Six Tips on How to Start Utilizing (and Loving) Your Planner

Schedule a consistent time during the week to start planning ahead

I’ve found that dedicating a routine time for planning out my week has helped me immensely in becoming a more productive person. Planning allows me to have a list of things I need to get done right at my fingertips. Believe me, I know that allocating time for planning the weeks ahead may seem like an annoying task, but it’s well worth it in the end. The best way to adopt this habit is to add something that you like to your planner!

Make your planner unique to YOU

Whether this be adding an inspirational quote you scrolled past on Instagram, color coding, creating fitness goals, doodling, using various colored Muji pens, adding seasonal stickers or washi tape (there’s loads of cute seasonal stationary at Papersource right now!). You are the only one looking at your planner, so why not making fun and interesting to look at? Get creative! One tip I have if you are just starting and/or are frustrated with your current planning methods, start with color-coding AND add a key (i.e., blue highlighter = test dates). It’s basic, I know, but dedicating certain colors to certain classes, clubs, events, and due dates can be really helpful when you are looking at your overall month. Everything will start to seem a lot less overwhelming!

Figure out the best planning method that suits your needs

My planning methods might not work best for you, but that’s okay - everyone is different! This is why it’s best to find a method that works best for you and keeps you motivated to plan ahead. Whether this be a digital calendar (such as Google Calendar), a bullet journal, a large ‘month at a glance’ desk calendar, or the old-faithful paper planner (thank you Erin Condren), any method will help you become more organized and tackle the week ahead. 

To-Do Lists/Daily Lists

I am definitely guilty of being that person who writes her to-do lists on loose pieces of paper and misplaces them about an hour after writing them. Yet, one thing that has really helped me with this issue is specifically taking a section of my ‘week at a glance’ page and creating a section for a to-do list. Not only am I now not misplacing the list anymore (yay!), but I also get to enjoy that feeling of accomplishment after crossing off to-do list tasks! This makes a stressful day seem that much more manageable. Another tip: write a daily to-do list, in order of importance (and/or difficulty). This allows you to dedicate your time purposefully to certain tasks and get those daunting tasks out of the way fast! 

Bring it with you/take a photo of it/leave it in one specific spot

For those intense library sessions - when your backpack is absolutely filled and there’s no room to add your planner - just take a photo of it and refer to the picture for your library cram session. Or leave it in a specific place on your desk or anywhere in your room so that you’ll never misplace it. There’s nothing worse than feeling super productive and ready to tackle the next assignment on your list, only to realize that you have no idea where your planner (with that long list of assignments) actually is! 

Have fun with it!

Planning your weeks should not be seen like a chore, but rather a ritual that’ll help keep you sane during the week. While planning out your week I highly recommend you watch TV, listen to music, eat a snack, or make a cup of tea...whatever makes you feel most relaxed or can help you decompress after a long day.