Stationery Review: The Happy Planner – Mini


Image Description: title-card image. It has four strawberries, one in each corner, and written in the centre of the image is “Stationery Review: The Happy Planner – Mini” in large hot-pink text.

Items: The Mini Happy Planer – Live In Colour 2020 (dated) and The Mini Happy Planner Accessories Bundle

Cost: The Mini Happy Planner = AU $42.03 + The Mini Happy Planner Accessories Bundle = AU $48.74. Shipping Fees: for orders over AU $49.00, shipping is free, however, I also have signed up for Amazon Prime which is $6.99 per month, which enables me to get faster free international shipping (normally this would cost me AU $20.00 in shipping via Amazon USA). The Grand Total: (42.03 + 48.74) + 6.99 = AU $97.76

Date of Purchase: 11/01/2020

Date of Delivery: Accessories Bundle was delivered on the 20/01/2020 and The Mini Happy Planner was delivered on the 21/01/2020

Store: Amazon – Australia

Images:

Image Description: The front outside cover of The Mini Happy Happy Planner. The cover has a predominate design of diagonal rainbow-coloured stripes. There is large white text in the middle of the cover that is outlined with gold sparkles. The text is: “Get Busy, Babe.”. The first third and the last third of the cover have gold sparkily polka-dots decorating the cover. The discs down the side are a teal-blue-green


Image Description: The front inside cover of The Mini Happy Happy Planner. On the left-hand side, the background is the same teal-blue-green colours as the discs, except it also has multi-coloured stars and multi-coloured polygon shapes scattered randomly across the cover. On the right-hand side, there is an introductory note on a white piece of paper about The Happy Planner and a photo of the creators.


Image Description: The front inside cover of The Mini Happy Happy Planner. On the left-hand side, the background is the same teal-blue-green colours as the discs, except it also has multi-coloured stars and multi-coloured polygon shapes scattered randomly across the cover. On the right-hand side, the introductory note has been removed to show the pink title page. It has “Hello” in large gold letters and “This planner belongs to:” in small rainbow-coloured letters underneath. Where the teal-blue-green discs are, there is a small strip of diagonal rainbow-coloured stripes.


Image Description: Both pages are rainbow-spectrum shading pages of Year-At-A-Glance pages. The page on the left-hand side is for 2020, the page on the right-hand side is for 2021.


Image Description: Both pages are Yearly Overview pages. The background of both pages are white with the monthly outline in a different colour of the rainbow. For example, January is Pinkly shaded, February is orange shaded, and March is yellow shaded.


Image Description: A verticle monthly calendar page for January 2020. On the left-hand side is a separate column in two sections: three dot-points for Top Three Monthly Goals/Priorities and a Notes section. Both pages are white


Image Description: Two Pages for the Weekly Overview. On the left-hand side, there are four boxes, one box has a shaded background of the diagonal striped rainbow, this box is labelled “ERRANDS” and has clear circle dot-points. Next box is labelled “TO BUY” has lines and rainbow-coloured square-shaped dot-points.  Next box is a plain white box is labelled “CALLS/EMAILS”. Next box is also a plain white box labelled “BILLS TO PAY”. Down the bottom of the page is grid-section labelled “FOCUS”


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for January. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “JANUARY” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. This one has a pink background, with red text in the centre “MAKE YOUR OWN MAGIC”, and multi-coloured stars at the top-third and bottom-third of the page.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for February. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “FEBRUARY” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is shades of pink and orange with white text in the middle: “YOU ARE ENTIRELY UP TO YOU.”


