Daisy Day Planner: Setting up your planner

I am so excited to share this very first tutorial on how to use our Daisy Day Planner kits and pages. I’ve also included a FREE page divider PDF that matches the October Planner Pages and you can download that here. I’ll warn you, this is a long blog post so you may want to get a nice, hot, cup of coffee or tea (or water) before you start reading. The pics in this tutorial are of my A5 size Kikki K planner but all of these tips and tricks can easily be applied to any size planner. You can find all the planner items we have available, here in the Daisy Day Planner section of the store. And I am very happy to say that we will have subscriptions to both the Day Planner Kits and Pages available by the end of next week (subscriptions would begin with the December edition) so be watching for that announcement.

Everyone’s process for keeping track of their daily chaos is different, this is just my routine, but I hope it helps and inspires you to get your schedule under control and at the same time making your daily schedule a little brighter.

planner pic in my Kikki k

To get started you should gather a few supplies and print out any of the extra Cocoa Daisy Planner Printables, you can find the free and premium sets here. Aside from the October Planner Kit I have a few stamps, some stamp ink, a tab and border punch, my trusty crop-a-dile and a few sheets of coordinating patterned paper (I used a lot of the paper from the September Cocoa Daisy main kit, Story Time, it matched the October Planner Kit perfectly, but you can also dig through your stash, which is a great thing about embellishing your planner, you get to use up some of your leftovers).

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Here is a shot of the printables, I highly recommend getting both the free and the premium pages, they are so useful and Arleigh designed them to compliment not only the October kit but also the November and December kits, so you won’t feel like you have to buy them again and again. Frankly I think the colors are so pretty you could use them every month.

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Arleigh did a fabulous job on the printables, making them very easy to print out and crop. But, then again she did an amazing, AMAZING job on all the items in the Day Planner kits, seriously she just rocked it!planner post 3

The premium bundle comes with two sheets of plain paper, one has color swashes of pink, yellow, and orange and the other has blue, green, and yellow. We included these because they are the perfect pages for embellishing and getting a little creative with. I like to have a few extra sheets of paper in my planner to jot quick notes or reminders on, so I cut these in half, used my border punch along the edge and added a couple of stamped images along the top. The possibilities are endless with these blank sheets, add some stickers, washi tape, spray ink over a stencil on them, or even add little bits of leftover patterned paper. I have them tucked in the pocket of my planner and can add them into my schedule whenever needed. So make a bunch of these ahead, you’ll be glad to have them on hand.

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One of the free printables is a monthly overview, 2 page spread. If you like to plan far in advance then I recommend printing out a number of these so you can jot down important dates and have everything together for the next set of Daisy Day Planner pages. Because I have a hard time knowing what I’m doing tomorrow let alone a month from now, I only need to do a month at time, LOL. I had a lot of fun with my overview pages, simply because I was able to dig out all those old unused alpha stickers and put them to good use!

I used alpha stickers for my title and I stamped my dates, but you could use tiny number stickers for the dates too. I stamped them with a very pale chalk ink so that I can just write my info right over top (a little note if you use the chalk ink – it takes a minute to dry). I then added the little birdie paper clip from the Pouch add on, an Evalicious puffy sticker (from my stash) and I used the Cocoa Daisy Today Stamp (I think this is from a stamp set featured in a previous DITL kit). I’ll give you a little insider info and tell you that we have a very cute Day Planner stamp set coming soon.

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Next you’ll need to create some divider tab pages. If you like the tabs that came with your planner when you purchased it then you can skip this step. The tabs that came with my Berry Kikki K. planner were lavender, sage green and mauve, not my favorite color palette and I wanted to make some to match my Daisy Day Planner pages, plus it gave me an excuse to use more of that gorgeous CD floral paper that came in the September kit. I created a generic divider page (available in either the A5 size or Personal size) and you can download it for FREE here.

