Planner Planning: Making Your Planner Work for You

Time management is hard. Time management without a planner is impossible. Even with a planner, I found myself struggling to keep up with the little things. An email here and there would slip through the cracks or I would forget an event on campus in which I was interested. I also found I was accomplishing the minimum, but I was never getting ahead. That all changed when I got this Academic Passion Planner.

I’ve had my eye on the Passion Planner for a long time, because of it’s focus on progress. This small, leather-bound book is completely devoted to making you successful. All you have to do is spend 15-30 minutes planning out your direction for the week.


Limited Edition Stay Classy Burgundy Academic Passion Planner ’15-’16

Step One: Put in the mandatory events first. For me, that means classes, meetings, or any other recurring commitment.

Step Two: Then, pop down to the bottom of the right hand side or the “Space of Infinite Possibility” and sketch out whatever it is you want to do this week outside of those things. Last week, mine included submit and application for a club on campus, make a new budget spreadsheet, and plan out my new product order for Mary Kay. The beginning of this planner has a great place to devote some time to thinking about your 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and lifetime goals. I plan to do that over Thanksgiving Break when I have some time to really think.


Number One Priority: Classes!

Step Three: Pencil in (or highlight, in my case) everything that needs to be done. Don’t go crazy if you don’t know exactly when you want to do something, just jot it down at the bottom of the page so you don’t lose it. Moving on, please excuse my abbreviations, my rushed handwriting, and the fact that I’m neurotic enough to schedule my meals. On a more serious note, highlighting chunks of time really helps me see which classes I’m spending more effort on and which commitments I might be neglecting.


This is what last week looked like for me. Maybe I’m excessive?

Step Four: Confession time. The weekly quotes in planners give me something to live for. Sad, I know. This sidebar helps you pinpoint exactly what you want to be working on that week and then keep up with things for which you’re grateful. At the end of the year, you can flip through all of these weeks and relive the memories. Not to mention, under every quote is an action item of some sort that pushes you to try something out of your box (seen in the next photo).


Love this opportunity to be grateful. It’s like a highlight reel for your week with a little motivation below.

Step Five: Now, let’s tackle that to-do list. If you’re in college or taking classes, I always put assignments on these lists in chunks. For example, if I have a presentation that also has a written report, I’ll list “research presentation”, “write report”, and “make Powerpoint” as separate items. Yes, the list will be longer, but you get to check things off faster which is super satisfying. Also, if the project is due on Wednesday, “research presentation” and “write report” need to be on the week before. That way you only have to focus on the Powerpoint the week of. You won’t even notice that you’re doing it early, you’ll just be more relaxed. ↑Control = ↓Stress


This work/life balance section keeps your two lives separate. Prioritizing also keeps you sane!

Step Six: Take your planner EVERYWHERE. Jot down expenses, rearrange meetings, scribble down a commitment you forgot while you’re in the line at McDonald’s.


Never leave the house without: planner, highlighter/pen combo, and sunglasses

As always, thanks for reading! Leave any questions or comments below


*All opinions are my own and are in no way a paid product endorsement*


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