College students–you feel me. Keeping a planner up-to-date and at least a little organized can be insanely confusing and frustrating! You see lovely planners on Pinterest that are perfectly labeled in beautiful calligraphy. But who has time for that?
Not me, and chances are you don’t either.
So as I’ve gone through the past year and half of college and the years of high school before that, I’ve learned a thing or two about planners and keeping them straight, coherent, and organized. This school year, my goal was to make my planner at least a little more “Pinterest-perfect” than it had been before.
1. Divide between “Due” and “To Do”
The planner I bought was divided by days, but I needed my days divided themselves. So I grabbed a ruler and drew a line down the middle of each day. On the left-hand side, I marked what was due for that day. On the right-hand side, I made a list of the homework and assignments I needed to complete.
I’ve seen some people just make their planner full of “due” dates and assignments and make totally separate to-do lists, but I prefer to keep everything–due dates and to-do lists–in one place instead.
2. Color code subjects – Red for super important assignments
Unfortunately, I didn’t start color-coding my planner until last semester. I wish I would have, because marking each class as a separate color makes assignments much easier to see and distinguish at a glance. For example, in my planner, Biology is blue, Literature is pink, etc.
Any super important dates–like tests or big assignments–go in bright red with a star beside them because those are dates that I definitely don’t want to forget or miss! Often I even put the assignment in all capital letters so it catches my attention.
3. Abbreviate subjects and long words
Obviously, a planner only has a limited amount of space. So, don’t write out the entire name of the class and the exact details in a paragraph of what is due or needs to be done in that small space.
If I need to read chapters 1 and 2 for Intro to Literature and write a 1-page analysis, I put “IL – ch. 1-2 & paper.” NOT “Intro to Literature – read chapters 1 and 2 and write a 1 page analysis.”
Maybe this seems obvious, but I’ve seen other students write out sentences like that in their planners and it takes up way more space than it should. Keep it short and to the point.
4. Use your syllabus.
Most syllabus formats include a calendar of some kind.
On the first day you get your syllabus, sit down with it when you get home and find that calendar, then fill in the dates into your planner.
You’ll know exactly what’s coming up and when–even if the dates change, all you’ll have to do is cross out the assignment and move it.
Doing this has helped me SOOOO many times to not miss assignments I had forgotten about and hadn’t been talked about in class.
5. Extra tips:
- I use the front and back covers on the inside to tape important papers – for instance, our Monday chapel schedule is taped to the inside back cover of my planner so I can easily access it.
- If you don’t want to use colored pens, colored highlighters are another great idea.
- Most planners have a Notes section in the back–I use mine to keep track of cuts I’ve used for various classes so far in the semester.
- Use a paper clip or a sticky tab to mark which week you’re on.
- Sticky notes can be a great option to quickly jot down details of a project or for temporary reminders.
PLANNERS I LOVE/RECOMMEND
It’s cute, simple, and has plenty of space for assignments and/or to-do lists.
2017-2018 Ashley G Academic Planner Daily Monthly – White with Gold
(Similar one HERE)
The planner I used last school year:
I loved this one because it already had the days divided into Today’s Schedule on the left and To-Do on the right, so I didn’t have to divide days myself. It also included inspiring quotes for each week, along with a whole section in the front designed for you to write out your goals for the year.
Day Designer for Blue Sky 2018 Daily & Monthly Planner, Twin-Wire Binding, 8″ x 10″, Gold Spotty
Though I haven’t used this one personally, this is one of several several cute planners that I have found from PaperSource.com.
2017-2018 Black Garden Floral Planner
(Link to this one HERE.)
This planner is a best seller on Amazon, and again has the days already divided into two sections for you, which is always helpful. Also – only $8!
2018 Planner Weekly And Monthly: Calendar Schedule Organizer and Journal Notebook With Inspirational Quotes And Floral Lettering Cover
What are some ways you organize your planner? And which planners have you used/like/recommend? Comment below and let me know!
◊ XO~Kristel ◊
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