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5 Quick and Dirty Happy Planner Hacks for a Totally Custom Planner!

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Happy Planner Hacks: 5 quick and dirty happy planner hacks to get you on your way to a totally custom planner you LOVE to use.

I LOVE my Happy Planner. It was the first “real planner” I ever owned. Home to stickers upon stickers, goals, plans, and many memories. I’m now the proud owner of several Happy Planners that I routinely cobble together into one, massive, lovely, totally custom planner that holds everything I need to remember.

I didn’t always love my Happy Planner. Making the move from a completely personalized bullet journal notebook to a more structured planner was uncomfortable at first. I was too precious with it. Too careful. It was more rigid, and I plain didn’t like the discs. BUT! I figured out how to make it work.

I’m on Happy Planner number 7 now, and I think it’s time to share some of the hacks that changed my mind about HP.

5 Happy Planner Hacks

Happy Planner Hack #1
Make Some Room

Happy Planners come with the same size, standard, plastic discs. Twelve months of planning pages will feel pretty tight. Leaving 18 months in will make you want to scream and throw it across the room.

You will soon be frustrated flipping back and forth between your monthly and weekly spreads. I was getting rips and tears by the mushroom holes, and I hated the stuffed, slow feeling of turning the pages. Not Pleased.

I realized I needed more space to make turning the pages a little bit smoother.

Happy Planner Hacks

To lessen the load, take out the weekly pages. Leave the tabbed monthly spreads in. This way, you will have room to plan for the coming months, but you won’t be hindered by the massive bulk of pages.

Want to keep your whole year together? Find the Happy Planner expander discs. These little guys don’t look much bigger, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.  The large size makes it easy to turn the pages. They can easily hold an eighteen month planner – or a year of stickered pages, which can get pretty thick.

Happy Planner Hack #2
Store Extra Pages in a Gallon Bag

The common storage advice is to basically create a second planner with extra discs with your extra pages. I have two problems with this:

(1) I’m lazy and don’t want to take out pages and put them back into the discs twice, and
(2) that would require shelf space I don’t have.

Happy Planner Hacks

The Classic Happy Planner pages fit perfectly inside a gallon sized zipper bag. Put them in order and seal them up.

Now you can easily store them flat in a drawer. You won’t have to worry about the pages slip-sliding out of a folder, and you won’t have to boot your favorite paperbacks for more shelf space. Your planner pages will be safe, smooth, and dry when you’re ready to plan the next six months.

Happy Planner Hack #3
Reversible Covers are Interchangeable

There are so many Happy Planner styles and colors to choose from. They have a variety of covers and interior pages.

This is great until you decide you want a vertical layout with the cover that only comes on the horizontal. Or you buy that 18 month planner on sale and don’t want to stare at last year’s date on the cover.

Happy Planner Hacks

Great news! All of the Happy Planner covers are reversible and interchangeable. Just make sure you match up the sizes – 9 holes for the Classic, 11 for the Big, 8 for the mini.

If you like the interior cover, swap the back page for the front and voila! Fresh new cover! Hide the old date in the back of your planner, or completely replace it with a new cover.

You’re not limited to the covers you see in the store. You can find a huge variety of Happy Planner covers on Etsy. In my experience, the Etsy covers are thicker and stiffer than the original – which makes them feel sturdy and durable.

Happy Planner Hack: Custom Covers

Happy Planner Hack #4
Convert a Vertical Planner into an Hourly

One thing I think Happy Planner is missing is a fabulous hourly planner. You can find daily inserts with hourly schedules, but sometimes you don’t need a-whole-nother page for the day.

Happy Planner Hacks

Happy Planner Hack: Convert your vertical planner into an hourlyAn hourly sticker is a happy medium. It will give you the versatility you need when planning your week without the hassle of switching planners, adding pages, or going back to having sticky notes pasted all over the house!

I use these printable hourly stickers when I want an hourly planner, but I don’t need one every day of the week. The lines are thin and light gray, so you’re not losing any writing space.

Happy Planner Hack #5
The Notebook Paper Hack

I love to add sections to my Happy Planner. I currently have budget printables, health and fitness printables, and lots of room for journaling. It can be a pain to print out pages all the time. Plus, sometimes I just want the comfort of plain, old notebook paper.

Happy Planner Hacks

This brings me to the easiest and best hack of allthe notebook paper hack. Here’s how to get it done:

  • Grab some notebook paper
  • Trim off the top and left side margins
  • Punch with a Happy Planner mushroom punch
  • Insert and BAM! Instant journal and notes pages!

Need a closer look at the Happy Planner notebook paper hack?

You’ll need to pick up a Happy Planner mushroom punch for this hack. I found it works best to punch about three pages at a time. This punch is built for heavier paper, so thin notebook paper can easily get stuck. 

Fair warning: If you’ve been searching “Happy Planner Hacks” and came across the one about replacing the mushroom punch with a hole punch – don’t do it.

Your pages will be loose and floppy. If you’re going for a custom, personalized Happy Planner, spring for the good HP hole punch. You’ll be glad you did.

I hope these hacks help you love you Happy Planner! What’s your secret planner hack? Share in the comments below.

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16 thoughts on “5 Quick and Dirty Happy Planner Hacks for a Totally Custom Planner!

  1. Julie B says:

    OMG! The notebook paper hack was pure genius. I was trying to print out lined paper to use for notes but it was such a pain. Took me mere minutes to get lots of paper for my planner.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I actually use the notebook paper hack with an extra set of discs, some custom dividers, & a few other self-made inserts to make a unique but extremely effective notebook for my college courses. Depending on my course load, I can usually put 2 courses on one set of expander discs. I bought a snap-on hard cover on sale & it’s super sturdy.

  3. Tori says:

    L❤️VE the notebook paper hack!! Unfortunately I just bought a pack of lined paper for my HP 😠 We homeschool and I have TONS of lined paper! Haha! Now I know! Thank you!

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