Use it All Challenge

Recently I started to feel overwhelmed with stuff.  In life, in the home, and in general.  Dealing with this has brought a realization that I really would like to finish or use up a months worth of supplies in that month and not feel bad about having things left behind when the new month is ready to start.  Some months I am left with over half a kit and not a lot going on in my Dori but pen on paper planning.  While there is nothing wrong with that I feel like if I am buying these kits, I should be using them!

So I decided to do a month long challenge each month for the next few months.  You can join in if you wish, and here are 10 tips and tricks to help make your planning month full and successful!

Use sticky notes to future plan in the back of your current Dori.  Often I will have 5 or 6 things planned already for the next month even before the current month I am in starts.  To keep things straight when I am on the go I will add in all of my dates on separate sticky notes on the inside back cover of my current Dori.  This way if someone asks me to make plans with them and I don’t have that month’s Dori set up yet I can still look to see what dates are set in stone so I don’t double book.  Using the sticky notes is great because when you do start setting up your next months planner, you can move these sticky notes to the appropriate dates until you write them down in that month’s calendar.

I am super bad at remembering to use stickers and washi to decorate my Dori, simply because it is really pretty on its own.  One way I have found to help me use those supplies is to take some time before the month starts to pre-decorate the whole month with washi, die-cuts, and stickers.  You won’t use absolutely ever sticker you get but you will get closer to having more empty sticker sheets I find!  I lay out all my sticker sheets in front of me and after I have used the date and day stickers I go page by page adding elements here and there.

I have found cutting down the sticker sheets if I have blocks of elements that are left over.  This way they are smaller and will fit in my Dori somewhere for future use and on the go planning should you need them to highlight something you have planned.  These I will store in my pocket folder so that they don’t go missing and I can use them where ever I am.

I figured out that part of my issue with not using most of my supplies is that I wasn’t decorating the cover of my Dori!  This time I used one of the planner papers, some stickers, and some washi.  I set aside these specifically to do the cover and you can choose to decorate your cover first or use leftover elements from your sticker sheets to decorate after, the choice is yours!

Dashboards and Dividers are a great way to use the planner papers.  There are tons of great tutorials on how to make pockets with them as well!  These ones that I made this month are just dividers, but occasionally I will go all out with pockets on the back of them for storing receipts and loose things in my planner as well.  Cut the papers down how you would like them, laminate them if you so choose, and if you are in rings like I am trying this month with my Mini Dori, go ahead and punch holes too!!

Not only do we get the journal cards in the kit, but we also get this gorgeous story card that Christine writes for each month.  What better way to show them off then to add tabs from the die cut pack to the top and use them as bookmarks!  I even used some old kits to cover the hole punches because I kept the moon ones intact and put them on the day when the moon is in that particular phase.  You could also laminate the card and use it as a washi holder for on the go planning as well.  This one is my current day placeholder.

To help you with your month I suggest setting aside 10-15 minutes to plan out your day.  I like doing it at night when I am reflecting on what I have accomplished for the day so I can carry over stuff I didn’t get done, and start my new list for the day.  I am a bullet journaler at heart and these Dori pages are perfect for that!

During my reflection time and planning time at the end of the night, I love to fill in space that I didn’t use for the day with leftover die cuts, washi, and stickers.  Sometimes I find when I am pre-decorating I still have things left over, this is because I don’t want to fill each and every page with stuff and not leave room for planning.  This is a good time to use that stuff and fill up empty spaces on slower planning days.

When you are on the go it is a great thing to have those cut up sticker sheets, and a washi card so that you can plan while you are out.  If you don’t have supplies out with you chances are you will forget to use them by the time you get home.  This way you can plan and decorate at the time that you have something to add to your planner!

And lastly, use your notepad!  I keep mine in one of my pockets of my planner, and if I don’t have pockets, I make some!  This one is an old Travelers Notebook pocket folder that I have cut in half and punched holes in to fit in my mini rings, and the notepad fits perfectly.  I use it for grocery lists, and also scratch paper when I am on the go if I need to give someone else info or remind myself of something that doesn’t necessarily go in my Dori.

I hope you liked this post, and I hope that it helps you to have a successful planning month in your Cocoa Daisy planner!!

Lindsay on Instagram



  1. Kelley Coates-Carter

    Lindsay, these are great tips and I agree 100% with your assessment. Thank you for sharing and being so transparent.

  2. Simone

    What a great post, Lindsay! I couldn’t agree more, most of your tips I already implement in my planning. I usually also take out all the things I know I most likely won’t use so it doesn’t overwhelm me.

  3. Casie Gutierrez

    So many fantastic ideas!!! Thanks for sharing them and I am definitely going to use journal cards as bookmarks- I love that idea!

  4. Laura

    Thank you Lindsay for all the helpful tips on using it all!


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