Steps To Having A Cute And Functional Planner

Steps To Having A Cute And Functional Planner

Organization Is Good, Right?
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You may not realize it, but the planning community is MASSIVE. Don't believe me? Just type in the word 'planner' in your youtube search bar and see how many videos pop up. I am a part of this planner community. I have been extensively planning for over a year now, and I love every second of it. Something about having a written plan makes me so much less stressed by my life. If you want to learn how to start your own planner so that you can become organized and less stressed, you've stumbled upon the right article. I'm going to explain to you exactly what you need to start up your own successful planner. Happy planning!


1. Buy a Planner

There are hundreds of different planners that you can choose from. My personal favorite is the Erin Condren Life Planner. I love the colors, the covers, and the layout is perfect for what I need. It's not essential that you get an Erin Condren, but if you do, feel free to use my referral link (https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/ragendarby0626) to get $10 off of your purchase.

2. For an Added Custom Touch, Get a Personalized Cover or Case

I love having a planner cover that has my name on it. I have several that I bought through www.erincondren.com, but the one currently on my planner is one that I made myself with scrapbook paper and a laminator. If you have a planner that isn't Erin Condren, measure your current cover and cut down some scrapbook paper to use in order to give your planner a little more color. I also have a personalized neoprene case for my planner because I really hated putting my planner in my backpack and pulling it out with a million scratches on my brand new cover. The case is completely optional, but I adore mine.

3. Use Stickers to Set Apart Important Dates

This is totally optional, but I use stickers to mark the important events in my planner. It just makes them stand out more, and isn't it 10 times cuter than it would be without them? I use three different stickers to write down different events. I'll explain each one! The picture below is some of my washi tape and washi tape stickers. I've gotten more since I took this photo, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how many planner supplies I actually had.

-Washi Tape: I use washi tape to set apart events that are more than one day. For example, I use washi for week long holidays like spring break or Christmas break. If I have three days to take a test in my online class, I use washi to block off all three days so that if one day doesn't work, I have the other two to try and get the test finished.

-Washi Tape Stickers: I use these to show when important deadlines or dates are. I use them to mark test dates, essay due dates, interview dates, and days out of school. They stick out when I open my planner so that I immediately know what is most important. I store my washi tape stickers in $0.99 photo albums because I'm able to keep them organized and all in one place.

-EC Stickers: These stickers came with my Erin Condren Life Planner. I cut them in half so that they don't take up so much room in my monthly box. I use these stickers to set apart dates that aren't important enough to use washi stickers on. I put homework due dates and obligations I have outside of school on these stickers. That way, it still adds color to my planner, and I'm able to tell immediately that something important is happening without thinking it is a test or major assignment.

-Specific EC Stickers: Erin Condren also includes stickers that are already printed with specific uses. The only ones of these I really use are the doctor's appointment stickers.

4. Find Pens You Love

This isn't the most important step in the planning process, but I am all about having a good pen. My favorite pens are Papermate Flair marker pens. I LOVE them so much. They're bold like a marker, but they don't bleed through your paper. And they come in packs with 10-12 different colors, so your possibilities are endless.

5. Decide How to Use the Weekly Section

The weekly section of my planner has three smaller boxes for each day. Originally, the boxes are meant to be 'morning,' 'afternoon,' and 'evening.' Instead, I use mine for 'homework,' 'tests/essays/studying,' and 'other.' This fit better for my personal use because I am able to see at a glance if I have any important tests or major assignments coming up. If something else works better for you, don't be afraid to redo the planner to make it the best for you. Customization is the key to making a planner you love to use.

6. Keep It Up

A planner does absolutely no good if you don't use it daily. You can write in it once and completely forget it exists, but what purpose does that serve? Set aside a time in your schedule daily to check your planner and make sure you're up to date with what your obligations are.


Now I am one of the more dedicated planners who uses several different accessories to personalize my planning experience. Really all you need to start a planner is a planner and a pen. If you think planning might be for you, buy a cheap planner and see if you like it. If you become obsessed like I did, then spend more money on a higher quality planner like the Erin Condren Life Planner. I promise you won't regret it.


Cover Image Credit: http://www.katrina-runs.com/erin-condren-planner-5-months-later

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.

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Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

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