Hey, loves! I’m back with another school-related post. If you’re new here, you probably don’t know how much I love organization, but… it’s a lot.
Like, I have seven different planners, hundreds of pens, a notebook system, etc. It’s bad.
Now, I don’t actually use all seven planners at once, but I like having them to play around with and figure out what I like best. I’ve finally set a system that works for me in terms of organization for school (and my life in general).
I wanted to show you what that looks like today because it’s the only thing that currently keeps me sane. I think everyone (student or not), needs a good planner system that works for them. That being said, this might not work for you, but some of it can. So pick and choose what you think you can incorporate into your own life, or feel free to disagree with all of my ways of doing things and continue on with what’s working for you! It’s nothing personal and everyone knows themselves and their lives best.
*Prepare yourself for a long and detailed post because I can talk about this for hours.
For taking notes:
This year, I am trying out a new system of note-taking at school. I’ve tried many different methods for this in the past, and I decided to combine the things that have worked before into one this September.
In class, I will be taking notes in a composition notebook. The majority of my classes do not allow us to use our laptops, so I am not able to type notes. I actually prefer handwriting my original notes anyways, so this is fine by me. But, I like my notes to be very neat.
During class, the professor talks really fast, so you don’t get to make your notes look pretty and they’re usually a mess by the end of each lecture. I found myself getting frustrated by this because I need my notes to be very organized. I color code, underline, etc.
Post-class, I am going to transfer my notes into a 5-subject notebook- one subject for each of my classes (I’m actually taking 6 classes this semester but one of them will not require much notetaking, so I got a separate notebook for it). These will be the nice notes that I take my time on, and I can refer to these during class or when doing homework. The information will be clear and easy to find. I know that for most people this is a lot of work, and there’s no point to it, but I learn by writing information down, so as I’m doing this, I’m also studying. I can kill two birds with one stone. I use my notes to study. I make study guides and flashcards with them, so these are vital to me.
Finally, I just downloaded the OneNote application to my laptop. I’m not too familiar with it yet, but I’ve been playing around with it and all of the features it has so that I can use it to its fullest potential. I am loving it so much.
I always, always make study guides for tests. It’s the best way for me to study. I take the information from my notes and type up only the information that I need to know for the exam. It’s definitely WAY more concise than my notes, so I can read through it a couple of times throughout the day to get in the information for the exam without being overwhelmed by pages and pages of detailed notes.
Again, this probably seems very tedious to others, but this helps me out a lot. OneNote also allows my notes to be customizable- you can draw on them, insert diagrams, pictures, etc. which I think will make the process even more enjoyable.
Hopefully this all makes some sort of sense to you! If it’s confusing, feel free to ask any questions down below!
For planning my day-to-day school life:
In college, your classes are all at different times; you might have one class at 10 am and the next one might not be until 2:15. Because of this, I needed a different planner than the one I used in high school where all of my classes took place at the same time every day.
Last year, I bought a Day Designer planner that was small but still gave me the functionality I was looking for. I bought the same one this year because I think it’s perfect for college students.
You get a page for each day that is split into two columns- one is a schedule, and the other is a to-do list.
On the side with a schedule (from 6am to 8pm), I write down what times I have classes, work, club meetings, plans with friends, etc. On the opposite side, I write down my homework and things I need to get done for the day. This includes chores like laundry, cleaning my desk, etc. I also sometimes put in sticky notes with shopping lists or other things I need to remember for the day.
As for the monthly layouts, I use those for keeping track of big assignments- project due dates, exams, finals, etc. I also include big events such as move-in day, winter break, etc. This way I can plan my day-to-day life accordingly.
This planner is probably my favorite that I’ve ever used, so I highly recommend it (this is not sponsored btw).
For planning my day-to-day creative life:
I got a ban.do planner back in January because I’ve always loved how they looked. I wanted to give it a try myself because I have 0 self-control. I really, really like it, but it doesn’t really work for my life right now. However, I do still have a few months of it left because it is dated, so I want to get use out of them.
So, I’ve been using it mainly to keep track of my creative projects- whether that’s writing a blog post, filming a video, working on my manuscript, editing my poetry collection, etc. Every day I want to make sure that I focus on at least one creative project. My entire life can not revolve around school (even though it often looks like it does). This is a good way for me to also stay on track with everything. I need to make sure I dedicate time to taking pictures for blog posts so that I can get the post up on time, for example.
After the year is over (maybe even earlier than that), I want to switch this all over to my bullet journal (which I will talk about next).
For big-picture planning:
I’ve used a bullet journal on and off for a few years now. I found that it never worked for me because I spent way too much time on making it look pretty that it lost its functionality. I had to make daily spreads weeks in advance in order to have them ready for the actual day I needed it for. That is not very practical, especially as a college student who already has so many other things going on in her life.
For the past couple of months, I started using the bujo style for tracking my reading, blogging, and videos. Even more recently, I made monthly spreads just for scheduling what posts were going up when. This was super helpful. I also realized that I liked being creative in my bujo, but that I don’t need every page to be super intricate.
Instead, I make my monthly spreads really pretty and creative but then stick to simple spreads for everything else.
Here is a list of pages that I include:
- month overview- plan blog posts and videos
- goals and to-do’s
- budget tracker
- TBRs (for read-a-thons and just for me)
- video/blog notes
- video/blog ideas
- upcoming ARCs
- morning/night routines (per season)
Again, as I mentioned, I will eventually include daily spreads for my creative life after I use up my ban.do planner.
So really, I am only using 2 planners- one for school life, one for creative life. I like keeping these two separate and I think I always will, so this system will most likely be around for a few years at least.
Anyways, I hope this post was helpful to some of you- if it was, please let me know so that I can continue to do posts of this kind! Again, if you have any questions about the system (it’s a lot, I know), just leave those down below!
Thank you so much for reading. See you next week.