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How I use a Study Planner as a University Student

20/08/2020

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If you haven’t been following me on social media, then you may not know that I went back to university this semester. I am now completing my second last subject of my double degree after an 8.5 year break due to illness. It has been a huge life change for me and I knew I would need some help to keep on top of everything, so I have been using the Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner to help stay organised. Last year I wrote a blog post about how I plan my daily life, where I showed you that I use Chasing Planner Peace inserts to do that. I have used their inserts for many years now, and so I know they’re great quality and that their customer service is top notch, so when I looked into study planning, I knew I would be using the Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner Inserts. Jess kindly sent me the inserts to use, and she is also collaborating with me on a giveaway, so keep reading for that. I have taken photos of every type of page of the Study Planning inserts so that you can see everything that is in the bundle, and I will explain how I have laid out my study planner to best suit my needs. 

Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner - how to plan your studying as a university student - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner

The Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner Inserts are A5 in size, so they need an A5 ring planner. Chasing Planner Peace has a full A5 Study Bundle that includes the planner, but you can use any A5 planner with the inserts. I am using my inserts in the Kikki K A5 Personal Planner Blush, which is the first vegan planner from Kikki K that I have actually liked. I hope they continue to make nice vegan planners in future. Other planner brands that make vegan ring planners are Webster’s Pages who make the Color Crush range (I use one of their personal sized planners for my everyday planning), and Simple Stories who make the Carpe Diem range. I’m sure there are more vegan ring planners out there, I just haven’t looked for one in a long time. The best thing about ring planners is that you can re-use the same planner every year, and just replace the inserts, which saves a lot of money. 

Monthly Overview

Yearly overview in A5 planner - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Yearly overview

My study planner is broken up into seven sections. Each section is separated by one of the Kikki K dividers. The first section is my monthly planning. This includes the yearly overview, which has three pages showing an overview of the dates of each month, and the fourth page has room to write any important dates for each month.  Then there are 12 months worth of undated monthly overviews. Each month has a double page monthly layout, with notes on the right hand side, a top three list at the top of the page and a goals section at the bottom. On the next page there is the month in summary where there are sections to write in the assignments due, exam and test dates, social events, preparation for next month, biggest achievement and biggest challenge. 

Undated monthly overview for students - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Monthly overview
Month in summary with sections to write assignments due, exam and test dates, social events, preparation for next month, biggest achievement and biggest challenge. Study Planning for university - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Month in summary

The undated monthly inserts can be filled in by hand, or you can do what I do and use stickers for the dates and any important things you need to remember, like classes, tutorials, labs, assignments or exams. I used stickers from the same shop that I use in my day-to-day planning, which is PMD Stickers. For my monthly study planning I am using the Rainbow Mini Date Dot stickers, but you could use black and white dates or even metallic date stickers, there are a huge amount of date dot stickers available on Etsy from various shops. To mark important dates, I’m using rainbow tiny stickers from the study icon listing, which are the tiny desk for lectures, the notebook for tutorials, and the paper for assignments. I am only doing one subject so I don’t need to differentiate between classes, but if I was doing more than one subject then I would buy one colour per subject and that way it would be easy to see what was happening with each subject just by the colour of the sticker. I would also utilise the notes section on the right hand side to write down which assignments were due for which subject that month. You can also use transparent dot stickers over important dates in the yearly overview, if that is helpful for you. I just prefer to leave it blank and use my monthly pages for that.

Chasing Planner Peace Study Planner monthly overview with PMD Stickers to mark dates, lectures, tutorials and assignments due - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Monthly overview with PMD Stickers

Important Information

Timetable week 1 insert to help plan university studies - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Timetable week 1

The second section of my study planner is reserved for important information that I might need to access quickly. This includes my timetable and teacher contact inserts. There are two weeks worth of timetable inserts, which has seven boxes to write in a time that corresponds with your timetable and seven days worth of columns to cover the whole week. The boxes are big enough to write the subject, type of class (lecture, tutorial, lab etc), and the location of the class. When I went to uni full time on campus, this would have been my most used insert because I was always forgetting where my next class was. The other thing I included in this section is the teacher contact details insert. I want that easily accessible, because if anything goes wrong, it will be easy to find the contact details that I need to get the situation sorted out. 

