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How Being a Planner Girl Changed My College Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

I’ve always been a planner girl. Since around second grade, I can vividly remember writing all my homework in a school planner and checking it off after I completed it. It was a daily thing for me and many of my classmates. This continued through middle and high school, helping me to avoid forgetting any assignments. It also just felt “right.” However, I truly feel as if I didn’t harness the full power of the planner until college.

Personally, I found that simply writing which assignments I must complete isn’t enough for me. After having trouble balancing my academics, extracurriculars, and social life early on in college, I knew it was time for a change. I decided to combine all these areas of life into one weekly planner, but not in a way that seems overwhelming! Here are some key tips on how I organize my weekly planner, which functions as many different tools all in one.

1. I create my own planner from a blank notebook

While some methods of planning, such as using a planner that is already filled out, work better for many people, I’ve actually found the most success in doing the opposite. My planners start out as blank notebooks! I find this helpful because I get to choose the size of my own categories in my planner based on my needs.

For example, I usually make the “academic assignments” section bigger than the “upcoming events” section, since I usually have more assignments due during the week than events to attend. Creating my own layout also helps me to be creative and have space to add stickers and doodles that make me happy every week.

2. Categories!

Since my planner essentially serves as a giant to-do list, it would be overwhelming if I just lumped together all the tasks I need to get done during the week. Instead, I divide these tasks into categories: “academics” (school assignments and tasks), “extracurriculars” (tasks for clubs), and “other” (any miscellaneous tasks, such as grocery shopping).

This helps me to prioritize which tasks I need to complete first: academics! If you have a heavier academic schedule than an extracurricular schedule — or perhaps no extracurriculars at all — you can always leave a section out or add a totally different one. Personalize your planner to fit your daily life!

3. I separate my events from my to-do list.

While events (such as meetings, plans with friends, or important appointments) are still things you can check off your to-do list, I prefer separating them into their own categories, as you would do on a calendar. This way, I can plan around my events and complete smaller tasks in between them. Having my weekly events at the top of the page also serves as an extra reminder to attend everything at the right time!

4. I don’t merge my weekday schedule with my weekend schedule.

Most college students can probably agree that their weekends look much different than their weekdays. For this reason, I like to plan my weekends on a completely different page than my weekdays. This is partly so I can have a bigger space for my weekdays, which are longer than weekends, and partly because the categories are different sizes between my weekends and weekdays. For example, my “events” category is usually bigger over the weekend as I have more free time. Also, it’s less overwhelming for me to separate these two parts of the week.

That’s it! This was a comprehensive view of how I structure my weeks — all through my little planner. I genuinely don’t know what I would do without it, and I feel like I would definitely forget a lot of things I have to do. I might not even be able to balance all the areas of my life without it. Truly, I’ll be a planner girl until the end!

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Hi! I'm Gabby, a junior at FSU studying clinical psychology and English. I'm passionate about mental health, wellness, fashion, food, and music, to name a few things.