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Five DIY Planners for the upcoming semester

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Photo by: Vanessa Bell | Staff Photographer
Personalizing your living space is key. Lights and printed pictures will add your personal touch to your dorm.

Looking for the perfect planner for college can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to find one that accommodates your class schedule, has a stylish look and is inexpensive.

Finding a planner that fits all of the above criteria may seem like an unachievable mission. Instead, look into creating your own personalized agenda.

Here a few ideas to help get you started on the road to a successful year:

Sticky note planner

For those who live with a flexible schedule and constant change, the sticky note planner allows for instant modification to fit into your busy day-to-day life.

What you will need:

– Microsoft Word

– Cardstock

– Variety of sticky notes

  1. Starting with a blank word document, change the orientation to landscape and make a table that has 8 columns for each day of the week, a spot for labels and at least 5 rows, depending on how many classes you’re tackling this semester.
  2. Measure the length and height of your sticky notes and then alter the size of the rows and columns to fit the size of your notes.
  3. Label the days of the week in the first row and then label the first column with the names of your classes.
  4. Print copies of the document on cardstock or any durable paper and handwrite the month and week.
  5. Complete the planner by adding the sticky notes and start filling them with your goals, errands and schedule.

Whiteboard planner

If you prefer a larger visual aid to help you plan out the week, the whiteboard planner may be the way to go.

With such a large space to work with, the possibilities of customizing your goals are endless.

What you will need:

– Whiteboard

– Wet erase markers

– Ruler

– Dry erase markers

  1. Using a wet erase marker and a ruler, draw a similar layout to the sticky note planner. Since the whiteboard is much bigger, you are able to add more features and details to the planner.
  2. Once you have finished outlining, fill in the whiteboard with the dry erase markers and start writing your to do list, homework assignments and much more.

Binder planner

The binder planner is a space saver and a great organization system that fits right in your backpack.

Carry your notes, homework and planner all in one place.

What you will need:

– Binder

– Dividers

– Notebook paper

– Paper calendar

  1. Label the tabs with relevant topics such as to-do list, study guides, projects, reading assignments, syllabus and resources.
  2. At the front of each divider, tape a monthly calendar that you made yourself or found online.
  3. On the calendar, write in important and/or small dates that are related to the tabs. For example, if the tab contains study guides, write down the dates of the exams that are coming up for that month.
  4. Continue to fill up the calendar with dates and mark off the square once the day has passed. At the beginning of each month, replace with a blank calendar.

Printable planner

If you’re new to using planners and want a simple inexpensive option, find a customizable planner template online.

What you will need:

– Cardstock

– Hole punch

– Binder

  1. Search for printable planners online that cater to college students.
  2. Once you find the perfect one for you, double check the size of the printable to make sure the paper you are using is the correct fit.
  3. Use durable paper and make enough copies to last for several months.
  4. Hole punch your templates and place them all in one binder.
  5. Personalize the planner with colored pens and sticky notes.

Syllabus planner

Instead of leaving your syllabus at the bottom of your backpack for the rest of the semester, use your syllabi as a template for your planner.

What you will need:

– Microsoft Word

– Syllabus for each class

– Cardstock

  1. A syllabus is usually broken up into different categories such as grading, attendance, extra credit, projects and important days. Make a table for each category on the syllabus.
  2. Customize each category to your preference. For example, if the syllabus says you are allowed 4 absences. Make a table that is labeled “absences” and has 4 rows. Every time you are absent, fill in each row with the date and reason to keep track of your attendance.
  3. Make a table for every category that a syllabus has and make a new document for each class.
  4. Print out the documents on durable paper and keep the files together in a folder.