Getting organized and ready for a new school year can be intimidating. Trying to keep track of school, jobs, a blog (if you have one), activities, and your social life can be even more intimidating. I pulled together this guide, comparing and contrasting four different types of journals and planners so you can figure out the best way to get and stay organized for the coming year!
Why I love it: The Lilly Agenda is perfect for your first two years of college. I had two and loved both of them – they come in fun prints, different sizes (I think the large is the perfect size, the jumbo was always too big for me) and have monthly and weekly page layouts. There’s a calendar at the beginning of each month and then each week is a horizontal day layout with plenty of room to write down homework or assignments. They also come with super cute stickers and travel planning pages!
Why I don’t: I ended up switching because it just didn’t have enough space for me. As you can see, I barely had enough room in the calendar. I also love having daily/weekly to-do lists and between work, school, and extracurricular activities I ran out of room. If you’re looking for a simple agenda to keep track of day-to-day basics, it’s great, but if you’re looking for something more advanced, customizable or with more space, it might not be the best choice.
Why I love it: The Erin Condren life planner is amazing because of how customizable it is. For starters, you can choose your cover design and get it monogrammed (which I obviously took advantage of). The inside can be formatted hourly, vertically or horizontally and you can even choose between a neutral or colorful color palette. You can also choose the color of your coil and if you want 12 or 18 months! I’ve seen people go absolutely insane with their life planners with stickers, weekly themes, layouts, and all sorts of other crazy things, but I keep mine much more simple. I have the vertical layout and my top row is homework, my second row is the blog (and was to-do lists before I started blogging), and the third row is my trackers – I tend to keep track of what I wore so I don’t wear the same exact sweatshirt every day of the week but lately I’ve been tracking my workout schedule and how often I meditate as well so I might find a way to incorporate that too!
Why I don’t: The only problem I have with my EC planner is that the monthly calendar is only so big. I tend to use my Google Calendar for absolutely everything and only use my monthly calendar for advanced planning and big events, rather than daily tasks because there just isn’t enough room. It’s also more expensive than the Lilly planner and can get even more expensive once you start looking at add-ons like different coils and accessories like stickers.
Why I love it: I’ve never used the Passion Planner but I have so many school friends who swear by it. Most who have it use and love the hourly layout and like to have every minute of every day planned out. If you struggle to keep track of activities, classes, and time to do homework, it’s a great way to start working on time management!
Why I don’t: For me, having space to write down all of my daily assignments is key and I don’t think the Passion Planner’s layout is ideal for that. It thrives as a scheduling device, in my opinion, and I prefer to have my schedule digital so it’s with me everywhere I go!
(if you don’t know what it is you can check it out here)
Why I love it: Once I heard about the bullet journal, or bujo, as avid bullet journalers would call it, I was intrigued. It sounded great but I didn’t understand why anyone would need to keep track of so many details of their life like that. However, it’s starting to make more sense to me now and I’m starting to see the appeal. Like I said earlier, I’ve been doing more habit tracking and the bujo is perfect for that. I think it’s incredible how much you can do with it and I’m thinking about starting one when my EC planner runs out!
Why I don’t: With this planner there’s no layout. You have to create everything you want it to be, so while it’s great, it can also be a lot of work. If you’re still in college, that means making daily sections to write down assignments, and creating calendars or trackers of long term assignments. I like that with the EC planner I don’t have to worry about separating my boxes or color coding school v. blog because it’s already all separated for me. If you’re debating starting a bujo, I recommend starting a small scale version in an old notebook or on some grid paper! Make some habit trackers, think about layouts, lists or other things you’d want to organize and see how you like it and if it’s something you can really maintain! If you love it then go for it!