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There has been a great buzz over this beauty so I am sharing my detailed 2016 Happy Planner review. This planner has many great features if you are in search for a weekly planner. Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI), a mom and daughter team, are the creator of theses colorful Happy Planners. There are several items I like to compare in a planner: design, ability to customize, sturdiness, size, flexibility, cost and the left handed test.
Happy Planner Design
Inside and out the Happy Planner has great colors, good combinations of fonts and inspiring monthly dividers. The discs as well are beautifully designed with their heart cut centers. The paper is smooth and is 120 gsm (grams per square meter). The planner has a horizontal weekly layout that is very open. There is a small section for notes and the three sections in each day can be used for events, tasks or a combination. In the photos of the week layout you will see labels however all future planners are blank so you can design the layout your way.
Unfortunately no customizations can be made at purchase but many options are available either through Etsy or DIY.
MAMBI creates replacement covers if you wish to freshen up your cover design throughout the year. You can also search on Etsy for Happy Planner Covers and some shops provide the option to add your name or initials. If you have a laminator (I use this one) you could create your own cover using cardstock and a disc punch. MAMBI sells the punch in the classic size (9 rings) and BIG size (11 rings). Please note people have used Levenger and Arc punches for their inserts and MAMBI has a great video showing how these punches work with the Happy Planner.
The horizontal layout with three boxes for each day is your only choice. However on Etsy there are printable downloads if you prefer a different setup, search for “Happy Planner printable”. Also if you purchase the BIG Happy Planner it will be easy to create you own personalized inserts since that planner is 8.5” x 11”. For the classic planner (7” x 9.25”) you will need to crop the pages to fit into your planner.
MAMBI offers many planner extensions such as fitness, home, wedding and recipes. I read in reviews that these extensions do not come in both the Classic and BIG Happy Planner size so verify you are receiving the correct size. Also on Etsy are other options such as budget, business, to dos and the list goes on.
Look carefully before you purchase to ensure you are buying the right planner. First you can choose between dated and non-dated planners. With the non-dated planners you can either write in the dates or use their stickers. Next if the planner is dated it can start in July (18 month planner), August (Student Edition only) or January (calendar year planner). Finally the planner can be 12 months or 18 months long depending on your choice.
When I first saw the Happy Planner this emergency manager was very skeptical. How could those cute discs hold the planner together? My first test at home was throwing the planner five feet across the room. It held together very well, no pages or discs came out. The second test was throwing the Happy Planner down one flight of stairs. I am glad to report the Happy Planner held together perfectly. Another great feature is the sturdy pages which can be removed multiple times if done correctly.
With the Happy Planner you have two choices for size. The BIG (8.5” x 11”) and Classic (7” x 9.25”). There is a third option, the Student Edition however it is the same size as Classic but with August – July dates.
Flexibility for myself refers to the ability to rearrange, add or remove pages from the planner along with binding. For Happy Planner the answer is yes!! MAMBI has a great tutorial on their website for removing pages to prevent tearing. Also a feature I love is the ability to use the expander discs if your planner needs to be thicker. MAMBI also has a video how to transfer your planner to expander discs. Finally the Happy Planner can be completely flipped in half and will lay flat, similar to a spiral notebook.
In this area the Happy Planner excels. MAMBI created themed stickers and washi with sticker shops and Etsy also offering even more options. You can also purchase the Happy Planner alone or a Happy Planner Box Kit with themed décor. Some of the themes are Get Fit, Seasonal and General Decorative.
At the writing of this article you can purchase the Happy Planner on sale through Blitsy.com. Normally the Classic size starts at $30 and the BIG size at $35, both are very affordable compared to other planners.
Left handed test
I am left handed so this is an important test. When writing on the right page it works best with the planner folded instead of completely open. Good news I was able to write with little difficulty. One note, if you write with a strong left hook writing position the discs will probably cause problems.
- Can expand your planner width by using the expander rings
- Easily change covers through Me & My Big Ideas, Etsy or DIY
- Many accessories choices for the Happy Planner.
- Need a special punch to add inserts or bookmarks.
- The layout cannot be personalized unless by DIY or purchasing inserts from Etsy.
- There is no MAMBI option for weekly vertical or daily planners.
- There is no note section for brain dumbs or master task lists unless you add it.
Overall if you enjoy scrapbooking, making cards or being crafty this is a great planners to check out.
Here are a few of the Happy Planners released this July:
Create 365 BIG Happy Planner – Stay Golden – $25.88
Retail Price: $34.99
You Save: $9.11
Create 365 Classic Happy Planner – Botanical Garden – $20.64
Retail Price: $29.99
You Save: $9.35
Create 365 Classic Happy Planner – Hello Life – $20.64
Retail Price: $29.99
You Save: $9.35
Share this post with your friends who are preparing for school or college to start. Having the right planner can make all the difference in school.
If you are unsure which planner is the best for you, check out The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Planner. This tool will help you figure out what is the best type of planner for you.