Now that we’ve talked about the planner, let me warn you. It’s easy to think that the planner is infallible (and if you do it right, it basically is). But your ability to remember to check the planner on a regular basis will almost definitely not be infallible.
When you check it on Monday, you’re pretty sure you remember everything you have to do for the week…until you miss that investment club meeting on Thursday.
So where’s the problem? You wrote it down, maybe even followed a color coding scheme in your planner, and you (sort of) checked in advance. It probably isn’t the first time you’ve forgotten something like that. But it can be the last time.
You see, the planner is an extremely useful tool for organizing your life. But half the time, it’s out of sight, out of mind. You convince yourself that you know everything that’s happening that week, and that last-minute meeting falls into oblivion until you jolt awake from a nap 20 minutes after said meeting started.
This is stressful. It’s also completely unnecessary. Sometimes you just need a more obvious reminder than a small note in a planner. Cue the calendar.
It’s large and colorful. It sits on your desk or on the wall, staring you down and daring you to try and forget that investment club meeting again. Chances are, you won’t make that mistake again.
The wipe-off calendar is one of my most important organizing tools. Aside from brightening up my workspace, it lays out all my upcoming commitments for the entire month and allows me to personalize them. I use one that I made with a large glass picture frame and paint swatches. If you don’t have time to make your own or if you don’t want to walk out of Home Depot carrying a stack of about 40 paint swatches, don’t worry.
My roommate uses a calendar like this one that fits nicely above her desk and comes with magnets that she uses to keep track of the day. This one has a notes section that would be useful for longer timelines or for extra space for a box.
Write down everything from the planner calendar, and don’t forget to add the times and locations for events if you have space. Some people find it helpful to cross off or erase a day after it ends. Personally, I prefer to leave the calendar intact for the month, but try both ways and see which makes method is easier for you to follow on your calendar. (Note: keep both your planner calendar and your desk calendar updated simultaneously).
Since my calendar is so colorful, I typically stick to black dry erase markers, but try experimenting with different colors! Follow a system and use these colorful dry erase markers to write all your tests in red, essays in blue, social events in pink, and meetings in purple. Or choose a different color for each class and use that to write in all your assessments and assignments for your classes. Let me know what works for you. 🙂 Check out my post 3 Tips for Stepping Up Your Color Coding Game for more color coding ideas!
When the month ends, remember to change it!! It might seem like a lot to fill in, but it takes me all of 10 minutes to copy from my planner. Seeing my entire month laid out at the start helps me feel more confident about what’s coming up and how much time I have to finish assignments.