The Happy Planner: My Planning Journey

The Happy Planner: My Planning Journey

For those who have read my blog for a number of years you will know that I until fairly recently was in love with my bullet journal. Well I’m afraid that love has come to an end as I’ve found something new.

No, scratch that. I’d fallen out of love with bullet journalling and The Happy Planner came along when I didn’t know where to turn to.

It all started when I went back to office work over a year ago now. Actually it probably started a lot earlier than that. I was struggling with the motivation to use my bullet journal but going back to 9-5 work really zapped my want to keep layout out spreads.

I found the whole thing exhausting so I simply gave it up. I did try to restart this year but it fell flat and I didn’t know what to do. It’s obvious that my brain can’t handle everything but where to put everything in an organised fashion?

The hunt began

A Filofax maybe? Nope, I’d tried that a few times but always felt guilty when I didn’t fill it out. And though the covers were always so pretty, the diaries were so boring inside.

Research needed to happen so I looked at all kinds of diaries and planners until I found the one.

Enter…The Happy Planner.

happy planner - mine

I think it was their instagram I stumbled across first. I loved the structure of not having to draw out your own spreads but also the flexibility of being able to move pages around with the disk system. It was perfect for me.

Admittedly I got a little too excited. I bought an 18 month planner. Mainly because it was June of this year and I didn’t want to buy an entire 2019 planner where half of it would go to waste. But yes it was a risk.

I then got giddier and ordered a load of supplies (think stickers, washi tapes, pretty pens and highlighters) which I mainly spent with my birthday money. Even more risky.

happy planner - supplies

But honestly so far it’s paying off. I am having a blast with this planner.

It has a monthly plan section.

happy planner - monthly
happy planner - july
happy planner - august spread

And then there are weekly spreads.

happy planner - weekly spread

Every Sunday (give or take) I sit down and decorate the pages for the week ahead and it is so relaxing and fun.

I’ve also started adding in extra pages like this one for my weight loss journey. The flexibility of this planner is great.

happy planner - weight loss tracker

I wanted both a creative outlet and something to organise me so I don’t forget another birthday again. I don’t know how I survived before. I was definitely more stressed.

Plus it’s getting me out of my shell and planning more activities in my life which is more than I could have dreamed of. The last 6 months of my self employment especially saw me retreating into myself and finding any excuse necessary not to leave the house. Now I feel like I’m having fun again.

I’ll definitely review my planner early next year to see if I’m still loving it but right now I feel great!

How do you keep yourself organised? Do you have a planner of your own?

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Bullet Journal 2019 Update

As I mentioned in my last post about setting up my bullet journal, I was trying to find an in-between of my super detailed bujo and my minimal one. So far I’ve been loving my main spreads and have been using them and referring to them. And even my monthly one.

It’s my weekly one that’s the problem. I’m just not filling it in. I don’t know what it is about these dark nights that make me want to take to my bed and binge watch YouTube videos – actually scratch that, I know exactly what it is. My current spread is not giving me the room to breathe during the week. It’s making me feel like I need to fill something in every day and that’s making me guilty when I don’t want to do anything.

bullet journal 2
Bleh.

Look at the state of it. Complete with terrible lighting but I don’t even care. Even though I achieved a fair bit last week (see last weeks post about my Florida scrapbook and my Jordan video) but I didn’t even mention them here!

I wasn’t too sure what to do about it so I’m trialing something. It’s only Wednesday and I can already see it’s going so much better.

bullet journal 1

You may be able to see that this is pretty much exactly the same as before just squished onto one page but I think it eases the guilt if I don’t fill it in. Not entirely sure what the right hand side of this single page will be used for but that’s the beauty of it. I can put whatever I damn please. Let’s see if this tweak works out.

That’s the thing I love about bullet journals, the next page is always blank so you can decide what goes on there. It doesn’t matter if you miss a day or a week or even a month. You can fill it with whatever you want. Hell, if I wasn’t so committed to my spreadsheets you would definitely see a whole load of “Japlanning” in here. Less than three months to go btw guys – I’m so excited and nervous all at once.

Do you do a weekly spread in your bullet journal or do you prefer to just go with the flow?

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My 2019 Bullet Journal Setup

After falling out of love with my bullet journal last year I was finally ready to jump back in for 2019.

