A couple of weeks ago I saw in an Instagram post that Costco had a Happy Planner starter kit available at a good price. It may have been $24.95, I don't remember now, but the planner itself would normally cost about that much, and the kit included stickers, washi tape, and a bunch of other stuff, and weekly inserts for two years, not just one.
I had resisted starting a Happy Planner because of all the stuff that was available for it -- the aforementioned stickers, and washi tape, etc. Every photo that I saw looked so complicated (and, yes, beautiful) that it seemed to be more of a scrapbooking process than a planner.
But different planners are needed at different times. When Bob was in the hospital, the Daytimer I had at the time was absolutely essential. I wrote down everything that was said, and was able to discuss it with other doctors, or just read it myself and, later, answer Bob's questions. The problem with it, though, was that it was so big. Too big, really, to carry every day. It was fine when I was going back and forth to the hospital, but once he came home and I got back to work, I didn't want to carry it everywhere.
I used a Levenger Circa agenda for awhile, then when I started working from home I completely downsized to a Moleskine weekly diary that I could carry in my purse. I intended to do that this year, too, with the backup of a cheap agenda that I could keep on my desk for notes. Than I saw the Instagram Costco post, aka, the gateway drug.
Once I saw how much fun the Happy Planner was, I went looking for more. I discovered that they had just come out with a mini version, and that turned out to be perfect for me. It's compact enough to carry around with me -- too large, really, for a purse, but I can slip it in a tote bag or carry it in my hand, and it's fine. One of my clients gave me a Michael's gift certificate for Christmas, so I got a pretty vinyl cover for it and lots of filler paper and stickers. I was sitting in bed one night recently and Bob asked me what I was doing (I believe he said, "Are you looking at cat videos?"). I said I was looking for stickers, and he said he could honestly say that it had never occurred to him to look for stickers . . .
There's a whole sisterhood of planner addicts out there. You can buy custom covers, dividers, decorated paper, and more stickers than you can imagine. You can also download free sheets of images to print yourself on sticker paper and cut out (yes, I bought some sticker paper, but haven't used it yet).
As I've followed these planner groups on various social media avenues, I've found that a lot of them have not just one planner, but many. One for fitness, one for social media planning, one for bible study, etc. Some have as many as seven going simultaneously. I can see the appeal, because it is a lot of fun, but that would never work for me. I need to have everything in one place (as a friend said on Facebook, "There can be only one."), and I don't need to be spending that much time playing around, anyway. To be fair, though, I think that most of them are actually doing it as a job -- making YouTube videos and things like that.
For now, I'm just having fun with it, figuring out how I want it to look and to work for me. And it is a lot of fun and I guess, secondarily, functional.