Teacher contact details insert for students - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Teacher contact details

Tasks and Lists

Assignment tracker inserts for students at university. Assignment tracking makes studying planning easier - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Assignment tracker

The third section I have in my study planner is for tasks and lists. This includes 5 pages of assignment tracking. Each assignment tracking page has room for your unit/class name, and then columns for your assignment title, date due, percentage of total grade, a spot to check when the assignment is submitted and a section for your end result/grade. This is a great way of keeping on top of what is due, but also a good way of tracking how well you are performing in each subject. If you end up needing more assignment tracker pages, then you can buy them separately. Then there are 6 pages of reading lists. Each page has a table with room to input the unit name, title of the reading, date due and a checkbox for when it is completed. I wouldn’t have really needed these pages for my science degree, but they are very helpful for my arts degree. My arts subjects always had less face-to-face learning than my science subjects, but they required a lot more work at home to just get through all the readings. It can be easy to forget what I have already read and what I still need to do, so this is a good way of tracking what still needs to be done. You can buy the reading list for students inserts separately if you ever need more. The last two pages in this section are exam trackers. The exam tracker tables have room to write the unit name, date of the exam, time of the exam, exam format and a checkbox for when you’re done. I thankfully don’t have any exams in the current subject I’m doing, but there were so many of them in my science subjects, so this would have helped to remember what was happening and when. 

Study planner reading list for university students - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Reading list
Exam tracker inserts for students - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Exam tracker

Study and Essay Planning

Today's Study daily study tracking and planning inserts. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Today’s study

The fourth section of my study planner is for study and essay planning. In here you will find 8 pages for planning daily study. Each daily study insert (named Today’s Study), has a section for the date, a list of tasks to complete, a small list of reminders, a list for the 3 most important things to complete and a spot to write in the time to start and stop working (this is good for those who struggle to balance life and study). On the back of each page is a plain dot grid to write extra notes or draw out concepts that you need to study. If you find the daily study planning inserts helpful, then you can buy more as there is a separate A5 Today’s Study Planner Inserts listing. The other part of this section includes three full essay planners. Each essay planner consists of 6 pages. The first page of the essay planning inserts has a section for the current date and due date, a section for the name and aim of the project /assignment, and then an area to input the overall argument. This area has a spot for the “nutshell sentence”, and then the rest of the page has room to write out the main points and any supporting evidence. The next five pages are each dedicated to one point or paragraph. Each page has a spot for the “nutshell sentence”, then a spot to write the main points, a place to write the main arguments or evidence for that paragraph, and then the rest of the page is to write down references. I haven’t written an academic essay in nearly 9 years, so I am nervous to start writing the current one that I have to do. I think this will help break up the ideas for me, so that I can feel like I actually know what I’m doing. When I previously wrote essays, I approached them much like I do a blog post, which is to just start writing and then stop when I’ve said all that I have to say, but essay planning really is a much better way of going about it as you know you are covering all the important points that way. 

Essay planner page 1 overview insert - has a section for the current date and due date, a section for the name and aim of the project /assignment, and then an area to input the overall argument. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Essay planner page 1 overview
Essay planner page 1 and 2 paragraph and point planning - Each page has a spot for the "nutshell sentence", then a spot to write the main points, a place to write the main arguments or evidence for that paragraph, and then the rest of the page is to write down references. Love Alinta cruelty free blog.
Essay planner page 1 and 2 paragraph planning

Future Study Planning

Degree planner overview page 1 - includes areas to write the name of your degree, the number of years it will take to complete, the expected start and finish dates of your degree and a spot to input any career plans. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Degree planner page 1

