I am a busy bee. Sometimes I fall behind on blogs, sometimes I skip workouts during the week, and sometimes I even fail an exam.

Managing my own schedule is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m very overzealous when it comes to taking on new responsibilities or hobbies, and I tend to overdue myself. A friend in high school even told me once “you are so busy, you make bees look like slackers”. Today I am 25 and I can say the same still applies.

Going to school full-time while also working a full-time job is no easy feat, but I’ve managed to survive the past couple of years. Not only that, but I’d say I have a pretty cool social life and I am a consistent weekend warrior.

The only way I’m able to keep up with myself is my Lilly Pulitzer planner. From an early age (and I am talking about kindergarten here), I got into the habit of using an “agenda” for writing down all my homework tasks and crossing them off once I am done. I am an incredibly organized person and I attribute it to the planner habit. I have never gone a school year without meticulously maintaining a planner filled with endless to-do lists and appointment reminders.

Come 2008 and cell phones become popular. Everyone moves to digital calendars, but me. I grew so accustomed to physically crossing things off a list, that I just can’t kick the habit–but it works seamlessly for me.

August is one of my favorite months simply because it is the month I can move into a new Lilly planner for the next 12-18 months. Yes, I am excited for a fresh planner with unwrinkled pages and a new cover design. After daily use for an entire year, it does get a little ruffled in the pages, so a crisp new planner gets me excited.

I have tried and explored many different planners, but the Lilly Pulitzer planner is the one that best fits my needs. With a notes section in the front, I have a way to jot down quick reminders or even class notes if I forget my notebook. The monthly layout has a strip for monthly goals or to-do items, and I can see all my special events or weekend trips across all four to five weeks at once. As soon as I get an invitation or a save-the-date, I’m able to jot it down and see if I have any conflicts right off the bat.

The weekly layout has plenty of lines. I write homework at the top, by class, and write events or appointments starting at the bottom line of the day, in a different color. Yes, I mildly color code things. (Speaking of color coding, check out these amazing gel pens I use that don’t bleed and write incredibly smooth). The weekend days are smaller sections, which is appropriate considering I don’t have homework on the weekends.

There is just something about the satisfaction of physically crossing things off my list that keeps me glued to a paper planner. If you need a bit more organization in your life, you should try out having a planner. You can also check out other planner systems like Erin Condren, or Day Designer to name a few.

How do you like to stay organized?

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