I don’t think it’s controversial to say that one of the best things about the start of the school year is buying new school supplies. There’s something so specifically soothing about picking out certain notebooks and pens that, in the moment you are buying them at least, makes you feel as though this one Muji pen is the one thing that’s going to turn everything around for you this year. But if you are looking for one thing that will really bring on some potent fresh-start vibes, you’re going to have to get a new planner.
Obviously, in reality, using a planner won’t single-handedly change your life or your GPA, no matter how diligently you keep up with it. But writing things down has been scientifically proven to boost memory function, and, from a more personal perspective, using a planner is a good way to feel more grounded in your day-to-day activities. And, of course, there are a lot of ways to transform your planner into something you write in once or twice, then forget about for the rest of the year, into something you like looking at so much that you use it every day. So, check out these planner techniques that will (maybe) help you get all A’s this year:
1. First, figure out if you want a structured pre-made planner…
2. Or a bullet journal, which is basically a blank notebook that you turn into a planner yourself:
You know yourself best! If you know you won’t use a planner that you have to make for yourself, go with a pre-made one. (I like Bando planners, personally.) If you’re super creative and function best when you get to create your own things, try a bullet journal.
3. Don’t limit your planner just to school stuff:
Like, if you write down all of your assignments but forget to write down that you’re supposed to go to your friend’s birthday party the night before a paper is due, you might forget to finish the paper in time.
4. Color-code your tasks with highlighters:
This way, you can figure out what kind of day you’re going to have at a glance.
5. Or, if you’re not into highlighters, try using washi tape:
Washi tape comes in a bunch of colors and looks great in a planner, so if you’re committed to that aesthetic, use it to your advantage.
6. Feeling really gung-ho about this whole “organization” thing? Make your own key:
This serves the same purpose as color coding, but gives your planner a cleaner, more minimalist look. Plus, it’s easier to do if you don’t have highlighters or washi tape constantly on hand.
7. Make your writing look pretty:
Is this necessary? No. But it will make your planner look nice, which will make you want to look at it, which will help you keep track of everything you have to do.
8. Keep a cohesive exam schedule:
It’s good to have a specific page devoted to important dates for tests and papers so you can refer to it when you’re trying to plan your other activities.
9. Keep a studying schedule in your planner
Want to make sure you do your Geometry homework on time? Write it down. Scheduling time to do day-to-day activities might seem a little extra, but it can also help your daily studying feel more habitual than sporadic.
10. Utilize the calendar section at the beginning of each month:
This is a great way to see what you have going on each month at a glance.
11. Also, just use a regular calendar:
And keep it somewhere you can see it every day, like on your desk or above your bed. This is an easy way to be able to keep track of major events in your life without having to flip through your planner or notebook.
12. Decorate your planner with stickers:
This isn’t really necessary. But it’s a relatively foolproof to make your planner look great, which will make you want to look in it more.
13. Keep sticky notes handy:
If you want everything in your planner to be functional, placing sticky notes with tasks of a certain importance level in there is a good way to make it look less monotonous.
14. Keep it positive:
You don’t have to do the exact thing above (writing down a “positive” thing every day might be tough for some people), but it will definitely benefit you to use your planner as a space for something that isn’t strictly related to things you have to get done. Just have some fun with it!
Are you good at using your planner? Do you have any tips for using it? Let us know in the comments!