College is crazy. We have a billion things to do every single day, each of them just as important as the rest. Homework, study groups, weekly assignments, quizzes, exams, class readings, and sleep all have to be scheduled down to the minute.
I've learned that the best, and easiest, way to keep it together is by using a planner. They come in tons of sizes, shapes, colors, and formats. Personally, I use a Plum Paper planner with an hourly layout. I write in all my classes, work schedule, assignments, and due dates. I also color code everything. Being able to see everything that has to be done that week or that month makes it super easy to plan ahead and be sure your stuff gets done.
1. You won't forget anything.
If you're anything like me, you forget things the second you hear them. By using a planner, everything is written out for you, and all you have to do is open it! Due dates won't sneak up on you, and you'll never be unprepared for a test.
2. You can see the big picture.
It's the middle of the semester. Midterms are happening, Halloween is close, Homecoming is right around the corner. You're not going to want to be stuck in the library writing an essay on a Friday night. By writing out everything you have coming up, you can plan ahead. Get those big projects done early so you have the free time when you need it!
3. School can be overwhelming.
I'm sure everyone knows how it feels to be buried in assignments. One of the easiest ways to get rid of that drowning feeling is to make a plan. By using a planner to jot down those due dates, you can visualize a study plan and figure out what needs to be done first. Sometimes, all you need is a place to start!
4. Plans A, B, C, and D are at your fingertips.
Okay, so your professor changed the due date of your next paper, and you don't know when you'll have time to get it done. Moving things in your schedule is so much simpler with a planner. Shuffle study time without accidentally pushing another task out of your mind. (Sticky notes are a super easy way to move things around in your planner.)
5. It limits the time in your day.
This is not a bad thing! In your mind, it's hard to think about just how much time is in a day. With a planner, it is impossible to over-crowd your schedule. Without a planner, you might think you have time to watch a movie with friends and write your essay that's due tomorrow. In reality, you're going to end up spending more time hanging out than you will working. Write down your assignments and get them done, then schedule your down time.
6. All your stuff is in one place.
Most planners have sections for notes, to-do lists, shopping lists, and contact information. Anything you can think of can be included in a planner, from water intake to shows you want to watch. Some planners even have little pockets to keep things in! Take advantage of carrying it around with you and use it to keep track of everything you need.
7. There are SO. MANY. OPTIONS.
I know a lot of people that don't use a planner because they're "girly" or too much work. But they don't have to be. I use a paper planner that is big and personalized. If you prefer more simplistic things, there are planners that are only dates and times. Another option is to go paperless. The calendar app on your phone or Google Calendar are great for on the go scheduling. BUT, if you do like creative and complicated, a bullet journal might work for you!
8. A little creativity goes a long way.
One of the advantages to using a paper planner is the customization. Using different colored pens and highlighters to organize your life gets your creativity flowing while you're being productive. You can also find super cute stickers to accent your pages and make your finals schedule look pretty. It's a mind trick!
9. It makes you feel good.
Who doesn't love the feeling of checking something off a list? Or better yet, checking everything off a list? Using a planner is helpful and rewarding.
10. Planners are like diaries.
But like, not a 10-year-old girl diary. Planners keep track of everything you've done and memories you've made. You can look back on them and have a specific date for every event.
11. It's a stress-relieving habit.
We're all stressed, and we're probably going to continue to be stressed for the rest of forever. Using a can reduce that stress a little by giving every day a little direction. Stress can be managed even more by drawing (mandalas or doodles are great!), tracking your moods, or tracking how much sleep you get. Those days when you wake up and absolutely do not want to do anything, you can take a look at your planner and figure out what needs to be done.