For inspiration I treated myself to a brand new bullet journal. Which I now realise I didn’t take a photo of. Oh well. It’s red. Use your imagination. Or look at it here.

Last year I found that even when I tried to make my spreads super minimal it still didn’t make me want to fill it in any more than when I recorded every little thing. So I decided to find an in between. Here it is.

I had some cute stickers I wanted to use!

I love making Year at a Glance spreads and this one was no different. This time I used some skinny washi tape to mark out different things like holidays etc. Pretty!

Of course I had to display my 19 for 2019. I’ve even managed to tick one of them off already!

Topher and I both love our food and the food scene in Manchester is great, but we’re always stumped on where to go. So a restaurants to try list was a must for this bullet journal. I also added in my usual running to do list for general.

My next couple of pages I dedicated to targets. Firstly my target weight tracker. As I mentioned in my 19 for 2019 post, I want to get to my happy weight this year and stay there. My goal is to get to it or as close as I can to it by the time I go to Japan. Firstly because a scary nurse told me to or she’ll switch my meds and secondly because I want at least some hope of being able to buy something from Harajuku that will fit.

The second page is for savings for Japan. We’re a little behind savings as we borrowed some for some super cheap flights for another big trip this year but we’ll get there. I definitely borrowed this design from my last bullet journal.

I want to actually keep track of the books and films I consume this year so plan on keeping this spread up to date. The book one I just roughly sketched out and will make it prettier as I go along. And the films one needs my film strip washi tape adding to it and it will look way better.

And now for the monthly spread. Unlike previous bullet journals, I’ve tried out doing a double page spread instead of stretching it across a few pages. I’ve included spaces for key dates, my goals, memories, trackers for specific goals (yeah not doing so well on a couple of those so far!), steps and a motivational quote. I like the way it looks and will probably continue sticking to a double page – though I may switch up the layout itself in future months.

Another change from previous journals, I’m now doing a weekly spread across two pages instead of a day per page. I like the layout but I think I might use my skinny washi tape in future to make the lines a bit cleaner.

And that’s it. If you’re interested in other bullet journal posts I’ve written, check them out here.

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May Goals and Bullet Journal Spread

I’m looking outside right now and it’s so sunny! Hallelujah.

For the first time since January I’m going to talk about my goals for the month (and year) ahead.

  • Get down to 12 stone anything

So I was around 12 and a half stone at the beginning of the year and I have gone in the wrong direction. Due to my down period of the last few months continuing I put on about a stone. So I’m now hovering just below 13 and a half stone. That was a major blow for me as I haven’t weighed that much since 2013. That was my heaviest weight where I felt so unhealthy and decided to join Slimming World for the first time. So I just want to get back to 12 stone anything to make a start on getting on track with my 2018 goal of getting to my happy weight of 11stone. Fingers crossed!

  • Do a car boot sale

There’s so much stuff to declutter in this house. It feels like it will never end but getting to a car boot will definitely help things. And help raise some pennies for our Japan trip next year. We’re hoping to get to a car boot this Sunday as currently my weather app says it will be sunny. I hope it works out as it’s the bank holiday weekend and footfall is usually increased!

  • Get a secure stream of income

I’m really working on that this month. My 2018 goal was to just make some fecking money so I intend on doing that. Will keep you posted.

  • Raise £100 for Japan

I really really really want to go to Japan. It’s such a dream and with what we’ve raised so far it could really be possible for Topher and I to go next summer. So I’m really getting my skates on this month so get another bundle of cash added to our pot.

  • Paint two living room walls white and polyfill holes

Now this one can only happen if I secure some income so fingers crossed. As I mentioned in my 2018 Home Decor Goals post I really want to finish the living room off. Painting the walls grey was a good idea but I think painting all of them grey wasn’t the best as it’s quite a dark room that doesn’t get much sunlight. So I’m injecting a bit of white.

May Goals - main page

As for my bullet journal spread, things have been working for me by keeping things as simple as possible. I’m still using my Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 bullet journal* and have been fully in the minimalist zone. However I wanted to inject a bit of colour and creativity back into it. So welcome back washi tapes and coloured felt tips.

