I hear comments like this regularly:
“I hate planners”
“I don’t need a planner”
“I just don’t like to use a planner.”
I know, I know. You really don’t want to use a planner.
But you do need to figure out some way to manage the details.
Seriously, I’ll break it down and help make it simple and straight forward. I know because I do this with students all the time and it works. The nuances I will describe will make a BIG difference.
Look, students who aren’t naturally organized tend to get overwhelmed with details, and planners are all about details. Therefore it’s important to have a simple and clean system. Unfortunately, the systems we are often taught are too complicated.
Anyhow, forgive me because this is a long video, and trust me, it’s boring. In fact, I almost put myself to sleep. Just kidding, but it is in-depth, and should prove extremely valuable.
Plan on pressing pause a lot as you get your planner “front-loaded” for the school year. Trust me, this upfront effort will end up saving you a lot of time and frustration throughout the year. Check out the video:
Here are some of the most important takeaways:
1. Print 4 yearly planners, post them for reference, tape one in your planner. Tape your schedule in there too while you’re at it.
2. Use a monthly planner with lines in the boxes.
3. Get your entire schedule into the planner now, for the entire year. This is called “front loading.” It saves a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Hi-lite every single day off. Enter birthdays, appointments and activities that you know about, now.
4. Thin out the planner. Get rid of every single page you don’t need. Keep it simple.
5. Get a desk calendar to put on the wall. Enter only bigger events into it – you don’t need as many details on this one.
6. Use shorthand in order to fit your info into the smaller boxes. Write assignments on the day they are due. Put the time first when applicable.
7. Learn to “backwards plan.”
8. Dog-ear to simplify finding the right page.
9. Self-advocate. If they expect you to “use the same planner everyone else uses,” tell them you’ve tailored a system to your brain and that you need to do what works for you.
10. The one thing I forgot to mention in the vid, sharpie your name on the front AND back so it comes back to you if it gets lost.
11. Get off to a strong start with front loading your planner thoroughly. Try not to get into the swimming upstream pattern. It’s extremely difficult to dig yourself out. So take an hour and do this! You got this, you rock, good luck!