23 January 2015

Back to School | Diary Review & Organisation

Hello everybody!

As I have previously mentioned, keeping a diary for school really helps me to stay organised. It gives me a space to write down homework, assignments, and due dates all in one place. In this post, I will review the diary I used last year, show you the one I have this year, and then let you know how I like to organise mine.

Diary Review

This is the diary that I had last year. I don't know what brand it is, but it was around $6 from Kmart, and I saw they had the same one but in blue and white this year. I have both negative and positive things to say about this diary. I did really like the design of it, it had a nice plastic cover, so it was durable. What I didn't like is that the cover faded on the right side, but that may have been from me possibly leaving the diary in the sun. I liked the elastic closure on the diary, as well as the ribbon marker, which made finding pages easy. This diary also had monthly dividers, but these were only cardboard, and after a short amount of time, they began to wear and the cardboard split (as shown in the picture on the right). I think this was because the divider tabs were outside of the cover (bad explaination, but look at the picture on the left). This was one of the main things I disliked about this diary.

This diary was a day-to-a-page diary, which I did really like, because it provided lots of room, and since 2014 was the first year I used a diary for school, I was unsure how much room I would need in my diary. Although I did like having a lot of room to write in the diary, I think it was a bit too much, hence why I opted for a week-to-an-opening diary this year. As you can see in the picture to the right, the diary was very thick and bulky, which sometimes made it difficult to quickly put into my bag. In May, I started using the diary less and less, and in June I stopped using it altogether until October, and part of the reason for this was simply the bulk of the diary. Choosing a weekly diary this year means the diary is much thinner, which suits me a lot.

The diary I chose this year is this Carnegie Week-to-an-Opening Student Diary. I bought this for only $1.99 in Woolworths, and I thought this was a really good price, especially as the diary has a lot of features. I really like the purple elephant design on the front and back cover. It is A5 size, and is very thin. In the front of the diary, there is the page with space to write your name, telephone number, email, etc., but in this particular diary, there is a space to write your bus pass number, train pass number, locker number, and other bits and pieces, which I think is a really nice addition, because most diaries don't include that. It shows a year calendar from 2014 - 2016. There is also a page that shows all of the Australian public holidays and term dates, which is just really handy to have in a diary. There are two pages to write in contacts, with space for a name, address, email, and telephone. There is also a section to write in your timetable. What I really like about this is that there is a different timetable space for each term, which is good because you never know when your classes might change. There is also the year planner, which I found really useful last year for marking in exams, due dates and holidays. I did want to find a diary with monthly view, and I searched and searched for one, but I just couldn't find one! In the end, I just decided a year planner was the next best thing. In this diary, there is also two pages to write in assignments, with space for the subject, requirements, due date, and results. As well as that, there is the exam results page (with space for the termly result and percentage). As with most diaries, there are two blank lined notes pages. Of course, there is also the week-to-a-view pages for the whole year, January to December. This diary also has a nice ribbon marker, making it easy to find your page.

Front information page

Exam Results Page

Assignments Page

Year Planner Page

Diary Organisation

I do quite a few different things to keep my diary organised. I feel that once you have found your what methods of organisation work best for you, you will definitely be able to use your diary to its full potential.

In 2014, I had my diary for the whole year, but I didn't really use it properly until October. As I said before, in June I stopped using the diary until October. Not only was it because of the bulkiness of my diary, it was also because I wasn't organising it in a way that worked for me. I wrote the subject, the underneath the homework task, all in black pen. In May, I stopped using the diary everyday, and in June I just stopped using it. I felt I wasn't actually looking at the diary, and I was just writing things down for the sake of it.

In October, I bought these two Sharpie pens, which I featured in my '10 October Favourites' post. They were peach and mint coloured, two of my favourite colours, and they were ultra fine point. I thought the perfect place to use them was in my diary. I started using the diary again, this time using my coloured pens to mark deadlines and the tick off tasks when they were done, and using highlighters to highlight particularly important information. I found that this method of orgnaisation worked fantastically for me.

This is an example of where I have used colour in my diary, by highlighting the due dates, and the tasks that I need to complete.

I found that when using my yearly planner, using colour really helped me to focus on what different things meant. I used red for due dates, yellow for exams, mint for holidays, orange for days off, and purple for school events. I used coloured pens to outline the box. This helped me to identify different due dates, exams, events, etc.

My yearly planner

I also really liked using post-it notes. They were perfect for if I had to note something down that wasn't permanent, like exam dates. At the end of last year, I had to reschedule exams because I was on holiday the week of exams, so I used post-it notes to schedule my exams in my diary, which could then be moved around if the times changed. I also used them to write down lists of things I had to do over the week, like downloading a file or emailing a teacher.

Example of using post-it notes in my diary

This year I bought this nice little box of different post-it notes. It was $11.95 from the newsagency, and in the box there are eight different coloured post-it flags (are they called flags?), and then pink rectangular notes, with a set of yellow ones underneath, and then yellow square notes with green ones underneath. I have started using these and they stick really well! I was unsure whether they would or not, because some post-it notes have absolutely no stick whatsoever, but these are fantastic. As well as using them in my diary, I think they would be really good to use to make notes in a textbook or a English reading book. I thought these were just a really good price for how many you get, and I will definitely be using these a lot this year.

What I did start doing towards the end of the year was making checklists, because a lot of satisfaction comes out of checking a box once you have completed the task. I would make "end of week lists", which was were I went through my diary, and would write down all the tasks I hadn't completed, and then on the weekend page, I would write all these down on post-it notes (I wrote these on post-it notes so I could move it to the next weekend if I did not complete all the tasks). This makes it really easy to see everything you need to to, and I would recommend giving the "end of week list" a go.
My "end of week" list.

A variation of my "end of week list" - a breakdown of my Biology assisgnment in checklist form

That is everything I do in my diary! If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment, and perhaps let me know what you do in your diary to keep yourself organised, because I would love to hear! I hope this has given you some ideas about keeping organised in your diary! xx

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