Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Happy Planner and my 1st Impressions


I know this isn't a gadget post but all us gadgety people need to organize our lives at some point with work or homelife; so I thought you guys maybe interested in my search for what I think is the perfect planner . 

From October last year my life suddenly changed with the loss of my Mum, this made so many changes across my life as you can imagine. I wanted to keep going with Gadget Girl but its involved me to become better organized with my time. So after lost of reviewing videos on YouTube and loads of review I chose the Happy Planner from MAMBI

So see what I thought of my very 1st Happy Planner.
I have added a video review too so you can listen or read my ramblings...either way grab a coffee and bikky.



So I started looking at planners, Ive always preferred pen and paper planning than writing on my phone or tablet as I just love writing; (I know seems odd doesn't it for a gadgetaholic). 
Im forever writing lists on bits of paper which end up getting lost...sigh! Plus writing about memories seems even more of a priority now. I just dont want to forget a thing; its all too easy to take daily life for granted.

So I thought Id just buy a normal bog-standard Collins diary...sorry Collins. BUT after watching near on 100 YouTube videos I felt myself pulled into the planner community; no its not some mad cult; but its a bunch of ladies who love to scrapbook, decorate and stay organized. 
I realized I had forgotten my love of stationary...boy...do I love stationary, I cant leave a shop if there are new notebooks or pens in there. There is just something about a new book...a blank new page....arhhh!
Plus I used to be really into Calligraphy and I was actually quite good at it, I say so myself. I won my first handwriting competition at 8 years old and received one of those erasable ballpoints; back in the 80's it was incredible technology and I was so proud lol! since then I have collected many fountain pens, dip-pens and have many specialized nibs. 

Here are just some of my nibs and 2 of my dip pens. These have been put away for over 4 years; so Ive broken them all back out again, just for some relaxation and fun with the planner. I may even do a post on it if you guys are interested.

Anyway Im rambling...so I also needed to be able to relax as well as organize and what better way to do that, but get into the planning world, with designing and writing.
The next main question was WHICH ONE....Oh my goodness so many types to choose from...Binders, Travel, Midori's, Arc planners, A4, A5, A6, personal, passport...argh...the range is overwhelming its finding whats right for you!!!


What do I personally want/need from my planner?
I need the size and enough room in a day to add different aspects of my life; more than an average diary paragraph slot.
I wanted a section completely for Gadget Girl blog, photos and editing, video editing, posting and then adding to social media. Anyone with a blog will understand the organization needed with keeping up with emails etc.
I also want to keep up with my stats, we all need to see how we are improving hopefully.
Plus I needed a slot for me, my steps, health and diet etc. I almost need a page a day. Then I needed the fun aspect to it, if I want to decorate to relax.

So initially I wasn't sure I could get all this into one planner and from watching you guys on YouTube many of you have upto 3-4 planners at one time. I couldn't see why at first but I can now...sigh.

 So eventually after weeks...okay 2 months...yep I know thats bad isn't it...oops.. of reading your reviews, watching you guys with your "plan with me's" I decided on the Happy Planner...yay made a decision!!!

 I actually found it on Ebay when I was scrolling through the many pages one night, a lady found it didn't suit her and she had bought some extras too...so I just had to click BUY NOW...der...obviously.
I thought that was the best way for me start tiptoeing into the planning world to see if this one was for me.

So here I am with my Happy Planner "Life is beautiful"; there are quite a few designs to choose from and the insides are different with every design; so Im sure you can find one to suit your style.
 Checkout MAMBI's walk through videos of each of their designs to see which one suits you.
So first of all these planners are manufactured by an American company called Me And My Big Ideas the link is below.
 They offer not only different styles and designs of planner but they also offer many accessories to go with it, its a hobby in itself. Stickers, washi tape, lists, extra replacement covers and index cards of different designs to change it up when you feel like it.


Checkout my full video walk through of everything I got and see what I thought, you can listen to my rambling or read it, its up to you guys....just grab a coffee and bicky anyway.

For me I fell in love with this design. I looked at the gorgeous leather binders of Kikki k and Filofax and thought I just couldn't justify the price.
It size is 24cm X 19.8cm and it has 2 laminated pages front and back. These have a really great thickness and wont bend easily.
Happy Planner is an Arc binder system so the pages simply pull out as you gently pull them down, you can then decorate and press them back in.

