How To

How to: Use a planner

I’m a huge planner. My weeks are planned out way in advance and I like to keep a schedule. My planner/agenda is my life and goes with me pretty much everywhere. I get my planners in July to run August-July. When I was looking for my planner for this year, I spent HOURS searching for the perfect planner before landing on a Lilly Pulitzer agenda. I love my Lilly planner and will probably stick with it at least through law school.

Using a planner is critical to staying on top of your work in law school. Being able to use an agenda effectively is even more important. I’ve seen electronic planners and paper planners in law school. I prefer paper planners for assignments, mini to do lists, and events but I use a google calendar for figuring out my time slots. Here’s how I use my planner.

For each week, I fill out my assignments for the coming week. Luckily, most of my professors have set syllabuses (syllabi?) so I know where we are and where we’re likely to get that week and can plan ahead.

The first half of my week
The first half of my week

Every Monday, I fill out the entire week. Along the right side of the page, I have the general events I have for the day. So this week Tuesday, I had my oral argument and Wednesday I had an interview with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The numbers on the left side are the ounces of water I’ve drank while I’m at school. It’s easier for me to keep track of my water intake in my planner so I can put it into My Fitness Pal later.

With my Etsy stickers
With my Etsy stickers

Each week, I try to plan out my workouts and when we’re going to work with Louie on his desensitization. In the summer, I got awesome customized stickers from Etsy. I also keep track of when my bills are due in my planner so I make sure none of them slip through the cracks. If I make a to do list, I box it off so I can figure out exactly what I need to get done later.

I’ve started getting my planner set for next semester too and I’m so excited to try some new things in my planner to see how they help me be successful.

Weekly goals
Weekly goals

I’m going to try adding a weekly goal to my planner. Sometimes it will be “catch up on any reading” or “work on outlines”. Sometimes, it will be “network with 1 lawyer” or “relax”. I’m a very goal oriented person so hopefully this will help me focus on the big picture.

Reminders
Reminders

The other thing I’m excited to try out is monthly (or more frequent) reminders. For this week in February, my reminder is to participate in class. Participation is always helpful for me to understand concepts and stay on task. A reminder will help keep me on track for the class and focus on what I can do to be successful. Bonus: I have adorable little heart stickers to remind me to give Louie his heartworm medicine; it fits the theme for this month.

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