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Good academic planners?


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Hi there -- I have begun to realize that in the next couple of weeks, as I begin the great move to grad school, I already need a planner to keep all of my thoughts/dates/to-do's straight!  I was searching around the forums for planners, but I couldn't find what I wanted.

 

For those who use academic planners (the paper & pen kind) which do you use and why?  I'm looking for one that I can keep with me in my bookbag, and has both weekly & monthly views.  I like being able to write down on the week-to-week calendar what all of my tasks are, but then also be able to see a whole month at a time so I can plan out long term projects, etc. 

 

I know Moleskine is popular, but do they have a week-to-week and monthly one? 

 

Any suggestions at all would be helpful!! Thanks! 

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I just use a basic planner from bluesky.com. It has a monthly and weekly view, and I really like that it has tabs and a thicker plastic cover to protect against liquid spills. I had a moleskine, but I like that the bluesky one is wirebound, so it can lay flat in half.

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In high school (and college), I kept a meticulous weekly planner that I would get from Staples or Barnes and Noble.

 

I tried to do the same for grad school and... my calendar changes so frequently that it was a pain to constantly erase... so I switched to using iCal, which isn't great (as I'm a huge fan of "real" paper and pencil stuff), but it's more convenient since I always have my laptop with me, and it's usually open during classes and research meetings. Some of my professors still use paper planners, but my advisor uses a calendar on his laptop, too.

 

You might just have to try something out and see if it works for you. I wanted to use a paper/pencil planner but quickly decided it wasn't going to work for me and my particular crazy schedule.

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I just use a basic planner from bluesky.com. It has a monthly and weekly view, and I really like that it has tabs and a thicker plastic cover to protect against liquid spills. I had a moleskine, but I like that the bluesky one is wirebound, so it can lay flat in half.

 

THanks so much! I really like these.

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In high school (and college), I kept a meticulous weekly planner that I would get from Staples or Barnes and Noble.

 

I tried to do the same for grad school and... my calendar changes so frequently that it was a pain to constantly erase... so I switched to using iCal, which isn't great (as I'm a huge fan of "real" paper and pencil stuff), but it's more convenient since I always have my laptop with me, and it's usually open during classes and research meetings. Some of my professors still use paper planners, but my advisor uses a calendar on his laptop, too.

 

You might just have to try something out and see if it works for you. I wanted to use a paper/pencil planner but quickly decided it wasn't going to work for me and my particular crazy schedule.

 

Me too!  That system was perfect in high school and college and I had high hopes to continue it in grad school.  Before the semester started I consulted every syllabus and transferred all assignments, exams, and papers to my weekly planner.  It also had a monthly view so I could note to myself when I needed to start papers or studying for exams.  Then I found that professors constantly changed deadlines, deleted assignments, added assignments, and the whole mess of white out and ink wasn't readable.  I started using Google Calendar and while I love it for work, personal appts, and bill deadlines it is only ok for school.  I haven't tried iCal so I may see if that's better for just school stuff and sync it with Google Calendar.

 

Anyhow I second the idea of trying a couple of different paper academic planners (and maybe an online calendar) until you find something that works for you.

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I personally love the planners at http://www.greenroomeco.com/planners , which I get at Target.

I have a big one that's the size of a notebook, which I love because I have enough room to write everything, and make changes if need be. It also has a hard cover so it doesn't get bent and destroyed in my bag under heavy books. They have smaller ones too.

It has a monthly and weekly view, and it comes in yearly, and academic year. My favorite is the colors and how clean it looks. I'm very OCD with my calendars too. It has a section for notes also.

 

 

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I already need a planner to keep all of my thoughts/dates/to-do's straight!? 

 

[...]

 

Any suggestions at all would be helpful!! Thanks! 

 

What ever solution you pick for your schedule, I recommend having a different solution for your thoughts.

