September 23, 2016

Review: The Happy Planner Box Kit





















Yay! The day has finally come. I’ve been using my MAMBI Happy Planner for a full month now, so it’s time to give you the deets on the pros and cons.

For a little background, I started using a planner about 6 months ago after I could barely keep up with my new hectic life of being a working mother with anxiety. I couldn’t keep track of everything anymore and kept forgetting everything (not that my memory has ever been very good). When I started using a planner, I opted for a Filofax Original, which I still love to this day. You can read how I started using my Filofax here.


While I loved using my Filofax, I wanted to try another system. The Filofax was great for daily pages with a 12 hour schedule in it, but I didn’t really need an hour by hour planner since when I’m at work, I mainly use Outlook to keep track of meetings. I mostly needed a planner for To-Do lists, tracking finances, meal plans and just jotting things down. When I started looking for a new system, I felt that MAMBI Happy Planners were extremely affordable and got the most bang for your buck. I liked the idea of a disc bound system so I could easy switch things in and out.

When I visited my local Michael’s craft store to purchase mine, I was overwhelmed by the amount of options and accessories they had for The Happy Planner (THP). To make it easy, I opted for THP 12-Month Box Kit ($34.99) which seemed to be the most logical option for a beginning Happy Planner. It came with tons of goodies to get you started! The price point was amazing considering if you purchase THP 18-Month planner without all the accessories it is $29.99. In my box I had a 12-Month unlabeled planner, four sheets of stickers (including monthly labels, date labels, flag), three page magnet book markers, two folder inserts, a paper clip flag and a removable tab of colored sticky notes. I also decided to pick up an insert pack of plain lined paper to use for organizing my budgets and just jotting down notes. 


the accessories.

I felt the quality of the accessories that came with THP were exceptional. The stickers were high quality, did not tear and matched the planner so well. I loved being able to start my planner on whatever month I wanted with the labels. The two folder inserts were super sturdy card stock and I placed one in the front and back of my planner. I couldn’t really find a good use for the magnetic bookmarkers, but they were adorable. I gave one to my sister to use in her Kate Spade planner, and I kept the others figuring I’d find a way to use them. Still have not. I loved the paper clip flag to mark my page at first, but it ended up being too long and fell off right easily. Now, I just clip it to my front folder for some flair. I love it.

I found it extremely annoying trying to stick the date number stickers on each day. I’ve only done three months because I gave up half way through. They are tiny and hard to peel off, but they look so cute!


the layout.

I LOVE the layout of THP. It is absolutely perfect for jotting down To-Do lists and just making quick notes on a certain day. I love the amount of space there is to decorate and add fun stickers. Here are some more details on the layout:

The planner opens to an adorable “This Planner Belongs To…” page, then is separated monthly by dashboard tabs. Before each month is a page to document some fun things like what you are reading, feelings and celebrating this month, important dates, goals, and notes. Each dashboard tab page is a different theme and has weekly/monthly pages to match. So, the layout is…

Monthly Goal Page
Monthly Layout on Two – Sunday to Saturday
Weekly Layouts on Two – Monday to Sunday layout (which totally threw me off at first, but now I love it.) Each day is separated into three unlabeled sections that you can use for whatever you’d like. Each weekly layout also has a notes column to the left.  


I enjoy the weekly layout’s three sections per day because it’s allowed me to focus my To-Do lists. I use one section for my blog. I jot down things I plan to post, ideas, tasks. The second section I use for home – appointments, cleaning to-dos, things I need to pick up on my way home, etc. And last section is used for work – meetings to schedule, documents to process, follow-ups. Doing this really has helped me separate my personal life from work because I can focus in my to-do’s. Also, since I don’t usually have a ton of meetings scheduled during the day, I can use my work space more productively.

 I really enjoy being able to change the covers. There are tons of planner shops (a lot on Etsy) that make custom covers for THP/Erin Condren style planners, so you can really personalize this one to fit your style. Also, being able to theme my entire week is a lot of fun when decorating. I use my time decorating my planner as my wind down time on a Sunday night as I prepare for the week ahead.


functionality.

The size of THP is pretty good. It’s bigger than my A5 Filofax so more space to write, but the boxes are still a little small. Sometimes my text gets a little cramped, but for the most part I think that con is outweighed by the portability of this planner. It fits perfectly into a tote bag, or I've even put it into a larger handbag before. It fits comfortably in your hand and doesn't take up a ton of space.

Being able to add and remove pages is a huge plus if you want to repurpose your folders, discs, and covers later on. I love the colored pages and style of this planner because even for a minimalist, it looks decorated.


the verdict.

I think I will definitely purchase another THP in the future and would absolutely recommend it to others who are just starting to use a planner. THP is fun, functional and stylish. For those who are looking for more writing space, try the Erin Condren Life Planner. It's a higher price point, but it has the option for the same layout as THP, can be customized however you want on their website, and is a larger size. I think I may try an Erin Condren next year. :) 


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