Using a Daily Planner

A key way for you to manage your time is through the appropriate use of a daily planner.

You may be already using a daily planner or have never even considered it. Using a daily planner is an important habit to start and continue to improve on. Not only will it benefit you in your academic success at college, but as a professional you will more than likely be asked to keep a calendar and use it for accountability with appointments and projects. College is a great place and time to develop your skills in keeping a daily planner.

Use the following tips to begin and refine your use of a daily planner:

  1. Select ONE appropriate daily planner for you and give it a name.
    With so many different daily planners out there select the one that is right for you. Look through it and make sure that it is big enough to write in and small enough to carry with you.YOU SHOULD ONLY HAVE ONE PLANNER. Do not become a planner junkie.The more calendars/planners you have the more difficult it becomes to keep up with them. I know it sounds odd, but naming your planner will give it more presence in your life and less chance that you neglect it.
  2. Make it part of your everyday.
    Keep your planner with you at all times.This might feel odd if you have never kept a planner with you but if you cannot carry it with you it will not work.And the oddness will go away.Do not hesitate to use it in the classroom so you do not miss important deadlines.Also, remember to check it in the mornings and in the evenings.
  3. Fill in your daily planner.
    Think of it as a download of your plans.Since we cannot remember everything, your daily planner should include everything: classes, study time, social event, entertainment, church, meals, sleep/naps, work, assignment due dates, tests, etc.Enter your activities and plans according to priority.Using your course syllabi, enter course times, assignment due dates, test dates, and any other important course items and dates first to assure that you don?t schedule or commit to something in place of your academics.
  4. Fashion your planner.
    Use a color-code system to make information visual and memorable.It may be helpful to be consistent with your colors so that the same color is always used for the same course.Use stickers and sticky notes for flags to indicate important due dates, deadlines and events.
  5. Use backward planning.
    Working from due dates, plan backward a day or a week and write in a reminder that the date is approaching.
  6. Don’t disregard old pages.
    Daily planners are a great way to archive important information and can act as a sort of personal time capsule.
  7. Keep your planner balanced.
    Your time should be appropriately balanced between the roles you play in life.The time you spend in any given activity should reflect its priority in your life.