I'm British, So Filofax

Adventures in Trying to Organize My Life

How to Decorate: Mambi Style


As a Filofaxer and self avowed plannerd, I thought I knew everything  there was to know about excessive decoration, washi overhaul, and sticker chaos.

Enter vertical layout planners. It’s as if the universe wanted to suck up every remaining minute of our day that we weren’t already spending on “planning” to now fill in three, count them THREE, separate boxes for each day just begging to be decorated. I thought A5 sixe pages were a task! As I am not rich (and have spent whatever riches I may have previously had on Filofaxes in every shape, size, and color), I settled in to a Mambi Happy Planner as a substitute for the Erin Condren to which we owe the beginning of this chaos too! 🙂

I posted a blog recently on my decoration of the Mambi Happy Planner I purchased with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby (#budget!) and when I sat down to decorate again I realized I had no idea where to start. When you are planning in a Filofax (or Kikki K or such) you really only have to focus on one week at a time and make that look pretty then you get to move on to the next page and continue. With the vertical layouts, you are left staring at so much blank space (they are large on top of having THREE boxes per day!) and it quickly can become pretty intimidating. I tried watching Plan With Me videos on Youtube but I realized those people already had the basics down so it came pretty naturally to them. So here is my blog about decorating Mambi Style starting with the basics!

As with any planning session, you need to gather supplies and luckily they don’t differ all the much from what I am used to… stamps, ink, washi, pens, stickers, ruler, scissors, paper cutter… oh wait whats that on the corner of my desk? A Xyron that cost me $14 that I had no idea I was purchasing to eventually become a vertical layout planner! That is the biggest difference in planning details, the stickers. I swear these planning stickers are going to be the death of me. There are so many shops and so many stickers to choose from. Are they all essentially the same or do I truly need 17 different shades of pink squares? Hell, I should probably just go ahead and invest in a Silhouette, right? 😛 *I can hear my bank account crying*

Okay so as the vertical layout is so foreign to me and will definitely take some getting used to I took my Happy Planner and photocopied a week layout then put it through my laminator. The biggest thing with vertical set ups is getting a theme going… one that doesn’t look like your washi drawer just threw up on top of a sticker pile up. So with these laminated weekly pages, I can experiment before I commit to actually gluing anything in place. Lord knows I have commitment issues and this is hard enough for me as is!

I am still very much in love with my DIY planner cover. #Boss

I am still very unsure of my skill set at this point so I am pinning and youtubing as we go. I even went through and picked out some layouts I saw on IG, pinterest, and FB that I liked and printed them to a word doc. to use as sort of a design template if I get flustered.

So here is an empty week in the Happy Planner… an empty canvas waiting to be dolled up… Bring on the washi and stickers!

There are seemingly endless amounts of FB groups for both the Happy Planner and the Erin Condren Life Planner that offer free stickers and layout ideas… it is something I hadn’t ever really delved in to as a Filofax decorator. So loving pink the way I do, I found a pink and green layout for free on Vintage Glam Studio that I used as a template and started stickering away.

I love the idea of check boxes and so much space to write to do’s I may or may not actually do. Seriously though, is anyone actually busy enough to fill up all three squares? I decided Morning, Afternoon, and Evening wasn’t such a great system for me since the morning is spent fumbling around trying to put my pants on the right direction and heading to work and then the bulk of my day consists of being at work. There is really only so much you can plan surrounding that. So I am working with three sections: Today, Inspiration, and To Do’s/Notes. I set out the checkered flags for my Daily section and devoted the bottom squares to an area for writing To Do’s and Notes for the day.

Now for the fun part, the inspiration section. See I knew I had been pinning random quotes and pretty sayings for the past two years for a reason. Well the reason has surfaced. I am thrilled to put all that late night pinning to use! The squares are easy to make and if you don’t have the patience to make your own, Facebook groups are full of them and Etsy sellers are happy to take your money for their stickers. To be fair, it is money well deserved. Some of these stickers are just amazing! I can’t wait to bring you guys a sticker haul!!!! So here is the final outcome without any actual planning.

Then you realize you just spend over an hour planning and your layout has no plans…. back to the drawing board! 😉
       Here are some of my previous pages with actual plans… Don’t even ask how long that took! 😀 I found scrapbook paper that says ‘create love peace’ and HAD to use it!
The go to gold and black theme… #plannersgottaplan

  And my always ready lego-ish neon washi that I love so much….
And what doesn’t say planner peace if not pandas and a green serene background!

  This current week is pink and navy simply because that matched the Mambi Happy Planner color scheme that is already in the planner…
    And before I sign off, my dog has had enough of this planning business. She has taken to sleeping IN the closet. Bless! ❤

Hope you will all share your adventures in vertical planning and how your layouts turn out! This is the new thing kids!



Author: atlalala

I have recently fully admitted I love hearing myself talk. This fact probably points to why I picked the career I did. :) It may sound self-consumed but, hey, at least I can admit it! So what does a person who feels they may have some important things to share with the world do... Start a blog of course. So here we are.

10 thoughts on “How to Decorate: Mambi Style

  1. Jealous of your ability to make planning pretty! I struggle with designing my filofax pages so I think that much blank space would probably make me panic XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked reading about someone else who is new to the deal–it’s so much space and themes are a must!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know exactly the layout I want, but can’t figure out how to make it happen. Any ideas for getting a layout that’s a week to a page on the left and a to-do list on the right?

    Aaaand I just figured out how to do it. Get a week to a page diary and alternate pages with a to-do list sheet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I realize I should be focusing on the layout of the planner and its decoration, but I am really focused on your office set-up. Your desk looks fun. It sings to my spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank “My Life Planning Workbook” to fill out?


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