Planner Tips And Tricks

Picture

    My planner obsession started when my friend Esther introduced Kala Planners to me. They are a Venezuelan company that produce notebooks, planners, and other paper stuff. I start using that planner, and loved it.
I would wrote down everything, from a major event to wash hair.  I would write down everything in a random color, just to light up the boring black-and-white pages. I can go on and on about my Kala Planner, but i already did that here.
I then found Erin Condren, and I fell in love with her planners. I was obsessed, I would log in every day to try and find new scoops, pictures, and information about the upcoming planner. And I have to admit, I’m doing the same now. The new Life Planner will be on the market June 9th,  This planner has a lot of perks, and a lot of things going on, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with it.
    This is not a sponsored post. As a planner lover, I want to share my tips and trick on how to make the most out of your planner, no matter which one you go for.

Color-Code:
color coding might seem like a hassle, and maybe you will think that the planner is colorful enough. Color-coding is one of the best way for you to stay on top of your things. Read more about this here
Washi-Tape and Stickers: I found this Etsy shop that sells small coffee stickers, pill stickers and other adorable stuff. I found the coffee ones useful, since I have coffee dates with friends now and then. Overall I find stickers and washi tape extremely helpful since we are visual human beings.
Write it Down: it seems obvious, but writing everything down on your planner will help you a lot. I started writing just the assigments due, then I added the school things I have to complete that day and now I write everything!  I write the phone number of the company i have to call and that I have to send an email to my advisor. Writing all you have to do helps a lot.
Check Marks: I am obsessed with them. I love checking out the things i’ve completed already. I have a motive to complete my task, not only because I actually do what I have to do, but to check them out of my to-do list
Use the Monthly Calendar: it is a great way to see everything you have to do during that month without flipping pages like crazy. It helps me a lot when i have to plan a trip or when i need to move things around.

what are your best organization tips? what do you use to make your planner more appealing?

if you want an EC Life Planner, and would like 10$ off of it, sign up here.


Continue Reading

3 Ways of Color-Coding Your Planer Without Losing Your Mind

Picture

Wow, that is a long tittle.  Color-coding normally seems like a hassle. I started using color markers because my planner was black and white. It was simple, and the lack of color made me sad. Then, I realized that color-coding will help me a lot when it comes to completing tasks and keeping up with everything. I am a girl who takes every credit I am allowed to, I write for Her Campus Drexel, I am part of religious organizations, edit for my schools newspaper, and have a very active social life. Color-coding helps me to recognize the task without actually reading it. There are several ways of color-coding, and this color-code obsessed girl is here to help you find the best way for you:

By Dates:  I have seen people write down task depending on how much time they have left until the deadline. Orange is when you have three weeks to do it, purple when you have two weeks and pink when there is just one left. Some people find this helpful since they can visualize what is a priority that week and what should be done by that day.  If you are a person that completes a task depending on the due date, then this color code system is perfect for you.


By Class and Organization:  there is people that are taking several classes, and it is easier to assign a color to each of them. You know that pink is for your english class and orange will be math. This is extremely helpful when your life is really school orientated and you have a lot of classes going on. It helps also if you are part of organizations and you assigned a color for them
By Task: it is helpful if you assign a color for each task you do. Green goes for class to do’s,  red for deadlines, purple for readings, and blue for social events. You get the idea, each task will get a color so when you see orange you know that is related to gym and health stuff
this past year my color code system was a combination of all of these. I knew that everything green was what i needed to complete that day. I had colors assigned for my organizations, for social events and for health stuff. Of course I had a color assigned for my blog too,
How do you color-code? Have you find the best way to color-code your planner?
if you want an EC Life Planner, and would like 10$ off of your first purchase, sign up here.
Continue Reading

Library Must Haves

Picture

    The library can be either your best friend or your worst enemy. It is by far the best place to get your school work done, but at the same time, it can be quite a hassle sometimes. I bet that like me, you rather study somewhere else less mainstream. Truth to be told, i barely go to the library, I try to avoid it specially on final’s week when even finding a corner to study at seems impossible. When I do go, I bring with me the essentials so I can survive my trip to the library, and get the grade I slaved myself for.