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for March. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “MARCH” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. Where the teal-blue-green discs are, there is a small strip of diagonal rainbow-coloured stripes. The background is teal-blue-green with white text down the bottom-third of the page: “FOLLOW YOUR HEART”


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for April. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “APRIL” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is navy-blue with gold sparkly stars and polygon shapes decorating the background with large pink text in the centre saying “YOU GOT THIS”, the text is outlined in gold sparkles.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for May. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “MAY” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. the background is shades of pink and orange, with a large yellow winking smiley-face roughly in the lower-centre section. There is white text above the winking smiley-face saying, “ooh la la”.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for June. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “JUNE” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is black with large white text printed on it: “THiNK iT, WANT iT, GET iT”.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for July. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “JULY” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is a gradient shade of the rainbow with a white border around the page. In the centre is white text saying “LIVE COLOURFULLY BABE”.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for August. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “AUGUST” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. On the right-hand side, the background is the same teal-blue-green colours as the discs, except it also has multi-coloured stars and multi-coloured polygon shapes scattered randomly across the cover. In the centre is a large navy-blue circle which has the following text: “KEEP ON CRUSHING IT GIRL!”


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for September. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “SEPTEMBER” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is divided into three sections: blue with white polka-dots, green with white polka-dots, and solid black. There is white text outlined in black in the centre that says “IT’S GONNA BE OKAY”.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for October. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “OCTOBER” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The bottom and top of the page have a rainbow spectrum bar. The top-third and the bottom third are decorated with gold stars and polygon shapes. The page is mostly white with a large gold box in the centre, which has the following text: “MAKE TODAY COUNT” in gold letters.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for November. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “NOVEMBER” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The bottom-third of the page is a large section of diagonal rainbow-stripes. The rest of the page has a white background, with a pink and red heart in the centre. Inside the red-pink heart is large white text that says “LOVE YO SELF”.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there is the Monthly Overview page for December. There is a diagonally rainbow stripe title bar with “DECEMBER” written in white text. Underneath is a large section of white lined paper labelled “NOTES”.  Down the bottom are two sections labelled “BIRTHDAYS FOR THE MONTH” and “IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER”.  On the right-hand side is a monthly divider. The background is pink, with red metallic text in the centre saying “ONE DAY OR DAY ONE. YOU DECIDE”. There are also metallic red stars and polygon shapes in the top-right corner and bottom-left corner of the page.


Image Description: On the left-hand side, there are multi-coloured stars up the top of the white lined-page with the black-text heading of “NOTES”.  Where the teal-blue-green discs are, there is a small strip of diagonal rainbow-coloured stripes. On the right-hand side, the background is the same teal-blue-green colours as the discs, except it also has multi-coloured stars and multi-coloured polygon shapes scattered randomly across the cover.

Review:

~Accessibility:
I recently discovered All About Planners, which is a blog about planners and stationery. Like myself, Rachael is an Australian, and it was refreshing to see someone blogging about stationery, but also acknowledging a lot of the problems that Australian consumers have with regards to some stationery companies, which are predominantly located in the United States of America.

A lot of stores that are common in the USA are not common or available in Australia. The Happy Planner product can only be bought online as there are no physical stores in Australia that sell The Happy Planner product and its various accessories. To purchase directly from The Happy Planner website involves steep shipping fees: a minimum of AU $20.00 and a maximum of AU $45.00 (I think). I do not consider this an acceptable option.

Another option available to me would be the Amazon (AUS) website. Amazon doesn’t have the same reach or product availability in Australia, especially in comparison with the USA website. There’s also the fact that the Australian Postage System is also Super Terrible. Our postage system is super expensive unreliable, it’s primarily 9-to-4:30 so that the next day’s postage can be sorted by 5pm, which means “screw you” to anyone who works outside those hours.

Amazon has only just recently become a viable option for me with the Prime Membership subscription. There are still a lot of problems with the search function on Amazon (AUS) but a difficult option is better than no option. Otherwise, I would normally be spending up to $20.00 on shipping fees from the Amazon (USA) website, hence the reason why previously I would avoid using Amazon unless I was very desperate for an item.

A lot of Stationery companies either don’t seem to realise that this is a problem or don’t seem to care that this is a problem. I think it’s important that international consumers (AKA consumers in any country outside of the United States of America) discuss the process in which we obtain the item, in conjunction with the item itself. If I have to jump through a lot of hoops to obtain an item, that is going to influence my opinion of said item, and whether or not I am willing to recommend it.

