Planning 101: The Secret to Staying Organized in College

In high school, I was never good at keeping a planner. But too be honest, I didn’t need to be. I didn’t have a massive amount of things to keep track of. I started a new planner every semester in high school and eventually just stopped writing in them so I graduated with a pile of planner corpses in my desk drawer.

I was disappointed in myself every time so when I started college two years ago, I was determined to keep a planner for the whole year. And I did it! I have organized my planner religiously for the past two years and counting. Let me tell you, I have never felt so in control of my life and my time. It’s helped my productivity, my time management, and my sanity in more ways than I can count. Planning is just so much healthier than forgetting and doing things at the last minute. So now that I’ve convinced you to start planning, where do you start?

First, you need to find the planner that’s right for you. There is so much variety in the planner industry, I’d be surprised if someone couldn't find one for them. Some planners require a little more time and effort in making them work well and others are incredibly simple. Check a few out and determine how far deep into the planning-hole you want to get into right off the bat.

If you need somewhere to start looking, check out the links below for some of my recommended planners!

The Happy Planner

Erin Condren Planner

Glam Planner

Starting my junior year of college, I went a little crazier than previous years and invested in sticker books, pens for color-coding and magnetic bookmarks. I love it, but I also get that that level of commitment isn’t for everyone. You can make your planner as pretty as you want or just write in it regularly. It’s 100% up to you. My biggest piece of advice is to set aside a chunk of time each day or each week and use it to update and make sure you’re completing everything. There’s no use keeping a planner if you forget to put things in it!

If this dump of planning information has you a little overwhelmed, start small! Most universities hand out free planners that are super basic but will let you dip your toes in the planning world. With the smaller planners, try just using it for homework at first, then move on to meetings and appointments, and so on. There’s no steadfast rule or timeline for planning, but once you find the system that works for you, you’ll never go back. Get planning, collegiettes!