Use a Planner? YES!

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Organization, Planners, Prioritizing, Time management, Uncategorized

When I work with students who are struggling in college, one of the first questions I ask is, “Do you have a planner?” Most of them will say yes, especially since the college provides a free planner for students. The second question I ask is, “Do you use it?” This is where they will hesitate, look away, hem-haw, and then admit, “Not really.”  And sometimes they are blatantly honest and answer, “Never.”

One of the most important keys for success in any area of life, whether it be college, work, or running a business, is to get in the habit of using a planner. There are very, very few of us who can truly keep track of everything they need to do without having some kind of pen and paper method. I know that when I am using my planner to it’s full potential, I am able to keep up with many things quite well. When things start falling apart, I can usually attribute it to falling off the wagon. My planner started collecting dust.

I’ve tried many planners over many years. I’ve purchased small calendars, ones that I can stick in a pocket of my purse, but they are quickly forgotten and there just isn’t enough space to write down everything. I’ve tried a big, beautiful planner, that included everything-but-the-kitchen-sink. However, there were so many sections I didn’t use, and quite frankly, too much for me to manage. Plus, if it’s bulky, I won’t carry it with me. I’ve also purchased the basic calendar-style planners, but it doesn’t accommodate my on-going projects adequately. Can you tell? I’ve been mostly frustrated with the planners I’ve tried.Image

Eventually, I found the Uncalendar. For me, it was the holy grail of calendars! I love it!  I work in a community college, where I teach non-credit classes on study skills related topics,. and I always teach students how to use a planner. This has given me many opportunities to show people my Uncalendar and talk about how I use it. Many of my co-workers and students have started using it after seeing mine. It’s fully customizable, which paralyzes some people at first. Most of us are used to having planners that tell us what to do and where to do it. So, many students who ended up buying one of these later stopped by my office later to ask if they could look at how I’m using mine. Once they give themselves permission to “be free” and use their imagination, they love it! I will share more about the Uncalendar in future posts, plus on a related note, I will review other unique planners I find.

I am also working on designing my own planner taking things I love from the various planners I have tried, as well as adding my own twist to them. If I use it, and like it, I just might share….. 🙂

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