How you can use a planner to get organized this semester

Sample of a packed and organized agenda.
Photo courtesy

As students at Florida A&M University progress through the semester, some are using different strategies to keep their day-to-day tasks organized — some are using planners and some of them are not. 

Shakiria Hopkins, a sophomore public relations student at FAMU, is one of the students who does not use a planner, but she does use her own organizational strategy to try and help keep up with everything. 

“I don’t own a planner, however, I have a board that I plan my weekly assignments with,” Hopkins said.

Jade Franklin, a sophomore psychology student at FAMU, has started to use a planner this semester in efforts to get more organized. 

“This is something I just started because I wasn’t always the most organized person,” Franklin said. “Now that we’re all online and now that I’m getting closer to my graduation date, I realize that I have to kind of tighten up.”

This semester, Franklin has also added to her schedule with a job and her position on the royal court as Miss Sophomore Attendant. Her planner helps her keep track of all the things she has going on. 

Planners can be beneficial. If you are like Hopkins and do not own a planner, or if you are like Franklin and are new to using a planner, there are some tips when it comes to picking and getting the most out of a planner. 

Michelle Ross, an academic coach at FAMU, described how planners can be beneficial to students trying to balance a busy schedule.

Being able to write down what you have [to do] in the future helps to organize your day so that you are not overwhelmed and conflicted with other scheduled activities happening at the same time.”

For those looking to get new planners, Ross offered tips on what to look for when picking a planner. 

“I suggest students look for a planner that is set up like a calendar with the month and every day of the week. The planner should have enough space to write in and look for a planner that has a note section where the student can write notes,” Ross said.

Once you have picked out a planner, there are more tips to help you stay engaged. Nia Henderson, who is also an academic coach at FAMU, offered some suggestions to promote consistent use of a planner. 

In order for you to stay engaged with your planner you have to be intentional. Therefore, you should select one day out of the week to prepare for the upcoming week. In addition, you should review your planner daily to add or modify any changes that have occurred,” Henderson said.

Henderson also suggests using things like highlighters, colored pens and sticky notes. Not only will this help emphasize important information, but it will bring your planner to life and make it more engaging. 

Henderson has had some students say that they do not like planners. She has some alternatives that she suggests that might work better for those students. 

“There is not a person on this Earth that does not have their phone in their possession for at least 75% of their day. Use the calendar application on your phone, download free organization applications,” Henderson said. 

If you do want a physical planner, however, visit this site to check out some of the top ranked planners according to College Raptor.