Design Your Life planner unboxing

In the middle of Christmas chaos – between gifts and social events and flying between countries – my DYL planners arrived. And I’ve been wanting to share them with you since.

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But Christmas is its own vortex of stress and excitement, and I started January with one of the most stressful job interviews I’ve ever done. Oh, and I started an internship last week which, while great, demands I get up at 5.30am and get home 8pm – there isn’t much daylight left in the day. And these planners are so nice, honestly, they deserve daytime light so you can see it. But until the days start getting longer, I’ll settle for the selection below!

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First let’s share some of the pictures of the DYL 2016 planner. Each month has a different theme. Below are some of the ones I really liked – I didn’t want to include too many since part of the fun is flicking through them yourself.

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The other planner from Design Your Life is called ‘Back to Basics‘. Each week has a vertical spread, and the colours vary over the months. I really like some of the features in this one, such as the project tracker and the little quotes at the top of each week.

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Another nice feature of the planners is the pockets in the front. Perfect for storing some stickers and post-it notes. The first thing I did was fill it up with some of the things I got.

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The planners also came with a lovely little goodie bag – full of pencils, stickers, an envelope and some doodle pages for the planner. The hydration stickers are CNS Design, the same people that are behind the DYL planners, and are some of the most fun ones I’ve seen.

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I’m really looking forward to using these planners more going forward, and hope you find some inspiration in the pages!


Note: These products were all sent to me one of the DYL Planner Experts, the design team for CNS Designs. While the products were provided to me at no cost, all opinions in the text above are my own.


Autumn in my Gold Kikki K: Dashboard set-up

Since the last planner post went over so well – mostly due to the featuring on Philofaxy – I thought I’d share my set-up in my large gold Kikki K. Philofaxy is an amazing resource for anything filofax, or just for ringbinder planners in general, and I’d really recommend anyone interested pop over there. Plenty of functional printables for all sizes if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

This is the view that greets me as I open it, and I really do love how the bright colours and patterns have a practically immediately positive impact on my mood. The mixing of orange, red with pink and bright yellow felt very outside my comfort zone, but the more I’ve been looking at it the more I like it.

I really like how the Kikki K has a bunch of pockets on the left and I frivolously stuff them with planner accessories. I love how most of the things I put in the pockets have a functional purpose, but the combination and layering gives it a creative flair.

The top part of the pockets hold mostly cards and various paper clips. The patch at the top is one I embroidered and put on a paper clip I had lying around. I like the added whimsy of them and I’ll definitely be making more once I get back into embroidering, which tends to happen as we move into winter. The bigger pockets also carry some round stickers that I use to highlight important events, deadlines or meetings, or just add some colour.

The very bottom pocket carries a bunch of sticky notes from Knock Knock. I love this brand and have a whole series of their stuff. Putting the fun back in functional, cheesy pun intended. I mostly tend to leave the project life cards, but will sometimes nab them if a weekly spread needs something a little more permanent than a post-it.

On the left is my actual dashboard. I’ve kept the original Kikki K dividers as they’ve served me well, but I do prefer something a little brighter than the dull grey. Using different coordinating washis to add some project life cards with nice patterns and an inspirational quote does exactly that. I left one of the cards open at the top so I could use it as a pocket for my washi sampler.

I think the key thing about a dashboard setup is that it needs to be functional. I know I’ve emphasised the pretty looks above, but form definitely follows function. Everything is either securely tucked in a pocket or help in place by a paperclip – the planner can be moved around and wiggled vigorously without fear of anything falling out. They’re there to be inspirational, to encourage me to use the planner and follow through. The purpose is not for the planner to become dainty.

Living the planner girl life

Those of you who follow me on instagram are probably aware that I love a bit of creative planning alongside my lettering. It’s just so much more fun to start on the day’s tasks when you have something pretty staring back at you.

This is my current set-up in my Filofax Original in Dark Aqua. A combination of pinks, reds, aquamarine and mint. Such a happy combination!

Love the bit of flimsy that the Kikki K cat pen adds, and am really happy that my friend from Australia sent me the fruit bookmarks. I really do love all the Kikki K things, now I just need to find a job so I can binge!

The embroidered patch paperclip I made a while back, I think it’s super cute. Been considering selling them, but wouldn’t know what to charge, they’re fairly time consuming.

And last but not least, my dashboard: An inspirational project life card stuck down with what’s probably still my favourite washi. And that Ice cream binder clip that my sister gifted me. She’s a star!