Ah, September. It is a time of lattes and plaid and perhaps most importantly, back to school shopping. But before you go all out on your new college wardrobe, don’t forget about your school supplies. Finding the perfect day-to-day planner is a key part of your back to school preparation, and lucky for you there are many options to choose from. But how do you find the right one? Well, let me help you with that.
What will you use it for?
If you are using your planner strictly for school then your needs may be different than if you are planning to use it to keep track of plans with friends and your fitness schedule. The same rule applies if you are using a planner to schedule out how much time you will spend on assignments versus a to do list.
Planners come with many different layouts. Weekly, and hourly are the most common and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
A weekly planner is great for scheduling in when things are due, and planning out when you should start working on that essay. But it doesn’t leave you tons of room for details about whom, what and when you should hand things in. That being said, I like this type of planner as it helps me to keep track of my cycle so there are no surprise visits from Mother Nature (though, I always have The DivaCup in my bag just in case.)
An hourly planner is great for scheduling out what your day is going to look like, and how much time you are going to spend on each assignment. They can help you stay on track day-to-day; however often lack the capacity for thorough planning ahead due to its nature of being daily, rather than weekly.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a layout is who you are as a person and what you need help with. If you need help managing your time and avoiding procrastination, then maybe an hourly planner is right for you. If you need help remembering important dates and seeing what you have planned all at once, then a weekly planner might be for you. If you aren’t sure, you can look online for sample pages and try each one out!
How big is your writing?
I have always been jealous of girls with small, neat handwriting because I was cursed with over sized chicken scratch. For me, that means I need a planner with some space for me to write. But you can get smaller, purse-sized planners if you have smaller writing and are looking for something a little more convenient to carry around.
What are you willing to spend?
Planners range anywhere from $5.00 to $60.00, and for some that is a ridiculous amount to pay and for others, it is worth the investment. If you are trying to save some money on your school supplies, reach out to your school and see if they provide planners for students. Many campuses do, though be prepared for them to be basic. If you are looking for a little more customization, check out some of the pricier planners online or your local bookstore for more options.
It is easy to get lost in a sea of options when it comes to finding the right planner for your upcoming semester, but remember that the most important thing is that you are able to use it! If it deters you from using it or frustrates you to no end then it is going to be completely useless to you and you’ll never check when that project is due or what exam you have on Tuesday. So find something you like to use and plan your little heart out (just don’t forget to actually DO your assignments).