Library Must Haves:
chargers:  bring a charger for everything! bring a charger for your iPhone, for your iPod, for your computer. Anything that runs on battery will need to be recharge at least once when you are cramming on work.
confy clothes: you can still look chick and stylish if you wear comfortable clothes. Of course those Steve Madden wedges look awesome with that skirt, but how are you going to feel after 4-5 hours? this is the time where comfort comes first.
books: well, duh! But there is a reason why i’m writing this down. I’m the kind of girl who will finish my work quickly (hello Pomodoro Technique) so normally my trips to the library will last about an hour. I learned that carrying all my books to the library helps a lot.
headphones:  the library will be quite, sometimes too quite. Personally I need some kind of noise to be able to study. It is proven that listening to classic music will help you focus more, so headphones are a must for your study sessions.
snacks:  the munchies are real when you have to study.  chocolate and nachos and everything sweet. If you are studying try to go for something that will actually fuel your brain like nuts or an apple.
water bottle: staying hydrated is important. you need water to be able to function
post its, highlihers, pens and more:  bring everything that you will need to create an amazing study guide.

what are your library’s must haves?


Continue Reading

5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Syllabus

Picture

Ah, the first day of class. You get the rush of getting to know your professor and your classmates, and what the class will be about. For college student is the day to get your syllabus, the bible of the class. Your syllabus contains important information that will be extremely useful during your term in that class. Some students forget about it, and let it die n the bottom of their backpacks. But truth to be told, using your syllabus can help you get good grades and be on the good side of the professor.
Using my syllabus as a guide for the class is what help me get an A. I went back to it and see what chapters I had to read for the week, when the exams were being held and the guidelines for the papers and projects. Here is my way of taking advantage of the syllabus:

Grab Your Planner:  and write all the deadlines down. I write them down in red, and that way I can know right away that I have a deadline coming soon.


Readings: it is so common for students to buy textbooks for classes and never use them, and it is because the university sends you the books that are normally required for that course. Some professors decide to go with another edition,  with a book that is completely different from the one that was assigned, or they will send PDFs to you. On your syllabus you will find the information about the book you will need, as well as the edition and printer.
Furthermore, you will have the readings that are assigned each week. Sometimes you will have to read chapter 6 before chapter 1, and chapter 8 right after reading chapter 9. Keeping track with your syllabus will save you a lot of time.
Contact Informationat the begging of the syllabus, you will find the professors information, as well as office hours. Write them down in your notebook or planner and be sure to have it handy, You might need it to ask your professor about the upcoming exam or to send him/her a paper that is due.
Deadline Spreadsheet: on top of using your planner, you should create a spreadsheet with the deadlines of all your classes and hang it near your studying place. My planner includes homework that is assigned during class, meetings, gym and my to do list for the day. It is normal that a deadline will get lost or that I forget to check my planner. When I go to my desk and see the spreadsheet, it is easier to have all the deadlines on track.
Projects: with a packed semester o quarter, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Syllabus normally contain the information needed for your projects ,and that way you can start them as soon as the first day and be on top of your gamehow do you use your syllabus? do  you find them usefull or completely useless?

Continue Reading

Your Complete Guide on How to Survive Finals Week

Picture

    It is finals week, and the library becomes your house. Caffeine becomes your best friend and your textbooks your worst enemiesSome people call it hell week, others decide to just black out and forget about it. Me? I make the best out of it. As stressful as it is, finals week is not that bad for me. I manage to do all I have to do, and have enough hours of sleep.  I realized that finals week can be just another week if you learn how to manage your time, eat the right food and learn how to study in the right way.

 

Eating:
it is imperative that you eat well. It is even more important to fuel your brain with nutrients that will help you study and achieve your goal. If you eat just carbs and a bag (or two) of chips every time you open a book, your brain will get tired, and your body will be too.  Feed your body with  good food!
apples: it is weird, but apples are supposed to be better than caffeine when it comes to keeping you awake. Plus, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
blueberries:  they are not just delicious and great antioxidants (helloo beautiful skin!) but blueberries will help you improve short term memory. And you know, short memory is the first step towards long term memory! Is that an A on your math exam?
nuts: if you need something crunchy go for nuts instead of Tostitos. nuts have tons of vitamins and nutrients and will help you with cognitive decline.


