How One Busy Mom Crosses More Off Her Very Long To-Do List

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Note from Collin:

Do you have a product you love? We definitely have many favorite products and thought it would be FUN to share some of them with you! I personally love product recommendations and I’ve also had a few requests from readers, so I have asked each member of the team to think of products they love (cosmetics, kitchen gadgets etc.) and to write up a post that will be shared here every Tuesday.

Hey All! It’s Sydney, one of Collin’s sidekicks!

I’m sure I’m with the majority of moms when I wish there was an extra 8 hours in the day. Between school drop offs and pick ups, play dates, basketball games, gymnastics, not to mention the to-do list at home like cooking and cleaning, by the time bed time rolls around, there is still a never ending list of things to do. But this year, I am happily crossing items off my list with the Happy Planner! 😃

Not only does the Happy Planner come in a ton of super cute designs (it took me at least 20 minutes to pick the Shake It Up design), but the accessories that go with it are endless.

The planner layout is perfect for busy moms. There is plenty of space to write down all the things you need to do, want to do, birthdays, goals and even a section called ‘Brain Dump’ which is great for all those genius ideas you come up with but just don’t have the time right then to execute.

I sit down on Sundays and make a list of everything I need to get done on these daily schedule/to-do list sheets. On Monday morning, after I drop my son off at school, I sit down and add all the cute stickers and fill in my week with what needs to get done. It’s actually kind of therapeutic.

Because I take more time to plan out my days and weeks, I’ve found that my daily to-do list is much less overwhelming. And I love opening up my planner at the end of the night and being able to see so much crossed off my list! ✅

The best part is there are almost always sales and coupons at Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc., so if I ever run out of stickers or washi tape to decorate, I know I can get more without spending a fortune. If you want to get your hands on one of these Happy Planners, this week they’re 50% off at Michaels, 40% off at Joann, and you can use a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to save there too!

Did you see our other Try THIS Tuesday posts?

Join The Discussion

Comments 62

  1. sfc_abby

    Great topic! I bought an Erin Condren planner last year and again this year. It’s a bit more expensive but the same philosophy. The best planner for day to day. I may try this for 2019…one can be as creative as they’d like and have fun planning. I have some OCD issues with planning so I like being old school with my year 🙂

    • LC

      I love Erin Condren! Totally worth the price to me.

    • Sydney

      I looked at Erin Condren too and have heard SO many good things about her planners but I just couldn’t beat the price of the Happy Planner! I wish I was MORE OCD (is that weird?!) with my planning – working on it week by week though 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. Erin

    Thanks for sharing how you use it! I love the ideas!

    • Sydney

      You are so welcome Erin! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Jennlk84

    I decided to give Happy Planner a try this year after using Erin Condren in previous years and I am VERY happy with it! I love all of the great extras you can get for your planner and of course always get them at least 50% off at Michael’s!

    • Sydney

      The price was a big selling point for me too – and I’m so glad I made the choice! Now I don’t feel bad for using all the stickers because I can afford to buy more if I run out!

  4. Heather

    I bought a similar planner last year, which was fantastic as long as I was at my desk. I found it too bulky to carry around on a regular basis – and then since I didn’t have it with me all the time, I didn’t use it. I’ve begun to use the bullet journal method, because I can use a smaller book that fits in my purse better. If you haven’t looked into bullet journaling, do a google or pinterest search. Some of the ones you will see are crazy complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. I use a really simple format for mine.

    • Sue

      I do bullet journaling too! Mine is simple but it works for me!

    • Sydney

      I’ve seen the bullet journals and they are AMAZING! But I am, like you said, so intimidated! I have 3 kids under the age of 5 so I feel like I’m already lugging around everything but the kitchen sink so adding one more thing isn’t too bad for me. But if I just had a purse I agree, carrying a bigger planner would be more difficult.

  5. Ashley

    This year I was thinking of starting a bullet journal but I was so intimidated by a blank book that I had to make from scratch. Enter The Happy Planner 🙌🙌!!! Perfect for someone who wants to be able to customize but needed a solid starting point. I also added the graph paper inserts to mine so I could do a few pages of my own like a habit tracker, home projects, bucket list, etc. There are so many cute and functional inserts you can add for working out, meal planning, teachers… the options are almost endless and it helps bring out my creative side. Love this planner!

    • Sydney

      Ooh I haven’t seen the graphing paper – I need to get those! I do love all the options for EVERYONE! Thanks so much for sharing Ashley!

  6. Nina

    I’m new to planners but with all this talk about the Happy Planners , I’m starting to get inspired because at end of day, iPhones can’t replace good old fashioned writing down stuff and ideas n thoughts on paper, n that will never change. I’m definitely looking to get a faith inspired one soon! Just the idea of putting forth the effort can spark positivity.

    • sfc_abby

      You can do Nina!! Hobby Lobby is a great place for the faith inspired planners. You are right, writing never goes out of style.

      • Meghan

        As someone who works for a handwriting company, thanks for saying that! 🙂

    • Kim

      At Michaels the American Crafts faith based ones are on sale!! Search ‘American Crafts Bible’ there are a few great different kinds it will tell you which store should have it in stock. Then just search Bible many of the companies make Bible stickers and washi tape stickers.

