As far as organization goes, I am a fanatic. I am constantly looking for new tips, tricks, and hacks to better organize my life. And it may come as a surprise that I wasn’t always this way. Up until my junior year of high school, I was your ordinary slob. My bedroom floor was camouflaged with shirts and pants and my bed was just as unidentifiable. The worse part is – my grades were just as messy as my room was!
It was junior year—arguably the most important year of high school—and going to college was something I wasn’t willing to give up. I decided I needed to take control and get my life in order. The next day I went to the store and bought a planner for only 10 dollars and it honestly changed my life!
After realizing how much being organized and keeping up a planner changed my life, I never stopped. To this day I live by my planner and I truly believe it got me to where I am today. Over the years I’ve come across a few tips that have made keeping a planner easier and less stressful:
I’ll admit, seeing a million and one things written on your planner can be extremely overwhelming. However, there is no better feeling than crossing those completed tasks off your planner. This isn’t only satisfying; I find that it motivates me to get more things done because I cannot wait to see my list of things to do dwindle down to me watching Netflix.
Tip #2: use sticker labels for items/events that are subject to change.
I found that there were a few things in my planner that I was constantly crossing out and moving. I wasn’t happy about this because I had to cross things out that weren’t completed and it was making my planner messy and hard to follow.
Tip #3: color-code.
I am a big fan of color-coding similar information. For example, using the stickers mentioned in tip #2, I color-code certain things that have to do with my job as a RA on campus. Stickers that are orange have deadlines on them, pink stickers let me know the nights I have duty, yellow stickers tell if I have a one on one meeting with my boss, and finally, green stickers remind me when there is a staff meeting. This “color coding sticker system” would also work great for any job!
Tip #4: plan ahead.
As soon as I get my syllabi for all of my classes, my work schedule, and the meeting times for my club, I fill in my planner. From week one of the semester, my planner is filled out until May. Obviously there are things I have to add here and there but for the most part I have everything mapped out. This tip is crucial for not over loading my schedule. For example, if I know ahead of time that I have a lot of meeting a few Wednesdays from now, I won’t plan to get lunch off campus with some friends.
Tip #5: highlight or box out important information.
If there is something in my planner that I want ton jump out to me when I open it, I will either highlight or box out this information. Sometimes between all the crossed out words it is hard to see important information right away. For example, I make sure to highlight when I mark down that a class is cancelled so I see it and remember to not show up and be the only one in the class! Also – if I have an important meeting with a professor or my advisor, I will box it out in a different color so it is easier to see at first glance!