Kim's 2018 Happy Planner and Bullet Journal Setup



Over the years I've become pretty adept at trying out planner systems and discovering the ones that work for me, usually by strictly sticking to it and making little intuitive changes every 2 weeks or so. I realized early on that it takes literally years of trying new things to get to "planner peace." As time goes on, situations change, and so do the preferred methods of planning.

In 2017, I started the first half of the year by making my own personal routine checklist with embedded work blocks. It worked great but was only optimized for the day to day and there was no real system for big picture or long-term thinking. I later swerved into taking up bullet journaling again in November 2017. Which I also loved, but it took way too much time to set up in an aesthetically pleasing way every month and week (aesthetics matter!).

For 2018, I decided to try out the Happy Planner thanks to everything I saw on YouTube, Instagram, my sister's recommendation, and the fact that Michael's was having a sale.

So, instead of using the full bullet journal with monthly, weekly, and daily layouts, I decided on what I thought would work best in each planner and now use both for organizing my personal life.

Without further ado, this is how I'm using my happy planner and bullet journal in 2018
(so far):

Happy Planner

  • Events / Appointments
  • Daily To-Dos 
  • Grocery Lists
  • Meal Plan
  • Jotting down little notes of what I did or what happened during the day
  • Tracking Water intake, Yoga/Exercise, and habits that are important to me (i.e. Making time for art).
Some things I really liked about the Happy Planner in medium/classic is that it's bigger than my bullet journal and can comfortably fit a whole week. However, because of its size, it always stays at home on my desk. Within each day I still use the bullet journal task system. I also jot down notes of what happened during the day so it becomes a reference point for when I memory journal. 

I also got a bunch of stickers and washi from my sisters for Christmas, so it has become a sort of therapeutic mini creative outlet for minimal decoration and doodles! Loving it so far.

Bullet Journal



  • Collections (movies to watch, books to read, podcasts to listen to, etc.)
  • Weekly Task Braindump and goals
  • Monthly Trackers (habit & sleep) - I use the habit tracker as an ideal daily routine tracker.
  • Monthly review
  • Notes / Goal or Project Planning
  • Anything I want to keep for reference (the Index is useful for that)

My bullet journal is still the same as the one in the video above, just without the Monthly, Daily, or the Top 3 Tasks preplanning sections. The collections and future log only need to be set up about once per bullet journal, which I have no problem with doing. It also has updated collection printables that have since been created. You can find them in our Free Downloads.

The most important parts I refer to every single day are my Weekly Task Brain Dump, Sleep Tracker, and Habit Tracker. The Task Brain Dump is where I list all the things I want/need to do that week and put into my Happy Planner as it comes up. Only scheduled events are preplanned. I use the Habit tracker in place of my old ideal daily routine checklist, so it helps me gauge how successful that day has been. I still take my Bullet Journal everywhere I go to jot down random notes and events in my future log (which are later put into Google Calendar and Happy Planner).

The Habit Tracker and Sleep Tracker are part of the monthly free printable releases that Helen does. Subscribe to our blog or follow our Instagram to make sure you don't miss it!

So there you have it. I feel like my system is actually really simple and it works for me. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for your planning process!

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