How I Organize My Planner

Planning my week is a big part of my weekend routine that sets me up for a successful week ahead. Last year in college, I would wake up every Saturday morning and get to the coffee shop near campus right when it opened and set up shop for an hour or two to organize my schedule and figure out my priorities in what assignments and tests I had to prepare for. I have found that taking a chunk of time to plan out my week has been a good investment of time because for me, knowing what to expect for the week ahead definitely alleviates a ton of stress (and writing in my planner is something I definitely enjoy to do). 

According to my friends who witness my planning sessions, it's really complicated and all over the place. I agree, it totally is, but for some reason I feel like I need to use two planners and two electronic calendars. You definitely don't have to do all this to be organized, I just love it so much I want to do it four times, I guess! So, here's a look into my planning process:

What I use to plan my week:

Google Sheets

Daily Planner

The Day Designer Daily Flagship Planner is my main planner to keep track of my daily schedule and my to-do lists. I've been using Day Designer planners for three years and love the fresh start I get each day. There are all kinds of great sections to organize every aspect of my life, but I primarily use the schedule and to-do list columns to keep track of what I'm doing that day and what I have to get done that day. 
  • If I have a test or something that is a more urgent task, I highlight it with these midliners, which don't bleed through the pages. I'm not a fan of color coding, especially because things are always changing around and pencil is less permanent, so I stick to the occasional highlighting. 
  • For things that take up more than an hour block, I use a little ruler I got in an Erin Condren planner years ago to make those little lines to show how long each event lasts. 
  • The schedule section is really important to me because I like to see the white space where my free time is so I can get a glance at when I have time to go to the library or grab a meal with a friend.
This is the most important part of staying organized for me and I don't think I could survive without a daily planner!!

Blog Planner

This is a new addition to my planning in 2018. I found that my school assignments were cluttering my daily planner and decided to pick up a weekly planner from Target to dedicate to planning blog content. I had tried content calendars on Google Docs in the past but nothing beats writing it down in a physical planner for me. This is the perfect planner for me to plan blog posts because I can see a monthly calendar and then create a mini checklist for steps I need to take to complete a blog post. 


I use iCal on my iPhone and computer to keep track of my schedule, so it's pretty much a mirror of the schedule column of my Day Designer. I use this in addition to my planner because I always have my phone with me if I need to add something to my schedule and it syncs with my computer so I always have access to it. I also set alerts (typically 15 minutes before) for all of my events just in case I forget I need to be somewhere.
When I'm filling out my schedule in my planner for the week, I typically base it off the events I have entered in this calendar. This is also where color coding comes into play for me since it can be updated so easily, so I have a color for my classes, organizations, and personal events.

Google Sheets

Last, but not least is Google Sheets. I have found that this is the best way for me to keep track of my upcoming assignment due dates and tests. Some people will use a Google Sheets document and do the same thing in list form but I like to see things on a calendar so I can get a look at when exactly things are due. I create a Google Sheets documents from a calendar template and make a sheet per month within that document. I prefer this method because like my schedule, due dates are always moving around and this is super easy to update. 

After writing this all out, I realize that taking all of these measures for organizing my life is absolutely not necessary. However, I thoroughly enjoy planning and doing all this keeps me in check across all platforms.

Are you switching up how you use your planner in 2018? I'd love to hear what planner you are using or what you favorite one is in the comments!

Thanks for reading,
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