How I Organize My Planner

So, first things first: I use a Happy Planner in the mini size (4.5″ x 7″) with the vertical week-per-2-pages spread.

Here is what a typical weekly spread looks like for me. This is the current week and not yet completely filled out:

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  • I pencil in the times (7 am-9 pm) and use the Happy Planner vertical layout as an hourly scheduler
  • I note the week of the current semester in the top left corner
  • In blue ink I write events and in black ink I write smaller notes (event info, to-dos, etc.)
    • One thing I really like is writing in tasks that I complete, especially course assignments and blog posts, to have an idea of what and when I get things done.
      • Filled out as I do them and not ahead of time
  • I use the following color-coding system (which may be slightly off in the above photo due to the filter I used):
    • Green: courses I am in (student or TA)
    • Light blue: department events (invited talks, meetings, etc.)
    • Red: non-departmental appointments
    • Purple: social events
    • Light pink: workouts
      • Usually filled out as I do them and not ahead of time
    • Yellow: highlighting important black ink notes (not pictured) and crossing off to-do checkboxes
  • At the top I write very important events or reminders

I also have a separator tab in the back for lined paper. I use the lined paper for my to-do lists, as the main body of the agenda doesn’t have room for me to write all of my to-dos:

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  • One page (left) lists my course assignments for the week
  • The other page (right) lists my non-coursework-related to-dos, which I try to do as much as possible over the weekend

I’ve been using this planning system since the beginning of the school year and it’s been working really well for me so far. My planner holds so much information about my schedule, to-dos, and workouts, and yet it remains visually appealing, organized, and compact. Thought I would share it 🙂

Good (≠ Productive) Things

Great things I did today:

  • Woke up early (which is extra great because I’m slowly trying to shift from a 3 AM-11 AM schedule to a 10 PM-6 AM schedule. Today was 7:30! I’ve been hovering around 8 for the last week.)
  • Morning yoga
  • Caught the early bus to my class today (Usually because I’m Always Running Late I take the bus that drops me off just barely in time for class.)
  • The first problem set assignment for my logic class was returned and I got 10/10! 🙂
  • Felt completely comfortable giving a presentation and leading discussion in my seminar
  • Went to the gym (I feel like this is extra commendable because I walked there in the freezing, pouring rain.)
  • Didn’t forget to bring my reusable bags when I went grocery shopping

Tonight I plan to take a night off from philosophy and coursework and just do some housekeeping and relax 🙂

Today was a good day, and I’m extra happy about that because it wasn’t a good day in virtue of me being productive work-wise. I think it’s good for my mental health to separate “good” from “productive” – and honestly for the longest time those words were conceptually identical for me. It’s nice to know I’m capable of wrapping my head around the idea of them being different, especially right in the middle of the work week.