Friday, April 22, 2016

Planner Newbie - The Happy Planner from MAMBI 2016-2017

After finishing graduate school, my husband and I changing jobs a couple of times, living in four different houses in less than two years, and moving to a new state...we may finally be settling down. We are all very grateful for the changes, but even more grateful for some stability. Somewhere in all those changes my brain has become rather glitchy - if I don't write it down then I won't remember it. Recently I realized that even though I was recording things, I was doing so in four or five different places so it wasn't uncommon for me to lose the grocery list or miss a reminder about an appointment or forget where I put that note. So I went searching for a planner, a real, tangible, write-it-down with a pencil, planner - and I found out that things have changed drastically since I last used one, about a decade ago. There are so many options and so many PRETTY options!

I won't say how much time and energy went into the hunt for the "perfect" planner, but in the end - I didn't get it right. I wanted one planner to do EVERYTHING I needed and really - that wasn't necessary nor feasible. I first bought a personal size Color Crush from Webster's Pages hoping that I could use it for both money management (envelope budget system) and household planning, but the reality for me was that the weekly pages just weren't big enough for household planning. They'll hold a few appointments or a shopping list but not full checklist of chores and tasks and appointments and reminders that I need in order to stay on top of things. So I decided to split the job of household management between the Color Crush and this little beauty that I came across at Michael's - the Happy Planner in Fresh Floral from MAMBI. 

Isn't she pretty? There are 10 style options of the Classic Planner 
if all the flowers aren't your style and specific Student and Teacher editions. 

And look how cute - there are even hearts on the discs! 

 So why did I chose the Happy Planner over, say, Erin Condren or Plum Papers?
  • Local availability - The line is carried at both Hobby Lobby and Michael's - which means I totally used coupons to make the purchase. (Because I'm frugal and I want to stretch my pennies.)
  • Easily customized - Both with extension packs and Internet printables. Almost every brand has extensions and printables available online but I don't want to have to rely on printing things (my printer isn't very reliable) nor wait for things to ship (because I'm impatient like that). Also, the disc bound system makes extras easy to add/move/remove.
  • Undated Calendar Extension pack - The available 6 month undated extension pack meant I could start using it right away and keep using it until 2017, for the same price as a 12 month planner bought online that didn't start until July.  And the pack came with sticker pages to help date those suckers so I didn't have to go hunting for stamps or buying more pieces to make them work.
  • Fitness, Household, and Recipe options - When time and budget allow I think these extension will be fun and useful.
  • Layout - It isn't drastically different than the competition but the weekly spreads were set up in a way so that I can plan household in the side bar, homeschool in the mornings, and everything else in the afternoon/evening blocks.
  • Design - The aesthetics appealed to me. If I'm looking at this thing everyday then it's about both form and function. I'm honestly not going to use it as much if it's clunky and ugly.
So what's it look like inside? Check it out.
The sweet and a bit "girlie", but it made me smile. 

My favorite part - the weekly spreads.

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