When I am getting ready for a semester the first thing I do is prepare my planner. By adding your syllabuses, the academic calendar and more, I am able to see everything at a glance which is great as it helps me feel confident and excited about the semester ahead. Having an organized planner helps so much in college, it is so important to success. Just follow these 5 simple steps to get a jump start for an organized semester. All you need to get started is a planner, pens, and your class syllabus. This year I am using the Simply Yours Day Planner as my go to organization tool.
1. Add the Academic Calendar in the Monthly Section
The first thing I do when setting up my planner, is log onto my schools website and find the academic calendar. This is where you can find when the campus might be closed, when the holidays start, deadlines for adding or dropping classes, when finals week is, etc. I go ahead and add all these dates into my monthly calendar that way I never have to search for the dates again.
Having these dates for easy access is great for planning fun outings and vacations. Also, that might be a good time to plan a visit to home or maybe even for your family to come visit you. It is also really funny when some people wake up and go to class on a Monday when the campus is actually closed. That is why knowing these dates are important.
2. Color Code Your Classes and Activities
When it comes to keeping my planner organized, I found I can navigate it best when separate my different classes by color. I have so many different things going on this year, with 7 classes, 4 clubs, 2 jobs and student government, I am a busy bee. So the best way for me to find my assignments and lists accordingly is by color.
This year, my science classes are green, english class is orange, math class is pink… I think you get the idea. So I will write my science homework in green and once I complete it, I will go over it with a green highlighter. There is just something about color coding that helps me feel organized and productive. Not to mention, my planner ends up looking like a rainbow of colors.
3. Add Information from your Syllabus
Once I get a syllabus from my professor, the first thing I do is add any important dates. I add all the major tests, and due dates for major assignments plus any extra credit opportunities. Once doing this for all your classes, you are going to see your weeks at a glance. This is when I determine what weeks are going to be stress free and which ones are going to be stressful.
While some might find this as an information overload, it makes me feel confident knowing what I am getting myself into. Once I input them into my planner, I put all of my syllabuses (or is it syllabi – who knows?) in a folder for easy access incase I need to check something real quick.
4. Add the Fun Stuff
At my school we have something on our website called, The Hub. On The Hub, you can find different ways to get involved on campus and fun events. My suggestion is to write down any of the events that look interesting to you. Find out when your homecoming weekend is, and if you have any school dances.
As a member of 4 different clubs, I find it important to include all my different meetings and times in my planner. With out it, I found that I will forget until last minute. While some might not consider this “fun,” I always add my work schedule into the weekly section. Not only is it a good reminder, but it is also a great way to track my hours, especially with 2 different jobs.
While you are at it, adding birthdays might be a good idea, especially for your family members. If you are living on campus, your mom might not be able to remind you of all your family members birthdays. Also, find our your roommates birthdays as soon as possible, trust me! One might sneak up on you with out you even realizing it.
5. (Optional) Add more color/ Decorate!
Now not everyone likes to decorate their planner and prefers a minimalistic view of things. While nothing is wrong with that, I am not one of those people. To me, the more color the better. I have an addiction to washi tape and will use it whenever possible especially in my planner.
I typically put washi tape in areas where I do not have much going on. For example, I put washi tape when there is no school like during winter & thanksgiving break. Some planner addicts like to add stickers or even create themes for their weekly layouts. While I have yet to do that, I think those types of pages are adorable!
After completing these five steps, I always feel confident and prepared for the new semester ahead of me. Also, it is always exciting for me being able to see how the school year is going to play out. I can usually tell at this point if I am going to have a fun and easy semester or if it is going to be chaotic and exhausting. Either way, I always feel prepared having my planner set up and ready for the new semester ahead!
Did I forget anything? How do you prepare your planner for a new semester? Let me know!