What Kind of Planner Is Right for You?

Love them or hate them, planners are an extremely effective time management tool. They can help you keep track of test dates, birthdays, or even your grocery list — making them an ally to students everywhere.

If the word “planner” puts a bad taste in your mouth, chances are that you just haven’t found the right one. From minimalist pocketbooks to full-blown life planning journals, there are plenty of styles to choose from. Check out the different planner types below, and see which is right for you and your life.

“The advice I would give for balancing work and school is to have a planner and plan when things are due, and schedule times and days when you are going to work on your assignments.”

-Sierra F., Bellevue University

Digital Planner  — Convenient, To-The-Point, Flexible

Thanks to their digital nature, these planners make it easy to access to update your schedule. For example, if you planned to study right after work, but ended up staying late, you could easily bump your study session back and rearrange your other tasks right from your phone.

Pros: Most digital planners can be accessed from a computer or a smartphone — meaning that your schedule is always within reach.

Cons: Digital planners don’t allow for much customization, so it’s important to find a planner that works for you.

“Set out a schedule at the beginning of each week, write down a checklist of assignments for the academic week. Set times to study, write, and discuss.” 

-Amanda T., Bellevue University    

Academic Planner — Quick, Simple, Portable

If your interest in planners is limited to penciling in due dates and homework assignments, an academic planner might be right for you. These little books are typically slim and to the point. They usually have a simple layout, with just enough space to jot down the name of what’s due. Because of this, they’re pretty easy to throw in a bag and keep with you.

Pros: Academic planners create a space that’s dedicated to school and school alone.

Cons: This style of planner doesn’t encourage you to look at your life as a whole. It was designed for academic planning, and that’s what it’s best for.

“Have a calendar to make a plan of when you want to finish a unit at a certain time and make sure you stick with it.”

-Megan R., College Start

Life Planner — Thoughtful, Thorough, Organized

The life planner was created to help you organize all aspects of your life. From assignments to doctor appointments to ballet recitals, the life planner can do it all. One thing that distinguishes this planner style from others is the inclusion of an hourly breakdown from early morning until night. This planner style leaves plenty of space for you to pencil in notes and activities.

Pros: There are usually plenty of cool patterns and brightly colored layouts to choose from.

Cons: Because life planners are so inclusive, they tend to be bulkier, and more expensive than other planner styles.

Goal-Setting Planner — Proactive, Reflective, Aspirational

In addition to doing everything that a life planner can do, this planner style also offers writing prompts, goal setting, and reflection spaces. The purpose of this planner is to help you identify what you want to do, and then create a plan to do it. 

Pros: This planner can definitely help you get your priorities in order!

Cons: Similar to life planners, goal-setting planners tend to be bulkier than other styles.

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Written by Guild
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