10 Things to Include in Your Planner

By Khayla Shipman

"Do what you love" planner photo

My planner is my best friend… yep, that’s okay, go ahead and judge. I remember on the first day of 5th grade we all received agendas, which were required to keep in attempts to prepare us for middle school and balancing multiple classes. (Shout out Mrs. Kendall! Thanks, girl!)

I was one of the only kids who took pride in my agenda and keeping it neat and organized, and most importantly pretty. Even if it did throw off my Cheetah Girls aesthetic. 🙄 😜 Thus when the year came that I could finally choose my own planner, the obsession was born.

Planners don’t have to be boring or dull. They are places for creativity and inspiration! I tried keeping a more minimal planner in the past and I found that the colors, cute quotes, and fun stickers are what make me excited to plan for the future!

Your future is bright girl… your planner should be too! 🤩

The key to “handling it all” in life is one simple word… balance. Finding that sweet spot they call “work-life balance” isn’t an easy task, it looks different for everyone, and every season of life isn’t going to be perfect.

But let me tell you, having a physical place to keep the running to-do list in your brain that keeps you up all night is a game-changer. You’ll feel more accomplished, organized, and ready to take on the world! I know I do.

Planners are for more than just academics and meetings!

I use mine to keep track of my work schedule, home/family life, extra-curricular’s, and of course my social calendar! As a gal who’s always on the go keeping a planner is the only way I managed to survive middle school, graduate high school, and have been my life-preserver in college. So, here are 10 creative ideas of fun ways to spice up your planner.

1. A Sweet and Sour

A sweet and sour is a cute way of recording a highlight (good) and lowlight (not-so-good) part of each day! I was introduced to this by my middle school youth group leader, at the time it was embarrassing to share with the group as an “ice-breaker”. But, this is super beneficial if you’re looking to implement daily reflection for memories or self-improvement. It’s nice to take a moment at the end of your day to look back on the day, assess, and prepare for improvement tomorrow.

2. Photos

I love this one! Either use a polaroid camera or any size little square or rectangular print will work perfectly too. It’s a fun way to record memories as you go and also turns your planner into a little yearbook! I started doing this in high school and they are so fun to look back on now. It is a bit more time-consuming so you can do this monthly or whenever you have free time. But overall, SO worth it to have a physical memory since we tend to just keep most photos in the cloud now and don’t often take time to look back.

3. Inspirational Quotes

These are great little confidence boosters and motivators throughout the week! They are also useful for taking up empty space and making it look cuter of course. You can find a bunch of awesome quotes to print and cut out online or sticker quotes! (I love the Happy Planner’s stickers) Or if you’re up for it, I love hand lettering them too! So many ideas on Pinterest, of course too. Check out my Pinterest quotes board here!

4. Due Dates

This is especially helpful for students! Managing your due dates and exam days is crucial to your success in any of the courses you take. Late work is not as easily accepted as it was in high school, most times it’s not tolerated. Period. (I learned this the hard way…) So writing your due dates in ALL CAPS and even written in a colored pen, like red, is very helpful.

5. Study Time

If you’re in school, scheduling in your study/homework time and location at the beginning of the week in advance is really helpful. This will definitely set you up for success in your courses. This is one mistake I made during my first semester at ASU that cost me big time. I found myself filling my social calendar and as I did homework was pushed to “whenever I have nothing to do”. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over very well… I was always up super late eating Ben and Jerry’s and cramming in homework that was due the next morning. No Bueno chicas… don’t do it! Take care of business first then you can have all the fun!

6. Daily Act of Self Care

Self-care is essential for true happiness and life balance. I highly recommend that everyone implement some form of it into their daily routine. It’s so good for your stress levels, mental and physical health for you to take some time for yourself.

This can be really anything that makes you happy and can last 5 minutes or a few hours. A few self-care activities I enjoy are… meditation or prayer time, soaking in a bath, doing your nails, eating my favorite treat (ice cream), practicing yoga, or reading a book!

7. Water Intake

One of my goals for this past year was to drink more water. It’s so good for your body, clear skin, focus, hydration, etc. It was a struggle in the beginning. (Prepare to take frequent restroom trips)😅😬… but now I usually drink around 80-100 ounces daily, and it makes such a difference. In all honesty, having a Hydroflask (or just a cute reusable bottle) and bringing it everywhere caused me to drink water way more often.

That straw attachment is magic! Did you know? Everyone should have at least 8 cups a day! Do you? I track it as I go on my iPhone & also by drawing little water drops for every 20oz and coloring them in blue as I reach each amount. It’s so motivating actually to have a visual way to see your progress. Grab your reusable water bottle (because sustainability is fabulous) and drink up sis!

8. Planner Stickers!!

This is my favorite part of my planner!! An excuse to get stickers as an adult! Yes, please! Also, they are a great way to motivate you to actually USE your planner every day.

The planner I bought for this year came with 2 sticker pages that are the cutest! I also bought their individual sticker books, as I knew I’d run out quickly… and I’m obsessed with all the cute designs! From useful ones reminding you of laundry day and bills to pay to shapes, stars, and puppies, you can find it all.

Many other brands also include stickers in their agendas and planners. They are inexpensive, so fun, and make me smile every time I open my planner. It’s the little things friends.

9. Check Marks

I started implementing this Freshman year of high school and it’s awesome! It’s so easy to do, I literally just draw a little box next to each assignment or task I need to get done in my planner, and as I complete it check it off. It is so satisfying! Of course, not all of the boxes always end up checked off at the end of the day, because we’re human. But at least the intention is there, and you can pick up from where you left off tomorrow!

10. Bookmark

A bookmark is really convenient when trying to find the week that you are currently on amongst all the pages in your planner. If your planner doesn’t come with one you can easily DIY a bookmark using a ribbon, washi tape, or a paper clip. Check out Pinterest or Youtube for tutorials on how to create a planner bookmark.

Let me know in the comments below which ideas you’ll be adding into your planner! Or if you have any suggestions on things I should add. I’d love to see what you create, share your planner with me @khaylaraelynn on Instagram! Seriously… DM me, girl! Let’s be insta-friends. Check out my action-packed “Ultimate Guide to a Stress-Free Semester” now!

Want to save these tips for later? Click the Pinterest save button in the left top corner of the image to pin it! (Pinterest is kinda my thing… check out my pins HERE.)

The party doesn’t stop here! Check out more posts you might like HERE!

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