Apologies for not getting this up yesterday!
The Happy Planner: an affordable staple, customizable book, and holy cow stickers.
There is so much to love about The Happy Planner (or THP, as I will now refer to it). This review is going to focus specifically on the Mini size (THP comes in three sizes: mini, classic, and big). Also, let’s get some naming jargon straightened out. The Happy Planner is part of me & my big ideas, a company started by mother/daughter team Terri Gick and Stephanie Fleming in 1998. What began as a scrapbooking sticker company turned into something much, much bigger. Now me & my big ideas (or MAMBI, as it is affectionately known) operates out of a 41,000 sq. ft. corporate center in Southern California. Create 365 The Happy Planner (I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how the create 365 name/brand/? fits into things) is only part of MAMBI, but it has definitely exploded in popularity.
You can find MAMBI products (including but not limited to THP!) at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Anns around the country. You can also usually find them on sale–in fact, there really is no reason to pay full price at any of these stores. There are usually 40% off coupons online that you can pull up on your phone. Also check weekly ads–Michael’s has planner products on sale all the time. 😉 If you are really jonesing for new releases and can’t wait for them to hit stores, you can get them for full price on the MAMBI website store.
Let’s dig into The Mini Happy Planner!
The Mini Happy Planner is small, so it functions super well as a purse planner or on-the-go planner. Its dimensions include a cover size of 5.125” x 7.5” and a page size of 4.5” x 7″. Its compact size makes it ideal for jotting down things while you are out and about so that you don’t forget them, storing lists or errands to refer to, or keeping track of memories. On the flip side, the Mini can also serve you as a gratitude journal or assignment tracker if you’re in school.
I should mention that the Mini has a dated 12-month calendar year option as well as an undated 12-month option that came out during the academic year planner launch. The dated planner provides structure that needs very little tweaking, while the undated version can skip months, start whenever you want it to, and accommodate a less strict schedule of use. MAMBI includes monthly stickers for you to use, as well, to make sure it all looks pretty.
One of the things that THP is known for is its “Currently” page at the beginning of each month. Now, the page depends on the design of the planner (there are several designs to choose from), but my particular planner has a section for Notes, Top Three, Birthdays, Important Dates, and Remember. Other THP planners sometimes include sections that say things like “Currently Reading/Watching/Eating/Planning/Etc.” The Market Floral design of THP is simply organized a little differently.
Like most planners, the mini has a monthly spread on two pages with a column on the side for notes. It is a weekly planner set up in the horizontal format with a notes section at the end of each week. The way this horizontal section is designed leaves plenty of room to use the space however you wish.
You can also add things into it, like pocket folders, lined notes pages, grid notes pages, and other inserts. MAMBI has a whole line of extra inserts and accessories for their planners, but are perhaps best known for their stickers.
The small size of the Mini means that it can fit less information in it overall–especially if you like to plan with stickers. See an image of how I used it below to get an idea of what you can fit inside its lines. If you want to watch someone actively planning in their Mini, check out one of Heather Kell’s (Insta @kellofaplan) videos on YouTube. Her spreads are a lot more sophisticated than mine. 😉
THP is known for being a disc-bound system, which means that the planners are kept together by discs. One of the great things about this is that you can easily move pages around in the planner, punch and add pages to it, and take out pages you no longer want to carry around. You just pinch the top of the page and pull it gently up to remove. Pulling too fast will likely rip it, as will yanking it from the side of the page.
The disc-bound system also means that covers are interchangeable! As you can see, my cover in these photos is not the cover my Mini Happy Planner came with. I ordered it custom from Jane’s Agenda, one of many shops that custom makes covers for different planner brands that have interchangeable options. But if you get kind of bored with your cover, you can easily swap it out. This keeps your planner feeling pretty fresh.
I love changing up my planner covers because it makes me feel like I have a new planner. I know, I need help.
THP has several different designs that they come out with for each launch, and each design will have a different aesthetic to it. There are ones that are more seasons/holiday themed, some that are bright, others that are more neutral, etc. I feel confident in saying that THP has a design for almost every type of person. Like a more elegant marble? They have that. More interested in black on brights? They got that, too. It all depends on your preference. I personally love many of their designs, but am really enjoying the simple beauty of my Market Floral.
I will say that someone looking for an ultra minimalist planner might not find the right one with MAMBI. Their planners are fun and happy, but not the most professional-looking. They do have deluxe covers options, both snap-on covers and a binder-like case that you can slip your planner into, and these options can spruce up the planner’s aesthetic. But overall much of the fun in using THP comes from all the decorative flair and options. So if you are looking for a planner that screams professionalism, this might not be the right fit for you.
If, however, you want a planner that is flexible to your needs, easy to carry around, and can double as a notebook, the Mini might be perfect for you. I would recommend this planner to people who want something light and easy to throw into their purse, need a convenient side-kick planner for their primary planner, or don’t need that much space to plan. If you want a purse planner that serves as an extension for your workhorse desk planner, for example the Mini could be a great fit for you. I like to put bigger tasks, plans, or reminders in mine and take it around with me when I don’t want to carry a tote bag. The simple horizontal layout makes it easy to break each day into usable sections that fit your needs–they just aren’t going to be very big.
I love the flexibility and portability of this planner. It’s small, easy to carry, easy to personalize, and works perfectly as a purse planner. I like the option of choosing your favorite design, as well. The price point on this planner is retailed at $19.99, but often you can get it with a coupon for $11.99 (40% off), which makes this planner a very inexpensive option. And the stickers. My goodness, the stickers are so fun to plan with. It makes using the Mini more of a scrap-booking activity, sometimes, rather than a planning one.
If this was my only planner, it would be much too small for me. I appreciate it as an extension of the planners that actually hold my life together, but this little dude couldn’t do it on its own. I also think that the quality is not what you will find in high-end planners, but is still excellent for how much you are spending. The pages are pretty thick and the colors are bright. The covers can get scratched up if you toss it around a lot, but I don’t think that’s something unique to THP.
Well there we are! My take on the Mini Happy Planner. I hope you enjoyed my blog post–if you have a Mini, have any questions about the Mini, and/or just want to say hi, leave a comment! I reply to every single comment left on my blog. 🙂 (That claim is yet to be tested, but I’m still making the commitment!)