About halfway through the summer, my Type A must-plan-for-school-months-in-advance self decided to take to Instagram stories and beg everyone who followed me for advice on the most important back-to-school essential any student could have.... a planner!
I voiced my frustration with the planner market. I knew my style well enough, and the paisley pink and polka dot vibes simply never agree with me. I love a good effective, goal-setting planner with inspiring quotes and whatnot, but the last thing I cared for was something preppy and over the top. I even held up my planner I'd tried using last semester as proof. It was beige. Just, beige.
Now if those planners with the cute gadgets and bright gizmos are up your alley - I support you! I really do. To each, his own. But for me and my very neutral, earth-toned style, I craved the nothing-ness of beige covers and clean lines.
I haven't had much luck in college finding a planner that works for me, with space to help me track homework and goals, and a price I could actually handle. With modern day technology, I luckily had a community of people to cry SOS to. So I did!
And this, my friends, is what I learned.
P.S. This is embarrassing to even have to say, but this post is not sponsored. lol. This is all very real advice I received from DM's, and none of these links are 'affiliates' in any way, shape or form.
1. Visit this link and start scrolling
"This buddy has something for everyone" -MD
2. 18-Month Weekly Notebook Planner | Moleskin
3. Bullet Journaling (do 6 months in advance to reduce stress)
"I was going to say bullet journaling! It's fun! I do my designs six months in advance when I'm feeling creative... I started on the bullet journaling website! I think it's quite literally bulletjournal.com. The idea was created by an engineer... I use his similar layout, but there are so many options/ideas if you just google "bullet journal monthly layout" or "weekly layout." I've tried a couple and finally settled on one that works for me!... I like it because it's some simple math to design a page and then it's monotonous and you can add whatever!" -KK
Recommendation #1: Bullet Journal Notebook by Zen Art Supplies
Note: Currently unavailable on Amazon, but plenty of similar notebooks if you keep searching
"This is the one I have! I like it because there's no bleed through and the dots aren't too prominent!"
"When I was in college, I bullet journaled and switched to planners when I started work. Bullet journaling is a ton of fun!" -ES
Recommendation #2: Dot Grid Hardcover Notebook by Lemome
"If you're gonna buy a journal, this is the best one - I've tried so many (moleskin, leuchtturm, etc) and this one on amazon is the best quality for value. I still use it as my work notebook - I'm a designer so I'm very picky about the notebooks :)"
4. Use a daily planner, instead of weekly
"What worked for me in the spring was a regular planner that just had lines for each work day of the week (across a two-page spread) and I would write down any relevant appointments or deadlines for those days at the top half of the day and then reserve the bottom half of the single day for action items or assignments. It was super helpful for my internship..." -BD
5. Or... Use a monthly calendar, instead of weekly
"I recently started using a month calendar thing, so it doesn't have week by week, but it has room for notes on the sides along with the front and back where I make my to do lists, I love it." -EM
8. Medium Vegan Leather Agenda | Design Works Ink
9. Customizable Academic Agendas | May Designs
10. Life Planner™ | Erin Condren
13. Academic Year Flagship Daily Planner | Day Designer®
14. Simplified Planner by Emily Ley
15. If all else fails, make that sucker yourself :)
"Just saw your insta story about planner dilemma and 110000000% relate. What I ended up doing was creating my own! By this point you probably know everything you want to include and how you'd prefer it liad out, so make that sucker in illustrator or word, print it out, and get it bound at the library for like $5! I made one every semester and even though it started to fall apart in my bag towards finals it was perfect. OR if you want to go ~digital~ I use Microsoft Planner. It's similar to Trello but integrates with Office and comes free with a college Office subscription :)" -JP
Happy planner hunting friends! Curious to know which one I picked? After browsing aisles of Target for what felt like... a normal amount of time to be at Target... I started with a large, no-frills, gray covered planner. And guess what! I changed my mind 5 days later. Typical.
Hi! I'm Chloe, a twenty-something writer and communications strategist figuring it out as I go along. I love airplanes, oat lattes, and deep chats over cheap wine.
I hope you leave here inspired to explore the world and love its people, or, keep reading all the things. It's good for you!
Follow along: @chloe.belangia