Planning strategies for students

Photo by Robert Gant.

As finals week approaches, time management can be integral to success. There is a large variety of methods students use to budget time. Despite changing technologies, however, many UAA students still prefer a physical planner to an electronic calendar.

Lavinia Harris is an environment and society sophomore with an anthropology minor. In addition to being a full-time student, Harris is also a full-time mother and wife and uses her planner to balance her various obligations.

“I tried using my cell phone [as a planner] and the notifications bothered me during my studies,” Harris said. “It’s nice to have a piece of paper to look at when you need it.”

Harris has a planner with monthly calendars in the front followed by daily summary pages. She uses the monthly calendars to see how far away her next assignments are, and the daily summary pages to schedule her studying and homework. Harris also uses colored pens to code which classes her reminders are for and outline important assignments.

Tristan Hosman, double majoring in business management and accounting, is in her freshman year of college. Hosman identifies herself as a visual learner and contingency planner. Using a planner helps Hosman organize her personal life to fit both her work and school schedules.

“I’m a very visual-type person and I like writing things out,” Hosman said. “I like having a planner instead of an online calendar. I don’t have to worry about internet connection; I’ll always be able to have [my planner].”

Hosman has a traditional daily planner organized by monthly tabs. She lists her homework alongside associated assignments to reference, as well as upcoming test dates. Hosman also uses her planner to keep track of key locations for upcoming appointments.

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However, not all students prefer the tangibility of a physical planner. Dulce Sanchez, who is pursuing a small business administration major, prefers to use apps to map out her day.

“Physical planners are tedious,” Sanchez said. “The more work something is, the less I am motivated to do it. I choose electronic planners because they are easier, faster and they’ll organize everything for you.”

Sophomore art major Kaitlyn Johnston is a habitual planner. Johnston is planning a trip this summer and uses her planner to keep on track for any time-sensitive commitments.

“I’m a passionate planner,” Johnston said. “I’ve been using a planner since elementary school and it’s become a habit.”

Johnston begins her planning with a simple to-do list. As deadlines approach, Johnston uses a red pen. Johnston got her planner for free from the Student Health and Counseling Center, which prints new planners every school year.

The SHCC offers students planners in RH 116. More personal planners can be purchased at most shopping centers and crafty students could even make their own planner by hand. There are also many online planner applications, such as Google Calendar.

Johnston, Hosman, Sanchez and Harris all have different lives and planning strategies to accommodate their lifestyles. Experimenting with different types of organization techniques, physical planner or otherwise, can be a vital strategy when planning for an upcoming event such as finals.