~Sizing System:
The sizing system for The Happy Planner planners took me longer than it should have to figure out. There’s Big, Classic/Medium, and Mini, which is the one I currently displaying in the blog-post. Apparently, Classic and Medium are the same sizes, which confused me. Side note: the stickers also come in multiple sizes, so make sure to double-check you are purchasing the right size for your planner. I’ll include a link to All About Planner’s Guide to Discbound Planners and FAQs, which was super helpful.

~Colour Design:
With regards to The Happy Planner I have purchased, I love the Rainbow colour-scheme, which is why I picked it. I like the majority of divider designs for this particular mini-planner, however, as I bought an accessory bundle, I can change out any of the dividers I’m not too fussed on. I don’t normally purchase Dated Planners/Journals, however, I’m super glad I made an exception for this one.

~Page Layout and Page Design:
I really struggled to choose a type of Planner because of how The Happy Planner company designs its planners. Judging by the range of products available, it’s marketing demographic is predominately focused on Northern Hemisphere consumers, which is why a lot of the student and teacher planners start in August. This isn’t helpful for Australians as we start the Academic/Schooling year in January.

When I looked into undated planners, the planners with monthly overviews and weekly focus sections were limited, or not what I wanted. I was more interested in a planner with a vertical layout design for the monthly overview and weekly focus sections. In the end, the design I eventually chose has worked better than expected, however, I’m also uncertain of what I’ll do at the end of the year.

The Happy Planner blank refills are difficult to find outside of an accessory pack and only last for six months. For Comparison, blank refills for kikki.K products are easily labeled so that you know the size they are, and they are easy to find on the website.

Am I just expected to buy a completely new planner every year? Even if I am perfectly happy with the planner I have? Ah… The Joys of Capitalism *sarcasm*.

~Volume:
I have added a few extra items to The Mini Happy Planner, and I can already tell that I will most likely need expander rings, especially if I want to add extra notes or paper sections. I think will need to test this with The Classic Happy Planner, however, I get the feeling that the mini planners are not designed to be bulked up.

Another problem is that the expander rings I want are AU $36.84 (just by themselves). You can purchase a 6 pack of mini-planner ring sets, however, my problem with this is that I don’t know if I want 6 different sets of rings. I am forced to question how far am I willing to invest in this project.

~Conclusion:
While I love my planner, and I’m glad I bought it, I know that because of accessibility issues and costings, I will be limited with how much I can do with it. I am prepared to limit my investment in this particular project. I probably won’t be buying sticker packs for the Mini-planner as I don’t think I’ll have room for them within the book (I have large and messy handwriting).

I probably wouldn’t recommend The Happy Planner system and accessories to Bullet Journal Beginners. I consider myself fairly experienced with Bullet Journal Stuff and I am super overwhelmed with the sheer volume of choices available. Perhaps if there were in-store options I could cross-reference with, this could possibly ease some of the confusion I have, but alas.

If this is something you have a strong emotional attachment to, or you’re fully prepared to loads of research on the topic, then feel free to purchase The Happy Planner in any and all sizes you desire. I’ll include some links down below that I found helpful in my Knowledge Quest. All in all, The Happy Planner has an excellent range of pretty colours available, however, you could probably find something locally for the same price (or cheaper) that could easily do the same job. It’s difficult to justify.

Links:
~All About Planners: MAMBI Mini Happy Planner Review (Pros, Cons, Should You Buy It?)
~All About Planners: Guide to Discbound Planners & FAQ
~All About Planners: MAMBI Happy Planner Mini VS. Classic VS. Big: Which Size Is Right For You?
~Kell of a Plan: Happy Planner 101 – YouTube Playlist
~Kell of a Plan: YouTube Channel

One response to “Stationery Review: The Happy Planner – Mini

  1. Pingback: Stationery Review: The Happy Planner – Classic – Ambiguous Pieces·

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