How to Organize Your Agenda

The ultimate guide on how to use a daily planner to stay organized. PLUS: Cute daily planners for college, color-coding your agenda.

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How to Organize your Agenda

I know it’s only July, but it’s never too early to start getting prepared for the fall semester!

One of the best ways to stay organized when classes are in session is by keeping up with a planner.

I’m a huge fan of writing everything down – from homework and papers to meetings and events – and I wouldn’t be able to keep track of everything without documenting it in an agenda.

If you’re gearing up for a fall, don’t worry – I’ve put together a guide that will help you stay organized with your agenda no matter what your semester holds.

Related reading: The Best College Organization Tips That Will Transform Your Life

Choose Your Agenda

Planners for college

Top L-R: VS PINK Student Planner, Lilly Pulitzer Agenda, May Designs MayBook
Bottom L-R: Jonathan Adler Agenda, Greenroom Agenda (sold out – similar here and here), Erin Condren Life Planner

Whoever said organization was boring obviously never met these cute agendas! Choose an planner that will fit your needs – if you’re focused on classes, try an academic agenda that is designed with students in mind.

I’m a fan of Lilly Pulitzer agendas for this very reason. Their “Large” and “Jumbo” agendas come loaded with tabs, pockets, and even stickers to keep you organized and colorful with your class schedule. I always invest a little more in planners just because I know it’ll be my BFF for the next year – kidding… slightly.

Color Coding

Color coding for organization

While it’s fine to just write things down as they come up, go an extra step and color code it. This is a great tool to use for your agenda if you find yourself mixing things up between clubs and classes.

Simply create a key that will help you sort all the areas of your semester. Organize by class, event, or even assignment type! I chose to color code my agenda for this year by area – I have a color for my schoolwork, one for my sorority events, another for my blogging, and then an area for miscellaneous notes.

Whatever you choose, try to limit the coding to about 4-5 sections so things don’t get too confusing. Write the key in a note inside your agenda or tape a piece of paper so that you’ll remember your coding.

Top Tools for Color Coding:

Color coding tools

Colored Pencils, Correction Tape, Highlighters, Flags, Pens

There are a number of ways to color code, so choose the one that works best for you! I know a lot of people that stick with colored pencils because of the variety, but I’m not a fan of constantly having to resharpen them.

I use colored pens and flags to mark the super important things – like that huge research paper or group presentation. Highlighting is great for this, too. Correction tape I find necessary – rescheduling is inevitable and I hate to scribble out things, so the correction tape keeps it nice and neat.

Write It Down!

Planner with writing

A planner is what you make of it – so use it! Go ahead and look up the academic calendar for your school and write down the dates listed – add/drop periods, first day of classes, and so on. It might seem strange writing things down six months in advance, but these dates arrive sooner than you think. It’s better to be aware of them ahead of time than two days before!

Also, keep a habit of writing things down as soon as you’re told about them – this eliminates room for error or surprise papers due the next day. If you don’t have access to your agenda at the moment, make a note on your phone or notebook and transfer it to your agenda when you get a chance. As soon as you get your syllabi for class, be sure to write all of the dates down, too! It might be a little tedious but it will be worth it, trust me.

What do you think?

Do you like to keep an agenda? How do you organize it? Would you use any of the tips above? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Let me know in a comment below!

20 thoughts on “How to Organize Your Agenda”

  1. I’ll be starting college soon and I also work so I LOVE planners because I can color code all my homework assignments, my work schedule and everything that goes on with appointments ect. My only problem is picking out the planner I love more than the rest. If I could I would buy them all but I don’t need that many and that’s a lot of money

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  2. These were so useful! I’d originally planned on writing everything in black pen but I think I’m going to try colour coding with different coloured pens haha. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Planner organization College and all mine and planner agenda Erin Condren Life planner and planning for a long time to be pads

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  4. Get in the habit now!!! Planners have been my life through high school especially taking advanced placement or English classes with multiple essays a week. You never have anymore “pop quizzes”. I also use mine to set goals for where I want to be in the assignment so I don’t have to throw it together that last night.

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  5. I love this article, i ‘made’ my own planner from a notebook, doing so made it more personal to me! I use stickers, post-it, color pens and Highlighters in my planner! Color coding is really useful and fun, i love my planner!!! Thanks for the great article! 🙂

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  6. I am a huge fan of organization, but I often find myself running out of ideas HOW to organize. Therefore, I love this article because any new ways to plan and clean my schedule. Please post more great planning and organizing tips!

    Reply

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