Whether you want to get your school or personal life under control, learning how to use a planner is the perfect first step! Get the best system to actually get organized and stay organized.
Note: There are affiliate links included in this article. Check out my disclosure policy for any questions.
Even if you haven’t been here long, I think it is pretty obvious that I am a person who likes to plan.
I cannot tell you the amount of lists I have. When it came to school, I was stumped. I always had a planner, but I never had a good system.
I would forget assignments and not study for tests because I didn’t even know I had them. My biggest problem was not knowing where to write down all my tests and long term project dates.
At the beginning of sophomore year, I needed this to change, so I made myself a system.
This post is all about how to use a planner!
For any planner I buy, it is never exactly what I need it to be. Regardless of what you are using the planner for, I like to add some stuff to keep myself more organized.
At the beginning of each month, I draw a vertical line about ¾ of the way through the page. I usually draw the lines once a month, but you can do it once a week or get it all done at once.
My absolute favorite option for a planner is this streamlined, black and gold planner. It is only $10 and comes in 3 different colors. I got this my sophomore year and ordered a new one for junior year too. Click here to check it out!
If you want even more options for a planner, I’ve got the perfect post for you: 10 Best College Planners For Every Type of Student
Types of Planners
Whatever you put on either side of the line will be different for the purpose of the planner.
If you are using the planner for school, the left side of the line (the bigger section) is where you should write down daily homework assignments. Then, on the smaller portion to the right of the line, write down long-term dates like tests and projects.
The last step I do to make sure I don’t forget about upcoming assignments in later weeks is to write everything from the coming week in the weekend box.
For example, if I have a math project due next Friday, I would write “math project – Friday” in the weekend box of the current week. I also tend to check the next page throughout the week for future assignments I wrote down.
For a personal planner, I also recommend going for a cheaper option and then adding features you need. However, the uses for each side of the line will be slightly different.
On the left side is where you should be writing your to-dos and tasks that need to get done that day.
I recommend filling in this section the night before, but you can also do this in the morning or throughout the day as you think of things to do.
On the right side, you should be writing your appointments or scheduled events for that day. For me, this might include when I am posting a new article, doctor’s appointments, or plans with friends.
Remember that you can add as many lines as you want. If you think you want another column for a specific category of your life, add it! Customize your planner to fit your needs.
Another tip for whatever you are using your planner for is to color code.
In my school planner, I like making each class a different color. For a personal one, you can do a different category of your life as a different color. For example, in my planner, everything blog related is pink.
Color coding not only makes everything easier to organize, but it makes your planner look so much better. And let’s be honest, that is half the reason to use a planner. To check out my favorite pens I use for my planner, click here!
To keep yourself feeling motivated and inspired, try adding some quotes to your personal planner! Letter board quotes are perfect for both your board and planners/calendars!
If you haven’t already read part one of the Scheduling Your Life series, check out my last article: Scheduling Your Life: Google Calendar.
This post was all about how to use a planner!