Back to School | How to Use a Planner

Welcome to day 3 of my back to school week here on the blog. I will have a new post every day this week with tips & tricks to crush the clutter early in the school year. These posts are geared for the little ones to those in college.

Day 1 was a back to school supplies haul and day 2 was a portable homework station. Today I’ll be sharing quick and easy planning tips to keep your assignments in order. As always, click the links throughout the post for related posts and links to purchase items featured.

Assignments, assignments, ASSIGNMENTS! We love them, we hate them, but they have to get done. This post will help those in middle school, high school, and college when it comes to keeping track of those assignments.

Notebook Planner 

For those that are not into the typical planner, grab a notebook. It can be spiral, composition, or one of those cute ones you get at the Target One Spot or Dollar Tree. You can keep a running list of your assignments as you get them. If you are looking for something even more detailed in the notebook, make a chart of: class, assignment, and due date. You can even add a column of ‘turned in’ to check off if you did or didn’t. That extra step is really optional.

Month At-A-Glance | Color Coding


The easiest way to plan is to color code. You can color code by class and use your sidebar as a key to keep track of what color each class is. From there you can write in what day you have assignments and keep up with them that way.

When writing assignments, write in pencil and then highlight the assignment with the assigned color. Teachers change their minds for whatever reason and other things can happen, like a snow storm, forcing the schedule to change. Once the teacher finalizes it, then highlight it. If it’s postponed you can easily erase it and write it on the newly assigned day.


Another way to color code is to color code by assignment type. If you have a test, regardless of what class, highlight it one particular color. For example, yellow. If you have an assignment due that could be highlighted blue. Again, write in pencil and just highlight once the teacher finalizes it. For this method you wouldn’t have to put the classes in the sidebar. Instead, you could put your assignments for the next month.

Happy Planner / Erin Condren Life Planner / Plum Paper Planner (vertical)


When I was in high school and college, I know for a fact that I would’ve used my planner more if I had a planner like this. I recently discovered the vertical style last year and the style is great for any age level. Compared to the standard horizontal planner I feel like there’s more space.

You can write in pencil, similar to the other methods I mentioned above, but you can get a lot more creative with this one. You can still color code. You can also use the planners 3 sections and separate it into what works for you. That could be classes in one block, assignments in the second, and in the third things you have to do at home or extra curricular activities.

If you don’t want to split the planner into three sections, you can plan out you day  in the morning/day/night form. You can block off the cases and fill in the rest of our day with bullet points.

Interested in any of the planner styles mentioned above? Click the links below to purchase.

Want to get into decorative planning? Click HERE for my Planning for Beginners series.

2 thoughts on “Back to School | How to Use a Planner

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