Confession #1: I am the worst at keeping a planner. However, upon entering college I have made it a purpose to keep a planner and I have used it so much more than before. I absolutely love my planner, and I am not going to lie, I am really good keeping it one week but really bad keeping it the next, so it is still a struggle, but I am working on it.
Confession #2: I cannot decide what type of planner I want. I want a new page for each day, but I know that will take a lot of paper. I also want a weekly, monthly and yearly calendar, but it's hard to find exactly what I need in a regular planner.
Confession #3: I also want a new planner all the time. BUT I really want a new planner every school year AND every start of the new year. It is a real struggle.
So how have I reached a happy medium for the moment?
POST-IT NOTES. (You see how I bolded, italicized, and underlined POST-IT NOTES? That’s because I love them so much.) I live off of Post-It notes. They are literally my favorite thing ever. I love them so much. I buy the giant packs from Costco at the beginning of the school year to help me for the year. However, I never feel like I have enough, even though I really do. I use them to study, I use them to get organized, I use them for birthdays, I USE THEM FOR EVERYTHING.
I got my beautiful planner from Target at the beginning of the school year and I think it is fantastic. It has the basic monthly calendars and then it is divided up into weeks with each day having their own space.
I make to-do lists then schedules in my planner on my POST-IT NOTES and under the sticky notes I have written the homework I have received for the day. I have found this to be the easiest method for me to know what I have to do. I know it doesn't look like I use my planner, but I really do. This is the system that works for me. BUT it is still not perfect... for example I don't always fill out my homework for the week. I often struggle with getting words to paper, but when I get stressed, Lord help me, I live out of my planner (and off of Post-It Notes).
Finally, I have also personalized my planner, specifically the inside covers (back and front). As you can see I have posted my class schedule with times and locations into my planner cover as well as a note my friend left me and some other fun stuff. I have also taped in a small stack of sticky notes into my planner cover so that I will have easy access to them whenever I need them (specifically when I am not in my dorm room). In the back I have a playbill from my sister's most recent musical (SHE HAD A LEAD) and because I love her so much and I am so proud of her I have binder clipped it into my planner so that I can always have a piece of her with me.
So here we go. That is how I use my planner. It is not perfect. I am not perfect, but this is how I work. This works for me. And who knows... maybe it will work for someone else.