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I am in love with the Moleskine extra-large planner, though right now I have the "large," which is also good (but not actually that large--it's 5x8). The XL was softback, while the large is hardback--I really can't decide which I prefer. Either way, I'm just kind of addicted to Moleskine books in general, so I was happy to find their planners. :)

 

I especially like that they have a blank "journal" page beside each week for extra notes. It's great for making longer lists, writing out directions to locations, taking a few impromptu notes at a meeting, etc.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Moleskine-Month-Weekly-Planner-Large/dp/8866135909/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374503386&sr=8-2&keywords=moleskine+planner

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There are some great planners at Target (might also be the Greenroom brand). They have both weekly and monthly views, a tab at each monthly calendar so it's easy to find the month you need, and an address book section. They come in some really nice colors and have soft, leather-esque covers. I prefer the smaller size that's about 5x8 because it's easier to break out quickly and jot something down. Should be under $15.

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I've been a fan of Muji stationary for a few years now. I'm currently using their 2013 vinyl bound planner. The design is simple and clean and was pretty affordable. I also really liked the texture and durability of the paper. When I bought it there were several sizes and colors. I checked muji.us for more details but it looks like their out of stock for this year. However, I found a good description with pictures here: http://yukiatsu.tumblr.com/post/36829447679/muji-2013-vinyl-chloride-cover-r-paper-monthly

 

I would definitely check for 2014 when the agenda/planner buying season comes around. In my search I also came across this pinterest board just for planners & diaries!! http://pinterest.com/designsponge/planners-diaries/

 

As for your thoughts, I would also go with the suggestion of jotting those down elsewhere.

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I am normally a paper/pen planner person, and I did buy an inexpensive month/weekly planner from family dollar, but I have recently transitioned to using an app on my iphone called "Remember the Milk."  It is more like a task list, but I absolutely love it.  It's a bit more workable for keeping track of to-dos and appointments than iCal.  My hubby uses iCal for his work schedule, so between the two apps, I am able to keep everything organized.  Plus, it coordinates with a website with your account, so you can update your task list (by various categories, etc) anytime, anywhere.  I probably sound like a commercial but I love this app.  I don't pay for the unlimited syncing - I just sync every 24 hours or so, and make do.  

 

I will still keep my paper/pen planner in my bookbag this fall, just in case I feel like it is more useful.  Who knows... we'll see. 

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Blue Sky is also the planner I liked when I used pen and paper planners.  You can get large and medium-sized, and their calendars have monthly and weekly views with lots of space for writing your obligations and to-dos.  Plus they have cute colors and designs.  I bought brightly colored pens and color-coded my tasks so it was easy to see what kinds of things I had to do.

 

The website is blueskyimg.com, but you can also buy them at Staples.

 

Now I simply use Google Calender, which I sync across iCal on my Mac and iPad and the calendar app on my Android phone.  Endlessly useful, since my calendar's at my fingertips when I need it and I don't have to remember to bring anything extra.  I always forgot to bring my planner along.

 

Thoughts I definitely still keep on paper; I have a variety of paper notebooks that I pick up from various places (bookstore, online, whatever).

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I use this one: http://polestarcalendars.com/calendars/original-student-calendar/

 

I find it to be the most helpful in terms of planning because of the different categories it has. I still haven't gotten much into keeping electronic calendars, so I still paper and pen mostly.

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I use a combination between my old school planner (a monthly/weekly I got at Target) and Google Calendar. I put all of my events (repeating/one time/deadlines/school's official calendar) on Google and I put the one time events also in my planner.

I use my planner for homework/reading assignments, deadlines, reminders, ect., just things that I need to remember during that specific week. I tend to not remember things unless I physically write them down, but I also like that since my phone is connected to my Google account, I can have it set to give me reminders 20-30 mins. before a meeting or class to make sure that I am not late. 

