Tag: planning

My favorite planner stickers

September 3
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Please note: This is not a sponsored post. Affiliate links are in use.

There are a lot of companies out there making planner stickers these days.  At first they were few and far between, expensive and online only. Now it seems you can get them everywhere. By far my favorite planner stickers are the Happy Planner Value Packs.

You get your monies worth. These packs retail for about $20 but often times you can get them for less on sale or with coupons. Each pack comes with 30 sheets so this is less than a dollar a sheet at retail price and even less when they are on sale.

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I love cute stuff as much as the next girl, but I want stickers that help me make the most of my planner. When I use stickers in my planner I want to mix both function and form. I like to keep two types of sticker books at hand, cute ones, and fictional ones.

 

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If you have a Michaels nearby that is great, but if not you can pick up a set on Amazon with free prime shipping if you’re a member. I hate waiting for stuff, so I love how accessible these are. By just having one of two of these around I can make a super cute layout that really helps me make the best of my week.

 

Have you used these stickers? What did you think?

 

 

 

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What I do with old planners

August 8
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One of the questions I always get asked is what I do with my old planers. I know everyone’s answers and reasonings will be different, but my answer is a easy one. I keep them. I store old planners on a shelf in my office; close enough to be grabbed and reviewed at any time. I do not keep old planners that I did not use. I keep my planners for both practical and sentimental reasons.  These reasons work for me but may or may not work for you.


When I start a new planner for a new year I go back to the monthly spreads of my previous planner to find any important reoccurring dates; birthdays, anniversaries, ect. I also note the date of events that happen every year such as 5Ks and festivals. Generally speaking these types of events take place on the same weekend such as the third Saturday in July. If the upcoming event is just an estimated date I put it on a sticky note and put that in the monthly spread of my new planner. This makes planning out vacations and other events much easier.

I also use my old planners to remember when things happened. Often times I will reember something like “I don’t remember the day she had the baby, but I know it was the same day as my hair appointment and I think it was July.” Then I can go to July, see when I had my hair done, and make a pretty good guess that is the child’s birthday. I also go back and use my old planners to remember when the last time I had a doctor’s appointment, had the carpets cleaned, and other infrequent tasks. I win a lot of bets with my husband this way. :)

The last reason I keep my old planners around is for the sentimental value. Just flipping through an old planner or notebook from a few years ago opens up a whole wealth of memories that you may have almost forgotten happened. Just like we take vacation photos to remember great trips, flipping though an old planner is like a trip down memory lane remembering what life was like then. I am sure these memories will be even more precious as time goes by.

Do you keep old planners? What do you do with them? Share below!

 

What I do with old planners

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Making a summer bucket list in my Happy Planner

June 6
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So the summer is finally here and I am ready to make the most of it. Last summer was a little crazy with our home search, a new job, and handling a new commute but I now I am ready to go for it. My problem is that at the end of every summer I feel like I haven’t done anything “summery” and that I’ve wasted my time. Of course in all actuality I am usually super busy with work and the like over summer, but still, I wanted a way to really sit down and decide what I wanted to do.

So last week I took the MAMBI seasonal sticker pack and use their summer bucket list stickers as a start. I then added in my own items with other stickers and pen. I used a sheet of planner filler paper, however you could also make your own dot paper

 

OK, so maybe I cheated and added items I knew I was going to do, but that is OK. I want to be able to go back and say I did these things and then after I do them I will write the date. For the more general events this will be a way to remind myself of great ways to celebrate the season when all I feel like doing is watching TV. 

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

 

Need a punch? I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out! Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper? I buy this one from Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget? Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more? Check out my archive of free printables.

 

creating a summer bucket list in your planner

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My 2017 planner setup

December 28
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For 2017 I am starting a new planner from Me and My Big Ideas. I will again be using their Happy Planner in what is now called the Classic size. (Happy Planners also come in Big and Mini as well.)   Mine is called “This is Your Year.


I have been using Happy Planners for a year and a half now and I love how simple yet functional they are. I love that these planners use the ARC page system so pages can be added, removed, and made with ease. I own a punch which allows me to add whatever I’d like to my planner which makes holding lists, saving, invitations, and other important notes super easy.


One of the first things I do when starting a new planner is to go through my old planner month by month and add any reoccurring events to the new planner. Birthdays and Anniversaries don’t change  so you know when they will be.  I add items on sticky notes so that I can add it how I want when we get to that month, but the basic information is there so it is not forgotten.


My planner uses a vertical setup and each day has three boxes. I use the top box for my to dos, so this list is added to daily and as the week progresses. Some days will have many tasks, while others will only have a few, it really depends on what else I have going on.  What I love about this as opposed to an ongoing list, is that I can say “Hey, I need to do ___” and then look at my week and see where I will have the time to accomplish this task and put it on that day.  I find a major problem for those just starting out with planners is that they over schedule to dos which just leads up being upset over not accomplishing goals.

