What’s in your PLANNER?

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What’s in your PLANNER?

Sometimes answering the question “what’s your guilty pleasure?” can be difficult for people depending on the truthful answer…do you claim the safe, but boring, ‘binging Netflix’ like every typical college student does, even though truthfully, we all have our own hobbies and knacks for life that we may feel weird admitting? Not going to lie to you, my guilty pleasure happens to be planning. This is not just typically weekly planning done in my head, I must write it all down, set it in stone, lay it out in pretty colors and write it all in an ascetically pleasing manner. With the start of the new year, my pretty pink 2018 planner was coming to its end, and when I got back to school on the 8th, already having anxiety about the first day of drop/add, I went to my safe place. I was only disappointed and almost shocked that I forgot over break that it was time for a new start, and I quickly started my mission to find my new haven where my life is physically bound.

It sounds trivial to find comfort in a series of organized, numbered squares, but something about the craziness of college life and the responsibilities that come with growing up, everything can feel a little less scary when I write them down exactly when they need to happen and cross them off when they are effectively over and accomplished. I never used a planner in high school, or if I did, it was a simple, cheap notebook where I would jot major tests and quizzes. Things came to me easier then, or maybe my routine was so down pat for so long, it was just easier to remember everything. These days I find myself writing down when to do laundry and take the trash cans to the street. College schedules change so frequently, and it is a challenge for my brain to keep as organized as it once did on an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule for 12 years.

This past week, as school work has started to set in and the overwhelming nature of the beginning of the semester is ensuing, I would claim to have maybe, just maybe, changed my roommate’s life for the better. Even though it’s a small change in habit, I got her the same planner as myself and encouraged her it would make her feel better having it be a part of our Sunday ritual, when we sit down on the couch and try to get our lives together. I saw her appreciation, but also the skepticism she felt about what this new planner could do for her. It has only been one week and I have noticed her bringing it everywhere with her, along with a new pack of colored pens and highlighters. I could say she’s a new woman, maybe not in every aspect, but this small change helped her feel better in a significant way. She wrote down every assignment she is aware of, every event and meeting scheduled for her organizations, every application due date and so much more. She says, “It’s not that I didn’t know I needed to do these things, but the fact that I can visually see them and note the days when they are actually due, makes every assignment and task feel less intimidating and more attainable.”

MY OFFICIAL ADVICE:

Now, you may already have a planner, but if not, I would suggest ordering one off Amazon with both weekly and monthly planning. I use the monthly calendar the most and find it helps me stay the most organized because of how I visually process things. I suggest browsing on Amazon, because it will be about 3x cheaper than Office Max or even Target. As far as what goes inside your planner, that is up to you, but for me, I found that laying out all my syllabus’s and color coding my school schedule is most important, and then if you have a job, that work schedule comes next. Extracurricular club meetings and job application deadlines go after that. Finally, don’t forget to add miscellaneous “to do’s” like dry cleaning, exercising, and of course, the exciting things going on in your life. Spring break plans and the concerts you plan to attend this semester should all be in there. These exciting things can make your tough weeks easier to get through.

My last word of advice is to remember to write down everything, if you are anything like me and get addicted to using this small book, you will end up relying on it so much that if you forget to write down an assignment or meeting, you will forget to do it or attend. So, Sundays and Mondays are vital days to sit down and tend to your little book and make sure you are on schedule for everything you have going on. This way of life has truly transformed my time management skills, as well as alleviating a lot of stress for me, and I hope it can for you too. I linked the Amazon page with a few, inexpensive options for your new 2019 life changer. Good luck!

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=planner+2019&sprefix=planner+2019%2Caps%2C150&crid=2MIVQ4XXKWC0V&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aplanner+2019


4 Comments

Jordan Thomas

Jordan Thomas

January 29, 2019at 11:19 am

I relate to this post SO MUCH! I use my planner 24/7 and insist on my friends using theirs too. When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I go to my agenda and see if there is anything I can do to help myself feel better. Great post!

Ava Abedi

Ava Abedi

January 29, 2019at 12:02 pm

I love writing in my planner!! Something about having everything color coded and organized makes me feel more put together. I definitely agree that being able to visually see all the due dates and deadlines you have in one place makes your goal feel more attainable. There are times I slack on writing in my planner, so I love your advice to sit down on Sundays and Mondays to get the planner organized for the week. Do you prefer using colored pens or highlighters to color code your planner? Do you color code your planner by class or category?

    Caroline Bradley

    Caroline Bradley

    February 4, 2019at 10:56 am

    Hey Ava! Thank you for the feedback, I actually use regular pens and then highlighters to color coordinate, because I find it easier to carry around the same pen during the day and then to go back and highlight later, and I color code by class! That helps me visually remember things better.

Emma Blackshire

Emma Blackshire

January 29, 2019at 12:29 pm

Love this!!! Every start of the semester i gather all my syllabi’s and write every due date, homework, and presentation date down. I feel like I have my life together for that first week of classes, however it goes down hill from there. I usually end up just remembering what’s due week by week and my planner keeps a permanent spot in my book bag till i absolutely need it. Reading your post encourages me to get better at this so i can keep my life together and lose that feeling of going off the deep end. Thanks for your advice!

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