You have many more responsibilities when you start college, and this can be overwhelming for students who are unused to organizing their time and meeting deadlines. It’s essential you have a system in place to ensure you stay on track and don’t forget anything. A top way to do this is with a planner. As well as keeping track of your assignment dates, a planner allows you to create a study schedule and make note of all your other commitments, such as shifts at work, dates when your clubs are meeting, and upcoming events.
However, simply purchasing a planner and hoping for the best is never effective. A planner can be a great tool — but only if you know how to use it. Here are a few practical tips to consider.
1. Write Your Name in the Front
Once you’ve purchased your planner, you likely want to dive in and start adding all the important dates. However, there’s one crucial piece of information to add first: your name, perhaps along with your contact information. If you leave your planner somewhere after you’ve filled it in, you’ll feel lost without it. Including some basic contact details will increase the chances it’s returned to you.
2. Make a List of Goals
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Not only does this solidify them, it also means you can refer to them at any time for motivation. Include some goals for the short term, such as for the current semester, and others for the longer term, such as for the whole year.
3. Add Major Deadlines to Your Calendar
Use your syllabus to find assignment deadlines and write them in the calendar part of your planner. This will make it easy to see when you need to start preparing assignments and which weeks you need to work extra hard because you have several deadlines close together. Go beyond academics and also add important dates like sports games and other activities.
4. Sketch Out a Typical Week
Create a schedule representing a typical week when you have all your regular classes and other activities. You can use this as a template for other weeks; plus, it will help you see when you have free time available for studying and socializing.
5. Fill Out Each Week a Day or So Before
Dedicate time on the same day each week (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday might work best) to prepare for the upcoming week. If you prefer, you could do this several weeks in advance, but it tends to be more difficult to know what commitments you’ll have more than two weeks ahead of time. Fill all the sections of the weekly planner as are relevant to you.
6. Develop Your Own Style
As you spend more time with your planner, you’ll find you figure out tricks that work for you. This could include using colour coding, adding stickers, or jotting notes to inspire you. Experiment with different ideas until you find a system that helps you feel more organized and in control of your schedule.
One thing you shouldn’t need to worry about is finding the perfect housing. In fact, there’s affordable housing apartments for rent waiting for you at Foundry First. Check out our floor plans to see what suites and apartments we have available at the moment.