 

Granted, I have to take this with a grain of salt because I will be starting grad school this August and from what has been mentioned above, I may have to tweak my system. But, as I mentioned I work better with paper and pen so I will probably do everything in my power to keep my precious planner.  :lol:

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  • 3 years later...
On 7/22/2013 at 10:35 AM, bfat said:

I am in love with the Moleskine extra-large planner, though right now I have the "large," which is also good (but not actually that large--it's 5x8). The XL was softback, while the large is hardback--I really can't decide which I prefer. Either way, I'm just kind of addicted to Moleskine books in general, so I was happy to find their planners. :)

 

I especially like that they have a blank "journal" page beside each week for extra notes. It's great for making longer lists, writing out directions to locations, taking a few impromptu notes at a meeting, etc.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Moleskine-Month-Weekly-Planner-Large/dp/8866135909/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374503386&sr=8-2&keywords=moleskine+planner

Thanks for this recommendation! I've been struggling between paper/electronic but really want to keep a detailed paper planner for the PhD process. I think I'll try this one because it isn't spiral bound (I'm left handed).

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On 4/26/2017 at 8:51 AM, becca11773 said:

Thanks for this recommendation! I've been struggling between paper/electronic but really want to keep a detailed paper planner for the PhD process. I think I'll try this one because it isn't spiral bound (I'm left handed).

If you want a non-spiral bound planner, these are both pretty good. I ended up getting a differe (spiral-bound) one, but these were in my top 3:

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Elephant-Productivity-Happiness-Non-Dated-1/dp/B01KEU5GOA/ref=sr_1_4?s=office-products&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1493671208&sr=1-4&keywords=planners&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

https://www.amazon.com/Productivity-Planner-Daily-Non-Dated/dp/0991846222/ref=sr_1_58?s=office-products&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1493671269&sr=1-58&keywords=planners&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

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  • 1 year later...
On 7/21/2013 at 12:21 PM, eft4790 said:

Hi there -- I have begun to realize that in the next couple of weeks, as I begin the great move to grad school, I already need a planner to keep all of my thoughts/dates/to-do's straight!  I was searching around the forums for planners, but I couldn't find what I wanted.

 

For those who use academic planners (the paper & pen kind) which do you use and why?  I'm looking for one that I can keep with me in my bookbag, and has both weekly & monthly views.  I like being able to write down on the week-to-week calendar what all of my tasks are, but then also be able to see a whole month at a time so I can plan out long term projects, etc. 

 

I know Moleskine is popular, but do they have a week-to-week and monthly one? 

 

Any suggestions at all would be helpful!! Thanks! 

I LOVE my To-Go Weekly Planner. Its small, simple, inexpensive (I spill a lot of coffee), and has different day layouts based on how you prefer to view your week!

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I use Plum Planner's Horizontal Student in the 7x9 size. I like it because it's very customizable, you can start on any month you'd like and get as little as 6 months all the way up to 18 months. There's little "to-do" areas for each day of the week so I can write down tasks that I want to complete that day (and check off when done), plus a "priority/due today" to keep track of those things, and room to write other important things down each day. There's also a habit tracker on each week that I really enjoy, to help track studying or workouts. And of course, there's the monthly overview too so you can see the big picture. 
I typically just get a 6 month planner because it's thinner/to try out new style before I commit to a 12 month, but there's discounts for "upgrading" to 12 months plus. They have tons of different layouts too! I've used the ME Planner style before, but I had too many classes to fit and so it didn't work well for me. There's also an hourly layout or a general "priorities" layout that's very similar to the Horizontal student, just less academic references. 

https://www.plumpaper.com/shop/category/personalized-planners

If anyone's interested, I can send a discount code via email for 10% off a $30 order. Just PM me. 

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I have a planner by Day Designer that I love. It's laid out hourly on weekdays, with a week fitting on two pages. Under each day there's a Tonight box, and up above there's a Priority section with little boxes you can check off. I write my assignment due dates up top (and get to check them off when I'm done!) and write my daily targets (readings, etc) in the night and weekend boxes.

I also like it because it's not huge or tiny, has rings which makes it easy to stay open, and has a plasticky cover which protects it from getting wet.

Edited by bibliophile222
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