Planner tips and tricks

PLANNERS. Since Elementary School you’ve been encouraged to keep them, but let’s be honest, once the teacher stopped tracking your planner with you, you started getting a little lazy with it. Maybe you even decided it wasn’t for you, and you found your own system of remembering your homework. But then, suddenly, between test and presentations and long-term projects, you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed. Enter: Planner tips and tricks.

Below we have compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks for using a planner. Happy planning!

Write it Down!

  • Get in the habit of writing everything down, even if you think you’ll remember it

  • “None” rule: if you have no homework in a subject, instead of skipping the planner, write “none.” That way you will know for certain that you have nothing due in that subject.

  • Write down big assignments as soon as you know about them – not only the day it was assigned, but on the day it is due as well.

  • Use “Backwards Planning” for big assignments. Starting at the due date, work backwards and give yourself mini due-dates to stay on track.

Mark Your Place

  • Use binder clips or paper clips so you can easily find the correct page

  • If your planner has a monthly page and weekly/daily pages, mark the weekly page and the monthly page so you can flip between the two efficiently

Color Code

  • By subject

  • By assignment type

  • Use your favorite colored pens or highlighters - anything to make planning tolerable (or - dare we say - fun!)

Apply SMART Goal Setting

  • SMART goal setting is great for school assignments as well as any goal you’ve set for yourself! It’s a helpful way to set goals and actually follow through with them. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

    • Specific – Answer the following questions:

      • What do I want to accomplish?

      • Why is this goal important?

      • Who is involved?

      • Where is it located?

      • Which resources or limits are involved?

    • Measurable – Answer the following questions:

      • How much?

      • How many?

      • How will I know when the goal is accomplished?

    • Achievable – Answer the following questions:

      • How can I accomplish my goal?

      • How realistic is my goal, based on constraints (money, time, etc.)?

    • Relevant – Answer the following questions:

      • Does this seem worthwhile?

      • Is this the right time?

    • Time-bound – Set a deadline and answer the following questions:

      • When?

      • What can I do six weeks from now?

      • What can I do today?