The second box is for scheduling. Here I mark my husband’s schedule for the week, any changes or unusual aspects of my own schedule, and our dinners for the week.  I incorporate meal planning into m weekly planning so that I know what I am doing when I go to the grocery store and we actually have something thawed and ready to go each day.  We don’t get home from work until 6pm and want to eat by 7pm so having a plan really helps make this happen successfully.

The third box in my planner is used for fun extras such as a short list, motivational stickers, or event information.  If we have a party or other social gathering I’d jot the details down here so that we know what is happening and when.  This area is also great for fitness tracking, food tracking, or information regarding school for yourself or children.  In the past I have used this section for planning out my blog postings however I now use Horizontal Happy Planner pages for that.  (more on that later)

 

When starting a new planner I like to add some of my favorite inserts so I am prepared and ready to go.

I add:
A few daily sheets
Lined paper for misc notes
Contacts sheet
Goal planning sheet


I also fill out the front page and make sure to add a phone number and email address in case the planner is lost.

 

Pages you may also consider:

Emergency contact information
Medical conditions/ medications
Clothing sizes for family members

Keep in mind that if your planner is lost, all information will be available to the finder. With this in mind, you may want to add a few items about your children and their school/teachers, however adding this information in a more secretive way that would not be obvious to a predator. Consider adding the teacher’s phone numbers or info as contacts without mention of the grade/school they teach at. Make these choices as your own discretion.

 

So this is the main planner I will be using for 2017 at home. Next week I will be sharing a little bit about my work planner and  I use it to organize my day, schedule employees, and keep on task at work.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. Enjoy!- Amber D.

 

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Weekly planning with my spouse

October 26
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One of the aspects of my planer experience that I get asked about often is how I incorporate my spouse into the planning process. Because we both have work schedules that vary and evenings activities to be aware of, I find that it is critical for my husband and I to get together before the week begins to sit down and line up our schedules. We write down each other’s work schedules, activities, events, and plan out meals. We also make it a priority to carve out time to spend together.

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Generally at the beginning of each month we mark our days off in our personal planners on the monthly pages. This way I can plan ahead for parties and events even if we haven’t gotten to that week. Generally these are just little tick marks or X’s to mark the days.  With this, if a friend asks if we can get together on a Friday at then end of the month I can quickly get a tentative answer. (I would then confirm this with my husband and then add to both of our planners.)

 

Around the middle of the month we glance at the following month to see if there are any days we need to request off in advance. We can then get this information to his boss for his schedule and I can work it into mine.

Alright, on to the week at hand.

When it comes down to the week ahead, first we confirm shift times. We should know the days that both of us work, but we both sometimes have different hours or evening work commitments. We record these as well and if we have holidays of other weird days. In my planner I just write down my husband’s initials next to his work schedule. Generally, I do not write down my schedule because I know it. I do write down if I have an important meeting, something that I need to bring in from home, or an unusual schedule change.. This way I see it before I go in to work.

Next we see if we want to add any plans to the week. A date night? Game night with friends? Trip to the beach? Now that we have out week put together we can see what time we have together and how we want to use it.

After we have our days down we pick meals. Generally, before we sit down I have a list of the meals that I plan to make and then we can write down which days we will have what. Due to our evening events we do not have dinner together at home every night, but we do like to have a plan for the nights we are home.  In the morning when I get up I check the evening’s meal plan and take out whatever is needed for that dinner. This is not a strict plan, but instead a guideline so that we don’t get home hungry with nothing thawed out. We do not write down lunch plans but do prep meals ahead for the week. Often these are just leftovers.

At this point we have a pretty solid plan for the week. I then take this information and fill in my personal tasks around our plans. I schedule my office hours for blogging and household tasks. One way to set yourself up for failure is to give yourself a massive to do list on a day you are booked for 15 hours. It’s just not possible and will leave you upset and defeated. Place those tasks on a shorter day or, better yet, spread them out over the week.

Lastly, I want to leave you with the reminder that this is all flexible. The plans we make change often, and we just have to roll with the punches. Having a basic idea for the week really helps me keep everything in sight, but you know what, some plans are meant to be broken.

My planner: Enjoy the Little Things Happy Planner

Charlie’s planner: An undated kit similar to this one.

We use the Happy Planner punch to add pages and notes to our planners.

Charlie’s stickers are all made by me using my Silhouette Cameo and sticker paper.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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The Happy Planner- This is your year- planner review and flip through

October 25
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I wasn’t going to do a full review on this planner but I had a few people request that I do a flip through of this one so I figured I’d post some actual decent photos here.

The planner I purchased was This is Your Year. This is a 12 month dated planner going from January 2017 to December 2017. The planner retails for $24.99 and is is set to be released in Micheal’s stores in the end of October and on the Me and my Big Ideas website on the 31st of October.

What drew me to this planner was the neutral colors.  I love that there are not colors to work with so I can make the weeks my own without having to work with a pre-assigned color. The current planner I am using. (review here) has colored weekends and date stamps which are nice, but kind of dictate the colors used on the page.

