Bad with dates, deadlines? Create a DIY planner

College life is filled with dates and deadlines. To stay on track you definitely need a good yearly calendar where you can track your courses, assignments and social events. It’s not too early to put together a planner for the next school year.

Creating a DIY planner will help keep you organized with all of life's events. (Credit: Amber Kemp-Gerstel)

Creating a DIY planner will help keep you organized with all of life’s events. (Credit: Amber Kemp-Gerstel)

Let’s look at what you can do to create your own diy planner. There are plenty of online planner tools and planner templates that you can use to create a calendar that will work the best for you.

Online planner tools

Let’s say that you want to create a paper planner that you can carry around with you. What size would you like it to be?

Some choices as to the size of a paper planner would be:

  • 5.5” by 8.5” which is half the size of a sheet of notebook paper. This size is easy to carry with you and can fit in your backpack or even a large purse.
  • 8.5” by 11” is letter size, same as a sheet of notebook paper.
  • 3.5” by 5” index card size is small enough that it could fit into your pocket.

You can find planner templates at DIYPlanner.com for all of these sizes and more. Use the templates to print out your calendar on paper and then cut them (unless you have the exact size of paper to run through your printer) and bind them together to form your planner booklet.

You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to use these template files once you have downloaded them.

According to the instructions on DIYPlanner.com, “Except for the Hipster PDA forms, all D*I*Y Planner forms are created as both odd and even pages. This means that there will always be a nice margin for your binder rings. Odd pages numbers in the PDF (3,5,7…) will be the front of the forms, and even numbers (4,6,8…) will be the backs.”

Create your custom calendar

Let’s face it, you’re more likely to use a calendar that feels comfortable to you. If you can’t find one ready made at the office supply store, then diy it. That’s what Kayla Domeyer did and she tells us how in her April 27, 2013, post for SayNotSweetAnne.com, “June To June Student Planner [Free Printable].”

Make use of these products when putting your planner together. (Credit: Arielle Ann Paraiso Bonifacio)

Make use of these products when putting your planner together. (Credit: Arielle Ann Paraiso Bonifacio)

First, you can choose the template for your planner. Domeyer’s custom layouts for 2014 include:

  • regular monthly planner with month-only views
  • regular planner with month and week views
  • meal planning with weekly meal planning views
  • lesson planning with weekly lesson planning views

Domeyer has also created color designs for the front and back as well as pages for notes and contacts, meal planning, shopping and extracurricular activities. As for binding, instead of a bulky three-ring binder Domeyer suggested the Flex notebook from Five Star.

“It is basically a 3 ring binder, but with flexible rings and a cover that folds back on itself. They come in a variety of colors and only cost about $5-7 depending on the version. I think this is a great potential planner cover.” Domeyer said.

Accessories such as Avery stick on printable tabs and clear paper folders to go inside your planner and will put the finishing touches on your planner.

Need more ideas on how you can dress up your planner? Check out this YouTube video from Belinda Selene, “How To Organize and Decorate Your Planner.”

As a college student, you will greatly benefit from a study planner. (Credit: examtime)

As a college student, you will greatly benefit from a study planner. (Credit: examtime)

Other online planner tools

Not everyone likes a paper planner. A list of online planner tools and apps can be found in Laura Vanderkam’s January 6, 2014, article for FastCompany.com, “10 Time-Tracking Apps That Will Make You More Productive In 2014.”

Online planner tools include:

  • Toggle: helps you track how you spend your time
  • RescueTime: runs in the background and tracks the time you spend on various sites or applications
  • TIME Planner: combines scheduling and time tracking for work and personal activities

Some of these apps are free and some must be purchased. Be sure to check the fine print before you download them.

What’s your favorite time planner tool? Tell us in the comments.

Posted in CB Blog, College life, College success tips, Learning resources, Study tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>