How to Manage Your Time With a Planner


Why Do Traditional Planners Fail?

Many schools provide planners for their students, but never teach them how to use them. They just assume that the students will figure it out. As a result, many students end up carrying the planner around and only use it for the bathroom pass section that is often included in the back.

A SOAR® associate, Ginelle, experienced this first hand when she was in school. While her school provided planners for every student, they never taught the students how to use the planners.

As a direct result of this lack of training, Ginelle struggled in school. Ginelle forgot assignments frequently, which resulted in a number of 0s in every class. When she did remember to complete her assignments, it was usually at the last minute. As a result, her grades on assignments she did manage to complete were poor.

Going into her senior year of high school, she had a D average. Realizing that she was never going to get into college with grades like that, Ginelle decided that she needed to make some changes.

Since the missing assignments were dragging her grades down significantly, she realized that using a planner effectively could have an immediate impact. Through a great deal of trial and error, she came up with a system of using her planner that made a huge difference. During her senior year, she managed to get all A’s.

So, how do you know if using a planner will help you in school? If you…

*Lose points on homework assignments because you forget to complete them
*Forget to study for tests and quizzes
*Forget books, folders, or notebooks at school that you need for homework
*Get annoyed with your parents nagging you about your grades
*Feel like homework takes longer than it should

then learning to use a planner can have an immediate and powerful impact on your performance in school.

How Can You Get Started Using a Planner Efficiently?

This image of the SOAR Planner is an example of what a good planner should look like.

This image of the SOAR® Planner is an example of what a good planner should look like.

First, make sure that you are using the right kind of planner. Bulky leather-bound planners may look nice, but a bulky planner is more difficult to access, and therefore less likely to be used. Also, make sure that the planner has spiral binding and that you can see a whole week on a single two-page spread. There should also be a monthly planning spread so that you can plan out long-term assignments.

Then, learn the proper techniques to set up and use your planner on a regular basis. By having systems in place to help you manage using your planner during key transition points throughout the day, you will find that using the planner becomes second nature. You will also quickly see an improvement in your grades once you are no longer missing assignments.

The SOAR® planner has 72% fewer steps than traditional planner/agenda systems, making students 4X more efficient!

Learn more about the SOAR® Curriculum please click here.

-Susan Kruger




  1. Michelle Morgan says

    Really interested in seeing if I can develop a planner that would be easy for my students to use…

    • SOAR says

      Hi Michelle, I’m sure you could develop an excellent planner on your own, but the good news is, you don’t have to!

      SOAR Learning has already created what we believe to be the ideal planner. You can learn more about it at:

      There are also great companies that make planners specifically for students, like Furthermore, there are many choices at local office supplies stores.

      Our recommendation, with whatever option you choose, is to be sure the planner has both a full-month view and a weekly view (i.e. all 7 days of the week spread over two open pages in the planner.

      Good Luck!