Using My Happy Planner in 2020: Lockdown Edition

Using My Happy Planner in 2020: Lockdown Edition

And just like that, it was September.

Before I begin talking about 2020 planners…

This year isn’t going the way any of us thought it would. I can’t even begin to put into words how hard 2020 has been for everyone.

Personally, I’ve been very lucky as the only thing that’s been hit in my world is my mental health. Though I have known people who have caught coronavirus, none of them were fatal, or even bad enough to go to hospital.

And as for work, Topher has remained safe while working part of the way through lockdown and I’ve been furloughed this whole time. So financially we’re somewhat steady. I know this is a privilege and for that I am truly grateful.

So that brings me to blogging. I haven’t been blogging the way I used to a few years ago and that’s mostly down to my own motivation. Coronavirus didn’t help but I can’t pretend that things were all good before. I’ve been struggling for awhile.

I’ve been so close to deleting this blog many times over the last two years but there’s always something that held me back from pushing the button. I’m going to give myself until the end of the year to see whether I do or not.

That was a much longer intro than I was expecting to write. But I just kept typing. #sorrynotsorry

Planning in 2020

For my fellow planner lovers, did anyone else think about throwing their 2020 planner out the window? I actually had an 18 month one that I started in 2019 so I don’t feel too badly about wasting part of it.

But that was the thing – I didn’t waste it. Even though I’m on furlough (162 days and counting) I’ve been using my planner this whole time. There may have been the odd week where I decorated but then didn’t write anything due to my mental health but for the most part it’s full.

So how did I use my 2020 planner when I had no plans?

I tracked everything but work. It didn’t matter how mundane it was I put it in my planner. Here’s the kind of things I tracked.

  • My household chores
  • Dinner plans
  • Baking plans
  • Creative projects – scrapbooks etc.
  • House projects – decorating rooms
  • Keeping track of habits like my exercise and daily Arabic
  • My weight which was really important to me as I put on a lot in the first 3 months
  • Drag race watch parties with friends
  • Calling family
  • When I went outside
  • When Topher was playing D&D
  • What I was watching on Netflix/Disney Plus
  • Ideas & lists for random stuff I want to do next year
  • When parcels were due to arrive
planner 2020 after the pen spread
planner 2020 habit tracker

Every Sunday without fail I would decorate my spread for the following week. Just as it was when I was working, I loved having a creative outlet. And it’s nice to look back on the year and see what I’ve achieved. Sure I could have achieved more if we didn’t have a global pandemic but I’m proud of what I have done.

planner 2020 before the pen spread

Being able to look back through my planner I can see that though I wasn’t doing productive stuff all the time, I still achieved a lot. It makes me look at the silver lining and see that this isn’t a wasted year. It’s been a chance for me to slow down and do things just for fun.

Everyone is different though – you may have needed to throw your 2020 planner away and good for you. Only you know what’s best for you.

My 2021 planner

Of course I’m already looking ahead to next year – I’m assuming most people are! As much as I have enjoyed using my Happy Planner, I’m not buying another one. There was a whole thing during the BLM movement where they failed hard on their social media (think all lives matter) and I don’t want to support a company like that.

So I’m using the supplies I already paid for and am currently making my own planner from scratch to use for 2021. As for stickers and other supplies I’m planning on sticking to Etsy and small independent businesses.

I’ll do a post when I finish making my planner. I’ve currently got the bones done – it’s just the internal bits I still have to do. It’s all time consuming but I’m having a great time. Glad I started early!

my handmade 2021 planner

Are you a planner? Did you throw out your 2020 planner? And what will you be using in 2021?


  • Claire
    2nd September 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I’m terrible at keeping a planner. I’ve resigned to the idea that I’m just not organised enough and it isn’t for me, but yours makes me smile. It’s very bright, happy and busy.
    I can imagine it helps to add a bit of routine at times like this and feels productive. Plus you get to see just how much stuff you do get done, even when you feel like you’ve wasted your week.

    • Diane
      2nd September 2020 at 2:55 pm

      I think that’s why I keep up with it – because I make it pretty which makes me happy. Sometimes there’s been odd weeks where there’s nothing in there but most of the time even if I did nothing I’ll write the name of the show I was binging that day! Momentum is definitely helping me though.

  • AKI
    8th September 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Your planner looks so pretty. I wish I could organised well like you. By the way I love reading your amazing blog. Seeing your pics always make me happy!

    • Diane
      10th September 2020 at 7:35 am

      Thanks so much! 🙂 x


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