I’ve always had trouble staying organized, and I know now that’s a part of my neurology. Since I prefer to avoid medication, I am working towards changing my habits. One such change is experimentation with planners. I’ve been using this one from Recollections since last August. I chose it, because I wanted one I could customize and reuse year after year. The discount I had at the time didn’t hurt, either.
While this planner is a bit bulky, it’s still small enough to fit in a mid-sized purse or a backpack. When compared to other brands out there, it’s not terribly expensive. As of June 2017, the Michael’s web page lists it at $19.95. That store always has sales and coupons, so you could get it for even less.
It came with a packet of lined paper, grid paper, and a to-do list form.
I thought I would get more use out of the to-do list, but I could never seem to get in the habit of checking it, even when I had assignments that needed to be done. I do, however get a fair amount of use out of the lined paper for notes.
That said, once I use it up, I doubt I’ll be buying more, since wrestling the planner out every time I need to write something down can be burdensome. However, I can see how these features could be useful to others.
One down-side to the planner is that you have to buy the calendar sections separately. They’re sold in year packages, with assorted designs, which offers a nice variety for each year.
Since I started using it mid-year, I ended up organizing it a bit strangely. Instead of January to December, I started with July and went through August. I currently have two designs in the planner.
One of the nicest things I found is that there’s lots of room for extra notes and random thoughts. Although I’m not particularly crafty when it comes to planners, simply because too much visual info distracts me, some decoration is nice.
What I found most useful about this planner, though, is the month/week format. Since I’m such a visual person, I need to be able to see the month in order to know what I need to plan for in general. The weekly view then helps me keep track of specific tasks and appointments.
This is also where color coding comes in for different classes/events. If I can see what needs to be done at a glance, I can prepare more quickly and get work done more efficiently.
As you can see, I used stamps to help denote days like birthdays and vacation. One sheet of rubber stamps comes with a plastic block to which to attach them, and a tiny pad of black ink. I purchased a regular sized ink pad for some extra color.
These were a lot of fun for denoting birthdays, appointments, and those sorts of things. As you can see, there are also options to help format the week/day views more efficiently.
There are a ton of stickers and other accessories available for this planner, and while they’re tempting, I wouldn’t get much use out of them. Generally speaking, the simpler I can keep my system, the more effective it is.
Overall, I enjoy this planner, and it has contributed to keeping my grades up, while allowing me to fulfill most of my other responsibilities. I’m still experimenting with it, along with other time management tools, but it’s versatile enough to work for multiple organizational styles.
Overall, it’s quite affordable, as well, and there’s no reason why you can’t make your own printables or find them online. If you decide to make your own pages, I’d advise picking up the six-hole punch made for this model. Free-handing it with a hand held punch isn’t as easy as you’d think.
If you’re interested in finding a physical planner with lots of opportunity for customization, this is a good option to check out.