How I Use My Day Designer + Mini Happy Planner!

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Back in August, I was a little skeptical of the Day Designer layouts. Who really needs an entire page for each day of the week?? A busy college student, that’s who. I can fit so much information on the page for a day: homework, food, to-do, and extracurricular events/social plans. This can be a little overwhelming at first and I wasn’t 100% sure that this was going to be my planer for the entire school year in August.

Once the semester began to pick up and there were a ton of things that I needed to keep track of, my planner became my holy grail. I had plenty of space to plan out everything for each day and the monthly view gave me a good indicator for fraternity events and weekend outings with friends. Luckily, I loved the Day Designer layout and will probably invest in the original brand for next year! I got this year’s version from their collaboration with Target {aka my third home}.

Monthly View

The monthly view is one of my favorite sections because it gives you an overview of the entire month. I call this my perfected schedule because I tend to only put the important and noteworthy events of my life here. Homework and workouts are saved for my Day to Day view and Happy Planner. I like to put midterms, Phi Sig retreats, and formals in my monthly view to make sure that I’m not double booking things during important weekends. This is also a great way for me to see when I have hell weeks at school and which weekends should be spent in the library {at some point}.

I like to use Washi tape {or pen} to mark off extended weekends or breaks from school. For example, I mark off spring break and will likely mark in what my plans are for that week as soon as I can pin point what I want to do! I also have the cutest stickers from the Happy Planner brand for Michael’s that my mom got me last year that have gold foil and match my planner perfectly. I will use these to mark due dates as well as other fun holidays and activities that I might have throughout the month.

Day to Day View

The Day to Day View is definitely less superficial than the Monthly airbrushed version of my hectic life. I start each week off by having a mini planning session, but it’s not anything like the crazy planner videos you’ll find on Youtube. I’d love to do that if I had the money for stickers and the patience/time to spend decorating. Practicality over pretty is what works best for me as a college student. I usually begin by writing in my classes and workouts for the week into the timed column. I’ll also mark in wakeup times and bed times because I like to have a good estimate of how much sleep I’m getting each night-I’ll mark my actual bed time in the calendar afterwards. [My fitbit will do this for me, but I hate wearing it at night.]

I’ll then write in the meals that I want to cook throughout the week into the notes section as well as marking any ingredients I need to pick up in the to do list. It makes the most sense to have my planning session Friday afternoons before my grocery run Saturday mornings, but it doesn’t always work out like this, unfortunately. I wait to write in my other meals that don’t require much planning like oatmeal or pita sandwiches the day of. I also like to mark when I’m spending money and where. It helps me keep track of where I spend the most money because one of my goals for the year is cutting back on what I’m buying to save more.

No Blogging Planner?

Lastly, the note section is a prime space to add in my blogging timelines and goals especially for keeping track of my social media progress and making sure that all posts are written and photos are taken before the deadline! I can write when posts go live in the Timed section, write down any tasks I need to accomplish in a day in the To Do Section, and write down any new blog post ideas in the Notes section. I kind of create my own little blogging planner within my Everything planner!

All of these sections are written in black ink because I’m not one for color coding and all the different shades can give me a headache when I’m stressed out during the week. Yes, I am a college blogger who can’t stand color coding in my planner. No, I don’t have a concussion and no, I’m not losing it.

My Second Planner: Mini Happy Planner

My homework will be marked in my Mini Happy Planner for each of my classes. I always make it a point to pull my planner out of my bag before class ends to write down any homework that is due the next class. This prevents me from missing Sakai quizzes and in class assignments {tbt to Freshman year}. I make sure to run through all of my syllabi at the beginning of the semester as well as making an assignment spreadsheet to keep track of all my assignments.

I didn’t always have two planners, but my Day Designer is massive and can weigh down my backpack which is not ideal. My smaller Happy Planner allows me to take my most important school related events and details with me! I call my Day Designer my “at home” or “desk” planner and I sometimes will have planning sessions in Starbucks so it’ll get tossed in my Longchamp! My Day Designer also doesn’t have much protection and I can make sure that it stays in tact when it sits on my desk.

It’s part of my morning and evening routines to reflect and plan for around 5 minutes and it is so therapeutic to mark things off my to-do list, write a Daily Gratitude, and see what I accomplished in a day! 10/10 would recommend adding this into your daily routines because it helps me so much to get pumped for the day ahead in the morning and to calm down at night.

Planning Schedule

I aim to plan in both my Day Designer and Happy Planner on the 31st of every month to make sure everything is good to go for the following month! I’ll grab a hot cup of tea and put on some Beyonce and really get some planning done. I have around an hour and a half gap between my Friday classes and I like to get my weekly planning done then! I’ll write in important dates from the monthly view into my day to day view! I’ll also utilize my wide variety of fun stickers which I’ve linked down below.

Decorating and Planning Supplies

I am, at best, an amateur planner decorator. My mom however is a pro and she has the most adorable planning instagram LOL. Personally, I absolutely love the sticker books by the Happy Planner company, but they can be a little bit pricey at 20 bucks. If you can catch them on sale, or if you can use a coupon be sure to do that!

I also love basically any color and pattern of washi tape. You can pick them up from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Etsy! You also need to have a reliable and fun set of pens. I personally love the highly affordable Paper Mate Flair Pens! If you’re looking for something a little more expensive, then I’d go for Frixion Erasebale Pens or the Staedler Pens! You can find both of these on Amazon.

Other {Optional} Basic Supplies to Get You Started

    • Old Gift Card to Cut Washi
    • Dot Glue Runners-Add Pictures or Clip Art
    • Mini Ruler
    • Paper Trimmer
    • Bookmark

My Thoughts

I love my two planner system, and while it may seem overwhelming to most people, it works for me! That is the most important thing about planning: that whatever system you adopt works for you. I have given up on my agenda several times in the past and now I can say I use my planner every week to stay on top of things. I would be lost 100% of the time with out it now! If you like online calendars, that’s awesome as well and you can sync up different calendars with different people as well which may be more useful for your life!

I love that this system and the planners that I have allow me to also keep track of other goals whether that be mental health, fitness goals, food tracking, gratitudes, etc. Planning is something that helps you document and keep control of multiple facets of your life which is wonderful for someone who is as Type A as myself!

I hope you learned a lot about planning and how I created a system that works best for me as a pretty much broke, college student who is super busy! How do you organize your planners? Do you have more than one? What do you use them for? Happy Planning!!


  • Ariana

    I love planners so much! I have a Happy Planner and I absolutely LOVE it! I’m thinking about getting a smaller planner designated just towards the blog but I need to look around first. Love this post! It’s got me wanting to write stuff down in my planner!

  • I’ve always thought it a bit daunting to have a whole page per day, like i would forget some reoccurring commitment if I didn’t see the next day around it. I do want to look into some stickers for my Passion Planner. Maybe they’ll save me some time when I’m planning out my week.