The LEAD Center Planner Workshop 

Emma Delk, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, September 7th The LEAD (Learning Enrichment and Academic Development) Center held a workshop on planners, hosted by LEAD Center Coordinator, Britney Cutcha. The presentation covered all the different types of planners one can use, how to organize one’s planners, and other beneficial ways one can use a planner apart from scheduling. The presentation was great for students who had no prior experience with planners and for those who were veterans in their use of them. 

The talk began with the different types of planners one can utilize. Britney stressed that what planner you use is based on one’s own personal preferences, so it may take a lot of experimentation to determine what planner type is best for you. Britney said about buying different planners, “Be willing to buy cheap options and print stuff out to see what does and doesn’t work.” The LEAD Center website has plenty of printable planner options for students to experiment with. If one does not like physical planners, one can also explore online options. Britney suggested using the Outlook Calendar, which allows you to set reminders for assignments, tests, etc. Britney also recommended that one can use OneNote to down PDFs to then make templates for planners.  

Once one finds the planner they prefer, one can then find how they like to organize the planner. From her own experience with planning, Britney suggested starting with large events and then gradually incorporating smaller events into their planners. For example, one can start with weekly tasks and then move on to hourly tasks. In the end, one could end up using both the weekly and hourly planning combined to have both an overview of their week while also being able to see a daily breakdown of each day. 

If someone likes to make to-do lists, Britney recommended having around three things in each daily to-do list so one does not become overwhelmed with what they have to do in a day. One can also organize their to-do list into categories of importance, so one has items that they have to get done that day while other things on the last can just be started and not completed without any stress. Once again, how one chooses to organize their planner is personal preference, and it may take trial and error to determine one’s optimal organization style.   

One element to her planner that Britney added through her own trial-and-error process was a section to journal within her planner. Journaling can be anything from a paragraph written about one’s day to just a sentence, it is just a way to reflect on one’s day. Britney expressed that journaling is very helpful from a mental health standpoint, as it helps keep one grounded when bad things occur. Incorporating journaling into one’s planner is a great way to make a planner feel more personal, as one is sharing their thoughts and feelings within it, not just what they have to do that day. 

At the end of the talk, Britney stressed, “Planning should not feel like a chore, it should just make you more productive.” If one stops using their planner for a week or even a month, one should not feel guilty. Britney suggests using a planner with no dates on it if one continually stops using it, just so one feels they are not wasting time by not using their planner. A planner is what one makes of it, and personal preference is key to success when using one.