8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

A planner is more than just for housing and organizing your events, activities, and to-do lists. It can also be used in fun creative ways to add more value and organization to your life! Check out our favorite unique ways to utilize your Paper & Plan Co. planner!

How to Create an Accountability Planner to Stay on Track

How to Create an Accountability Planner to Stay on Track

An Accountability Planner is more than a daily bullet list or Academic Planner. It's a way to stay accountable for your day, big picture goals, and stay on track. But how do you create a system to see success? Here's where to start.

Commit to an Accountability Buddy

Accountability Partner - Paper & Co

Research shows that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. In other words, if you tell someone your goals and stay accountable to a social circle, you're more likely to complete a project.

Ask another teacher or student to meet for a few minutes once a week to review each other's Accountability Planners or Academic Planners. Be honest about where you're struggling, if your daily routine is realistic, and make suggestions to one another on how to break through challenges and plateaus. The more you work together, the easier it gets to succeed.

Account for Small Time Windows

Teachers and students know that all of the minutes in the day count, yet time may feel wasted. Instead of struggling to find something productive to do in five or ten minutes, chart it out in your planner instead. Write-in tasks that can be done in relatively short periods:

  • Respond to X many parent/student emails
  • Take a walk outside to squeeze in some exercise time
  • Organize supplies for the next class period
  • Clean off your desk

Jotting down a list of short activities to reach for during a lull will also help you stay on track to complete more time-consuming tasks. 

Batch Similar Work in Time Blocks

Time Blocking - Accountability Planner - Paper & CoYou may already know that batching time blocks to do like-minded tasks is a significant productivity hack. However, it can also you stay accountable for your big picture goals. When you work in chunks of time on specific tasks, you're more likely to complete them and add momentum to your day.

When you use an accountability planner (or an Academic Planner) to chart out your time batching goals, you're less likely to leave loose ends to your task at hand.

Give Students an Accountability Planner or Agenda

Teachers aren't the only ones who can stay organized with the help of an Academic Planner. Give your students (or require them in your yearly supplies) to bring in their own Accountability Planner or daily agenda. Even younger kids benefit from writing down their homework or upcoming projects and asking parents to sign every night.

When students are held accountable for their work with a simple process like writing it down in a planner, teachers are less stressed by communicating homework to parents and following up. The ultimate goal is for students to learn organizational and executive functioning skills while teachers have less busy work doing it all for their students.

Chart Out Your Personal Goals

Our career doesn't exist in a vacuum. We also need balance in our personal lives to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle. Work on charting out your personal goals in your Accountability Planner, and keep it realistic. Working 12-hour days in the classroom and meeting with students or attending campus events is serious labor.

Adding on hours of studying something new or working out daily for an hour may not be realistic. Instead, chart out realistic goals in your planner from nutrition to exercise time that helps you find balance instead of overwhelms your day. It also enables you to stay accountable to those goals instead of letting your personal life fall to the wayside.

Plan for Some Flexibility

Time Blocking - Accountability Planner - Paper & CoOur days are not set in stone once students leave the classroom. Issues arise, the people in our lives need immediate attention, and suddenly projects get left undone. Add some flexibility to your day that allows a chunk of time to catch up on missed work or deal with something unexpected.

You want your Accountability Planner to help create space to stay on track. Overloading your day leads to burn-out or a domino effect where everything starts sliding off your schedule. Instead, jot down ideas for your flex time, from a quick workout to following up on a presentation with a student.

Mark off Your Tasks

It sounds simple, but marking off your tasks or the entire day helps with accountability. Suddenly you have pages of checkmarks and the satisfaction of knowing how much you've accomplished. Then, when you face challenges, you can revisit those pages of completed work to keep you motivated to push through. 

Ready to start taking accountability for your day? Shop our Paper & Plan collection to organize your day with efficiency and style. Our Academic Planners also make perfect Accountability Planners!

Academic Planner - Paper & Co

How to Make the Most Out of Your Academic Planner

An academic planner supercharges your entire year while keeping the overwhelm at bay. Instead of storing everything in multiple planners and digital downloads, a central academic planner keeps your entire life organized. Studies also show that writing things down leads to better productivity, clarity, and focus.

Grab your planner and get ready to organize your life. Not sure where to start? Here's how to make the most out of your academic planner.


Make it a Habit

Filling in a brand new academic planner is a thrilling prospect for some people and overwhelming for others. Rest assured, there is no right or wrong way to how you feel about the task of getting started with your planner.

However you feel about using your new academic planner, the first steps are the same. Take action and make it a habit. Set aside ten minutes every day to work exclusively in your academic planner. You can always keep going and put in more time if you're feeling inspired. And if you need a break, you've put in your ten minutes, and your planner homework for the day is done.

Prioritize Your Schedule

The beauty of an academic planner is how much you can store and organize in it. But it's wise to start with the basics. Map out your schedule and most important tasks first. You'll end up with more clarity about the most urgent tasks at hand and how to proceed. 

Think About Your Stressors

Academic Planner - StressIt's never fun thinking about your key stressors in life, but writing them down and coming up with a system to deal with them is empowering. If meal planning puts you into a tailspin, make room for the task in your planner and face those stressors.

Chart out a few basic meals and then lean to take-out or your usual standbys for the rest of the week. As you get more comfortable with those stressors, you'll be able to integrate them into your academic planner on a regular basis. 

Chart Out Your Goals

An academic planner is a powerful tool to practice organization but can also be used to chart out your goals. Our goals take more meaning and clarity when we write them down and see how to approach them. Whether you're trying to get fit or hit a financial plan, you can use your planner to keep track of your progress and the steps involved. 

Consider Pet Projects

No rule says your academic planner must be used for daily responsibilities and tasks. You can also use your favorite planner to track your pet projects. Volunteer work, book clubs, a home renovation, or exploration of a new hobby are all fun ways to use your planner to blend work and play.

Personalize Your Academic Planner

Academic planners should inspire you to stay organized and take action. You can make it as straightforward or as fun as you want. Use different colored pens for various tasks or weeks to give your eyes more visual clues and context. 

Keep It Realistic

Your academic planner is a tool that should leave you feeling empowered. If your schedule and goals are so unrealistic you can't possibly meet them; you'll abandon your planner and go back to unorganized chaos. Make your planner an honest reflection of your life that keeps you focused and motivated.

Live Out Your Routine

Making the most of your academic planner by taking action and living out your routine. Charting out your routine only goes so far without acting on it. Be brave! Take your planner and use it as a way to stay on task. Put one foot in front of the other until your day and week are done.

Forget Perfection

Has this ever happened to you? You zealously fill in your academic planner but then realize it's not accurate or realistic and just want to throw it out and start over?

Remember, there's no such thing as perfection. Our lives aren't perfect, and neither are our planners. Embrace all the tools and resources you have available to organize and bring more calm into your life and let go of the idea of perfection.

Next Steps

Ready to take control of your life and make the most of your academic planner? Shop Paper & Co.'s selection of products here and feel empowered again.