Getting back on track: Students and staff offer planner tips and tricks

Many people’s 2020 planners got little use due to the pandemic. But as vaccines are distributed and steps are taken to return to normal, here are some planner tricks and tips to remind you how to keep organized.

Find what works for you

Jasmine Robles, international business and Spanish sophomore, said it’s important to find a planner that works for you.

There are several styles of planner, including daily, weekly, monthly and even hybrids between those options.

Robles herself has a weekly planner, which includes space for her to write things under each day. It helps her keep track of what she needs to do, she said.

Other aspects to consider are whether you prefer a physical or digital planner.

Nursing sophomore Diana Guerrero said she prefers a paper planner because writing things down helps her remember them better.

Sometimes with digital planners things can get tricky if Wi-Fi or reception is bad. She doesn’t have to worry about those things with her paper planner, Guerrero said.


Monica Franco, Peer-Led Team Learning program coordinator, said planning far ahead in the semester is helpful when wondering where to start with your planner.

At the beginning of the semester, look at your syllabus and write down your test and quiz dates, she said.

Franco recommends scheduling a specific study time to avoid procrastination. Block out study time and treat being a student as a job, one where you have to put hours aside to work on schoolwork and study.

She recommends planning Sunday before each work week starts.

Keep a checklist and prioritize your tasks

Robles uses checklists to help her keep track of the things she needs to do and what she’s already done.

For Franco, having her daily tasks listed out helps her decide which to prioritize, which lets her get more done.

There’s a sense of accomplishment when you cross things off your to-do list, and you feel good knowing that you’re making progress, she said.

Those small victories add up to a lot at the end of the week, Franco said.


Something Guerrero likes to do is color-code tasks and events in her planner. Her assignments, tests, work schedule and sorority events are all in a specific color.

Robles said she color-codes too, but she does it by class. Her accounting class is in pink, while her business law class is in blue. Doing this helps her keep track of due dates at a glance.

Stick with it

Robles said that in high school she had a physical planner she didn’t use very much. It just sat in her backpack for two years.

At that time she was super behind in everything, Robles said. So when she got to college she decided it was time for a change, and she needed to make planners work for her.

“It might not work the first time you try it, but just stick to it and you’ll get it to work eventually,” Robles said.


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