Time Management:
it sounds scary, right? how are you going to study those 5 chapters of biology, solve all the physics problems, read the novel for your English class and your final paper?
    to do lists: writing down what you have to do during the day will help you stay organized. Maybe you are not a total freak when it comes to organizing, and color coding doesn’t work for you, but having at least a post it with the things that most be done will help you visualize,  have a sense of achievement and a reminder that you have to do certain things. How many times have you been in your bed, about to fall asleep and you remember you have homework for the next day?
planner:  im not recommending this just because i am addicted to my planner, but because it actually works. to do lists are great, but having a place where you can visualize the bigger picture is the key to success. Write down the dates, when you will be studying, and when you will be having me time.
pomodoro technique: i wrote a whole post about this. If you focus on your math problems for 25 minutes, have a small break and then move to another task you will accomplish more.

chunks: and I’m not talking about chocolate chunks. normally finals are cumulative, and if you start studying from day one, the only thing you will have to worry about during finals’ week is reviewing. Study hard for your midterms, review your notes after your classes, read the book as soon as it is assigned and you will do great during this week.

Studying:
the hardest part
    write it down:  it is proved that writing down the information will help you retain it better. When I have to study I take hand-written notes and then, when I’m done I re-write them in a prettier way. I read my notes a couple of times and that helps me retain the information and actually understanding it better.
    extra credit: I am an overachiever. I will do everything I have to do, plus more. When it comes to extra credit I am the kind of girl who will do it even if I already have an A in the class. You should do the same. Extra credit is not just about having extra points in your final grade, but it will help you learn more about the class, it will show interest and worst case scenario, you do badly at your exam, you will have something that will compensate that.
use the syllabus: it is the last week of class and of course you will forget about this, but normally the syllabus has important information that can help you study in a better way. It can contain the exact pages you will need to learn, or the concepts.
flashcards:  personally, im old fashioned and i bbuy flashcards and write on them. But there are also apps that will help you with that. Flashcards is the best way to quiz yourself and memorize information for your exams
Breaks:
gym:
going to the gym seems like the last thing you want to do during finals’ week, but it is the perfect break for your brain and body. You’ve been cramming on work and tiring your brain, and obviously you don’t want to do the same to your body. But when you excersice, your body created endorphins, your brain gets more oxygen and you will be able to think more clearly and retain more information. So go for a run or a bike ride and you will feel much better. Plus, after you take a shower you will be so refresh that going back to study wont be a hassle.
    nap: i don’t recommend this one because there is a high chance you will wake up feeling worst than before. If you are one of the crazy people who decided to pull an all nighter, then you should take a small nap. An hour and a half is a full REM cycle, and it is the ideal amount of time for a nap. Your brain needs to rest, so do you. Go ahead and fell into Morpheus arms.
fro-yo: caffeine seems like your best friend while studying, and if you are going out with your friends you will choose to go to Starbucks. Going for fro-yo is a great way to keep your body caffeine free and a way to relax with friends. Maybe setting time to do so is impossible,  but planning on having at least one break a day will help you go through this stressful time.
And my last tip: believe in yourself! you can conquer this week and you will. Good lick with your exams!

what are your tips for finals week?

Continue Reading

Finals Survival Guide

Picture

Yes, is that time of the year, and no, I dont mean the trees changing colors and Starbucks selling Pumpkin Spice Latte.  It’s time for final’s study sessions. Nights full of stress are here. You will put all-nighters, you will cry and you will procrastinate. You will kind of suffer this week, but as they said: what doesnt kill you makes you stronger! You can survive this week and this study sessions, I believe in you!

playlists: listen to Hans Zimmer on Pandora. Classic music will not only help you concentrate, but your brain actually works better after listening to classic music for a while. I know that listening to Mozzart is not part of your plan, but what about Pirates of the Carribean or Lion King songs?
water: stay hydrated! you will feel so tired if your body needs water, so treat it right and drink up!
coffee: but dont over do it. yes, my blog’s name is coffee beans because i am the kind of girl who will have three shots of espresso every morning (shame on me!), but overdoing your caffeine will not be good for your brain during study sessions
group: study with people will make you realize what you have been doing wrong, or it will make you practice even more while you explain things to them!
healthy snacks: of course a bag of tostitos and queso is on the top of your list, but it will be better for you to eat an apple or some crackers with hummus! treat your body and brain right and they will pay it back!
breaks: schedule some breaks! you will need it. It might seem like you should work for 12 straight hours, but believe me, a 20 minute break will help you instead of hurting you!
planner: plan your study time, and stick to it! if you know that you have a bio exam tomorrow, dont study for psych!
bring everything with you: forget about those back-and-forth trips to your desk! pack everything you will need to study!
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
if you liked this post you should check:


Continue Reading

How I Use My Planner 2.0

Picture

My planner goes with me wherever I go. If you read my first post about my planner you should know.
In that post, I explained how I used my old planner and why I am buying an Erin Condren one.  TOday, I will show you how I use my new bible, and tips and tricks for it.

