Planner Envy: The Best Planners for Back to School

Hello, World.

I have a bit of a planner obsession. While many people have turned to electronic forms of planners or calendars, I am still “old school” and prefer paper planners to electronic versions. Planners help me keep my life in order and I often tell people, “If it’s not in my planner, it won’t happen.” As a busy law student, I have a lot to keep track of (class readings, job applications deadlines, Business Law Review responsibilities, social engagements, my personal events, my blogging schedule, etc.), so I need to make sure everything gets written down or else it may be overlooked.

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Over the years, I’ve tried a few different planners and brands, and I’ve definitely loved some while I loathed others. The key to a great planner for me is enough space to write everything and having a month/daily view combo. I like seeing my month “at a glance,” but I also want the room to plan my days. In high school, I used a planner akin to the Day Designer, which I loved for that time in my life. In college, I lived and died by the Passion Planner. Honestly, I had so much going on in a single day that the Passion Llanner kept everything clear and easy to track.

In law school, I went from the Simplified Planner to a Lilly Pulitzer Planner to a Rifle Paper Co. planner. I settled on the Rifle Paper Co. planner as the best for law school because I decided to-do lists worked better for me in law school. I also liked the freedom of how I planned my day. I didn’t have to plan by the hour but it had more structure than just a bunch of lines. Though the Simplified Planner works GREAT for a lot of people, I didn’t like it because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I didn’t love that the hourly layout because I had a lot of classes that started at 11:15 then ended at 12:50 and I didn’t like that I couldn’t show that with precision in my planner. The Lilly Planners are great for many of my friends, but I just didn’t like the layout. I don’t totally know why, but it didn’t work for me. I liked the clean cream pages of the Rifle Paper Co. Planner and that I had little check boxes to check off items as I went through them.

However, depending on your needs and preferences, I think all four of the above planners are fantastic options for college or graduate school (and even your first job!).

Callie leigh

P.S. This year, I will be using the Herb Garden Rifle Paper Co. planner!

Agendas in the New Year

Hello, World.

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! Image1. 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. Image IMG_1430 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.
ImageMy 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!

Callie Leigh