      • Sydney

        Ooh thanks for the tip Kim! I’ll have to look into this too! I saw that the Happy Planner stickers have a whole book for bible study but they were out of stock when I ordered online.

  7. Megan

    Sydney, we are twins. I sit down like you on sundays and plan my week and my meals. I love sharpie pens and each kid has their own color. I used to use Erin Condren. Loved them but I love the happy planners just as much and they are 1/5 the price. It’s therapeutic to me too, and I love seeing everything that needs to be done. The add ons are fun too…I love the pocket sheets and the plastic divider so I always know where I’m at.

    • Sydney

      Twinners!! It totally is therapeutic isn’t it?! I need to get the plastic divider – right now I just use the Sticky Note sheet to tell me what week I’m on lol! Thanks so much for sharing your love of all things Happy Planner Megan!

  8. Sue

    I started using a bullet journal last year & love it. I love being able to customize it & make it fit what I need. I use one by UPstudio. It’s a bigger sized journal, but I like having more room to write. They even sell not perfect ones on Etsy for $10 less & you can’t even tell they aren’t perfect.

  9. Wifeandmomof3

    This is my first year with happy planner and I got addicted! I usually use planners, I prefer pen and paper to pen. These are awesome and come in many different sizes.

    • Sydney

      Yay! So glad to hear you love yours too – and that I’m not the only one addicted to these planners!!

  10. couponer

    Time spent decorating planner could be spent doing stuff on the list.

    • Lori

      Exactly what i was thinking

      • Tee

        I don’t get it either. I just use the calendar on my phone and set reminders to alert me if I think I’ll forget. I would feel like I was wasting so much time writing and organizing a planner

    • kerry

      Sorry, but this statement cracked me up, thanks for the laugh 🤣🤣🤣. I’m not a planner but maybe I could benefit from it, since I never get anything done

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      Agreed. I use a regular planner, no bells and whistles. To each their own for sure and not to hate on whatever makes people happy, but I don’t see the point of putting a sticker on a blank page in the planner and then writing your task on the sticker. Why not just write it in the blank space provided? LOL

    • abc123

      that’s exactly what I was thinking!
      a “very busy mom” who has time to put stickers on and make it pretty? sounds dreamy to me! …but this was after taking kids to school so I don’t know what it feels like to get that time rather than go right to work from drop off. oh well…

    • Boisegal

      No kidding!!! This reminds me of the mandatory planners they made us in middle school….but filled it with stickers so it’s “fun.”

      • *Angela-Miles*

        We were made to do those planners too!!! From 3rd grade til high school

    • Meg

      To each his own. No one is checking off their to-do list every second of every day. We all have the “therapeutic” things we do. Some people just put reminders in their phones, others like it written down. It takes me a very small amount of time to organize my week….definitely not a waste.

    • Kareena

      Finally there is a reply that makes sense… I barely even have time to get my son stickers and help him put it in his book.

    • Kelly

      Funny you guys are too busy for putting stickers in a planner but yet you have time to come and make negative comments. Maybe you should get off your phones/computers, you may find more time in your life!

  11. Amy

    I use my google calendar/tasks list/gmail fir everything for work and Home and have it synced on all my devices. BUT I just bought a recollections zipper planner from Michaels (clearances 14.99) and am patiently waiting for it to come in the mail. I am planning to journal in it AND I bought some cash envelopes from Etsy that are hole punched and fit right inside!

    • Sydney

      I use my Google calendar too for birthdays and appointments it automatically syncs from my email – I do love that it notifies me of important dates! Now if only we could figure out how to add that to paper planners; right?! You are going to love your Recollections planner too!

    • Amy

      Can I just say “Nooooooooo”!! In my box from Michaels today they sent me the completely wrong planner:(
      Had to vent.

  12. Tiffany

    I’m OBSESSED with my happy planner!! I also set my week up on a Sunday afternoon meals and whatever else I need to do. I LOVE 💗 all the fun stickers and the folders. Even my girls age 17,11,10 wanted a planner and we sit down together and plan.. So much fun

    • Sydney

      Aren’t they the funnest?! I love that you all plan together – who knew something as simple as a planner could be so great at bringing families together! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. leah

    I’m so jealous of all you who use traditional planners. Do you know how many I’ve purchased the last 25 years…..and lost?? I always had great intentions but either forgor to look at my planner, misplaced my planner, my kids drew all over my planner. I gave up. But the one on the photo looked beautiful. Happy planning!

    • Kim

      I was just cleaning and found one of the 5 I lost in 2017. Last dated entry was in March (started in Feb 🙂 )

      • leah

        Kim, I literally laughed out loud. Thanks for that!

      • Sydney

        Bahahaha! I found one from 2005 when I was cleaning out my closet last year and same thing…I made it through January and the rest is blank!

