On instagram last week in my stories, I was chatting about the planner I use and how I use it.  I got so many questions about my layout, I thought I’d document setting up my week so I could share it here in more detail.

I use the Happy Planner. You can find lots of their stuff on amazon, and in stores like michaels, and Joann’s.  I think they have a target line out which I am excited for.  Planner addiction is real, y’all!  This post isn’t even sponsored.. this is just actually the planner I use and love after using lots of different kinds over the years.  For me, the removable pages, the ability to customize and add in notes, etc. makes this my literal happy place.  I know why they call it the happy planner.  So let me show you how I use mine.

First of all, I use my planner more when I like the way it looks.  Call me silly, call me vein, but this is something I’ve learned about myself: visual interest draws me in.  I am genuinely more happy when I open a cupboard to colorful dishes, and also when I open my planner to colorful, creative pages.  😀

  • I typically choose a few coordinating washi tape patterns and divide up my weekly layout.  I section off one area for work, maybe another for the weekend, and anything else to add a little color and personality.

Once I’ve got the bones, I stick in my notes or things that aren’t specific to a certain day.
You can always find my weekly meal list, with a shopping list on the other side.  (I love that I can add in pages to my planner.. this was a game changer for me.)You might find packing lists, or errands I need to run.  I love using project life cards for this, and sticking them in with washi tape.  This way, if I need to bump it into the next week I can simply pull and stick it where I need it.  I also love the journaling purposes of these.  It’s fun to flip through old weeks in the planner and read through the little lists and notes I’ve made.

After that, I add in some cute stickers (because no one outgrows stickers, don’t lie).  I mostly use the happy planner sticker books because everything I really need is right in one place, but you can OFTEN find me and my girls scouring any given sticker section.  I use stickers to indicate laundry days, grocery shopping, work goals, holidays, and basically anything else I can find a sticker for.  They’re not JUST cute, they’re actually very sensible and don’t take up much room so I have space for other things.

Once the bones of my week are in place, I fill in the day-to-day.  I use a simple check list system, making a list down my day, keeping track of the things like exercising, what we’re eating, errands that need to be run, goals and to do lists.  

I write in my priorities first: that includes date night, activities I want to do with my children that week, scheduling down time for myself to recharge.

I personalize my planner as much as possible.  I use this as a type of journal, scrapbook, whatever..  I may tape in pictures of trips, and write in journal entries about our days.  Especially when we travel and I’m not using the days for all the daily lists.

I use my planner for a place to write out the things I’m wanting to be intentional about.  It keeps those things fresh in my mind.  Before we went to Mexico I wrote in my planner fill each child’s love tank and made a check list by each one for something we had done for some quality time.  I felt so good leaving knowing those boxes were checked.  I find that often how my week looks, my planner reflects.  So when I plan a beautiful week I often have a beautiful week.  See how that works?

The lie you may be telling yourself:

I’m not as organized as her, I could never do something like this. – I am the least organized person maybe on the planet.  But grown-up life forces me to try, also… I keep dividing and multiplying and who knew all these babies would come with actual schedules and lives of their own?  That’s why I HAD to have a planner.  Tape and stickers is just something I like, but you’d be surprised by the simplicity of putting pen to paper and how it can help organize your week.  Try it!

This girl has better handwriting than me, my planner would never look like this: I’ll tell you a trick, try writing in caps to make your writing look a little neater.  My handwriting also tends to be rather sloppy, it’s not as flowing and beautiful as my mothers, it’s not as clean and neat as my sister’s… but I write in caps as a cheat way to neater writing (because I’m not in elementary school, and I can), and practice my handlettering because that’s actually a hobby I pursue.  See?  Another way to personalize. Also, again on the simple train, the more you put pen to paper, the better you get.  Penmanship lesson 101, practice makes perfect.

I have a house full of kids, I don’t have TIME for this: Where are my kids while I do this, you ask?  Well they are right along with me working on their planners, of course.  This has been such a fun way for me to connect with my older girls, and promote some journaling and creativity with them… and my littlest ones never complain when I pull them up to the table with makers and paper-a-plenty to work along side us.  Hey, I just planned your afternoon activity. 😉  I just talked about exactly this subject on my instagram stories last week.  Catch it in the highlights and follow me if you don’t already for tips I share there for my day-to-day life with the kids!)

What about you planner gals?  What is your favorite planner?  Have you tried the happy planner?  Anything you use that I don’t know about?  Question for me?  Let’s chat in the comments.

I use the classic size planner, and I also use a cover for it.. I like that for keeping pens and stuff together when I’m on the road – which I often am… and my favorite thing to do on the road, is doodle away on a notebook or planner.  🙂