October 30, 2014

Plan it out! Student Planners and Time Management

     An agenda is your best friend when it comes to managing your time and school work. That is, if you use it consistently. Today I would like to share with you a few tips for effectively using a student planner.

     Proper time management is important for academic success. While it may be tempting to procrastinate your school work in order to binge watch that new series on Netflix, the resulting stress when you are frantically trying to finish a project the night before it is due is not worth it.

     Instead, use your planner to schedule both your study time and your free time. Then, stick to the schedule you have established. Look at your planner daily and include weekly goals and master to-do lists.

Time Blocking 

In order to have a good visual of your day, color in block of time according to activities. As you can see from my agenda, I use a highlighter to block out the time frame for study sessions and work shifts. This way I can quickly access how busy my day is and how much free time I have available.

Color Coding 

By color coding your planner, you can quickly see important dates and what type of engagements you have for the week.
  • Write down and highlight all of your assignment due dates and exam dates. 
  • Next, use a different color to record appointments, meetings, and work shifts. 
  • Using a third pen color, write down any personal commitments.

What to Look for in a Planner 

Academic Year vs. Calendar Year:  

As a student, I prefer academic year, that way I have one planner for the entire school year.

Daily vs. Weekly vs. Monthly: 

I don't like the monthly planners. For one, most daily and weekly planners also include a monthly overview. Secondly, it doesn't give me enough room for detailed planning.

     Personally, I think that weekly planners are the way to go. I am able to see an overview of my entire week, plus a daily breakdown. Because daily planners only have two visible days on a page, I find that it can be more difficult to plan ahead.


I suggest considering how often you will be carrying it with you. If you just plan to take it to class, then a larger planner will work great. However, if you want more portability, you might want to consider a smaller size.

 My current planner is small enough that it fits into my purse, yet large enough that I am able to write everything down in.

Visual Appeal 

When purchasing a planner, don't forget to consider looks in addition to functionality. By picking a planner with a visually appealing design, you may find yourself more inclined to use it often.

I currently have my eye on these planners for next year:


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