      • *Angela-Miles*

        LoL LOL!!! 🙂 so funny

    • Sydney

      Lol Leah I feel you – especially with the kids drawing all over the planners (I won’t share picture of last year’s planner)! This year I was determined to stay organized so I bought the kids their own planners from the dollar store so they can “plan” on their own. I hope you can find a system that works for you. 🙂

  14. Adriana

    This looks lovely, however I don’t have the extra time to begin setting UP this planner. I’m afraid my OCD would make me want to color code, add cute little stickers, etc and then I would NEVER get to anything in it! Not for me! 😩😩

    • Sydney

      I feel you Adriana! I too wish my planner was more organized – especially when I search the Happy Planner hashtag on Instagram 😳 but I’ve learned to just take it slow and add what you can. Maybe one day I’ll be able to be a planner pro but for now I’m just happy that I can keep track of my life in one, happy little place 🙂

  15. Tiffany

    I’m OBSESSED with my Happy planner 💗 My girls had seen how to would set it up weekly and they wanted one for Christmas. So we all sit down on Sunday afternoon and set up the week of what’s going on who has appointments etc. I love all the stickers, folders, can’t for get washi tape my favorite!! Love being able to open up the mouth view or weekly view and know what’s going on.

    • Sydney

      Oh how fun Tiffany! That makes me excited for my daughter to get older and start planning with me! She’s one now so I have a few more years to wait 😉 Thanks for sharing how you all plan together!

  16. Andrea

    Hey question— does anyone have a recommendation for a homeschool planner ?? I’m starting homeschool kinder in the fall and need some advice !!!

    • Kim

      Google Tina’s dynamic homeschool plus. She has one of the best completely customizable homeschool planners that you print yourself. You can stick the pages in the happy planner rings or any planner or just a small half size binder. She also tells how to print in full color for less than $5 or if you Don’t have the cheapest ink (Costco or amas ink refills). Or if you want a huge gaudy 500 page planner the best I have found is one from Mardels they sell two so just search on their website, if you have a Mardels they are undated and on sale for $10 right now in clearance section.

  17. Edy

    Yesterday I went to Michaes looking for a planner couldn’t find one ! I’m going to have to google one before I make my trip – I’m a caregiver one week of the month or a few days here and there and have a especial needs young lady and need to write down appointments my moms my daughters mine and for the lady I work for – do shopping list – and I have calendars dating back years – and each year I write down important dates surgery’s or new medications or who I spoke to when I make appts and phone numbers –

    • Sydney

      Wow! You sound like a busy gal Edy! I personally love how much space is in the Happy Planner and think it could be great for all you have to keep track of!

  18. Rebecca

    I “splurged” on a Happy planner this year, usually buy a monthly planner at Dollar Tree….and I hate it lol. I’m trying to force myself to use it in hopes I’ll start to like it, but still, no.

    • Sydney

      I feel you Rebecca! Last year I tried the whole staying organized thing with another planner and I just couldn’t get into it; and then it got lost! I don’t know if it’s the extras that I bought with it this time or looking back and seeing how crazy my life was last year but this time around I actually enjoy using it. I hope you can find a system that works for you – Happy Planner or maybe another planner 🙂

  19. Casey

    I use a planner mainly so I can go back and reference it the next year or so. I would be lost without my iCal.

  20. llriddle

    Love my Happy Planner! Picked it up in July last year & got a 2017-2018 one. Love the pockets you can add & love the ability to remove pages & move things around to your liking. I understand the comments on the time spent decorating. There are times that I tend to “decorate” more than others – it’s totally up to you! You can also use smaller rings to make the book smaller to carry around. I also remove the weekly sheets at the end of the month to reduce on the bulk

  21. Tina

    I use passion planner and it really helps with setting goals and keeping me on task, I think most people decorate their planner because its relaxing and it helps you wind down, I can’t use a digital planner I need to write it and see it. I feel when you write things down I’m speaking my goals into life.

    • LDH

      I use a Passion Planner and really like it. I found the Happy Planners too bulky and Passion Planner has space for goal setting, really planning, inspiration, etc. I think it is really great and keeps all my thoughts, appts, and lists all in one place! People do get hung up on the decorating sometimes, but I think it is nice. Either way, if it works for you that is all that matters. 🙂

  22. PiratePrincessMommy

    I truly enjoyed this post. I actually love the “Happy Memory Keeping” book from Happy Planner – I also have the regular planner, and, as a teacher, I use a different one for lesson plans. I LOVE this line. The Memory Keeping Book is awesome to record quotes from your kiddos, your daily Bible verse, etc. You can even add pictures. Its kind of like a diary – and, very fun to look back on!

  23. *Angela-Miles*

    I use to buy my planners from the bookstore, small ones that fit in tiny purses, but I haven’t done them in years. This post made me think about doing one again….hmmmm

  24. Kim

    I ended up making my own planner since I wasn’t able to find something I loved. I found a mini binder at target on clearance for 30 cents! I then found a bunch of free printable planner pages online and adjusted to for my planner. I also make my own stickers! My planner includes a monthly calender as well a weekly calender, a budget planner, a shopping list and monthly meal planner, and a notes section.

  25. truckingwife2018

    Makes me smile when I open. No better way to start the day !!

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