Since kindergarten, I have always had an obsession with agendas. Besides stickers, it was my favorite thing to collect. Though my friends typically peg me as a Ross, this is definitely where my inner Monica shines. There is something so calming about making lists and writing plans down. It is the most tangible way to feel a sense of control.
As a child, I would only collect agendas and never write in them. Guess there wasn’t much of a need to pen in ‘meeting at the park for tag at 3pm’. It wasn’t until high school that I actually needed to jot things down and step up my time management game.
It’s truly a trial and error process. At that time I would just create my own agenda from a notebook, but that was time consuming and not as pretty as pre-made planners. I am not crafty enough, nor patient enough to use a ruler to make sure my washy tape is perfectly aligned. I take a more practical approach.
In my second semester of freshman year I met ‘the one’. The one agenda for me I mean 😛
The Bando agenda ticks all the boxes for me.
Estee even mentioned it in her Christmas Gift Guide 2016 video! (at the 2:56 mar)
- Beautiful illustrations and layout that looks great on its own
- Two-Page monthly layout
- Spiral binding
- Minimalistic space for daily spread
Tip 1: Identify Your Needs and Purpose
I needed a agenda mostly for university to keep track of my projects, exams, meetings, and assignments. There needed to be a monthly spread with quite ample space as well as daily columns that give me enough room to write lists. It also needed to be portable, as I will need to bring it with me everywhere. The size of your school bag would then impact the size of the agenda you pick. Previously I have used the smaller Bando agenda without the spiral ring binding. But I much prefer to write on pages that lay completely flat.
Tip 2: Choosing a Design
Unless you are willing to invest a considerable amount of time and money into your agenda, I would recommend picking one that is already pretty much decorated. This is why I love my Bando agenda. Every month’s theme is different, there are lots of bright colors, and it includes fun holidays and stickers as well. It leaves you enough space to get a little creative, but it can definitely also stand on its own as a fun/quirky agenda. For a little something extra, you can also get it monogramed. As the Southern belles would say, “everything is better with a monogram”. It will immediately make your planner unique and personal.
Tip 3: Color code
Create a system for yourself using different color highlighters and pens. This is actually a tip I received from my IB English teacher when she was showing us how to effectively annotate. I would keep the number of colors under 5 for the convenience factor (Excluding black and lead). I can’t be bothered to lug around a whole set of colored pens.
Tip 4: Fill in Important Dates
A great way to get things started is to fill your agenda with important dates that you know for sure. I would typically copy my academic calendar onto the corresponding monthly spreads. I would also put in my schedule, but my school changes schedule weekly.
Tip 5: Stay with it and be Diligent
This is key. The only way for it to be accurate is if its updated regularly. Things change all the time, so make sure you fill in the relevant info a.s.a.p. It is less stressful too, because you can deposit the dates and tasks into the agenda and keep your mind clear.