What is Happy Planning and How Do You Get Started?

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What is Happy Planning?

Happy planning is the process of using a Happy Planner (made by MAMBI) to plan your month, week, or day.

It is a disc bound planner system that you can customize to fit your style and planning needs. This is also referred to as “Frankenplanning“.

There are a few different layout styles for Happy Planners as well as a few notebook styles. What do you do if you like all the Happy Planner styles? You mix and match them to make your own custom planner.

Happy Planner Layouts to Choose From:

Happy Planners also come in different sizes. Read more about those here.

What is the Happy Planner Disc System?

The disc system is what makes the Happy Planner so user friendly. Pages can easily be removed, moved around, or hole punched and added.

The discs (or rings) come in different colors, materials, and sizes. Mix and match to get the style you want (or if you are a complete color addict…you might buy a planner based on the disc colors **cough, cough**).

planner rainbow discs

A Happy Planner punch means you can hole punch any paper that you have printed, removed from a different planner, or designed and add it to your planner. This makes for some “happy planning”.

How do you Decorate a Happy Planner?

Stickers. Washi tape. Pens. Scrapbook paper. More stickers (from sellers on Etsy).


There are a number of ways to decorate your Happy Planner. The company themselves make sticker books that hold anywhere from 350-900 stickers. Themed stickers can be found for crafting, fitness, meal planning, budgeting, faith, and more.

What Should Happy Planners Look Like?

There is no wrong or right way to dress up your Happy Planner. I started by using mine just in its “natural” format. Stickers overwhelmed me and I was irritated by the vertical layout.

planner layout with scrapbook paper and stickers

When I finally started trying to use my few sticker books and make the planner work for me, I realized there are SO MANY ways to customize your planner pages to fit your style. You can even turn a vertical layout into a dashboard layout (this is a great way to try different layout styles to see which fits your needs the best and then you will know what to buy for your next planner).

Are Happy Planners the Same as Bullet Journals?

Happy Planners are not the same as Bullet Journals (you can read all about bujo planners here).

There are pages that are dot grid printed that you can use in your disc planner as a bullet journal style. And you can add pages to create collections in your Happy Planner if you like the idea of bullet journals and the creative freedom they add to your planning.

fitness and wellness trackers for classic happy planner

Again, you can completely customize your planner with different pages, the order that you want, collections, and more.

How Do I Use a Happy Planner?

Just like there is no right or wrong way to decorate a Happy Planner, there is also no set way to use one.

My first year of Happy Planning, I wrote a few things in the boxes each week. But for the most part I mostly used the monthly calendar and just kept my plans really broad.

My style is more “fly by the seat of my pants” and my planner felt confining.

Then, I added in notebook paper for journaling (you can see how I did that and other planner hacks here). This made me use my planner more and I didn’t feel as guilty about the money I had spent on it.

notebook paper cut for happy planner

Next, I learned how to decorate my weekly pages with stickers. That is when my planning style really took off (as well as my sticker addiction…shhhhh).

Now, I buy 3 or 4 planners a year and mix and match them all into one planner on a 3 month basis (I pull the same 3 months from each planner and put them on a set of rings with dividers. This way, I only have to haul around a “regular” sized planner instead of a super thick planner or 3 planners).

The main take away should be, you should be “happy planning”. The Happy Planner makes this easier.

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