It may have happened to you before: You sincerely want to do well in school, but somehow you just forgot that the deadline for that major project for English was today. Don't worry, there's always hope. Your chance to do better in school might just rest on one tool: a student planner. Here are some tips on how to effectively use a student planner.
- Write down all events and activities in a single planner. Avoid the tendency to write down your school activities in one planner, your social events in another, and your family obligations in yet another planner. Remember, by writing down all events in a single planner you'd be able to have an overview of what your day, week or month is like, and you'd be able to better manage your schedule for all aspects of your life.
- As a student, you should also make sure to include assignment due dates, test dates, due dates of fees, standardized test dates and dates of dances or other celebrations and holidays. Make sure that you block off regular time (about one to two hours each day) for study and review.
- Carry your planner with you at all times. Make your planner a major part of your daily routine. As much as possible, have it with you at all times; that's why it's a plus if your planner is handy and easy to carry around. Make it a habit to automatically write down activities, events and ideas, as you are made aware of them. This is more practical than trying to remember what came up over the course of the day and then writing them down later on. Regularly consult your planner throughout the day to reorient you on the tasks and activities ahead. Remember, it takes just about 21 days to form a habit, so if you do it consistently throughout this period you'd find that keeping and consulting your planner would be integrated into your daily routine.
- Personalize the planner. If you have the inclination and the time, feel free to make your own planner - you can easily do this just with your computer and printer. This would make your planner truly your own, and it would be better molded to your needs and lifestyle. Things to include in your planner would be a monthly calendar, a daily to-do list, and your contacts. You may also include pages for projects, where you can write down your ideas and break that project down into small tasks with deadlines. You may even want to dress up your planner with pictures, quotations, fun trivia; anything that would help make the planner an enjoyable and fun thing to carry around and write on.
- Keep it simple and easy to maintain. It actually depends on your personality - if you're the type who likes to use different colored pens or little neon tabs for different activities, then do so by all means. However, a general rule is to keep your planner as simple and as low-maintenance as possible. That's because some people have a tendency to lose interest in their planners if they have to use too many other paraphernalia to maintain it. Ideally, your planner should be easy to take out of your bag and write on and then easy to review later on as well. As long as it's well organized and suited to your needs then it should suffice.
- Divide major activities or projects into small tasks. As soon as your teacher announces a major project, jot it down in your calendar. Later on, list down the smaller tasks involved. Schedule these smaller tasks as well into your calendar. This would help make the project more workable and manageable for you.
There you have it! Just some tips on how to use a student planner. Good luck!