While you’ve probably been using a planner for a while, you may not be getting as much out of it as you can. Yes, you’ve heard that you should write down tests and due dates, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing out on a lot of functionality. Read on for some tips on how to maximize your planner’s potential.

Use a different pen for each class.

As soon as your syllabi are posted or handed out, write down every assignment and test in your planner in a different color for each class. Look for weeks that will be busy or stressful and write down ideal times for you to start studying. Try to stick with the same color pen throughout the semester as different tasks pop up.

Tip – Stick to pencil for things that aren’t set in stone.

Buy a ton of Post-Its.

Use them for to-do lists, grocery lists, and more. If the planner has a daily schedule, the post-its can help you block off chunks of time for various activities.

Tip – Use one color for academic, another for extracurricular and a third for personal/miscellaneous activities.

Write down EVERYTHING.

Write down the group fitness class at the gym, grocery shopping, chapter meeting for your sorority, university lecture, class, study time, and more. The more you write out, the more likely you are to actually do the things you plan to do. Writing it out may also help you to identify days where you’ve maybe overbooked yourself. Yes, you might need to grocery shop on Tuesday, but if you have a meeting, a paper, and a yoga class on Wednesday, you might end up rescheduling if you see it all written out in your planner.

Be consistent.

It is easy to get excited about staying organized and using your planner effectively, but then completely lose track when midterms hit. Be intentional about using your planner the entire semester. It will be most helpful during the weeks where you are least likely to want to write in it!

Jordan Perras will graduate in 2018 from Northeastern University and she is majoring in Math and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Economics.  She has a wide variety of interests that include history, art and literature and plans to pursue an MBA after college. She is especially interested in the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable business.