In college, planning is essential.  It’s beyond vital to stay on top of your to-do list with a well-organized and personalized planner. Keeping a planner is key to having your best semester yet. After reading this guide, it will become your ultimate best friend.

  1. Choose a planner that best fits your personality. Do you prefer a simple or corky design? Do you work best with a monthly, daily, or weekly calendar? What is your perfect size? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to pick out your perfect planner. After researching and purchasing the planner of your choice, make it your own. Add a monogram sticker or make an inspirational collage on the cover. Create it to be something that you love to look at.

  2. Review and add to your planner daily. At first this may feel like a chore, but you’ll thank yourself when you remember to turn in that homework assignment or study for that exam. Make it a point to refer to your day planner regularly. Put aside a few minutes each morning while you’re drinking a cup of coffee to go over your routine for the day. This will give you a good idea of what needs to get done and will prepare you for what’s to come that day.

  3. Write in your planner on an ongoing basis. When you get an assignment or think of a task that needs to get done, write it down immediately. If you think you’ll “just remember later,” you most likely won’t. Writing it down will take off the burden of remembering it all. You will have a lot on your plate in college, so take advantage of your planner. It will work as a vital tool if you let it.

  4. Keep color coding organized and to a minimum. Only color code what’s necessary to avoid busyness and distraction. I underline things in a few select colors to help my brain categorize certain tasks. Use pen for the permanent, important information and pencil for everything else. This will allow you to correct mistakes easily – life can be messy.

  5. Use abbreviations to save space and keep things organized. A long word such as “appointment” can become “apt”. This will help you review things quickly and be well-organized overall. Also try to keep things spaced-out and legible to avoid mishaps. When tasks are too close, it’s easy for our eyes to skip over them. Keep white-out for correcting mistakes.

  6. Emphasize the most important tasks for the day. I choose my three top tasks for the day and highlight them to make sure they get done. Whether you highlight, underline, or star these, it will be apparent for which tasks should be put at the top of your to-do list.

  7. Check things off in an organized manner as they become completed. I prefer to put a check mark in the white space next to the task. This provides a sense of accomplishment and willingness to move onto the next task. If something does not get completed during the day, roll it over to tasks for the next day until it gets done.

Once you begin using your planner regularly, you’ll wonder how you lived life without it. Allow for your planner to work as a tool for success. It will help you stay on top of your schedule and ready to take on the semester as a whole.

Happy planning.

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

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