I noticed other people using a calendar layout in their bullet journals so I thought I would give it a go. I love how it looks. It of course took longer than my usual list style calendar but it’s a lot easier on the eye. Now I can see the weeks laid out ahead. I think I’ll be keeping this style up.

May Goals - calendar

Of course I had to include a page for my freelance hours. Since taking this photo I’ve added in boxes for each client and it looks pretty good. Much better than my old approaches of just columns where all my clients are shoved in.

And I think I’ll always keep up the weekly goals as otherwise it’s so easy to just lose track of your main goals throughout the month.

May Goals - freelance

If you want to see the main spreads in my bullet journal for the year, take a look here. 

And if you’re interested in my other bullet journal posts, they’re all here.

What are your goals for May?

Any items marked with * are affiliate links.

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2018 Bullet Journal Setup

bullet journal setup - 2018

I finally got round to doing my bullet journal setup for 2018.

After falling out of love with bullet journals at the end of last year I’m determined to have a fresh start this year. Once again I’m planning on easing myself in gently and going with a more minimalist approach. This meant saying goodbye to habits like the daily tracker and mood tracker etc. It was just too much pressure. I want to have fun again so here’s what my bullet journal looks like so far for 2018.

I decided to keep the same bullet journal* that I got last September – the Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 bullet journal as I loved it. I may not have used it as much as I would have liked but when I did it was a dream. The dotted pages make such a difference when setting up.

bullet journal setup - outside

So I simply turned the page on 2017 and started fresh with a hello 2018 motif and my goals that I talked about last week. I had a load of washi tapes that were on the end of their roll that I didn’t know what to do with them so I decided to use them here. I like the effect – messy and imperfect. It’s what I’m going for this year.

bullet journal setup - main spread

As I always find them useful I did a year at a glance as well as a tracker for Japan savings. I’d seen someone do something similar to this for a Disney trip on Pinterest somewhere. Plus I thought it might be fun to colour in the blocks every time I raise £100. Fingers crossed I can raise the money now!

bullet journal setup - calendar & japan savings

I’ve always loved using bill trackers as you can see and this year is no different. It’s nice to be able to see what has been paid and what still needs to go out of my account so I don’t accidentally spend the money meant for it. Ignore the right side a bit as I messed that up and haven’t found a rubber yet. I haven’t filled the tracker out completely yet as I’m a bit picky and like it to be in date order. I don’t know the date for when our internet goes out yet as it’s not going live until next week (missed having wifi so much!) so I’m waiting until then so I can be sure.

bullet journal setup - bill tracker

As I’m planning on diversifying my income this year, I thought it would be good to have one place to round up how much I’ve made each month. I kinda messed it up so ended up with an extra column I didn’t need (biggest earner) so just came up with something random to fill it.

When it comes to my weight loss, since I’ve been using bullet journals I’ve been going with a graph spread. But overall I’ve found it demotivating so I’m trying this approach of colouring in a block when I lose half a pound. Let’s see if it works. That’s the fun thing about bullet journals, it’s all trial and error and you end up with something that’s perfect for you.

bullet journal setup - earnings & weight

Since I love a good list, I figured it would be a good idea to dedicate pages to my different businesses to have a running to do list for each.

bullet journal setup - blog & shop to do lists

bullet journal setup - running to do lists

So now it’s time to set up January. I started with goals of course but instead of the usual 10 I used to do, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 so it’s more realistic to achieve.

bullet journal setup - january goals

And then of course the month at a glance. I’ve only just started filling it out but I always find these handy so I avoid double booking myself.

bullet journal setup - january at a glance

Then I started with my usual weekly goals and daily to do lists.

Below are some other useful pages I have in my book but there was no need to migrate them forwards. 

My 101 in 1001 progress:

bullet journal setup - 101 in 1001

This is at the front of my bullet journal and still applies!

bullet journal setup - good things are coming

House Projects

bullet journal setup - house projects

Birthday Tracker:

bullet journal setup - birthdays

House Cleaning Schedule

I didn’t end up using this though I liked the idea. Again I just found it to be too much pressure to tick off all the time.

bullet journal setup - cleaning list

Master Meal List (and snack list)

bullet journal setup - master meal list

Do you have a bullet journal and how did you set it up for 2018?

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