long, or just simply want to step up your planning and life organizing!
- Schedules – work schedules, school schedules, kids activities, etc.
- Birthdays & anniversaries
- Events – parties (this is especially helpful around the holidays!), concerts, weddings, etc.
- Goals – daily, weekly and monthly goals can help you stay on track!
- Meals – a planner is the perfect place to start your meal planning!
- Workouts – You can plan out your workouts in a planner, or you can log your workout for the day, how many steps you took and so on!
- Cleaning schedules – you can check out my printable cleaning schedule templates here! They’re designed to help you make a cleaning routine that works for you! They’re currently 8.5 x 11” printables, so they won’t work in your Happy Planner, but I plan on having more print sizes available soon!
- Appointments – doctor appointments, hair appointments, vet appointments, etc.
- Pet schedules – grooming, medication, washing pet beds, etc.
- Budgeting, bills, and saving money. I like to write on my monthly spreads when each bill is due, and I also like to use a monthly bill tracker to keep track of when I paid each bill, and how much I paid!
- Garbage & recycling pick up schedules
I’ll make an in-depth post of things to put in your planner soon, so keep coming back, or sign up for my email list below and get your free 30 day declutter calendar!
Happy Planner Ideas
Some people like to use multiple planners. You learned earlier that I have been using two planners for a little bit now, and I do want to talk about this a little more.
First, I have a planner that I put EVERYTHING in. All of the things listed above, and my business goals and to-dos.
I tried using a second planner for just appointments and schedules, but that didn’t work out for me and I ended up using the main planner by itself for well over half the year.
This year, I’m trying to use two planners – one for everything like usual, and one just for business planning.
I don’t want you to think you have to use more than one planner. If one planner works for you, that is amazing and do what works best for you! If you have a separate thing going on in your life and would like a second planner for it so you can separate things out a little bit, that’s awesome too!
Here are some ideas for a second planner – these are also ideas you can use to make a new section in your ONE planner!
- Fitness goals, meal planning, work out log
- Business planner
- Craft planner
- Budget planner
- Goal planner
- Kids activities only (sometimes kids get involved in so many things that keeping track on top of school can be challenging and needs its own space!)
I’d love to hear how you use your planner (or two planners). Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Happy Planner review and found it helpful! I’ve used this planner for 3 years now, and I really do love it. I love the customization I can do and that it’s something I can keep changing throughout the year, if needed.
Have you tried the Happy Planner? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you new to using a planner in general? Check out this post from Psychology Today about why you should use a planner!