The Weekly Tiger: The Planner Dilemma

The new year brings copious amounts of drunken individuals proclaiming, “this is my year” and “new year new me.” The folks that take New Year’s as a chance to start fresh, reorganize themselves and their priorities often start by investing in a planner.

My boyfriend recently hopped on the bandwagon and, over countless agonizing texts back and forth debating weekly or monthly 8×5 or 8.5×11, he finally got himself a planner. The whole planner thing is totally new to him and he hasn’t quite caught onto the beauty of having all your life written out in the same place, instead of across multiple syllabi, emails and GroupMe messages.

This got me thinking, how are there actually individuals out there that function without a planner? Personally, I would spontaneously combust. There’s something about having everything all together and sorted day by day that helps me to visualize my daily to-do list and keeps me on track.

Especially at Witt, where the culture suggests that it’s abnormal to not be overly involved or in 5.6 million clubs. How on earth could you possibly keep that all straight? On top of homework, sports practices and work too? There’s just no way.

Some people will argue that they forget to write things in their planner or forget their planner in their dorm room all together so a planner isn’t very useful, but what about virtual planners? No one in this day and age would ever leave their dorm or house in the morning without their phone or even a laptop. Some of the apps even have reminder features that will send you notifications to complete an assignment or that something is due soon.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the people that make extreme planner-ing a contact sport. Stickers, color coded assignments and highlighted sections litter the pages of their custom monogrammed $40 planner. Now that’s a whole new kind of dedicated.

For all those beginners out there, I’ve collected a few tips and useful things to look for in a planner that’s right for you.

First, plenty of writing space for each day of the week. Nothing is more frustrating than going to write an assignment in your planner and there literally isn’t any room left. The bigger the box is for you to write your daily to-do list, the smaller the list might appear and amount of anxiety that a crowded box might give you is greatly reduced.

Second, I recommend looking for a spot in your planner for notes. I always have things on my mind that are important to remember, but that are too big to write in my daily boxes and also isn’t something I could just write in one of my class notebooks. Having that extra notes space is a great space to plan out your classes for next semester or to write down ideas for upcoming events or assignments.

Lastly, I recommend something that includes a full calendar at the beginning of the month as well as weekly spreads for daily assignments. The monthly overviews are useful when planning ahead for major events, to reference during meetings and even keep track of your work hours so they don’t clog up your day to day entries.

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