 You can even change the front and back covers.


 I immediately fell in love with the Arc system rings, they have added gorgeous love hearts to the centers. 

I also picked up some extension rings in gold as it will match the front cover; which will allow me to add to my planner as its already quite full with the extra lined and graph paper that came with it. You can see from the image above it will gain you approximately an extra 1/4 to your planner, so it allows for designing or adding pages, charms etc.


 So to the inside

At the beginning of every month you have a page to write down your monthly birthdays, special events, goals, important dates and dont forget lists. I have already changed this to suit me though...good old washi...lol!
Then you also have a beautiful index page to start every month with; this one is one of my favorites...yep its natural wood with a colourful edge its gorgeous.


You then have a month to view and each month is colour coordinated with the weekly view. So you see its green here....

...and its green daily dividers to match. Some of you probably won't like the Morning, Afternoon and Evening....Im not keen but you can cover it with washi. Not all the planner designs have this so do checkout their video walk through's. for each design.

I have to say I love, love, love the woody design to all the monthly pages of this version, Life is Beautiful. Its faint enough to still write over but enough to not decorate if you dont want to, and Im not sure how much I want or have time to decorate it yet.
All the pages are excellent quality and have a lovely thickness to them. I am using my Fisher space pen and that doesn't have any leak through whatsoever. I feel not many pens would leak through these, but I haven't tested any others yet.


 At the beginning of every week at the bottom of the open page is a different motivational saying which is really nice touch.

At the back is the paper set which came with my planner; lined and graph paper. I have at least 15 lined and 18 graph pages so some may have been used, Im not sure the correct amount you get in the pack as you will have to purchase these separately. But I have to say they are definitely worthwhile, they are excellent quality paper and thickness.


Extras

 Here are some of the extra's that came with my planner, all these are available to buy separately. Left to right is a
Dashboard of post-it notes, book of excellent quality stickers and a 2 pack of to do note pads, these are perfect for me and my reviews as I dont have to keep re-writing them out everytime. I can simply move the list - page to page.

 Then these are journalling cards, but I was slightly disappointed as I was hoping to use them as book marks but they are way too flimsy. Still they are gorgeous and will look pretty within the pages. 
I run through every card quickly in the video if you want to see whats inside.

Here are some more of the goodies you can get.



1st impressions
I really love the "Life is Beautiful" Happy Planner as I adore the nature design and woody effect on all the month to view pages, the index cards have a nature feel all through the months so the planner suits me so well. 
I love all the accessories that have come with my mini haul, I feel I would have wanted them, but whether I would have bought them all is another thing as they can be a little pricey.
My main niggle is that Im not 100% sure about the Arc system as I cannot add pages easily to this planner unless I buy the arc punch. It is now available to buy directly from MAMBI in the US and I know you can buy them in the UK...but I dont really want to pay out anymore.

As for the planner itself I really do love it, although its the "minimum" amount of space I need to write in daily. I could really do with a day to view page as I do have alot of things in my life I want to track and this doesn't give me quite enough room for everything but its still working ok.

Have I reached "planner peace" yet...not entirely...but I think I'm almost there, this size is just right and I love the nature designs as I dont have to decorate if I dont want to; but it still looks gorgeous all the way through if I dont. The pages are easy to turn and it lies flat and the pages are easily removable...so important to you guys who do alot of decorating.
But I really do like the design and style of this series; I will keep you updated.

*I have actually purchased the Carpe Diem simple stories planner since writing this review and video. My plan is to convert this Happy Planner (thanks to many YouTube videos on how to) and put it into the Carpe Diem binder ...more on this very soon.
I think Im addicted to planners already...eeep!




 Here are some of the companies you can buy the Happy Planner from
In the US you can buy directly from MAMBI here

 * I just want to point out I have not been compensated for this review. I paid for everything myself and simply wanted to let you guys know what I thought.

Plus I just have to review everything I get..now wheres my Mcvities chocolate biscuits...!



I actually have 3 Planners now since writing this review;
Simple stories Carpe Diem A5 planner
Websters Personal sized leather planner.   
Watch this space....



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