It might come as a shock, but I can talk about more than vegan food, green beauty and DIYs. Who would have thought? I’m in college and lately, that part of my life has been crazy busy to say the least. I guess that’s what I get for taking 20 credits this semester. I’ve managed to stay on top of all the work by having long days and being heavy reliant on my planning system. If you’re a student and you’re routinely pulling all nighters, cramming for exams or writing papers at the last minute, please read this. Now is the time to get help.
At the beginning of the semester, I go through each class syllabus and put all major assignments and exams on the monthly spreads in my planner. I write the class name and a brief descriptive title because just writing “paper due” isn’t very useful. You could even color code by class if you’re wild and crazy. I only include the most important things because I don’t want to clutter the page and feel overwhelmed when I’m looking over it at the beginning of the month. It’s meant to be a snapshot, not a detailed schedule.
It’s easy for deadlines to sneak up on you, but this way, you can see them weeks in advance and get a head start. It’s also handy because there are usually many assignments to juggle midterm and at the end of the semester. When you know a month in advance that you have a research paper, a presentation, and two exams all in the same week, it’s easier to not freak out about it.
Weekly spreads are also all about due dates. Again, I go through my syllabi and record every assignment, reading, exam, etc. I do this midweek because I like to work ahead, or at least know what next week will look like. It may help you to have a set day to do this (plan to plan?). You could the full semester or a month’s worth of weekly spreads at a time, but I can only handle a week at a time! I can be easily overwhelmed, so it’s best for me to only look at one week’s worth of work at a time. I know a lot of people also write their to do lists here, but I find it too messy and cluttered.
If I don’t have clear objectives for the day, I tend to waste a lot of time and get very little done. Daily to do lists are a must for me. I like to write them out on this adorable weekly desk pad from Rifle Paper Co., or just in the notes on my phone. I stick to making to-do lists the night before or day of. If I write out one for every day of the week on Sunday and things don’t go to plan, then it gets messy and I feel bad for not following through.
Can you tell I don’t like to be messy when I plan?
You know how people say that cute athletic wear motives them to work out? I think a cute planner makes me more productive. And let’s be real, I can’t say no to stationery that’s fucking adorable.
I recommend having hard copies or easily accessible digital copies of your syllabi because you refer to them constantly. Not having to search for them is nice.
If it’s not working, change it! This is what works for me and it didn’t happen overnight. I tweaked a lot over the last year. Feel free to play around and don’t wait for the next semester to fix a broken system.
This is exclusively how I plan and manage my coursework. Blogging is a completely different story! I’ve had to implement some changes now that I’m posting twice a week and I haven’t quite worked out the system yet. If you’re interested on in how I plan as a blogger, let me know.