The clear ruler is perfect to mark the week we are on, but it is also great to put a post it and see how you color code your planner. Each of my activities has a different color, so it is easier for me to see when I have to do something and what it is about.
My week is planned like it is supposed to be. I use the Morning, Day, and Night divisions and that helps me a lot. I used to write whatever I needed to do on my planner without order. Call Mom could be before going to class, and things like that. Being able to organize my day per time is great. I use my color code system. I use stickers for meetings like “Her Campus” is pink and my school newspaper is blue. If i have to do something for them like “check article, take pictures” that will be written down. When something is done, I just put a check mark besides the task.
Where goals and notes is, I write my goals for the week. As you might have read on “On Being Healthy” i write my eating goals there. At the end of each day “pill” is written. This is for me to not forget my daily vitamins and the pills I have to have.
the two sheet month spread is just for trips or things that will take more than one day. For example, if I am going to Boston to visit D, I will put a strip of the designer sheet. I will do the same on the week spread but it is easier to see in the monthly spread. I also put a red dot on the corner of the days I have an exam or project due so I can organize myself better.
the notes part is used for many things. One page is for my log ins, another is for my post ideas and then I have one on how to edit texts. I am going to do the same that I did on my last planner and write quotes on them.
The Keep It Together two size pocket is perfect to hold bigger things. I bought notebooks from EC, so I have tons of stickers. Since I dont use them in my notebooks, I cut them out and use them for my planner. I also use this pocket for the notepads pages. Since the notepad is really bulky, I just have three of those pages there. Behind the notepads pages are payment confirmations or any handout I need to keep in my planner.
The Clear Pocket is perfect to put all my stickers! I bought the designer sticker sheets and I cut them in strips so I can use them in my two sheet month spread. Is the best way to keep all my small things in one same place
If you want 10$ off of your first purchase click here.
disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. just my opinion and how i use my planner.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
if you like this post, then check
Continue Reading

Studying Tips

PictureStudying Tips

Ugh, you have tons of things this week. You have a math quiz, plus two papers to give in, you also have to read some chapters of the book for your bio class and 200 physics exercises to do. On top of that, you have to go to your clubs meeting and do the basic stuffs like take a shower, eat and sleep. But how will you achieve all of this?

priorities:  I can’t stress this enough. You need to set your priorities. Do you really need to go to the gym? What has more weight on your final grade or what is due earlier this week? Do a list o priorities and see what is more important.
plan: maybe you are not big planning, but you should have a plan and stick to it. Decide when you are going to do what, and how you are going to do it.
study group: I have to admit I suck at studying with people. I talk to them and I will get distracted with the things around. But I have found study groups actually really helpful. Instead of studying from scratch with them, go with the information on your head or the math exercises done. The idea behind a study group is to compare answers and review things in case you are wrong. Create a study group and meet once in a while.
write it down: no, you won’t remember if you don’t write it down. You need to see what you have to do in order to actually do it. Also, when I say write it down I mean the information. You will retain more information if you write in down than if you type it or just read it.
one thing at a time: multitasking doesn’t work, you need your full attention towards one thing.
don’t wait until the last day: and by that I mean do it as soon as you know you have to do it. It’s college, you will have tons of things to do, so you better finish some of your assignments before they are due.
use your school resources: I am pretty sure your school has tons of resources that can help you improve your grades. My school actually has tons of them, and one that I will try soon is the writing center. They will help you with your papers once they are written.
gather your things: grab everything you need and have it with you. If you have to stand up every 5 minutes to get your stuff then you are getting distracted and you won’t finish your things.
don’t put an all nighter: during my freshman orientation my adviser asked us “would you train all night before a marathon? or would you sleep for 8 hours, eat a healthy breakfast and then go and run? The same goes with an exam”
pomodoro technique:  this will help you with time management. You can read my post here.
drink water and eat food. Never skip a meal, you need fuel.

