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I have been a part of seven NaNoWriMos, yet this is the first year that I have set up a NaNoWriMo/series/novel planner. I honestly never even thought of keeping a planner, since I keep everything in Scrivener. But then I started researching different ways to use planners for NaNoWriMo and my novels, and I was hooked!
I have used planners for years, trying out every planner under the sun: bullet journals, traveler’s journals, Webster’s Pages, The Happy Planner, Recollections, Day Designer, Erin Condren, Kate Spade. . . And while there are good and bad things about each style of planner, there is one that works the best for me: The Happy Planner.
My Writing Planners
I chose The Happy Planner for my 2019 NaNoWriMo planner, novel planner, and series Bible. I also chose The Happy Planner for my 2020 personal planner, which I’ll be posting about closer to the new year. The Big Happy Planner (pink and white stripes) is my series Bible and the Classic Happy Planner (pink and black flowers) is my 2019 NaNoWriMo/novel planner. I didn’t realize it until the other day that all three of my planners are pink and black. I sense a theme happening! It doesn’t really go with my mystery series, but I like pink, so I’m okay with the colors.
The Happy Planner is a disc-bound planner that allows you to easily add, remove, and change pages, inserts, and covers, which is exactly what I did. The covers on both of my planners are actually the inside covers that I flipped to the front. And, my Classic planner has another planner added to the inside, making it both a Frankenplanner (pulling various parts of different planners into one) and a Transformer planner (multiple planners in one). I know! I had no clue what those were either until about two weeks ago. If you want to learn more about the different ways to style The Happy Planner, search for Frankenplanner or Transformer planner on YouTube.
My Series Bible
The Happy Planner Plan a Happy Life Notes planner(Walmart) | Get Things Done notepad (Michaels)
Mini gold clips (Tuesday Morning) | Gold heart washi tape (Hobby Lobby) | Pink and gold washi tape (Michaels)
Quote notepad (Target) | Black washi tape (Michaels) | 2019 Preptober Workbook (Natalia Leigh)
As I stated above, my series Bible is in The Big Happy Planner Notes planner, which I got on clearance at Walmart. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is available anymore at Walmart, but I did find it on Amazon. This specific notebook planner came with 60 dotted grid sheets, three inserts, a dashboard, stickers, and a folder.
I kept everything that came inside, and I added some lined and blank sheets, as well as my series Bible printouts from Writer’s Digest and the 2019 Preptober workbook from Natalia Leigh. I also added a few pages from a Teacher’s Planner to keep track of my characters and scenes. All of this turned my series Bible into a Frankenplanner. I did have to purchase a set of metal expander discs (pink, of course), since the discs that came with the notebook became too tight.
The only thing I added to this planner for NaNoWriMo was a word tracker printout from Heart Breathings. I am pushing myself to write 80k this year, so I downloaded the customizable tracker. It is a little hard to see in this picture, but I wrote in the word count goals I will need to hit every day to get to 80k. It is a lot!
My 2019 NaNoWriMo/Novel Planner
The Happy Planner Vintage Botanical Classic Deluxe planner (Hobby Lobby) | Gold heart washi tape (Hobby Lobby)
Pink and gold washi tape (Michaels) | Quote notepad (Target) | Black washi tape (Michaels)
The Happy Planner Farmhouse sticker pack (Amazon) | The Happy Planner Simply Lovely sticker pack (Hobby Lobby)
The Happy Planner Botanicals sticker pack (Amazon) | Rae Dunn ballpoint pen set (TJ Maxx)
My novel planner/NaNoWriMo notebook is in The Happy Planner Vintage Botanical Classic Deluxe planner. Like my series Bible, I flipped over the covers. I also made this planner into both a Frankenplanner and a Transformer planner by adding pages from other notebooks and planners and including a second planner inside of this planner (you can see a little of the 2nd black planner inside the rose planner in the pictures above and below.)
The first section in my novel planner includes three monthly spreads (October-December), to do checklists, and a Preptober and NaNoWriMo section. As shown in the picture above, I made a two-page spread with a Preptober checklist and a NaNoWriMo word count, which includes both the 50k and 80k word count goals. I printed the pages from eadeverell, added some gold washi tape to the top, and finished it off with a few chipboard stickers.
The Transformer planner section is used primarily for my current novel, A Deadly Melody. Unfortunately, I can’t show a lot of my novel and series Bible, because there are major spoilers in there. Sorry!
I’m excited to see how all of these planners will work for me throughout NaNoWriMo and into 2020.