How to Effectively Use a Planner in College
Ever been thrown for a loop because an assignment or project caught you off guard? If so, an academic planner (aka an agenda) would definitely help you out!
I do realize that school has been in for a while now, but I wrote an article on school organization for my school’s newspaper. And many of my peers found it helpful, especially the ones who were not organized yet. So I really hope this post helps my blog audience out too!
At the bottom you will find the link to my free mini eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Managing College & Work.” (No sign-up required!)
The Ideal College Planner
An ideal planner includes monthly sections and daily sections.
Whether you need a small one or large one is completely up to you. But if you write big like me, you will most def need a large one! Mine is the size of a large spiral notebook, & I paid $8 for it.
Color Coding System
This is essential to effectively using a planner. The different colors allow you to organize your tasks, and will allow you to quickly glance at what you have for each class.
While you can have a system as simple as using two colors—one color for school-related items and another for work-related items—some of us need more.
I’m obsessed with color, so I use eight (yes, EIGHT!) different colors in my planner. Color makes my day brighter!
In the weekly view section of your planner is where you will write down assignments and any to-do lists for that day. I used to write the name of the class then the tasks horizontally, but I found this ineffective. This did not allow me to see how much I needed to do for that class. So now I write everything in bullet lists.
My Color Coding System:
- Pink: Logic
- Baby Blue: Theology
- Purple: Student Media (Newspaper/TV staff class)
- Red: Event Planning
- Dark Blue: Ministry
- Green: Feature Writing
- Black: Advanced Photography
- Orange: To-do lists or work-related
If that seems like too much for you, you can certainly stick with one color!
- Light color (red, green, pink): Class assignments
- Dark color (black, blue): Work or volunteer related/to-do lists
When you finish an assignment, be sure to cross it off, so you know what is left to do.
You’re probably wondering why some things are highlighted. I use a highlighter to let myself know that task is very important and is something I need to get done now rather than in the morning before class. I’m a major procrastinator sometimes!
At the beginning of a semester, the most important thing you must do is write down all major dates (exams, quizzes, project deadlines, holidays, etc) in the monthly view. This way, there are no surprises thrown at you during the semester.
You should also write down your work schedule in a different color than your school events.
My Color Coding System:
- Pink: Bills
- Purple: School events & school newspaper deadlines
- Orange: Off days ; $= pay day ; Sunday School volunteer days
- Other colors: Class specific events
- Light color (red, green, pink): Anything school-related
- Dark color (black, blue): Work or volunteer related
If you’re writing in bills in the monthly view, I find that crossing them off as soon as they’re paid helps because then you’re not scrambling to figure out if you paid it or not!
If your monthly view also has extra blank space or lines, you should use it to write down a to-do list or goals for that month.
The key to making goals is to set attainable goals! Although you want to aim high, you have to take steps to get there. Break your goals into short-term and long-term goals. That way, once you reach the short term goal, you will feel accomplished and motivated to reach the next one.
Free E-Book on Managing College & Work
“The Ultimate Guide to Managing College and Work” by Desire Chanteuse
(It includes this post, so you can always have it to reference later!)
Thanks so much for reading! 💖
Are you using a planner this semester? Are you also using a color coding system or will you start one now? Let’s chat in the comments section!
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