One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is to get out my planner and do a quick overview of my week ahead. Since I got my Happy Planner™ this summer, it has become even more fun because planning is now my way of expressing a little creativity, too!
Before I go on, I must say that even though this completely sounds like a commercial, it’s not. I am in no way affiliated with the Happy Planner™ people (or Michaels, or Hobby Lobby, or anyone else I happen to mention in this post). I am not being compensated for this blog post. I simply want to share with you how I create my weekly spreads.
First of all, I purchased a Happy Planner™ teacher edition from Michaels over the summer when I saw a bunch of teacher-friends posting pictures of theirs on Instagram. I was super excited, but I didn’t really do my research before going out and buying my planner. If I had, I might have found that I would be better off buying a different style of Happy Planner™ because there are a few things about the Teacher Edition that don’t meet my needs.
I don’t use my planner exclusively for school-related things–I also use it to keep track of my family events and personal goals. Therefore, I think that Happy Planner™ probably has different layouts and pages that might be more suitable for my overall planning purpose. My two biggest issues with this specific planner are 1) not very many sticker packs are tailored to fit it, and 2) the weekly spreads only contain Monday through Friday (there is no weekend).
I bought a few different sticker packs at Hobby Lobby before I realized that they aren’t “one-size-fits-all.” I love the diversity in the sticker packs, though, so I continue to buy different ones so that I have a bunch of options in decorating my spreads. Because I have stickers of all different sizes and only one pack made specifically for my planner, I attempt to not pay much attention to the lines on my weekly spread. Stickers may hang over a bit, or be too narrow, but I just go with the flow, and I have learned to embrace a “pasted on” look.
I occasionally have events come up that I have to remember (appointments, meetings, obligations), but most of what I use my planner for is to-do lists. My daily class schedule is extremely consistent, so I don’t need to outline things by time. In order to increase productivity throughout my day, I have to be able to check of to-do lists as I accomplish tasks like grading, lesson planning, and other odds and ends.
To solve the weekend issue, I devote four to six boxes on the opposite side of my spread for weekend plans and to-do lists. I use a sticker and washi tape to denote that area as “Weekend,” then decorate the inside with reminders and lists. It isn’t perfect, but it is a good solution that allows me to carry my productivity over into the weekend and remember important events.
The right side of my spread gets a little empty because most days I don’t need anything more than my to-do list. Aside from using some space for my weekend box, I also like to use this area for meal-planning and personal goals. One of my favorite uses for my planner is to keep a short list of the meals I have planned for that week. I write them down in an ideal chronological order, but I don’t put days next to them because I know that sometimes my plans change mid-week. For example, if I forgot to take meat out for Monday’s dinner, then I just simply pick one of the others and push the first dinner to later and the week. I just check meals off as I cook them, and this seems to work well for our family.
Finally, I like to use the right side of the spread for some of my personal goals. Sometimes I use it to check off my water intake or my workouts. This week, getting back on the bandwagon after Thanksgiving, I just wanted to use a little space to set some intentions for the week. The list will be a quick reminder of everything I am capable of!
Below is a quick video of how I put this spread together. I would love to hear any questions, comments, or ideas you have about planning for a successful week!