40+ Things To Track in Your Happy Planner

Every now and then, someone tells me they love Happy Planners, but they don’t have enough going on in their life to need a paper planner. Usually, this just means they need a little help brainstorming.

There are so many fun and useful ways to organize your life with a planner. I’m always thinking of new things to track in my Happy Planner, so I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

HAPPY PLANNER

PREDICTABLE THINGS 

  • To-do lists 
  • Appointments and meetings 
  • Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays 
  • Work and school schedules
  • Deadlines
  • Shopping lists – Use half-sheet note paper to keep your list with you and work on it for a few days before you head to the store. Sometimes, if I just need a few things I’ll just write the list right in my planner.
  • Weird holidays – Celebrating days like “National Coffee Day” make life fun, but only if you know about them.

MEMORIES

  • Photos – Printing photos is one of my favorite ways to add memories to my planner. I use Canva.com to resize my images and print them on my home printer. This printer is #goals.
  • What did you do? – On days I don’t have plans (also known as Saturdays), I go back and fill in the day with whatever I did. Even if it’s not super exciting, I love looking back on these detail.
  • Journal – I love to punch Pocket Pages to add to my planner, because the backs are the perfect journaling space.
  • Funny moments – Write down that thing that had everyone on the floor laughing, so you can relive that moment every time you look at your planner.
  • Details – What song do you have on repeat this week? What TV show are you binge watching on Netflix? These little details are so fun to remember. I love The Happy Planner’s Currently page for these extras, but sometimes I’ll add a few extra details to a specific week because there’s something specific that’s standing out.

BUDGET

  • Bills due – I use half-sheet note paper to list my bills each month, and I add the bills I have to pay manually to my weekly spread.
  • What you plan to spend – I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey, so I love making budgets. Extra notes pages and the monthly spread are both great places for budget planning.
  • What you actually spend – Once you make your budget, keep track of what you’re spending so you know if you’re staying on track (or overspending on stickers!)
  • Savings goals – You’ve likely seen the savings plans on Pinterest or Facebook where you save an extra dollar every week for a year — add the goals to your planner to help you remember what to stash.

GOALS and DREAMS

  • Goals – Yearly, seasonally, monthly, weekly, daily — it doesn’t matter, they’re all good. I like to make an overall list of yearly goals, and refer back to it when I’m making smaller goals to make sure I’m looking at the big picture.
  • Bucket lists – I like to make a bucket list for each season for fun things I hope to do.
  • Project lists – Make note of things you want to work on around the house or crafts you want to complete.
  • Vision boards – Whether you’re setting goals or making plans for a new space, vision boards are so fun! I’ve made digital inspiration boards that I’ve printed, laminated and stuck in my planner. You can also add magazine clippings and photos to Pocket Letter pages for a fun vision board.
  • Inspiration – Almost every week I add quotes or mantras that are motivating me. I rarely seek these out, they’re usually things I heard on the radio or read in an article that resonated with me at that moment.

HEALTH and FITNESS

  • Meal plans – If you don’t plan set meal days, try planning seven dinners and listing them in your weekly notes column. This gives you the opportunity to pick from a menu each day.
  • Workout schedule – Keep track of your Couch to 5K weekly routine so you know what’s coming, or write down what you did so you can track your progress.
  • Track your progress – Take before and after photos. Track your weight. Keep up with how much you can lift. Whatever you’re working on, take notes along the way to see how far you’ve come.
  • Water intake – Start the day with eight checkboxes and mark off one every time you drink a glass of water.
  • Medication and vitamins – Stop having those moments when you can’t remember if you took your vitamins in the morning.
  • Symptoms – If you’re having medical issues, keep track of when and what is wrong so you’ve got a more accurate description to give the doctor.
  • Nutrition – Try a checklist to track whether or not you’re eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, for example.

FAITH

  • Prayer – I keep a running list of things people have asked me to pray for each month. Each day, I pick one of the things to focus on.
  • Study plans – My Bible studies are typically more productive when I have a plan, so I like to jot down something I plan to read each day of the week.
  • Gratitude – List a few new things your thankful for every day.
  • Sermon notes – Even if you write your notes in a different journal — or don’t take notes at all — a sentence or two about the sermon will probably be enough to jog your memory when you’re looking at your planner later.

ENTERTAINMENT

  • TV – Track your favorite shows, or one-time tv events you don’t want to miss. For example, every December I use sticky notes to add when my favorite holiday films will be on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas movies.
  • Movies – Add new movie release dates to your planner so you know when you need to be heading to the theater.
  • Festivals and local events – When I hear about a festival I think would be fun to attend, I write it on a sticky note and add it to my planner. If I don’t go I can throw the sticky note away later, but having it there will help me remember the event is happening when the day comes and I haven’t made other plans.

