Daily Dose of Design: The Planner Organization Hacks that Got Me Through Undergrad

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Planner Organization Hacks that Got Me Through Undergrad


Whether you're an organizer by nature or not (I am, clearly!), having your planner in good shape and having *a* planner that you use is sooo important for every day life. When I was in both high school and college, I would have been totally lost without my planner. I loved using the one they would give us in homeroom each year in middle school - remember that?! - and ever since, I've been a planner advocate! ;) I'm a Virgo which explains me wanting to be as organized as possible and I'm also a very visual person, so having everything written out in front of me helps big time. Every year when I was in school, I looked forward to picking out my planner for the year and nothing really has changed since then! Lol!

Luckily over the years I've come up with some really simple ways to stay organized and keep my planner in check to keep me on top of things. I couldn't imagine not using a planner now, and it goes to show that even after your years of schooling, a planner is so important! From work obligations to events/parties/dinners with friends, travel dates and more, you need a planner to keep you organized. Here's my favorite tips that most definitely got me through my undergraduate years of college, and that I still use to this day:

1. Find YOUR planner


This obviously comes first because picking your planner for the year will dictate how organized you are! There are sooo many styles of planners and it really does get kind of ridiculous when it comes to picking one... In fact I've bought two planners before (cough - this year... Guilty.) because I just couldn't pick which style I wanted! There's daily planners, weekly, monthly; different layouts... It's never ending! Go through a couple of styles and see which will work best for you. I've used all different kinds in the past and I've found that I can NOT use a daily planner, and I thrive with a weekly planner. I'm organized, but working for myself means that unexpected things come up each day and it isn't always easy to plan on an hourly basis. Instead, I plan weekly and divide weekly tasks/things to get done into each day as they happen. That's just my preference, and since everyone's brain works differently making sure that you pick which style planner works for you.

2. Color code your events and due dates


Get yourself a pack of pens you love and color code EVERYTHING. I use a different colored pen for work events and project due dates, travel dates, things I have to do each day, etc! It's a huge help because after a while, you'll kind of memorize the colors and things will stick out to you. It keeps each day organized as well!

3. Write a quote you love on each page


Whether you're using a daily or weekly planner, write one quote that you love to read on each page. You'll read it every time you open your planner and it'll give you some motivation or make you happy!

4. Keep track of your budget


Whether you're in college or not, have your weekly budget written where you can see it (or daily!) and any expenses coming up or bills to be paid. Use a separate color for this so it stands out!

5. Make using your planner part of your routine


Getting used to writing in your planner every day is the key to staying on track and on top of things, but always remembering to open it up isn't always at the top of your mind! Trust me, there's been many times that I've just completely forgotten to write things down. And it's times like those that I remember exactly WHY I have a planner! ;)

6. Add inserts for extra writing space


Instead of trying to cram everything into a daily/weekly/monthly box or spot in your planner, get some planner inserts that fit neatly between pages. It'll give you extra room to write and it'll be what you see first so you can prioritize what's most important.

7. Get fun stickers and washi tape


This is more of a fun aspect of using a planner than a total necessity... But hey, the prettier the better! ;) Using icon stickers does help you if you're a visual person though - I always am drawn to the things I have written down if they have a colorful icon/sticker next to them!

8. Always be a week ahead


I started doing this back in high school and still do it to this day! In the current week's set-up in your planner, write (either in the notes section or where ever you have some free space/a spot that you'll see it) the major things you have due or events for the following week. You can plan ahead, make sure you don't forget anything and it gives you a good idea of how the following week will shape up. Doing this always helped me stay on top of assignments and studying in school, and now it helps me get projects done earlier and gets me ready for the week ahead.

34 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this planner is way too cute! I wish I had had one to help organize myself during my undergrad (I just graduated last autumn).

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  2. Fun stickers and washi tape make it seem like I have a cooler schedule. haha. I love these tips. I love my planner, otherwise I would literally forget EVERYTHING I am supposed to do each day!

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  3. I have loved using the Erin Condren vertical for the past two years. It really works for me and I like customizing it to my needs.

