Something that has truly helped me in college is using my planner. In high school I never used planners. I wasn’t consistent enough to keep updating them, never looked in them, and as soon as I ran out of space in my bag or felt that my bag was too heavy my it was the first thing to get booted to my desk; never to be used again. However with no planner left room for easy mistakes, missing deadlines, and confusing important dates and times. I knew in college to achieve a 4.0 I would need to not only be consistent but keep track of all my work with a planner. Today will be showing you guys, my 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 planners as well as tips that will encourage you to use and keep up with your planner.
I will be the first to admit that starting a new habit is very hard and part of the success of using a planner was the dedication I had to commit myself to use my planner. The first tip I would give to anyone who is interested in using a planner is finding a one that is styled to your taste and method of organization
My first planner was my favorite. Spiraled with fabric on the outside so the spirals wouldn’t come undone, tabs for all the months, and a calendar in front of every month before the date sections started. One thing I learned about myself very fast from using my planner is that I’m good at checking it every day but not so great at writing every single homework every day. I think this is where most students lose interest and fall short on their planners because of the dedication and consistency it takes to write your days out every single day.
What I did to get around that was only stick to the monthly calendar. At the beginning of each semester, I lined my syllabi up with the monthly calendar and stuck to only checking that. This makes it so much easier to plan my weeks, prioritize my assignment, and physically see what I needed to do.
Then I put myself into the habit of writing out other things that came along like work schedules, interviews, club meetings, and more.
Since this was my first planner, I found it overwhelming at times to look at. Seeing everything in front of you can add a lot of pressure to a person to feel like they need to get everything done at once. To ease that pressure I color-coded my planner for the first few months
Blue- no school
After learning your planning style it makes it a lot easier to buy a new one. Like my 2019-2020 academic planner that’s months only with note space in the back if I need to write tasks or notes to myself.
This time around I incorporated colored pens instead of highlighters for a cleaner look inside my planner and added stationery stickers to make it look cute and allow certain tasks to stick out.
Tips for sticking to a planner
Buy a small one so your more likely to carry it since it will fit in all your bags
Do not take it out our bag- the first time you decide to leave it home for the day is the last day you will ever use it
Consistency is key- be consistent the first few months with carrying it everywhere, taking it out during class or study times, and whenever dates or plans are being discussed.
Don’t give up- if you forget to use it for a week or two, that’s okay! You’re learning a new habit that takes time to build. Just keep trying throughout the semester until its natural.
*both planners were purchased at Marshall’s for under $10 and the stationary stickers were purchased at Staples for $5*