I use a black Moleskine Daily 12 month planner. I used to have a medium sized Lilly planner, but there was NO space for ANYTHING (I had to use sticky notes to take notes at meetings, etc.). I like this planner because it’s compact enough to stick in my purse but it has a whole journal page with hourly lines so that I have a ton of space for my appointments, inspirational quotes, to do lists, food tracking, taping in business cards, and the list goes on.
The downside of this planner is that there are no monthly pages, so I make my own and tape them in (see the picture!). It’s a great way to add some color to this pretty plain “little black book.” I’m going to post them up soon in case anyone is curious. Next onto how I actually organize my planner.
- Events and Tasks: The nitty gritty of my planner
Events are planned before hand and involve other people: class, committee meetings, chapter, work, internships, church, etc. I consider these to be unnegotiable. Tasks are things that you need or want to get done that day: cleaning, homework, studying, working out, cooking, errands, reading, quiet time, etc.
Fill in all your events first, and then look at the free time that you have. Writing things that can’t be negotiated first helps you see how much free time you really have to work with. Place your tasks in the free time, allowing for transportation and being honest with how much time it’s going to take to complete the events and the tasks. Once you have your time planned out, it’ll be a lot easy to stick to it but don’t forget that things happen and that just because something is written down doesn’t mean it has to happen that exact second.
- Color Coding:
In my planner, I write everything in pencil because my schedule changes very frequently and very quickly. If you like to color code, you can use different colors for tasks and events. I found that color coding didn’t help me stay any more organized, so I nixed it.
- To Do List:
I keep a list (with boxes!) of other things I have to do (tasks, not events) that I just can’t forget but that don’t need scheduled time (little things like emails to reply to, etc.) I keep this in the right column with it’s own section. For me this section includes everything from my savings plan to application deadlines or edits for designs and emails to send. You could also include things like exercises (50 squats) or homework (50 pages). Using this system is super easy to both customize and organize.
To the right you can see a picture of my planner on a pretty busy day. My system isn’t perfect, but I really don’t think I would survive without this!
School Assignments and Tests:
I write when my school assignment on the left column inside the scheduled class time. In addition to this, I write it in the right to-do list column on the days leading up to it so that I have a reminder to work on the assignment in the days leading up to when it’s due.
Before a test, I mark which chapters I want to study on each day’s to-do list. It makes it really easy to keep track of how you’re moving along and gives a really easy way to keep yourself motivated when you keep checking off boxes you’ve completed!
How do you keep yourself organized? Do you have a planner that you absolutely love? Let me know in the comments below!