As you saw in my last post, I recently bought the MAMBI Happy Planner at Michaels (reg. $34.99 minus 30% off coupon = $24.49). It’s the 8.5 x 11 version, not the more popular smaller one that you’ve probably been seeing everywhere.

Not only are the binder discs my favorite color but they also have my favorite shape: HEARTS!

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The front and back covers are soft but laminated and very sturdy. The inner pages are about the weight of your average scrapbook paper, not thin like cheap paper but not thick like Bazzill or Carta Bella. This planner goes for 18 months, from July 2016 to December 2017. Guess I have about a month to decide if I’m going to keep her ;)

The first 2 pages are 2016 and 2017 year at a glance, then starts the 18 monthly sections. Here are a few of those intro pages, where you see a variety of designs on the right, from quotes to very designed pages to very open ones like the first one, where you can have a ball decorating or journaling. I really like the “Currently” section for each month, since that’s something I always mean to scrapbook or track but then never do. Here, it’s right in the day planner – can’t forget it.

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After each monthly intro page, there’s a month-at-a-glance page with room for notes; in my current day planner, I used the monthly pages for bill tracking and budgeting and would keep doing that in the Happy Planner.

Then there are 4 or 5 of these week-at-a-glance pages, depending on how long the month is. I like that each day is sectioned into 3 boxes. You could use that for morning, afternoon, and evening. I’m thinking of using it for personal, work, and blogging/e-learning.

My hold-up is that I have large handwriting and this might be too cramped for me. Dang :( I’m not a “planner girl” who does this for fun and creativity. I use my day planner FOR REALS. Like, it gets down and dirty, people. Family events, business deadlines, client launches, sports schedules, and more.

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So anyway, that goes on for 18 months in the same format. There’s nothing extra in this planner except for a blank page at the very back for more notes.

It is quite hefty so I understand why there’s not more included, yet I want to add more pages to make it useful for me. I didn’t see any extra pages at Michaels that I could buy separately. When I got home, I checked online and nada. Lots of extra pages on the MAMBI site HERE but they’re all for the smaller sized Happy Planner.

So I did what any Scrapbook Obsessed girl would do. I Tweeted MAMBI:

@ScrapbookObsess: I just got the 8.5×11 Happy Planner. What can I use with it? Everything seems made for the smaller size. Punch, extra pages?

@mambitweets: All the CLASSIC sized accessories work inside the BIG planner, and NOTE: a bigger punch is coming. :)

@ScrapbookObsess: ETA on the bigger punch? I’d like full size pages so I’ll make my own or look for free printables. Thanks!

@mambitweets: No exact date as of now, but once we know, we’ll be sure to share! <3

So that’s another strike against keeping this planner, at least for now. My plan was to insert pages for notes, keeping track of blog and work goals, exercise and diet, and projects. Yes, it’s already bulky but because of the snazzy binder disc system, I can take out pages I am not currently using or am done with to thin it out.

Overall, I think the 8.5 x 11 Happy Planner by MAMBI is well-made, cute, and functional for the basics of life. It would be my dream planner if:

  • The week-at-a-glance pages had the days laid out horizontally instead of vertically so there was more room for my big handwriting
  • There were extra pages available to supplement what comes with the planner and/or …
  • A punch were available so I could make my own extra pages or utilize free printables

So I’m undecided for now if this is the planner for me. I may end up returning this one, then trying again in January when hopefully the larger punch is available. Thanks for reading!

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2 Comments

  1. avatar
    Nadine Palmer says:

    I vote that you return the MAMBI planner and wait until the larger punch is available and by then they might have extra “stuff” available for the 8.5 x 11 size as well. I do like the mechanics of this planner, similar to the CIRCA planners sold by Levenger, a cool but pricey site that has all kinds of things associated with books, reading, and office work.

    When I worked full time I was a loyal user of Franklin planners that are now sold under the Franklin Covey name. Until last year I kept buying the pages for the current year but found I wasn’t writing enough in them to justify buying them. I know you like the larger 8.5 x 11 size, but I had switched from a larger Franklin to the compact size as it was easier for me to take with me everywhere, throw in my brief case, etc.

    So . . . . when planner mania hit I was undecided as to what to do. Last year I did buy a Heidi Swapp undated planner on clearance at Michaels for only $8 that had tons of inserts, pocket pages, etc. but I still haven’t used it! And I do realize it isn’t a great deal or treasure if I don’t put it to good use. I also don’t want to spend hours decorating my planner. I think as a mom of three busy teen-age girls, though, it would be neat to chronicle their school activities mixed in with what’s going on with my life and have all the facts/data in one place. I could add a couple stickers, flags, and pictures when appropriate, and would have at least a snapshot of our family life for a specified time period. As I’m writing that I may just do that with my Heidi Swapp deal and see how that works for me!

    Sorry I’m going on and on here, but back to the MAMBI. I did think about getting a planner with the disc system but eventually decided against it. I found a Webster’s Color Crush planner on blitsy.com for a good price and ordered it (although I think I left it in my cart for over a week before I pulled the trigger-wanted to assure myself I was making a wise choice!). I went way small, though, and purchased a traveler’s notebook/journal. I think they’ve been used by more “artsy” types for a while and are also used extensively by people as they travel (duh, the name says it all) so they can easily jot notes and thoughts down. They come with a big rubber band type enclosure and then you can insert quite a few smaller stitched notebooks inside. We’ll see what I do with it, but for now I’m pretty psyched! It is a smaller size I can easily stash in my purse or a bag when I’m at my girls’ basketball and volleyball and track events.

  2. avatar
    Angela Perez says:

    The large punch comes out June 27th on the MAMBI website and mid-July at either Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I’m super psyched since I just purchased the teacher planner and it would be great to add the endless paper work to my planner.

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