Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Using a Planner 101

One of the things that I feel is essential, especially for college students is a planner. I view my planner as a way to corral all of the things that I need to accomplish and all of the events on my calendar in one place. Here are some ways to make using a planner easy, effective, and fun!

I personally use a Lilly Pulitzer planner and I feel that it makes it simple to organize all of the lists that I write down. Lilly Pulitzer has three different sizes to pick from and the prints are really cute too (I love the mermaid print and I also have the matching phone case ?). Another popular brand among planners is Erin Condren and some artistic people use bullet journals (I lack the artistic skills necessary for them, but I admire those who make it work).

Here is the beauty: 

Learning how to organize your planner and finding a system that works best for you can be the hardest parts when you first start using a planner, so here are some ways to make it easy!


Color Coding

To organize my events on the monthly calendar view, I color code using gel pens to make it easy to see what is coming up soon!

Here is my system:

Blue: Birthdays/Holidays/Family Events

Red: Social Events/Time with Friends

Green: School-Related Events

Purple: Important Assignments

Orange: Work


With the color coding system, this is the magic that happens:

Stickers/Sticky Notes/Washi Tape

In the Lilly Pulitzer planners, there are stickers in the front of the planners that can add some spice to your calendar. I personally cannot bring myself to use them for some reason and I know there are others out there who have this problem too, but I encourage the brave souls out there to put them to use.

I tend to use sticky notes on the weekly view pages in my planner to make lists of things that are REALLY IMPORTANT and are CRUCIAL FOR LIVING. It keeps the important things separate from my list of all my school assignments, which makes it easier for me to remember to actually do them.

I have heard that some folks out there use washi tape to make their planners as artsy as their souls. While I do not partake in this practice, I have heard around the block that it helps to organize your lists and just make your planner prettier in general.

Here is the art that happens with the washi tape system:

The Weekly Planner List

In the weekly view of my planner, I write down all of my assignments and separate them by line and by class.

I give each of my classes an abbreviation, EDU for education, ENG for English, LIT for Literature, etc. I also put a little box next to each of my assignments simply because it feels so good to be able to check it off after I do it! Things that I have to do that aren’t school related are written down at the bottom, so they are separate in my mind when I look at the list. Recently, I have also found it helpful to highlight the things that I MUST do that day, so I can get them done first and not have to worry about them later.


I hope that this helps all of the newbies to the planner world find a system that works for them! It really is an organized and happy world to be a part of!

Erin Sousa

Stonehill '22

Erin is a senior at Stonehill College and is from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, also known as "Chelmsvegas" to its residents. She is majoring in Secondary Education and English and hopes to become one of those hip and stylish high school English teachers with really cool glasses. Erin loves Maine beach days, country music, and anything to do with mermaids. She writes about her misadventures on Her Campus because she believes everyone is a little crazy, everyone's life is a little crazy, and we can find comfort in being reminded that we aren't alone.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️