BY JANICA STOCKING
I’m sure that we all remember back in elementary or middle school when our teachers would give us a planner. I specifically remember my teachers being really strict about using our planners. Some of them would grade us on how effectively we used our planners every week. My school even gathered all of us in 6th grade and held an assembly on how valuable our planners were and how to utilize them. Though my little 12-year-old self was very annoyed with how much planners were promoted. If anything, all the promotions drove me away from using a planner for years. I insisted that I could remember everything I had going on in my head. And for years, it worked. In elementary and middle school I was able to get away with not using a planner very much. Unless a teacher was grading me on using it, I wouldn’t touch it. Even when I was forced to use it, most of the stuff in my planner was meaningless. However, once I got to high school, I entered a whole new world where some sort of planning tool was required to succeed.
According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, planning can help you prioritize better and lead a more balanced life. In high school, many students have to balance classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and work. Using a planner can help you achieve a better balance in your life and manage your time better. In a study published in 2006 by M. Van den Hurk, it was found that students who are better planners and are better at time management, were more prepared for classes, and even scored higher on cognitive tests. There have been many studies showing similar results in most people. Students that utilize planners are not only more likely to do their assignments, but they are also able to improve their memory and cognitive skills. According to Psychology Today, using a planner not only helps you academically but can also help improve your mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Additionally, it can increase productivity, creativity, and organization.
While many students tend to gravitate away from using a planner because of all of the promotion from schools, teachers, and parents, using a planner is a highly effective way to improve your life. It helps you in all aspects of your life, from school to your mental health. While it can sometimes be an annoyance, using a planner is something that anyone can benefit from, whether it’s digital or physical.
What is your favorite planning method?
Above: Student responses to the survey question posed via Instagram.
Best Planning Methods for Students
Usually run from August to May and have templates for daily and monthly planning
Have spaces to put in tasks and schedules
Blank notebook - the format is completely customizable by the user
Can create multiple calendars for classes and add in tasks
Can be compatible with Google Calendar and allow for planning far in advance
Have planning space for the week and are very minimalistic