To make your divider pages download and print on heavier cardstock the divider page, use a tab punch, a Silhouette, or even hand cut some tabs, and cut a piece of patterned paper for the back of each page. Adhere the tabs to your patterned paper and then to the back of your divider page. The free downloadable divider pages only have the one quote in the lower right hand corner, so you can add your own title and customize it however you like. On that thought, take a moment before you make your divider pages to really think about the sections that you need in your planner; mine were “Daily to do”, (this is were I keep my calendar and daily to do pages) “Cocoa Daisy Notes”, (all things CD go in here) “Sketches”, (layout ideas and sketches go here) “Design Ideas”, (upcoming kit and stamp ideas) “Notes” (which is were I keep my personal notes and contacts listed).  Make a quick little list of what you need sections for and try to fine tune it, but remember there are no rules here and if you need to change it up just print out another divider page and start over!

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These are the back sides of my divider pages.

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If you ordered the Planner kit then you received this adorable little bag of goodies, and if you are new to the planner world you may have wondered what that little charm was for. Well, it is jewelry for your planner!

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Just attach it to the bottom ring of your binder, pretty isn’t it! Our very own Martha of Panda Eight Designs created this exclusive button to go with the planner pages. planner post 9

Ok, so now you’ve got everything printed out, cropped, embellished and ready to put in your planner! The following photos will show how I put everything together, and again these ideas can be applied to any planner.

If you ordered the Planner kit you also received the cute little matching notepad and a large tag with sticky notes on it. Either of those fit into the little pockets of your planner (in fact that is why we put the sticky notes on the tag 🙂 ). You can also see my extra embellished note sheets peaking out of the side pocket, as well as the cute little flag paperclips (which my Mom put together – thanks Mom for tackling that job!)

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A lot of planner addicts like to have what we call a “dashboard” in their planner. Kind of a command post for sticky notes, at least that’s what I use mine for. I used some extra thick acetate to create a clear dashboard, and I’m happy to say we will be putting some of these in the Planner section of the store soon! I love having layers of clear items in my mini albums so it only makes sense to have one in my Day Planner.

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The next page in my planner is pretty special to me, when I retired my old planner I felt so sad taking out the photos of my boys (it was an old Memory Dock planner and it had a picture frame on the front) that I decided they had to have a home in my new planner, so I created a clear acetate tabbed page and adhered the photos of my boys to the front and pics of my honey on the back. I added a little rub on quote to the front also “Life is a series of beautiful moments that, over time, add up to precious memories” It’s my reminder every day when I open my planner of what is important.

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Now this part is a little bit of a cheat, you see I have extra of the planner pages so I’ve started using them already in September. But, what I wanted to show you is how you can use some of your other scrapbooking supplies in your planner. The project life or journaling cards that are a part of our Day in the Life kits are perfect for adding little touches here and there.

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The gold, spray painted heart tag was part of the Planner Kit as well.

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A monthly card taped on with a little washi tape makes a great divider page.

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And now we are at were most of you will be starting, with October. I set my “Daily To Do” tab as the introduction to my calendar pages, this is where I have my 2015 overview, and then my October overview.planner post 16 planner post 17

I set my weeks up with a weekly overview sheet (just a note about the weekly overview, we included 4 of these with each set but we realize that some of you would have liked to have 5 for each month and beginning with January we will make sure to include 5 weekly overview sheets with each kit), my meal planner/shopping list and then my daily to do pages.

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The meal planner & shopping list page is part of the Premium download bundle, and it works wonderfully! I’ve used it a couple times, I plan out my menu for the week, write in what I need from the grocery store and just take my list with me. I keep the list and put it back in my planner when I get home from the store as a reminder of what I’ve bought and what I have planned for meals.

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Now, on to what is most near and dear to my planner heart, the actual “to do” pages. I first started working on these pages for myself back in February when I couldn’t find anything that fit my needs. I’ve made a number of changes and tweaks and the final result is one that I absolutely love. I’ll break some of it down quickly (some of it is pretty self explanatory) and there are a couple items that I’m going to really expand on.