The fifth section of my study planner I think of as future planning, but it is a bit of a mixed bag. This section includes 7 pages for degree planning. The first degree planner page has the degree overview which includes areas to write the name of your degree, the number of years it will take to complete, the expected start and finish dates of your degree and a spot to input any career plans. The next 6 pages are overviews of each year of your degree. Each yearly planning page has a table that includes an area for each unit code, the unit title, and area to note if it is part of your major or minor, an area to write the planned date of unit completion and then a spot to tick when the unit is completed. At the bottom of each page is an area for any extra notes that you need to write about that year. After the yearly planning, there are 6 pages of results summary’s. Each page has two tables to correspond with the 6 years in the yearly planning section. Each table has a spot to put the unit code, unit title and unit result. When I was studying, I didn’t keep track of my results as I was just happy to complete the subjects. However, I know there are people out there who are studying and aren’t struggling to get by due to illness, who like to keep track of their results. It can be very helpful if you are planning on doing further study after a bachelor degree as many post-graduate courses require a certain grade point average. The last two pages in this section are to track placements. Each placement summary page has a horizontal page with a table that has areas to write the unit name, the placement details, the date placement started and the date placement finished. I never needed to do placement for either of my degrees so I can’t comment on how helpful this is, but I think it would be good to have that information written down in one place. 

Degree yearly planning year 1 and 2 - has a table that includes an area for each unit code, the unit title, and area to note if it is part of your major or minor, an area to write the planned date of unit completion and then a spot to tick when the unit is completed. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Degree yearly planning year 1 and 2
Results Summary - Each page has two tables to correspond with the 6 years in the yearly planning section. Each table has a spot to put the unit code, unit title and unit result. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Results summary
Placement summary - Each placement summary page has a horizontal page with a table that has areas to write the unit name, the placement details, the date placement started and the date placement finished - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Placement summary

Notes

The last two sections of my study planner are for notes. I have two different sorts of note inserts from Chasing Planner Peace. The first is the A5 To Do List which has 4 sections, categorised by the two on the left being important, the two on the right being not important, and the top two being urgent, and the bottom two not urgent. This to do list style helps to prioritise what what needs to be done first, and what can wait. This can be helpful when it comes to the pointy end of the semester when everything seems to be due all at the same time. The other style is Plain Lined Notepaper that I use to write anything down that I might need to remember but that doesn’t fit in the rest of the study planner. In the last section I just have some grid paper and plain paper that were in my Kikki K planner originally, but you can buy the same thing from Chasing Planner Peace – there’s Plain Punched Inserts, Grid Paper Inserts, and Dot Grid Paper Inserts, so you can choose which one suits your needs best. Chasing Planner Peace also has the option of creating your own table/column inserts, so if there if there is an extra table insert that you would find helpful, then you can create your own. 

A5 To Do List which has 4 sections, categorised by the two on the left being important, the two on the right being not important, and the top two being urgent, and the bottom two not urgent. This to do list style helps to prioritise what what needs to be done first, and what can wait - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
A5 to do list
Plain lined notepaper for an A5 ring planner. Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Plain lined notepaper

It took me such a long time to take and edit all the photos for this study planning blog post, so I hope it has been helpful for you. I think the reading list and essay planning inserts are going to be the most helpful for me this semester, but the whole study planner is really well thought out, and I’m sure it can help a lot of students out there. I am collaborating with Chasing Planner Peace on a giveaway, so check out my Instagram tomorrow so that you can enter that. If you’re interested in planning, then check out my daily planning blog post, and stay tuned for my medical and health planning blog post. I have been waiting for medical appointments to get back to normal here before posting that, but that seems to be getting further and further away, so I may end up posting it before all appointments are happening again. In the mean time you can sign up to email updates. You can also find me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

Which is your favourite part of this study planner? Will you be picking up one of the Chasing Planner Peace study planners? There’s lots of other inserts you can look at on the Chasing Planner Peace website too.

Love, Alinta

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