It’s the beginning of a new semester, and that means it’s time for my guilty pleasure: organizing my planner. There are actually people who thoroughly enjoy that task, hard as it might be to believe. Sometimes I find myself spending more time planning out when to do my homework than actually studying … I’m sure that’s an excuse as to why I didn’t do my reading … right? No? Wishful thinking, I guess.
Anyway, as someone who color-codes her life, I’m here to provide some helpful tips to keep our readers organized.
Find the right planner
Go for a sturdy, well-made planner. While these can sometimes be a bit of an investment initially, they’re typically well worth it in the long run as that $30-$50 planner will often last 12-16 months (I even like the ones at Target!).
Size is an important consideration as well. Too small, and it won’t hold all of the information it needs to. Too large, it becomes cumbersome and won’t easily fit into a backpack or a purse. Think about what you anticipate your workload to be and what you will realistically be willing to carry around and try to find a happy medium.
In this digital age, it’s also important to consider a digital form of a planner. Most email servers have a calendar system that has the capability to sync with most devices, including phones, computers and laptops. It’d be pretty impossible to forget a meeting if you’re getting reminders on a device you have with you almost all the time.
Write Everything Down
I always find it helpful to plan out the entire semester. It seems crazy to write a test date for April 30th down in January, but it’s better to be over prepared than have a surprise a week or two, or even a few days, before an exam.
On that note, make sure to double-check your dates, both that they are correct and to remind yourself of upcoming assignments, so that you don’t accidentally miss a deadline. Procrastination may be appealing, but it shouldn’t be an accidental thing.
Find Your Style
There are all types of styles when it comes to keeping a planner organized. I personally have a color-coded system with a Washi tape/pen pair that correlates to each class, my sorority, other extracurricular obligations, and my internship here at Atlantic Publishing. While it seems redundant to use both tape and a pen for each obligation, I find that it really helps to have a system for standing deadlines and meetings (the Washi tape) and one for daily tasks that need to be accomplished (the pen).
If that type of a system is too high maintenance, there’s no shame in having a planner with only the basics written down. What’s important is that the planner doesn’t stress you out even more, but acts as a legitimately helpful tool to help keep track of school, work, and personal obligations.
Remember that staying organized is only half the battle. Make sure to look at your (newly organized) planner daily in order to keep track of all of the information. For more in-depth tips and advice on how to study more efficiently and effectively, check out our new book College Study Hacks: 101 Ways to Study Easier and Faster. Preorder available on Amazon.