It’s no secret that I really like planners; it’s pretty much the cornerstone of my blog content. I also really like books. Thus, books about planners are my jam.
I started my planner journey in 2015 using a MAMBI Happy Planner to stay on top of being on dialysis and getting my transplant. Over the years, my planning style has moved on from that planner, but I still hold a soft spot in my heart for the company and the founder, Stephanie Fleming, because of the feeling of control I was able to have over a trying part of my life.
So, when I found Plan A Happy Life on the shelf during a rare shopping trip out, I was intrigued.
In all honesty, this book was somehow too much, too little, and too late.
There’s a lot packed in this book; company history, planning tips, positive psychology, creativity outlets, guided journal, lifestyle hacks, and goal coaching. All crammed into 200-odd pages with roughly a quarter being fill in the blank style. Whew.
And yet, somehow in spite of all that crammed in to those pages, very little is actually said. We never get any depth to anything. No personal details or anything that grabs you. It’s a bit like a packet you get at a conference, complete with the fill in the blanks.
This is extremely frustrating because having seen Stephanie speak at a planner conference about many of these things and she was so engaging about these things. She presented at the Go Wild: Vegas conference in 2019 and it was great. She covered pretty much every thing she talks about in this book, but “better”. She gave backstory, showed vulnerability, and gave insight to how she incorporated these ideas into her life.
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Ultimately, the biggest issue is that this book is about 2 years too late. We are inundated with books about time management, curating your lifestyle, pop-psychology, goal setting, and living your best life. The planning community is visibly moving on from the “big company” planner brands in favor of the smaller, indie, and diverse shops.
Would I recommend this book? Maybe. If you are putting together a gift box full of MAMBI products, this is a nice touch to add. But, for an actual read or activity book? It’s a pass.