Learn the best tips and tricks to organize your life! These planner organization ideas will make managing your life and your schedule SO. MUCH. EASIER.
Note: There are affiliate links included in this article. Check out my disclosure policy for any questions.
Whether in high school, college, or beyond, having a planner makes life so much easier.
I don’t think I’ve gone a single school year since middle school without using a planner to write down just about everything going on in my school life.
Writing assignments, exams, schedules, to-do’s, and more in a planner helps so much to manage a million and one things going on in life. Especially in college when your schedule is constantly changing, having somewhere to write it all down makes it all so much more manageable.
This post is all about planner organization ideas!
Choose your perfect planner
Before you can learn any planner organization ideas, you first need to choose your planner! I’ve got a whole article that goes through the perfect planner for every type of student. Click here to check that out!
However, if you want a quick suggestion, I cannot recommend the Class Tracker High School or College Planner enough. I recently ordered my planner for my first year of college next year and cannot be more excited to use it.
Choose some accessories
Step 2 to the perfect planner organization is getting some accessories to go along with your planner. These can include colored pens to color code your tasks, fun sticky notes/tabs to prioritize, cute highlighters for decoration, and more!
Here are some of my favorite products that I swear by for all of my planners and journals.
Decide how to organize
Depending on the planner you choose, you are going to organize your tasks a little differently. I’ll be using the Class Tracker College Planner as an example, but most planners have pretty similar spreads.
In the majority, you’ll see a weekly spread that gives you a day to day space.
This is the perfect spot for all of your everyday stuff. If you are using your planner for school, things like homework assignments, tests, and projects should all be written down here.
Depending on the planner you choose, you may also have spaces to write in your daily to-do’s, schedule, and plan for the day. If your planner doesn’t come with these features but you want to add them, just divide up whatever space is given for each day into different categories to better organize.
In my old planner, I added a vertical line two-thirds of the way through the page to categorize better. In the bigger half I included my daily homework assignments, while the smaller side had tests for that day and long-term assignments.
The next spread that is in almost every planner is a monthly spread.
This is your spot for any long term assignments, appointments, birthdays, and more. While these boxes aren’t usually that big, they are the perfect size for little notes about anything happening on certain days.
Some planners will also come with some extra pages. For example, there are pages for goals, schedules, meal plans, and more.
If you have these pages, take advantage of them! For those that apply to your life, use them as often as you can. They are already in the planner, so you might as well create some new habits and start using them.
Color code as much as possible
Now that you know where to write everything, let’s figure out how!
Color coding is one of the best planner organization ideas to keep everything as organized and categorized as possible. Depending on what you are using the planner for, your color coding system is going to be slightly different.
If your planner is being used for school, the best way to color code is to assign each class a color. Then, anything you write down for that class (tests, projects, homework, reminders) will be written in that color. (this is where the colored pens and highlighters come in handy)
Color coding like this allows you to write down so much less in your planner. Instead of writing “read history chapters 1-3”, you only have to write “read chapters 1-3” in whatever assigned color matches history.
If you want to take this color coding one step further, you can also coordinate the binder or notebook you are using for the class.
If you are using your planner for personal reasons, your color coding is going to be a little bit different. Instead of each color being assigned to a class, they are going to be assigned to a category in your life. For example, colors could represent family, home, work, school, etc.
These categories are completely customizable and will depend on your life. Once you decide, it’ll be so much easier to manage so many different aspects of your life in one single planner.
Upgrade your to-do lists
When shopping for a planner, make sure whatever you buy has a spot for your to do lists. Whether it is a built in area or you draw some lines to make it yourself, you want to make sure there is somewhere to put all your to do’s.
Write daily to do lists
My biggest suggestion when it comes to to do lists is to write them daily (as needed), as opposed to weekly. At the start of each day or the night before, take a minute to think of any to do’s for the day. These can be anything small or big, just be sure to write it down so you don’t forget.
With daily to do lists, it makes the tasks seem more manageable because there are usually not as many. Weekly to do lists end up becoming overwhelming with the quantity of things there are to do.
Color code your lists
The color coding doesn’t have to stop at your daily schedule and assignments. For really long to do lists, try color coding those as well to keep them more organized.
Prioritize your lists
To better organize your to do lists, use sticky tabs or pens to prioritize everything on the list. If you only have a few tasks, this step isn’t very applicable.
However, for the days when the tasks just keep piling up, prioritize a few to ensure that at least something gets done that day.
I like to use what I call the medal system. Assign three tasks either gold, silver, or bronze. These tasks are the most important for that day, in their level of necessity. Using this system, even if you have a mile long to do list and only get one or two things done, you can still feel accomplished that you got your priority tasks completed.
For more information about the medal system, check out this freebie!
Highlight things as you finish
As you complete your tasks, highlight or cross them off. This way, it is super visible as you get through your list and encourages you to keep going.
This post was all about planner organization ideas!