It’s the moment that you’ve been waiting for. You’ve purchased your first Happy Planner and you’re ready to jump right in and decorate. You want your planner journey to start right at that very moment, but you don’t know what to do. You sit with your planner open in front of you and you have no idea where to start. With this blog post and these easy tips and tricks you’ll soon be on your way to completing your first planner spread!
Step number one should always be to remove the pages that you need from your planner. With the Happy Planner, you’re able to remove and put pages back in as you please – take advantage! As long as you’re gentle with the paper it will not rip.
Removing the pages allows you to keep only your blank slate right in front of you and provide you an easy surface to work on. There’s no need to fight with writing and planning around the discs when you take the pages out. With just you and the pages, you can give yourself a better opportunity to complete your vision. In some cases, like above, you might have something jotted down on a sticky note so that you remember what you need to add in. Sticky notes are a valuable tool at all levels of planning.
Step two is to pull out the elements that you need or think you might need. It’s always better to pull extra sticker sheets and sticker books and not need them than to have to keep going back for the ones you’re looking for. Your sticker organization is something that will come to you in time.
My loose sheets are placed in binders and categorized by type of sticker. Stickers that are productive go with other similar stickers, clear stickers fit in with other clear stickers, and all of the quote stickers are in one section. The stickers still in books are stickers I haven’t added into my binders, but will soon find their way in. I personally find it easier to flip through a binder to find what I’m looking for, but others find it easier to grab the full book of stickers. There’s no right or wrong method of putting together your sticker organization – find what works for you!
This is also a great time to grab washi tape or other elements that correspond to the colors or theme of your spread. The washi isn’t pictured as it was an afterthought, but it’s always helpful to keep your resources together.
This step depends entirely on your planning style and is not required. I personally have an extra planner that I consider my “messy planner.” This is a planner that I grab when I want to have an idea of what I need to include. It allows me extra space to jot down random notes that I might need to include later on, but haven’t included on a sticky note. This is the planner I feel considerably less guilty about making a mess with. Believe me when I say that the Happy Planner gets equally as messy, but some weeks it’s easier to go into the planner dedicated to being 100% messy.
In this particular case, I was going out and this was the planner that I grabbed. During a planning session over coffee, my plans were written in here. My added step is moving the plans from here to my Happy Planner.
Don’t ever feel that this is something that you need to do. This step was included as it might be beneficial to others who are apprehensive about adding their plans in right away.
When working in my Happy Planner, I find it easier to focus on the sidebar/notes section. Depending on the week this section can be completely filled with writing or it can be put together as shown. I knew I didn’t need a lot of notes space this week and felt comfortable decorating the side.
My standard side bar includes a quote sticker, the list sticker seen above, and washi. This set up works great for me as it’s additional decoration. I don’t like looking at all of the extra lines on the side so covering them up is my favorite thing to do. Certain weeks this doesn’t happen at all, but it always changes.
Once my side bar is done I move into decorating the rest of the spread. Pulling the stickers before moving ahead is extremely helpful as the color scheme is already decided. Instead of taking a lot of time debating on how my planner spread will look, I can put stickers down where I see fit. Don’t ever be afraid to put a sticker down! Your brain is telling you to put the sticker in a specific place for a reason.
On the other hand, never be afraid to map out your ideas. Grab a scrap piece of paper and map it out! In more complex spreads it’s always helpful to map things out to ensure you’re putting things where you want them to go.
The best part of planning is learning new things as you go along. For example, I’ve recently learned that I love layering stickers and cutting full box stickers to different sizes. I feel that it adds more of my personality to my planner spreads and looks fantastic. Always try new things, you might be surprised.
Now that my stickers are all placed, it’s time to write in the plans! I always recommend leaving space in your spreads to add plans as they come up. Life is unpredictable and things change – leave the room to allow for these adjustments!
Congratulations! You have just completed your first planner spread! It really isn’t as hard as it seems and practice makes perfect. The most important thing when planning creatively is to have fun with what you’re doing. The end goal is to create a more productive and happy life – there’s no need to stress!
Never be afraid to try new things, experiment with new styles, and learn what works for you! You’ll be a planner pro in no time.