The Doodle Desk

40+ Things to Track in your Happy Planner

Before I started planning but was contemplating getting started, I thought,  “I don’t do enough to plan anything”.  That quickly changed when I came across this magnificent list of things to plan.  This article from Katie the Planner changed my whole perspective of what it meant to plan things out.  I’m a huge fan of journaling my days.  I started tracking how I felt while living with chronic illnesses.  I blossomed from there into recording just about everything in my Happy Planner.  It’s a great memory tool, as my memory is terrible!


Check out what Katie the Planner suggests to plan:


  • 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.


  • Photos – Printing photos is one of my favorite ways to add memories to my planner. I use to resize my images and print them on my home printer. 
  • 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.


  • Bills due – I use half-sheet notepaper 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 – 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.


  • 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 the 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 overnight guests, add notes of when people will 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.


  • 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 in my planner so it’s all in one place.  But I decided to make an Adulting planner instead.  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.

I hope this article was helpful.

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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Just your average coffee drinker, overly eccentric, Yorkie loving, former crazy cat lady, word nerdy, single Mother, now an empty nester, who is a blogger living the quiet life on the east coast of FL, making stickers for Happy Planner's every chance I get. Also, live with chronic illnesses and strive daily to do a little more than I did the day before. Some days I make and others I do not. Rejoice in the good days and don't beat yourself up on the bad. Take every day one day at a time, one hour at a time, one second at a time.

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