All Your Organization Options that AREN'T a Planner

I consider myself an organization QUEEN.

But I don’t use a planner.

I know.


I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to see everything laid out in front of them. Due dates, future events, appointments… I need it all in one visual space at the same time. Trust me, I would love an Erin Condren planner. The prints, the stickers, the colors, the aesthetic, the personalizations, the organization.


I just know that I’ve tried planners before and I always (ALWAYS) forget something if it’s written in a planner. So, if you’re anything like me, I have all the other ways to keep yourself organized through the semester, planner-free.


1. A Calendar


This is the most “mom-on-the-go-style” option on this list, but go to the bookstore and buy yourself a big wall calendar. Barnes and Noble has a ton, and they even have aesthetically pleasing ones to match your dorm colors. The best way to lay everything out in front of you is to literally lay it out in front of you. Having the whole month to look at with appointments, classes, and events filled into every little box for each day will keep each assignment and responsibility from the perspective of the whole month. Term paper due next week? Seeing the big due date might make you get a head start on it instead of binging “Young and Hungry”. Again.


2.  To-Do List


For the day-to-day stuff, a physical to-do list is a great idea. Have to call the doctor? On the list. Gotta print your three-page paper for Ethics? On the list. It’s proven that writing things down helps you remember it better, and there’s no better place to write what you have to do than on a piece of paper that is specifically for that purpose. Want a cute one or one with prompts? Here’s a link.



3. MyHomework App


Having trouble separating your responsibilities from your actual classwork? There’s an app for that. This app is reliable, user-friendly, and super organized. Just log what the homework is, set the class and the due date, and check it off when it’s done. It’s so easy. It’ll even send you reminders. And, to make it even better, you can color code all your classes. Here’s the link to the website, but you can also download it on the App Store. 


4. Post-It Notes


Put. Them. Everywhere. Every time you have an idea, think of something you have to do, or someone gives you something to do, write it on a sticky note. Whether you have to do your laundry or return a library book, sticky notes are vibrant enough that you’ll see them and remember, and it feels really good to crumple them up after you did what you had to do.


5. Phone/Laptop Calendar


This is the most accessible, bring-with-you-everywhere option for non-planner organization. You’re never without your phone, so if you match your wall calendar to your phone calendar, you’ll never miss anything! You can set reminders, color code, and add anything to your future with ease. Smartphones for the win (as always).


You can use any combination of these, or even all of them (if you’re as Type-A as I am). Planners don’t work for everyone, but there are so many other ways to keep yourself organized, so Erin Condren can wait. The most important thing, though, is to use your time wisely and never bite off more than you can chew. The easiest thing to do today is to fill up all your free time. Remember to pencil in a break because everyone could use a little Peter Kavinsky every once in a while.