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Planners Gotta Plan: 5 Planner Tips for the Busy College Woman

Story time: My planning obsession started senior year of high school. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off got tiring after a while, so I decided (after too much research) that I would get the Erin Condren life planner, and I don’t regret my decision at all. I always got so many compliments on it during class, and it is, quite honestly, the only reason my life is held together. My planner is my baby – it goes with me everywhere. Home, class, work, and even vacations. It is my life in a bundle of a few hundred pages.

So, in honor of stressful midterms, I’ve gathered up my top 5 planner tips that will help the collegiate woman during these four years and even beyond.

1. Write. Down. Everything*

*Everything that you can fit in your planner that doesn’t make it look like an incomprehensible mess.

Personally, writing everything down that I possibly can has saved me on countless occasions. Forgetting meetings, homework assignments, exams. Planning can help you be more organized, as well as have a future-oriented mindset (great to say in internship/job internships!). So, if you think writing it down will help you in the long run, write it down. You’ll thank me later.

My March calendar spread in the 12-month planner

2. If you like to color-code, GO FOR IT. If you find it more frustrating than useful, don’t stress it!

Planners are meant to help you – not all of us can be the cliché Pinterest planner that washi-tapes everything. Color coding is one of the most advertised tips, but I’m here to tell you: it’s okay not to color code. Some people color code just for the fun of it, some people do it for practicality. For me, it just seems like too much work and a black pen works just fine. If you want to, more power to you, I could never do it.

Erin Condren has these awesome markers that can be used for color-coding, or just everyday use (Featuring a cute cat stamp)

3. Check boxes are quite literally the best method for task-management

Checking off a box, even if it’s for the smallest thing, is just incredibly satisfying. It helps with motivation, task management, and even time management. Definitely one of my must-dos in terms of my work organization.​

Eventually, all the boxes will be checked – I feel like I’ve let myself down if they’re not all checked, which helps keep me accountable for a lot of my work

4. GLAM IT UP: Take an extra five minutes to personalize your planner

I had such a blast collecting these stickers for my planner. Personalizing my planner this much, it makes me smile seeing all the different stickers that represent different parts of me. Some people put stickers on their laptops, I put them on my planner – everybody’s a little bit different, and it’s okay to be. I have a glitter obsession – so a lot of my accessories (such as my washi tape, coffee cup, and laptop case) have glitter. It’s all about that little personal touch that adds that extra bit of motivation to my work.​

I got most of the stickers from RedBubble, and the HerCampus sticker can be found on the site shop!

5. Find your own way of planning that works for you

If that means with an app on your phone, with a bullet journal, or with a planner like Erin Condren’s, being organized it quite possibly one of the best feelings ever. Being able to stay on top of it and avoiding the frantic mess that can become my mind (still happens, I’ll admit, but lesser so), has incredibly paid off in college and will undoubtedly transfer into my professional life.


Thank you to HerCampus for the Erin Condren 12-month planner (the first two photos) and the accessories, such as the markers!

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Images: 1, others provided by the author

Shelly Hank

Notre Dame '19

Shelly (Noun) (pronounced shell-ee) Definition: Notre Dame Grad #LyonsLove, Cat Lady, Hockey Enthusiast, and Taylor Swift disciple.
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