Have you ever returned to something you swore you would never use again?
I’m sure it happens to the best of us! We swear off a type of product that doesn’t work for us and then stumble across it again years later and decide to give it a second chance.
It happened to me with disc-bound planners and notebooks from The Happy Planner.
Years ago, I discovered The Happy Planner and Erin Condren and fell in love with the vertical planner. It just made sense to me. I never liked horizontal or hourly, which was what most planners were. I started with The Happy Planner because Erin Condren was pricey, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if vertical would be what worked. And I wasn’t in a position to spend on Erin Condren.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I was annoyed with the discs and was in a better place financially, and I decided to try Erin Condren and the coil.
I fell in love and put disc-bound planners in the rearview mirror.
If you watch some of my YouTube videos, I will talk about how I love the coil and hate disc-bound. I was adamant. I was NEVER going back!
Enter the Hocus Pocus box from The Happy Planner.
I jumped on it immediately because, duh, Hocus Pocus. It is my favorite Halloween-themed movie, and I will watch it multiple times a season! I had to have the box. But this blog is not about the Hocus Pocus box.
While on The Happy Planner website, I noticed they were having a warehouse sale. I resisted for days but eventually went and poked around. I liked a few items, but again, disc-bound. So I sat on them for a few days, and then, oops, my cart got filled, and I had some new to me items on the way!
I was intrigued by the guided budget planner. The preview pages look like exactly what I need to help my AHDH spending habits. I’ve come a long way on my own with The Budget Mom ideas and Erin Condren products, but I’m not 100% where I want to be.
The budget planner is for four months.
What really drew me in was the weekly dashboard page. It has five sections and a weekly habit tracker. The sections are what I was trying to do on my own but hadn’t really worked out yet. They are things I want, things I actually need (HAH), What event is coming up this week that I know I will spend money on, what can I do to adjust and save, and What can I give up, say no to, or let go of this week.
I had done this in my planner and bullet journal, depending on the month, but I never found the right words and wasn’t always consistent with it. I hope having it already set up for me will be helpful!
After the dashboard is seven daily pages. I’m not sure I will always use these, but they are nice because each day has a different prompt/question about budgeting/finances. You also get a spot for daily gratitude and small victories. You get a weekly summary page with three sections at the end of the week. You get a spot to track your weekly spending, a space that asks what you can do better next week, and an area for notes.
For the other weeks in the month, you get the dashboard, a notes page, then the weekly pages, and a summary. I can’t wait to dig in and see if this helps!
Besides the guided budget planner, I also picked up one other planner because I’ve been looking for a new content planner, because none ever seem to stick. I saw the undated checklist layout and decided to give that a try!
Again, the dashboard is what originally grabbed my attention. It has two small headings but nothing too invasive. I can be flexible with the different sections and easily cover the headings. On the left third of the page are three rectangles, with the top being grid, the middle lined, and the bottom blank. The right two-thirds of the page is a dot grid. Between the grid and lined boxes is the label “Priorities * Goals,” and between the lined and blank boxes is “Important Dates.”
I put priorities, goals, and important dates in my content planner so the labels are perfect. A large dot grid section allows me to track different things, brain dump, or whatever I need for that month. The freedom to create and adjust it easily each month drew me in. I feel like I’m always changing what I need to track each month.
After the dashboard is the monthly spread, I am disappointed with the monthly spread because it is only five rows. I have found in undated monthly views, you need six rows, or for some months, you need to split days. And personally, I hate that. Not everyone will find this to be an issue.
Other than that, the boxes for each day are quite large, allowing plenty of room to schedule content. Each square measures 1.5” x 1.5”. It is a Sunday start, but you could easily change that with whiteout or stickers.
After the month pages, you have six weeks (see? Six!). On the left-hand side, you have a notes column (labeled this week’s list) followed by Monday through Wednesday. On the right-hand side, you have Thursday through Sunday.
The weekdays have three vertical boxes per day. The top box is a dot grid, the middle is a checklist, and the bottom is blank. The columns are approximately 7.5” tall by 1.5” wide. The notes column has 25 total lines, while each daily checklist has eight lines.
I like this layout because it allows me to split my days between the top and bottom boxes. I can make the top be one account, and the bottom be my other account. Or I could make the top for anything YouTube and the bottom for Instagram. If I have any tasks I need to do, I can easily add them to the center box.
I wanted an undated planner this time because if I don’t use it for a week or a month, I can go back and use those pages later.
Let me know: would you use the guided budget or vertical checklist planner? How would you use either of them?
Interested in how I end up using the guided budget and the vertical checklist planners? Be sure to follow me on Instagram for future posts with tips and my thoughts on how they work for me!
Watch the video version of this review: