Archive for July, 2014

My Favorite Planner Page

Posted: July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
My FAVORITE Planner Pages

My favorite planner pages.

I have been designing my “Perfect Planner,” and almost have it ready to send to a printer. I am trying to get every part of it perfect for staying on top of work, school, and home. I have to say that my favorite pages have become my Priority One pages. I have two. One is tagged “Personal” and one is tagged “Professional.”

Each of the pages have 6 square that are about the size of a Post-It note. Each day I decide what my 6 top tasks are for the day and write each one on a Post-It note and then put it in a box. I do rank them from 1-6, based on importance. When I complete a task, I pull off the Post-It note and throw it away. The hope is that I will complete the top 6 tasks that day and have a blank sheet of paper in the end. Of course, there are occasionally tasks that will take longer than a day, and I just leave the Post-It note on the page for the next day. I rearrange and re-rank the notes, as needed each morning.


clockMany college students have responsibilities outside of their academic studies. They may be student athletes, hold a job, have a family, or have other time-consuming duties. This brings some students to ask, “How can I learn more in less time?” Some people think that it isn’t possible, but there are definitely ways a student can make the most of their study time, which translates into less time studying. If you are looking to learn more in less time, the following suggestions will help you.

  1. Take a learning style assessment test. Understanding your learning style provides insight to the best and fastest way for you to learn new material.
  2. Schedule daily study times, and stick to it.
  3. Sometimes a good portion of allotted study time is swallowed up in procrastination. Learn techniques for combating procrastination and use them. (Use this timer technique for combating procrastination.)
  4. Increase retention by reviewing class notes on a daily basis. Retaining information is more effective and less time consuming than relearning. (See Use Cornell Notes to Change the Curve of Forgetting.)
  5. Learn to use those snatches of time that are typically lost in a day. Carry flash cards or study sheets with you and reclaim those lost minutes. You can review your cards or notes while you sit in a waiting room, kill time in a car pool line, or wait for a watched pot to boil.
  6. John Wooden once said, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” In terms of striving for academic success, remember that just because you’re sitting at a desk, flipping through a text book doesn’t mean you’re studying. You need to perform a variety of study activities which will cause you to process information and internalize the concepts. (Here is a post about combining physical activity with study!)
Sneak peak at the first few pages.

Sneak peak at the first few pages.

For the last few months I’ve been designing my own planner. Even though I’ve found and used some great planners over the years, I decided I wanted to make one that would more precisely fit my needs. I have made a couple of prototypes that I liked. But, I am still making a few tweaks. I started to think about you…. my readers! I would like to have your input!

If you had the opportunity to create  your own perfect planner, what would it include?

What would you definitely leave out?

What bugs you about planners you have used in the past?

What have you loved in your favorite planners?

Kelly of Success Hacks shows you this tried and true method for taking the best classroom notes.

my angry professor graphicI frequently work with struggling students at the college, and many of them are having difficulty in one or more classes. When I meet new students for the first time, we discuss their classes and try to identify the root of their academic struggles. This helps me to come up with a game plan to improve his or her grades.

During the discussion, one thing i have heard many times is, “My professor hates me!”

Could it be true? Could a professor really hate a student?

The truth is, we are all flawed human beings, and it would be disingenuous for me to say it was impossible for this to happen. There certainly may be personality conflicts or relationships that get off on the wrong foot, which can create a less-than-perfect scenerio for the professor/student relationship.

If you are in a situation where you feel the professor does not like you, here are some tips for survival:

1. Don’t gossip about your professor! Nothing good that can come from this! If you absolutely need to vent, keep it within the circle of your closest confidants.

2. Don’t lose your temper in class. I remember being in a class where a professor was being incredibly hard on a particular student’s written work during the class discussion. The student didn’t take it well and began a heated debate with the instructor. Other students in the class were uncomfortable, nothing about the conversation helped the situation, and in the end, the student was kicked out of the class. As difficult as it is, take the high road and bite your tongue.

3. Don’t purposely bug your professor. I know… it is kind of like you have an itch that you want to scratch… but, it is a path to self-destruction and escalation.

Instead, here is what you DO:

1. Do start with a little self-examination. Has your attitude been good? Do you arrive at class on time? Have you been doing your work? Are you cooperative and helpful class? Do you pay attention (or do you text or otherwise goof off in class)? If you are behaving in ways that are distracting or are disrespectful, then the first thing you need to do is change yourself and your own attitude. Admit where you are wrong and fix it.

2. Do look at the BIG picture… Look at the impact it will have on  your academic progress. Is it early enough in the semester to drop the class and take something else? Or, can you take the same class with a different instructor? What impact will dropping a class have on your financial aid, your timely degree completion and other things?

3. Do talk to your professor in his or her office. Avoid being confrontational, but tell the professor your perception and see what kind of reaction  you get. If the professor really does not like you and admits it, you might be better off just dropping the class. If your professor denies it, and especially if he or she is apologetic, you may want to hang on to the class. Trust your gut.

4. Do your best. If you have to stay in the class, keep your nose clean, make it a priority to keep up with the work, and you may want to keep your mouth shut as much as possible, especially if you can see that your participation just annoys the professor. Document everything by keeping assignment sheets, your returned work, and any written feedback you receive from your professor.

5. Do try to stay positive (or fake that you are). A negative attitude, a scowl in class, or not completing work will only hurt yourself.