Happiness Binder: An Easter Update

Happy Easter!  The sun is shining here in New York and it’s supposed to be a lovely day (I’ll ignore the reports for showers later on today).  It seems that the weather has finally turned (minus a cold hiccup for mid-week) and I am hopeful that all sinus issues will be resolved soon (though I’ll be heading back to the doctor this week to make sure nothing else is going on).  In any event, I thought the perfect post for today would be to discuss the update to my Happiness Binder, never mind the fact that I’ve had this topic on my list for months.  You can read all about the previous set up in the link above.

So, how has it changed?  Let’s recap the original set up.

First, I previously had two sets of tabs for everything I wanted to include.

The tabs included:
  • Health
  • Running
  • Resistance
  • Yoga
  • Calm
  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Music
  • Books
  • Quotes
  • Notes
  • Articles
(You can read the full post above for an explanation of each section.)

Secondly, I originally had self-made top tabs to break down some of the sections even further.  Eventually I bought Avery tabs for those. 

You can read more about the original breakdown here.

Finally, my tabs were not decorated in any way.

This is the biggest change to my Happiness Binder.  I don’t really like looking at the blankness of the tabs.  But since I’m not a creative crafty person, I don’t doodle or decorate my tabs in any fancy way.  I have begun the task of adding photos and pictures to my tabs, which you can read about here, here, here, and here.  For a while, I kept thinking and wondering about what photos I could add to my Happiness Binder.  Then, one day when I was at mother-in-law’s, I noticed a book she had.  It was the Life Is Good book.  I love their stuff since it portrays the simple gratitude of everyday life that I’m always striving for.  And that makes me happy.  So I figured that these drawings and sayings were perfect for my Happiness Binder.

So I bought my own copy of the book and marked off which pictures I wanted to include.

The book has a picture on one side and a saying on the other.

Now, I have to say that I don’t condone the actions that I took here, but for this purpose I figured the book gods (and everyone in my profession) would forgive me. 

I took a knife to the pages and cut them out of the book.

Since the sayings on the right side of the book correspond to the picture on the left, I knew I would not be able to cut out the sayings and paste them onto the picture they belonged with—they would prohibit me from using the picture on the back side of the saying.  So I hand wrote each saying on the picture it goes with.

I decided which pictures and sayings would go with each of my categories.  I added a picture to both sides of the tab, so there are two pictures for each category.  I condensed my original categories since some of the original ones overlapped.  The new categories are:

  • Happiness and Gratitude (notes for general happiness concepts and a list of gratitudes)
  • Calm (to keep anxiety at bay)
  • Exercise (a list of exercise routines, hiking trails, bike trails, etc.)
  • Notes and Goals (general notes and goals that I want to focus on each month)
  • Resources (happiness books and music that I attribute to being happy/calm/spiritual, though not necessarily gospel-type music)
  • Articles (random articles on happiness that I find in magazines and/or online)

So here is what I chose for each category:







I also reorganized my top tabs, mainly to subdivide my Exercise categories.

I put an Avery tab on the side as well for quick and easy access to my monthly goals.

In the front of my binder, I put a transparent flyleaf with a Life Is Good sticker, both to protect that first tab and to remind me that life is indeed good, even though sometimes I might forget that simple fact.

And here is my Personal Jade Finchley Happiness Binder in all her glory:

She really does make me happy.


  1. Love it! Even the binder itself looks happy and calm, even more so stuffed with all those lovely new dividers!

    1. Yes, I chose this binder for this purpose specifically because it makes me happy - it's yummy leather and its a beautiful green, one of my favorite colors!

  2. Excellent idea! Brings your binder to life. If I want to make my own tabs/dividers I just find some eye-catching card or paper and draw round one of my original ones and then cut out. Perhaps I should do a post on it! Thank you for sharing your filofax set up. I have recently bought a Finsbury and still sorting it out.

    1. I have tried cutting around the original tabs, but cutting the actual tab was a bit finicky, and my OCD/perfectionism didn't allow for any mistakes, which is why I find this easier. I'd much rather cut a rectangle than fight with the precision of a tab. Yes, please do a post on your tabs. I'm always curious to see how others make their own tabs.

  3. Wow, I'm converting your beautiful green Filofax and I've never seen the Life is Good range before. Off the search t'internet now. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I love Life Is Good. I'm hoping to purchase some new shirts for the spring. The jade finchley was one of the first binders I bought. Now they're very hard to come by, so I'm glad I kept it. It's one of my favorite binders. I wish they still had the range and made them in the compact size. Oh well, a girl can dream.

  4. Thanks for sharing & this looks lovely :)
    I'm sure the book gods will forgive you as the pages are going to such great use. I've chopped up & hole punched two small books to put the pages in my filofax, & it did kinda feel a little like blasphemy!

    1. Yes, I think they will forgive me. The way I see it, I'm not so much chopping up one book as I am moving pages from one book to another. And that's okay. ;-)

  5. What a great post! I have this very same binder, sitting idle... and those Life Is Good pictures are just perfect! I've been looking for a way to create a Filofax journal of some kind, and you've given me lots of ideas!

    1. Thank you! Ooo, I can't wait to see what you end up putting in your jade finchley. One of my favorite colors is green, and this shade is just a calm, happy color. I don't think any other binder (that I own) would have been as good for this purpose.

  6. Beautiful Binder - It looks great!


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