It's the most wonderful time of the yeeeaarrr! Back to school time has always been my favorite time of the year. New pens! New sticky notes! New planners, OH MY!
To me, the most exciting part about the back to school grind is getting organized for the new academic year. As a PhD student, it's a bit different since during the summer we are still actively engaged in our research projects presenting at conferences, and even teaching summer courses. But the year brings back journal club meetings, teaching assistantships, our own coursework, research assistants to manage and mentor, and any extracurricular activities. With the new semester just starting, I want to share with you the way I keep on top of all these different tasks: My Planner.
If you follow me on Instagram, you can tell I am a full on planner addict. It got so bad that for the 2014-2015 year, my best friend had me sign a contract that I would only use one planner for the year and if I purchased another one I would owe her $20 and she would produce an "I Told You So" music video. We had to rewrite the original note (in purple) because it was full of nonsense terms that gave me an out at every turn. Like a true best friend, she changed the wording to ensure I was actually held accountable if I broke the contract. This was the HARDEST year not to buy planners because so many new gorgeous ones came out and older ones were redesigned so beautifully!
Sample Day in my Day Designer
I knew I wanted a daily planner because I like to schedule my to do list instead of just writing out a long list. For me, it ends up becoming more of a wish list of things I hope to maybe accomplish sometime in the near future. The original planner I chose was Emily Ley's Simplified Planner because I wanted to try the day on one page style and LOVE her inspiring and colorful products full of ideas for simplifying. But then I discovered the Day Designer by Whitney English and it was a total game changer. They are very similar in their layouts but as a #GoalGetter, I was especially attracted to the goal setting and branding worksheets at the beginning of Whitney's planner. I thought it was such perfect timing since, if you recall from my first post I was about to take a medical leave and was revamping my short-and-long-term goals. This planner allowed me to structure my days while I was on leave so that I stayed pretty active in the academic community and was extremely helpful during my first semester back in action.
Color Coded Goal Categories
As tempting as it was to buy ALL THE PLANNERS last year, I was extremely satisfied with my choice. The hard cover and gold corners protected the planner very well over the course of the year. It is such an amazing tool with your top 3 must do's for the day, a schedule on one side, a to do list on the other, and boxes to track deadlines, budgets, reminders, and dinner. As a psychology student, it was perfect to fill in my schedule with classes, scheduled research participants and committee meetings. I love to use the long list to track new tasks that pop up that day and the top 3 to prioritize my life. I use a different category for each box: 1)Research 2)Teaching 3)Life so that I can accomplish one item from each category. If you're interested, Whitney English still has some styles of the Academic Year edition available in the Day Designer Shop!
For the 2015-2016 Academic Year, I decided to use the Erin Condren Life Planner for my everything planner. In case you are wondering why I chose a different planner after loving the Day Designer, don't worry it's all part of my plan! As a psychologist and planner addict, I am doing a longitudinal planner experiment where I try different ones each year and determine which is the best to fit my needs. I purchased the vertical layout because I wanted to have a side bar to keep all my general errands and to dos together for that week. This way I can use the different boxes each day to do time blocking for when I want to accomplish specific tasks like my reading and writing schedule, advisor meetings, or personal appointments. Not to mention this planner has such bright and happy colors that keep me inspired! Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in a more detailed post about how I am using the multiple sections of this planner to stay organized. I feel optimistic this will keep me organized and productive!
For my first giveaway on the blog, I want to share the planner love with you!
Winners will be chosen to receive a Day Designer for Target Weekly/Monthly Planner!
These beauties have a hard cover, goal planning worksheets, a lined monthly calendar, and a weekly layout that features a daily top 3, hourly breakdown, and notes sections.
**RULES & HOW TO ENTER**
Tag a friend on any social media outlet that would be interested in this giveaway.
**Optional Bonus Entry**
Leave a comment below on your favorite ways to get organized!
This giveaway is open to all Domestic U.S. Residents.
This giveaway will run for one week and will end on September 7 at 11:59PM.
The winner will be announced on September 9, 2015.
Good luck to everyone!
Restez Chic Toujours!
*Post contains affiliate and referral links. All products pictured were purchased by me and all opinions are genuinely my own*