5 Ways to Turn Your Planner into Your Best Friend

By: Shabrina Parikh

In the fall, I was super excited to go planner shopping (yes, I am THAT girl). Within the first few weeks of using it, I knew I had found my soulmate. Some argue that I spend more time in my planner than actually doing work, but I know it is all worth it in the long run. With finals season coming up in the next couple of weeks, it’s time we all realize how useful our planners can be. Mine has literally saved me this semester, and I hope it saves yours to. Here are some ways you too can fall hopelessly in love with your planner.

                                                  Related: A Newbie's Guide to Planners

1. Make it your “Me Time”

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Every Sunday, I sit down and fill in what my coming week will look like. To me, it’s my quality time with myself as I try to figure out how I’m going to tackle all my tasks. In addition, before I start studying every day, I make a to-do list in the planner as well. Those two times are when I am the most calm and relaxed because I know I am at least making an effort to stay organized.

2. Color code EVERYTHING

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If you’re like me, your week is chaotic with events, meetings, tests, etc. I sometimes forget where I need to be and what exactly I need to be there for. That’s why I color code everything I write in my planner. Every organization and class I'm in has a specific color, as well as one for “random events," and that helps me stay on top of what needs to be done. Not to mention, it also makes your pages look colorful and lively!

3. Make it as pretty as you!

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Since I am bonding with my planner everyday, I try to make it as eye-pleasing as possible. This is why I use colorful pens, stickers, washi tape (if I’m feeling more extra than usual), etc. Decorating is something I allocate for Sunday nights. It’s helps me transition from “weekend, fun mood” to my “focused, studious mood”. Even though it takes a little bit more time, it helps me stay motivated and excited through the week. If I am going to have to look at my planner multiple times a day, might as well make it a happy moment every time!

                                            Related: 5 Ways to Stay Organized Using Planners

4. Write down EVERYTHING

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In the beginning of the semester, I had written down every due date and assessment days as soon as I got my syllabus. Doing that allowed me to plan out social events and study times beforehand. Nowadays, if a new assignment or meeting does pop up, I still write it down ASAP, and that keeps me from forgetting something. Even today, if I am making plans, I HAVE to check my planner first because I know my brain does not remember everything that is going on. If you also can’t remember everything, I highly suggest making an habit of writing out your assignments and events in your planner, everything from lunch dates to study group dates!

5. Use it for more than just planning

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I try to make the most of my planner, and that includes using all the pages it provides. For example, I write down my events and due dates in both the monthly view, as well as the weekly view. It helps me put into perspective on what is going on in my life. In addition, certain planners include pages where you can write out your class schedule, and filling that out really helped me in the beginning of the fall when I didn’t know where to go. Also, every planner has some blank pages inside for notes, use them to your advantage! Write out your monthly goals, create habit trackers and write out cute quotes! If you’re looking for inspiration, I would suggest googling “bullet journal pages."

Recommendations: Here are some of my planner must-haves!

1. The Happy Planner

 Via Michaels and Me and My Big Ideas

 2. Stabilo Pens

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3. Happy Planner Sticker Packs

Via AllAboutPlanners

May this encourage you to utilize your planners, or perhaps go out and buy one! Either way, I hope you thrive for the remaining of the semester! Good luck, collegiettes!