Continue Reading

Ipad Apps for Students

Picture

My parents gave me an Ipad for college. It is an early birthday present and something to help me thru my college life. If you read my post on How I Organize My Iphone Apps, you know that I love apps and organizing them. Now that I have an Ipad, I couln’t help but download apps that every student should have.

PLANNERS: yes, you know how much I love planning and organizing, and I found some apps that are super helpful when it comes to this.
boximize: this app lets you create lists. They are called collections and you have every kind of lists that you want. Each “collection” is different and have specific things to fill out. Currently I am using the “Expenses” one to write what I am buying, so when I add something to this list I can write the description, amount spent, type of expense, date, receipt and more.  You can add a collection of member cards and business cards that will include the name and a picture of it. You also have to-do lists, movies, contacts, diet log, recipes, and more.


    myhomework: I am IN LOVE with this app. Seriously. So when you open the app you will have a dashboard for classes and another for  homework so you can have an overall view.  at the left of the app you will find “calendar”, “homework”, “teachers” and more. If you click calendar and choose a certain day it will show you the classes you have that day, the assignments due and the monthly calendar. This is a perfect way to have your school schedule and see the assignments due certain days. I do have my planner, my Erin Condren one, which I will show you how I use it soon. I do write my due dates on it, but I don’t write my schedule because it changes every three months. This app is perfect for me to see my classes and the dates with no problem.
    evernote: if someone knows how to use it, please let me know. I know is a great app for organizing and keeping everything together, but I have no idea how to use it properly.

STUDYING: carrying my computer around is not part of my plan, it is super heavy and I dont want to damage my back.  I downloaded some apps that will help me with classes.
keynote, numbers and pages: so basically these are powerpoint, excel and word. You can download documents and see them on your Ipad and have them handy.
adobe reader: I think I have recieved more pdf documents than anything else as study guides, so this app is a must.
duolingo: ok, maybe I won’t have time to study by myself a new language, but this app is great for that. I want to learn Italian at some point, and if I take it at college this app will help me improve.

   kindle: i do own a kindle, but having it on my Ipad will allow me to buy/rent books and see the pictures with no problems.
chegg: talking about books, chegg is great for renting them! they are cheaper than most bookstores and you can rent ebooks too!
  studyblue: this is an app for digital flashcards. You write what you want on the front and the answer on the back and then the app tests you and gives you a result. Love this app for studying concepts.
easypomodoro: the pomodoro effect is a great way to study. This app will help you with this tactic. Yes, I know I can use the stop-watch, but this is prettier!

I also downloaded apps to use for my blog, such as bloglovin, photoshop express, weebly, and social media.
What apps help you with school?

Continue Reading

Erin Condren Shopping Haul

Picture

A while ago I discovered Erin Condren. I needed a planner, found hers and bought it. Then, I decided to buy many accessories to use with my planner, because let’s face it, the prettier the planner the happier the owner.  I bought:

SUMMER BUNDLE: it was a promotion she had last month. Inside a plastic clutch were the summer edition of the designer stickers, a pen holder, coil clips, pens, and a sample of her body lotion. Coil clips were something I thought I was going to need, and even if I haven’t use them, I know I will soon. The pen holder is great to hold my red marker, the one I use to check things out of my to do list, and the pens are great, they don’t lick or bleed and the colors are fine, not great but fine.  And the designer sticker sheets, I think is the main thing about this. I am not loving the designs as much as I thought I will. I love the scales and anchor ones, but I am not too fund of the others. I am sure I will find a good use to them soon.


COVERS: mixed feelings about them. They are beautiful, and it is so hard to choose just one! But when I bought my planner I choose party pops and loved it when I saw my planner. I have bought the wild cover with a quote, and the gold edition one, but I am not sure when I will use them. Maybe I will coordinate the cover with my outfit or occasion.
NOTEPADS: they are great, and you can match them to your covers. I got two, one for party pops on white (it looks prettier than black) and the wild one with the matching quote. I paste the notepad at the end of my planner (back cover) but it was to bulky for me. I put it now on the “keep it together” pocket.
Since the planner gets bulkier and bulkier, I bought the elastic bands in golden.
And of course, my planner!
If you want to get 10$ off of your first purchase, sign up here.
*this is not a sponsored post.
Continue Reading