How to Create a Planner that Works for You

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Planners are a great way to help students keep track of school responsibilities. By having a set agenda with details about upcoming assignments, you can make sure you’ll never miss a due date again! Here are Tutor Doctor’s tips on how to create a planner that works for you.

Decide which type of planner you’d like. There’s a lot of options for students when it comes to purchasing planners. Pre-made planners are sold at most office supply stores, and your school may even have agendas available to students. We recommend making sure whatever planner you choose is compact and easily accessible. You want to be able to pull out your planner whenever something needs to be written down!

Consider making your own planner. If you’d prefer to “DIY” your planner, go for it! Making your own planner allows for tons of unique customization options. Here’s a few ideas for alternatives to traditional store-bought planners:

  • Trying printing your own! There’s a lot of excellent free templates available online, and you can attach the pages to 3-ring binder (or even have it bound at your local office/printing store).
  • Using a blank notebook, make a “bullet journal” to jot down quick lists and important reminders.
  • Digital calendars are a great option as well, and many apps offer a large amount of customization and notification options. We’d still recommend a traditional planner for school, though! Electronic devices may not be allowed during class time, and you want to be able to update your agenda in real-time.

Color code it! Whether it’s with sticky notes, colored markers, or highlighters, color coding your planner is an excellent way to keep things organized. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, a great tip is to assign a color to each class or subject. This way, you’ll never have trouble recognizing what needs to be completed on a daily basis. Having a visual indicator can really be a huge help!

Prioritize your assignments. At Tutor Doctor we encourage students to use our X-Skills program, where agenda items are divided into high priority (alpha) and low priority (beta) tasks. Whether you prefer making a separate list for each category or simply starring/circling the important tasks, we always recommend prioritizing your responsibilities. It’s not uncommon for students to get hung up on minor daily assignments when their time would be better spent working on larger, upcoming projects.

Here’s a few more reasons why we love planners and how they can help!

  • Making a planner is good practice for your executive function skills, which deal with time management and organization. Honing these skills is a valuable asset to any student throughout their educational career and beyond.
  • Planners are a great way to show your creative flair! Try adding stickers, stamps, doodles, photos, or anything else that expresses your individuality. You want your planner to feel like it’s your own, so have fun making it unique!
  • Completing tasks and checking them off your list is highly motivating and rewarding. You’ll feel accomplished for getting everything done!
  • You can even make it more than a planner. There’s no reason your planner has to just be a planner! Some students also like to add notes and messages, creating more of a journal or diary than just a planner. This can also be a great way to keep a record of your school year!
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