This post may contain affiliate links.
One of the first things I bought while shopping for college was the same exact thing that I never used in High School: a planner.
Sure, I used a mini planner when I was organizing the schedule for the theatre shows that I stage managed at my school, but I never had to use one to organize my social or academic lives. Then I discovered the Paper Source store in my mall. If you love organization, scrap-booking, crafts in general, or cute quirky things.. go check out Paper Source. (I may or may not have gotten my roommate to love it as well.) The second I walked into that store, I fell in love. Everyone has one store or section within a store where your friends or family have to nearly drag you out of or you’ll spend your whole life there… that’s mine.
While going through their site I discovered this planner, and I decided that I needed it. So, I got it.. and I love it.
I use that planner for everything. From assignment scheduling, grocery list keeping, rehearsal tracking, work lists, and important dates, it helps me through it all.
The easiest way I’ve found to keep track of everything? Color coding via bookmark.
I made a small bookmark out of index cards to go in the center. This bookmark not only keeps the page marked of the current week, but it also holds my class schedule and my color coding key.
To make this bookmark: I cut 5 index cards into a small rectangle and used colorful washi-tape to connect them on the bottom. Then I separated the tops of the front 2 cards away from the back 3 cards. I put another piece of a different color washi-tape around the top of the 2 front index cards, connecting them. Then I took scissors and cut the back 2 index cards so they landed right at the bottom of the top washi-tape line. Then attached a paper clip, scotch taped the bottom of it so it stays in place, and ta-da! A bookmark made specifically so that the top band of washi-tape sticks out right above the page line so that it is always visible.
Then I took the front side of the bookmark and wrote my class schedule on it. I wrote my times and dates on it so that I would have it handy until I had it memorized, but you can go without those details. Then I highlighted them in different colors. These represented the color coding of my planner.
If I have homework for a class, I write it down and then highlight it with the color of the corresponding class. It cuts down on having to write “Introduction to Christianity” or “Global Studies” every time I need to specify which class I have an article to read for. It also makes it easier to separate assignments and to make sure you have everything done for one class before you arrive there.
I also use post-it notes in my planner. For example, my grocery list at the bottom there is in blue.
This is because if I don’t have time to buy those things that week I can always move the note to the next week instead of having to re-write it or remember to flip back to it. I also have post-it notes for big events, such as my anniversary celebration with my boyfriend, to make them stand out more. Lastly I use post-it notes for other events that might change dates like field trips or performances or rehearsals that haven’t been set in stone. It also helps them to stand out when I’m flipping through to check a date.
The planner also offers a monthly view on top of the weekly one. However, I’m not a big fan of it personally. Right now I only use it to track birthdays, performance dates, and school deadlines (like registering for classes next term and days off). It’s possible that in the future I’ll have a better need for it, but as for right now I don’t.
That’s how I use my planner! This, on top of a few other things, are one of my key organizational pieces that keep me on track.
Do you want to start using a planner, but you aren’t sure where to start? I made a post with this in mind, to help you begin the search for the best planner for you!
Check it out, the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect planner.
Check out some of the planners that I recommend here:
Do you use a planner? If so, how do you use it?