HOLIDAYS

  • Gift giving – When it comes to presents, I like to make a list of people I’ll be shopping for and make notes about what they might want throughout the year. Sometimes the notes are obvious things like “Katie said she wants stickers.” More often, they’re things like “Katie has been wearing a lot of scarves lately.”
  • Guest lists – If you’re hosting a holiday event, keep track of who is coming. If you’re having over night guests, add notes of when people be arriving, their travel plans, etc.
  • Menu – Because food is important.
  • Travel plans – If you’re going out of town, use your planner to make notes of your travel arrangements.

RANDOM EXTRAS

  • Restaurants – I keep a list of local restaurants I want to try in my planner. I add most of the places friends recommend, and I keep notes about their suggestion. For example, “the South location is a little better” or “try the guacamole.”
  • Books to read – Every time I go to Barnes & Noble, I see approximately 5,687 books I want to read. When I’m trying to find an ebook from the library’s website, I remember exactly zero of them if I don’t write them down.
  • Passwords – I used to keep a list of passwords and other adulting info in my planner so it’s all in one place. I got a set of mini discs to move these pages into a separate notebook, but they’re still useful to have in or near your planner.

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to enter your email address on the left side of the blog homepage to subscribe.

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13 Comments

  • i’ve seen some planner girls in IG that have more than one planner. would this be the reason why? keeping categories, not sure if that would be the right word, together? I was thinking about getting a second planner and using the mini fitness one to track my goals there while my classic one would be my main one.

    • Yes, that’s why most girls have multiple planners! I only used one this year, but next year I’ll be using a few. Each planner will have a very specific purpose — like work, personal, bible study, etc. — that way I don’t get distracted thinking about after work errands while I’m in a meeting, or vise versa. I’m working on a blog post that will explain this a little more in-depth. It should be up later this weekend!

  • I am so new to using the Happy Planner and I’m honestly a little overwhelmed. This article definitely helps, but I’m a bit confused….isn’t the purpose of having a planner is to have “everything” there and not need multiples? Although I am planning on separating the budget/finance part into a separate planner, I can’t help but feel that I’m doing it wrong. I’m going to take a deep breath, not overthink it and use it as you suggested (I love the idea of jotting down what we’re grateful for!). Thanks again for the ideas!

    • Hi Carol,
      I totally get feeling overwhelmed. The purpose of a planner is to make you more organized. For some people, that means having everything in one spot. Other people prefer having a few planners for different purposes.

      I’ve had just one Planner most of my life, and that has worked really well. A few months ago, I decided I wanted my work life and my personal life to be more compartmentalized so I could be more present without distractions. That has been an awesome change for me! Also, sometimes people use the word “planner” because they’re using a planner, but they’re treating it more like a journal of a scrapbook, so it’s serving a completely different purpose and wouldn’t make sense to be mixed in with meetings and to-do lists. Hopefully that clears things up a bit!

      Just know that you’re in charge of your planner. There is no way you can do it wrong or mess it up. If it makes you happy and more organized, it’s the right way! Don’t be afraid to try things.

      • I agree. It is your planner or journal. You can never be “wrong”.
        I have been using a planner for 30 years. It has evolved and changed constantly. My weekly layouts are never the same week to week bcz my life is never the same week after week.

        Play with your planner and give yourself permission to test out new ideas. At the end of every week review what u liked and didn’t like about how you used it this week. You will start learning what works for you. Remember to keep it a joyful process. This will keep you using it and thus keeping you more calm, confident, and productive.

  • Thanks for posting this very helpful and informative blog. I’m single, work 8:30am-6pm and don’t have a lot going on after work. Found a lot of the IG posts overwhelming (but beautiful). This blog gave good, practical advice for people like me who are not crafty.

  • I actually have 2 Happy Planners (a classic and I just bought a mini to separate my work from my every day plans) and about…3 other miscellaneous planners that I ended up dropping because they didn’t meet my needs the way the Happy Planners have. This is a great list! I already use my planner for most of these things but I still feel like I need to hone my organization because it’s illegible to anyone but me (and sometimes I don’t even understand what I meant haha). I just made my debut into the adult working world and blog posts like this are incredibly helpful! Thank you!!

  • I had weight loss surgery so I track exercise, water, proteins. I also set myself weekly goals, usually 2 to 3 a week and a comment on whether or not I achieved each goal. In May I started keeping track of the weather. For June I want to start recording a daily positive . . . Something I’m grateful for, a memory, or something I accomplished.

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