The Happiness Project: Structure of My Project

I have been thinking a lot about my happiness project and how I will create my tools for it. Basically, I will house everything I need in my Me Binder, which will be renamed The Happiness Binder. (I’m happy about the new name considering I never did like “Me Binder.”) When it’s complete and ready to go, I will take and post pictures and write an entry on how the binder will be set up and used. For now, I’m creating both a mental and physical list (in my Malden of course) of what needs to go into the binder.

In The Happiness Project book (reviewed here), author Gretchen Rubin discusses her own project with her sister. They are talking about the way in which Rubin approaches the project and how her sister characterizes her as “weird, but in a good way.” Rubin says, “‘You mean how I’m trying to turn goals like “Contemplate death” or “Embrace now” into action items?’” Her sister responds with, “‘Exactly. I don’t even know what an “action item” is.’” Rubin later states, “I wanted to perfect my character, but, given my nature, that would probably involve charts, deliverables, to-do lists, new vocabulary terms, and compulsive note taking.”

This sounds a lot like how my sister and I would discuss this topic. My sister is much like Rubin’s sister in this scenario—she pretty much takes life as it comes—no questions, no notes, no charts, just rolls with it all. She often teases me about my use of The Planner and how it’s such a big part of my life. I’m more like Rubin—my happiness project will definitely include action items, to-do lists and lots of note taking (starting, of course, with notes from her book).

One thing that Rubin stresses in her book is that everyone’s project will be their own—many will use hers as an example, but each will come up with their own commandments, their own truths, and their own resolutions. My project won’t take the exact structure of Rubin’s. I have areas of my life that I want to work on (which are resulting in specific tabbed sections of my Happiness Binder). I am in the process of coming up with my own personal commandments but I’m not working on any truths. My resolutions will be to continuously work on those areas of my life (my tabbed sections) that I deem necessary. This binder will keep all the items that I will need to aid me in bettering my life in these areas.

Next Happiness Project post: why I’m starting a project of my own.


  1. Sounds so much like my twin sister and I!! although since I bought her a filofax she is attempting to be more organised. I am so interested to follow your happiness project. Part of mine is blogging and scrapbooking, both of which make me very happy.
    I like that Gretchen Rubin does not try to tell people how to be happy as it is such an individual thing :-)
    I look forward to the next post.

  2. I'm so glad you're enjoying the posts, CP. I have been worried that I'm boring people to death my own happiness journey, but it's something I need to focus on right now, and so it's what I'm writing about. I will probably add other posts in here and there though.
    That's what I liked about the book too, that she doesn't tell you how to be happy. Obviously, the book is all about her experience, but she tells it lightly and so it's not a boring read by any means. Throughout, she gives tips and advice and other resources to look into. And her site is so welcoming to anyone using her experience and a springboard for their own.
    I love hearing about all of your adventures too!

  3. I have just discovered your blog - through plannerisms. I am enjoying it immensely but I do have a question: How do you put articles in your binder when it is not letter size? I am also a planner/organizational addict even tho you could not tell it from looking at my home. LOL

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. And welcome!

      Basically, I fold them in such a way that they're the same size as the personal paper and then punch it. You can see a little more detail here:

      I cut it down to the smallest size possible without losing any information. Then I fold it in half long-ways, and then fold it short-ways. I just line it up with the personal paper as best I can - it's not an exact science, so they're not all perfectly the same. It tweaks my OCD just a little, but it's as good as I can get it without driving myself crazy.

      I hope that helps, but I am more than happy to explain further if you need.


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