January Plan With Me | Planning for Beginners

Welcome to the my first official plan with me of 2017! I’m so happy to get back into sharing planner spreads with you all plus tips on how to make your planner pretty, yet keep it functional. I share my January 2017 monthly spread in this post, plus my New Years spread.

As always be sure to click the highlighted links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.



My monthly spreads are typically the most neglected pages in my planner and that’s something I want to change in 2017. I initially used it to track every little thing, but looking bad at it, I hated the crowded look. I was cramming everything from bills to birthdays, events/appointments, pay day’s, to even when I put gas in my car.

Planner Tip | Uses for your monthly spread: tracking bills, tracking birthdays, highlight a day, tracking your feelings of that day, photo a day, etc.

This time around I wanted to keep a sleek look with the ‘This Is Your Year’ planner plus it’s a new planner and the perfectionist in me wants just that, perfection. I didn’t go too crazy. I never goo to crazy with my monthly spreads since I don’t look at them as much.  I added in my last Steelers schedule sticker, birthday, pay day, and a few deco stickers here and there. I do go in and add here and there to my monthly spread so I can look back at a “snapshot” of the month. Again, I don’t always look back, but I do fill in events if they pop up.

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I needed to get back into using my monthly spread as a reference for when I’m planning each week. I put my bills in the sidebar as I didn’t want to crowd the monthly spread. I’m thinking that next month, I’ll try putting my bills on the corresponding day just in a different color to make it stand out. In using this as a reference I look at each week instantly opposed to the sidebar. Having my bills stand out would be helpful in planning each week. For aesthetic purposes, of course, I don’t want it crowded. Since I’m not using the monthly spread other than marking bills/events/birthdays/holidays, I can focus more so on a snapshot of my bills.

Getting into my first week spread, I didn’t have a New Years kit to use, but I had some full boxes and deco I purchased over the summer that I knew would jazz up this spread plus New Years stickers I found at Hobby Lobby. I absolutely love how this spread turned out.

Starting with the sidebar, I used scrapbook paper I purchased from Michaels. It was actually a part of a Christmas pad, but the colors worked perfectly with the black and gold stickers I had from Hobby Lobby. I put in a tracker to track my Instagram and YouTube numbers, what I wanted to clean, and of course add some stickers. I don’t typically put gas stickers  in my planner, if at all anymore, but I added it to the sidebar for this spread since I had no where else to put it.

Planner Tip: If you have decorative (deco) stickers and you’re unsure what to do with them, add them to the sidebar. It’s an easy way to fill the blank space. They’re a great option to fill space as well if you do not have full box stickers. 

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I spread out the full boxes and placed them in the middle of each box. I’ve realized that I am not a ‘no white space’ planner meaning that I like to see the pages and use more icons and use full boxes to full up chunks of time. Also being that I had quite a bit of deco, I jazzed up the basic half boxes with deco from the kit or the Hobby Lobby stickers I had on hand.

Planner Tip: While most Etsy kits are made for the Erin Condren, you can use them in your Happy Planner with ease in a ‘white space’ style. You can place them in the middle of each box like I did, along the bottom, or to cover the lines on various days. Do not let the dimensions limit you.

This was the first time that I really tried out placing the half boxes in different spots. The spread worked so well simply because I TOOK MY TIME. Sometimes planners can get so pressured by wanting a “perfect” spread that it becomes dysfunctional.

The purpose of planning is to make your life easier. It helps stay on track with your goals and daily tasks. Stickers are for inspiration. 

Taking my time, not worrying about who sees it, and making it functional for me is my goal for planning not just in 2017, but going forward. It’s great to share tips, but make your planner work for you. It’s YOUR planner.

Stickers/Washi used for monthly & weekly spread:

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