The line next to the daily to do is for the day/date, you can write it in or use a date stamp, or even get fancy and use letter and number stickers and/or stamps. It was important to me that the pages not be dated so that none of them are wasted. If you go on vacation or do not use your planner on weekends then you have extra pages you can use whenever you need them. The must do, call, to-do list, schedule and purchases are pretty general listings. The notes & ideas section is not only a space to jot down, well, notes and ideas, but it is also for those of you that get a creative idea and need to sketch it out, thus the graph lined background.

I sketch out all my layouts ahead of time and the graph lines are a must! The before bed section is for those last minute to do items that you know you are going to push off to the end of the day or for those things that you generally do right before you go to bed, like for instance set out the trash, sign something for the kids to take to school etc. Thankful for, this section is important, no matter how hectic or bad your day may be, try to find one thing your are grateful for and write it down, it will help you refocus and its also nice to go back through a recent week and see what you’ve been thankful for.

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The 15 minute pick up and hydrate sections, I’m going to go a little more in depth on these. First the 15 minute pick up. When Emily was here visiting last year she asked me how I do “all this” and she was referring to how I keep the house picked up and organized. Being a single mom to two young boys and running a business from home can definitely make it a challenge! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of an overly neat person, but clutter makes me nervous and it’s hard for me to focus (this is always a big challenge during packing and shipping when I am shoulders deep in boxes), so I’ve developed a habit of always spending 15 minutes picking up after I get home from bringing the boys to school in the morning.

I don’t have a monthly cleaning schedule, I don’t have a routine of vacuum on Monday, dust on Tuesday or anything like that, I just simply spend 15 minutes picking up or cleaning something. This morning it was wiping around the boys bathroom toilet – nasty boys, and cleaning up the globs of toothpaste that somehow end up EVERYWHERE. Yesterday morning I cleaned out the refrigerator. Tomorrow I’ll vacuum the rug in the family room because it’s wool and it sheds horribly. You would be surprised how good it makes you feel to just get that one bit of cleaning or picking up done each day.

You may want to set a timer, I think there is actually a process out there that tells you to? But I don’t, I just tackle one thing (sometimes it takes a bit less than 15 minutes sometimes a few more) and then I’m done.  Find 15 minutes a day, I know you can find 15 minutes, have it be the same time each day, after everyone goes to bed, first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up, while you are waiting on dinner to finish cooking, just make it a habit. Then when the weekend rolls around you won’t feel like your house is a mess and you have to spend part of your time off from work picking up the whole house.

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Now about those cute little water glasses. I’ve heard it,  you’ve heard it “you need to drink eight glasses of water a day”, and sure that’s a nice thought but really? I think they are over stating that a bit, was what I would say to myself. Until now. I’m going to share a little of my personal life and tell you that as long as I can remember I’ve had headaches and migraines, hardly a week would go by when I didn’t have at least two, sometimes it felt like every day I had one.  My Dr. would give me migraine meds or allergy meds but nothing really helped. I also had some tummy issues which my Dr attributed to some sort of food allergy that we never could pinpoint.

So fast forward to this last January when I got a bad virus, I was starting to feel a little better but then got hit with a migraine so bad my Mom had to take me to the emergency room, where they told me that I was severely dehydrated and that being dehydrated can cause headaches and migraines. Now I knew that being dehydrated could cause them, but I never thought I wasn’t drinking enough water, which is funny since I’m like a camel and never thirsty! So I made a vow that I would drink eight glasses of water a day, and I was AMAZED at what happened.

I dropped 4 lbs the first week, and after a few weeks my headaches were down to a couple a month, and my tummy issues, gone! Having those little glasses to mark off or fill in (I use my gold pen to scribble them off) is a very important part of the planner pages, not just for me, but for YOU, I want you all to please try it, it’s just water, it doesn’t cost you much, if anything, you can add a little lemon or cucumber slice to your water if you don’t want it plain and if it’s hard to make yourself drink a lot of water then get a cup with a straw – seriously it makes it easier. But please do this, you will feel better, your skin will look better, I promise it makes a huge difference.