Below I am going to post photos of the pages, dividers, and monthly spreads to give you an idea of the setup of this planner.   Keep in mind that it is only one of several that are being released at this time.

Along with the items The Happy Planner is releasing deluxe covers, snap in covers, deco pens, and other accessories with even more items, including new sticker books to be released in December.

 

It is a great time to be a Happy Planner!

Have you purchased this planner?  What do you think? Is it worth it?

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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Planner review- Rose gold 2016-2017 Happy Planner

July 29
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If you’ve been following the Happy Planner community then I am sure you are aware that the new Rose Gold horizontal planner has been hitting stores.  This planner is a limited edition item that will only be available at Hobby Lobby and only for a short run.  I was able to pick one up after stalking my store for a week or so.  😉

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I was really excited to get my hands on this planner because I want to try out the Happy Planner take on the horizontal layout.  This is a layout I had been using for years before, but then switched to vertical as it is very poplar for weekly planners such as the regular Happy Planner and Erin Condren planners.

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Anyways, continue on for photos, my thoughts on the planner, and what I plan to do with it.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the monthly spreads are so clean.  I have never been a fan of the shaded weekends because not everyone has regular weekends.  I love how clean and sleek the month looks.

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The weekly spreads are nice and simple and vary very little from month to month.  Each month does get one color which is seen on the month at the top of the page, the bottom right corner and the month tab.  This is just enough to give something to coordinate with, but not overtake the month.  Again the weekends are white and clean with plenty of space for writing.

 

Along with other firsts, this is also the first Happy Planner with lined pages.  Because of this I totally feel like I could cram more notes and to dos into this planner than a regular Happy Planner.  I also feel like each day gets more space especially when you notice that the notes area has been moved to below Sunday.

 

Overall I love this weekly view but will have to use it for a few weeks to get the best feel for it.

 

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I LOVE the  foil accents in this planner.  I am seriously going to have to consider framing some of this.  Isn’t this just perfect?

 

My plans for this planner?  I am going to try to combine it with my other Happy Planner for combined work/home/blog planning.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you purchased this planner?  What do you think? Is it worth it?

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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Happy Planner box kit (Summer 2016) review

July 18
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Hey everyone, I just got my hands on one of the new planner box kits by Me and My Big Ideas, the creators of the Happy Planner.  This summer they released several kits for teachers, students, fitness lovers, and everyone else. The student planner kits are dated, however the rest are undated which means they can be used right away or stored for future use.  Perfect for gifting! These kits are currently available at Michael’s stores and the mambi shop.  They retail for $34.99

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The planner I chose is titled “Best Year Ever” and includes monthly and weekly spreads for twelve months.  It also includes stickers for date labels as well as month labels.  An added bonus are decorative and motivational stickers, sticky notes, and magnetic bookmarks.

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The monthly layout for this planner is fairly simple, each month has a color and so the weekends in the monthly view and the sections in the weekly view with both carry through this color.  The color of the month can also be found in little embellishments throughout the month as well as the divider.

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One of the things I love about this planner is the “Currently page” This is the page at the beginning of the month where you can document current events, favorites, goals, birthdays, and other important notes.  This is a great page to work on as you start to form your month, as well as one to look at at the end of the month to see how you have progressed.

 

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Oh, and this title page is just adorable, isn’t it?

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Have you purchased one of these kits?  What do you think of it?  Share below!

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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Happy Planner house hunting free printable

July 16
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Don’t forget to follow on Facebook for updates and new printables!

Home Search Planner Printable (4)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Happy Planner, and one of the things I love the most about it is how customizable it is. With the use of a punch I can put just about anything in my planner.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are currently in the process of selling out current home and purchasing another.  We received the good news the other day that our house in under contact so we the hunt for a new home has begun! I put together these simple little printables to help us narrow down our choices and make the best selection.

This file is  in PDF format.  Print at 100% on an 8.5x11in sheet of paper and then cut down to Happy Planner size. (7in x 9.25 in)I suggest using something a little heavier than copy paper as it is thin and will show through. I like this cardstock. After you’ve cut down the sheet punch it and add it to you’re planner.

Need a punch?  Get one here!

The new Happy Planners are out!  This one runs through December 2017.

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Here we go:

Download the PDF file here!

Like this insert?  If you use it tag me in a photo on Instagram! @_amberdowns.

Note: this post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link on this page I will receive a small commission from the store.  This does not change the cost to you, in fact, I search for the best prices to share with you.  Any income earned via these links is used to support upkeep on this page. My printables are free.

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Happy Planner sidebar printable

July 11
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Instructions-Print at 100% on regular paper, card stock or sticker paper. Cut and attach in the note secton of he weekly spead in the Happy Planner.Like

Hey everyone, I put together a new free printable for the Happy Planner.  This one is for the notes sidebar on the Happy Planner and Erin Condren planner.

With this printable, print it on regular paper, card stock, or sticker paper. Print at full size. (100%).  I use a paper cutter to get my lines straight.

Download the PDF HERE.

 

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

 

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