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  4. I'm such a planner freak. It would be great if I actually USED it instead of putting everything into my phone, though!

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  5. I wish I was a planner person, but i'm more of a list maker LOL -- I just have a bunch of pages stuffed in a small notebook and that's my 'planner'!

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  6. Even to this day, I am still hooked on my planner!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

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  7. I love that planner it is so cute. My planner comes fully loaded with inspirational quotes. I am so obsessed with it.

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  8. It's so fun!!! I majorly need to get better with budgeting .I tend to have a shopping problem. lol

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  9. Color coding different items helps me prioritize and yeah I start to memorize which color goes where!

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  10. I didn't go to college, but I still swear by my planner in my everyday life! And I've tried lots of different brands, but finally found my favorite one this past year!

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  11. Your planner is so much more creative than mine was. Mine was pretty basic haha. If I didn't have a planner, I don't know how I would have made any deadlines. I still use one for my blog today!

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  12. I loved Lilly Pulitzer agendas in college! Lately I've just used iCal as my planner, but I just got a new physical planner! It'll be fun to organize it again. :)

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  13. i do all this in my bullet journal - it's like planning on steroids, lol. it totally fits my creative side and allows me to make it more "me"

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  14. Yes, yes, yes!! I am all about planning and being productive/organized.

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  15. I love the emphasis on planning ahead! I'm a physical planner person too and I love knowing what's coming up.

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  16. Such a great post! I love planners and these are some awesome tips for staying ahead!

    Kileen
    cute & little

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  17. I write on a sort of diary...planning is everything to me.
    Thanks for the tips x

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  18. I've decided 2019 is the year I really get into planning! I use one for blog content now, but it's now very pretty, and I could be doing a lot more with it, I've just got to find the right one first!

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  19. Adding a quote is such a nice idea! Haven't thought of it.
    Finding the right planner is so important, indeed. I can't stick to a planner if I don't like it entirely.

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  20. these are great tips! I use a lot of these even today! Especially color coding and working ahead!

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  21. I love planning! My favorite planner right now is the Erin Condren Life planner.

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  22. I have always loved planning and using paper planners, even in college! These are all such great hacks and I actually have always used a color coding system! I college, I had a different color for each class!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  23. I am trying to improve my planner use! I have the Happy Planner which I do love the layout for. Sometimes I just slack about putting everything in there!

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  24. I love your tip about staying a week ahead - I stay like 2-3 weeks ahead and it really helps!

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  25. I love planners but I definitely want to do even more with mine. I love your idea of writing quotes every day and colour coding .That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for al the ideas :)

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  26. I am planner obsessed! These are really great tips. I love the idea of writing quotes you love on each page. That would be a really fun thing to look back on at the end of the year!

    xoxo
    Naomi
    happilydwell.com

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  27. I do love that planner - really pretty! I couldn't agree more with all your tips, but now I just need to follow them more efficiently. I do follow some of these, like color coding and budget tracking, but I need to work on the getting ahead strategy.

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  28. I haven't used a paper planner in ages. I've gone totally digital to save paper, but I do miss the feeling of crossing things off with a pen.
    -Emily
    https://norepeatsorhesitations.com/2018/09/12/confidently-clear-skin-with-neutrogena-pink-grapefruit/

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  29. This post speaks to my planner soul LOL. I love color coordinating what tasks are at hand. It helps me see what is a priority too or what I can put off.

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  30. Love planner hacks! I didn't know planners had insert options until recently, and those have been a game changer for me. I also match my planner color coding to my Gcal color coding, which is incredibly helpful!

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  31. My planner keeps me sane! Its so important to how I styed organized! I love these tips though!

    xo, Whitney

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  32. Oh this planner is just what I need! I love things colour coded and organised!

    https://www.bunnybernice.com/single-post/2018/09/06/Must-have-writings-for-your-wedding-day

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  33. These are such great tips! A handwritten planner is a must for me. I don't know how people keep track of things only on their phones.

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  34. These are all great hacks! I find when writing stuff done on paper always helps me remember better, does the same apply to you? xo, Suzanne

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