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A couple more ideas for dressing up your planner; the Me and My Big Ideas cards that came in the Planner kit are nice and thin so they won’t add a lot of extra bulk and they are so stinking cute,  which makes them perfect for scattering around in your planner. You can actually glue them on a page or punch holes in them like I did (that way I can use them over and over). The little gold, spray painted tags also included in the Planner kit are great for holding a set of sticky notes.

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And as I mentioned previously the pl cards that are part of our Day in the Life kits are perfect for adding in your planner. Here are a bunch of my favorites, along with some of the clear overlays, which I thought would also be fun to add amongst my pages. Oh, and don’t forget the sheet of free cards that is included with the downloads, I can’t wait to use that ampersand one!

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In order to find my place in my daily to do section quickly I’ve made a little page marker out of an acetate overlay and some rub ons. We are including one of these with our November kit and I will also give you a tutorial on how to make one at a later date.

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A little recap of how the pages look in my planner:

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Under my Notes tab, I have all of my personal information as well as extra sheets of the meal planner & shopping list.

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The next time you are in Target or the Dollar Store make sure and look around for any little stationery items, I found these cute pens and note pad in the Target Dollar Spot, they match my planner perfectly!

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I wanted to include at least one photo of how the pages look in a personal size planner. I’ve not had time yet to get it all set up, but I will try to do it soon and share some more photos. The large shipping tag with the sticky notes that was part of the Planner Kit can be turned into a little dashboard just by punching some holes along the side.

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So, that’s my planner. I hope I’ve given you some good ideas on how to use your planner pages, and I hope you feel motived and excited to get organized. Remember to have fun with your planner, something that you look at everyday shouldn’t be dull, boring and drab, it should be bright, it should make you smile and it should motivate you! That’s what I love about our planner pages, they help  you stay organized AND they are pretty to look at! You can add a lot to them if you are feeling creative, but you don’t have to, they can stand all on their own.

If you have any questions about the Daisy Day Planners or just planners in general let us know, and we would love to have you share your ideas or tips as well, you can post them in this section of our forum Daisy Day Planners.  We even have a special gallery where you can share photos of how you set up and organize your planner, and you can find that here.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful, positive, comments you posted about our Day Planner kits and pages, I’m thrilled and humbled by the response we’ve gotten.


  1. Sherry C.

    Wow, this is fabulous! So many great tips, thanks for sharing!

  2. SuzMannecke

    Awesome! Well done! Thanks for sharing all of your expertise and creative ideas here!

  3. Deb L

    Love all your ideas! I got started on setting mine up with the CD planner items, but I see some of your ideas I just may have to borrow! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Patricia

    Oh, Christine, this is gorgeous and so many wonderful ideas!

  5. Linda six

    Commenti would love to have this day planner how can I buy one

    • Mary Kay

      Hi, Linda.

      You can find the planner kits here. The planner itself is from kikki-k, which can be found here.

  6. Sandra

    How do I print the pages again? I can’t seem to find the instructions. TIA!

    • Mary Kay

      Hi, Sandra! Have you already purchased (or obtained for free) the files from our store? If so, the only printing instructions are to be sure that you UNCHECK “fit to page” if that’s an option for your printer, as it would make the pages slightly smaller than intended.

  7. Jennifer C.

    I love all these ideas, & it helped me figure out how I was going to solve certain little problems of my own. I was curious though, where can I find a hole punch that matches these holes? I printed off the printables but can’t figure out how to punch them where I need them, as the only punch I have is a standard hole punch. Please help????

  8. Rhea

    I love ur planner its so pretty thanks for sharing


  9. Marcia

    Commenti love what you did with your planner. You are very creative.


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