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How to Stay Organized When You’re NOT a Planner Person

I have only been a “planner person” once in my life, and that was quite some time ago when I had a lot more spare time on my hands. It’s the same old story; it’s nearing the end of summer, I stop by Target to purchase some stationary, and lo and behold, the planner section. It sucks me in, as it does every year, and I flip through the pages of various comfort colored agendas. I will end up purchasing one, although I know by week three of fall quarter, I’ll have given up hope on using it, and thus let it sit in my desk drawer. I have now come to accept the fact that I will probably not ever be, a “planner person”. I simply don’t have the time or energy to sit and plan out my day on paper for the week, and I probably won’t look back at it even if I do. So, here is how I have managed to stay (somewhat) organized without a planner.

1. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is much more effective than a traditional day planner, in my opinion. For me, I work more digitally than I do on paper (most of the time), and thus can use it and will *actually* look at it more often than a physical agenda. It also links to other platforms making it easily accessible.

2. Sticky Notes!

I really love using sticky notes. A lot. To prep for a week, I’ll open up Canvas and create a designated sticky note for each course I’m taking. For example, if you’re taking ENGL 101, have a single note for that and write out the assignments, readings, quizzes, and due dates for each course. I personally put them on my laptop so I see them whenever I’m working and can cross them off my list as the week progresses.

3. Find a Friend in Class

This tip is easier for upperclassmen, but if you are a freshman or sophomore and haven’t started taking major-related coursework but finding a friend (or taking a class with a roommate) you know from previous classes really helps. You’ll be able to ask them questions, discuss the content, and it’s someone to keep you accountable on assignments and coming to class. Plus, they’re a friend! It truly is a win-win situation.

These are what have personally helped me stay organized throughout university, and hopefully they can help you too (especially if you can never keep a planner up to date, like me). And if you are a ~ planner person ~ I admire you extremely. Maybe one day I’ll be able to, but today is not the day.


Katelyn Berquist

Washington '21

Katelyn is a senior studying Education and English at the University of Washington. She enjoys drinking coffee, studying around campus, and writing articles for Her Campus!
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