Setting Up My Day Designer for a New Year

Setting Up day designer for a New Year

As you probably know, I am 100% obsessed with my Day Designer (affiliate link). It took me years to find a planner that could handle my copious amounts of writing and list making and although the Day Designer is a little bit bulkier than most planners, it works wonders for me.

I spent a bit of my afternoon getting things set up and writing some dates in it. I haven’t received my grad school schedule yet but I did get my dates for orientation! My first day of orientation is August 22nd and it goes until August 28th. My first day of classes is August 29th! I’m really excited for what grad school has in store for me but I’m also super nervous about what it’ll be like. Here’s what I typically do when I’m setting up my planner:

day designer

Add important dates.

First thing’s first, I added my orientation dates and the move-in date for our new apartment. Since orientation is a scheduled event I put washi on each day and wrote the times and location down. I also put some washi in to signify the first day of classes.

day designer


day designer

Monthly checklist.

Since I’m starting grad school at a whole new university, I have a few major things on my checklist for this summer. I recently got a packet in the mail outlining everything I need to do before orientation begins. I put those things in my planner’s monthly view in the month that they are due so I remember to make sure they get completed in time!

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Word of the year.

Something new with the Day Designers this year is that there’s space on the title page for a “Word of the Year”. I’ve never done this before so I thought maybe this year would be a good time to start. I thought long and hard about what my word would be. I ended up settling on BELIEVE. This year, so many changes are happening. I’ll be starting grad school, moving in with Ryan to a new apartment in a new town, and sort of finding myself in the “real world”. I need to BELIEVE that I am right where I am supposed to be and trust that everything will work itself out.

day designer

Once I get my schedule and start really using my Day Designer for grad school I will for sure give you all an update. In the meantime, you can check out last week’s video which is a walkthrough of my old planner from start to finish! You can see how my setup changed from the beginning of the year to the end when I really found my groove. If you like seeing videos like this be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my channel and give this vid a thumbs up, you know the drill!

  • Kristine Circenis

    Can’t wait to watch this video – I freaking love these types of videos. Also, LOVE that your word is believe :) Happy new planner to you!

  • Starr Elizabeth

    You’ve convinced me that I need a Day Designer! Cannot wait to place my order :)

  • I love all of the gold additions! Good luck at your new school xx

  • Kayla, you are literally the coolest. I’m so excited to see where grad school takes you, and I think your “Word of the Year” is perfect! I just bought a mini Day Designer at Target (it starts in July) so I’m pumped to start writing in it :) Also, I have those same Kate Spade paper clips and I love them!


  • mckenna bleu

    I love the print on the cover! I need one of those!

  • thesophiadiaries

    Oh, love the way you did this! I am ready to make my new planner too but that’ll probably be around august haha

  • Ashley F

    I use and love the Day Designer as well! I loved seeing how you set yours up!

    Ashley //

  • Whitney H

    I’m obsessed with my paper planner! I love the way that you set yours up with washi tape. Mine isn’t nearly that pretty! 😉

  • I actually just gifted my future sister-in-law this exact planner for her high school graduation! While I use a different planner that is better suited for me, I really liked this one a lot! Hopefully she loves it!

  • Lacey Anne Douthat

    I love planners! I used this during my wedding planning year and it helped so much!

  • Oh I like what you did with the tape! Good idea!

  • I am such a planner addict. I spend way too much time setting it up lol. I think I was a scrapbooker in another life.

  • Love the tape idea!


  • I’m about to start grad school too so I have also been setting myself up to be organized and successful. I am so planner obsessed too…idk what I would do without mine (though I use Erin Condren).

  • Planners are life! I don’t think I could function without mine. Love how you use the tape, so cute!

  • I’m struggling coming up with my word for the year, but I hope to have one picked by next week!

  • I love being organized. I really need to get on board with using day planners!

  • Anna Hubbard

    This looks like a great planner! Love how they have a spot for a word for the year!

  • I’ve always wanted a Day Designer. I get serious envy every time a blogger mentions one. They seem so handy. I love that you pick a word for the year. “Believe” is an awesome one!

  • Oby Grace

    I just got my first day planner and I love it!
    It keeps me so organized!

    Oby Grace

  • Carly Ned

    Loved watching your video!! You have such a bubbly personality! I also swear by my planner. I love organization.

  • Amy

    I’ve been thinking about trying out the Day Designer this year, but I’m still on the fence if I want to get another Lily planner. Loved seeing how you used it though!


    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • I love the washi tape! Setting up a new planner is always so satisfying!

  • I really want to start using washi tape in my planner! Also is it weird that I absolutely love seeing how others set up their planners??

    The Classic Brunette

  • How am I just now learning that washi tape is the perfect addition to my planner? I am going to have to find some! I just bought a new planner and cannot wait to make it all pretty ♥