I go back to college on Sunday. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around that fact. It feels like I just turned in my last paper, and headed home for the holidays yesterday. But alas, the sad truth of it is that I must return to early wake-up times, ridiculously late bedtimes, and homework come Sunday. Although, I will get to be with my friends, and I’ll be back in the Bay, which are both lovely, so I suppose it’s not too negative. In the spirit of the New Year, and new beginnings, I thought I would discuss agendas, or planners if you prefer. I’m an agenda nut when it comes to school. If it’s not in planner, it won’t happen. So that term paper due in five weeks assigned the first day of class? Immediately written down in my planner under both the date of the first day of class, and again the day it’s due, then highlighted in pink to show that it’s a deadline. Yes, I color code my planner. I have a type-A personality, and I’m organized to a point of ridiculousness, but I do NOT miss deadlines. Some people like to get a new planner every January, a symbolic fresh start. I am not one of those people, but I do use a planner. So, I thought I would share some great options for planners this January for those who are currently on the prowl for a great one! 1. Etsy offers these great, compact planners that are decorative, and great for keeping yourself organized! 2. Kate Spade offers this adorable planner covered in strawberries. I know a lot of people who use her planners, and they all swear she provides the best, most organized planners. I’ve never personally used her planners, but I may next year! 3. Moleskin has great journals, and I have the book diary from them that allows me to chronicle all the books I read, and give them a review. Their planners are no different, and are great for getting more organized. They are a bit smaller if you are someone who doesn’t like bulky things in your bag! 4. This planner from Barnes and Noble is the planner I use. In high school I always used this brand, but the weekly version. This year I could only find the version that has a week on the left-hand side and a page of notes on the right-hand side. I don’t like the version I have this year as well, but it’s easier to incorporate my to-do lists and my homework all in one place. 5. Kate Spade does it again. This planner is a great wallet/planner combination. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but has two purposes!
Now, I thought I would share a page from my planner. People tell me I’m organized, so I thought I would share a few tips about how I stay organized during the semester, given that things get hectic. I have three extracurriculars that I’m involved in, and between those three things that take up a lot of my time and classes, my mind can get a bit jumbled. Having a really organized planner helps keep things moving, and my grades up. When I start a planner, yellow means a task completed. So, when I write my homework assignment in on the day of class, after I’ve completed it, I highlight it in yellow to make sure I don’t think I still need to do it. All meetings, club activities, class information (such as a cancellation or room change), etc. are in blue with the date and time. All deadlines are pink. This assures that if I open my planner Sunday night, and see something in pink on my schedule, I can make sure that I’ve either completed or am near completion of that assignment. Also on my notes page are my to-day lists. Although all my homework is listed by class on the left-hand page, I make to-do lists of what I would accomplish on a perfect day in order of importance. This means that if it is Monday, and I still have an assignment due Tuesday, I will put that assignment first, and last would be any homework I can work ahead on, such as assignments for Wednesday or Friday. I also date to-do lists so that I know which days I did which things, this way when I get to the next day, I can look back and see what I accomplished.
My agenda is my lifeline during the semester, and I would have some serious mental breakdowns if I didn’t utilize one. Most college students think that iPhone calendars are the best route to a successful academic career. I would have to disagree. At my college, cell phones are strictly forbidden, and so I usually spend the first ten to fifteen minutes of class inspecting my agenda, adding anything my professor announced at the beginning of class, any deadline changes, etc. My professors tend to change deadlines a lot, and I prefer to physically cross out the item, and rewrite the new deadline because it helps me remember versus waiting until after class to change it on my phone. I also have several friends text me for assignments, and I never answer them until i’ve double-checked my planner. I would hate to be responsible for telling someone our paper is 9 pages instead of 7 or 8. One page in college makes all the difference. Anyway, I hope this helps keep you organized in the New Year!