Disclosure: The following product(s) may have been sent to Earn Spend Live in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author’s own.
Summer just started, but the race for academic planners is already on. For high school and college students alike, it’s imperative they find a good planner to help them stay on top of assignments, changing class schedules, and extracurricular events. Not all academic planners are created equal, and even the best ones comes with major differences to be considered before purchasing. Here are the top academic planners for students.
Day Designer Midyear Planner
The Midyear Day Designer is a gem of a planner, just like the regular Day Designer. The only difference is the start date. Since life operates on an academic calendar for college students, the midyear is a better fit for them. The midyear begins in June and runs through July of the following year. It’s a daily planner with oodles of room for scheduling and to dos. If you’re a student with a robust and demanding schedule and a ton of stuff to do every day then this is the best planner for you.
The Day Designer midyear planner is larger than most planners and a little heavy, so that is something to consider when carrying it in a backpack. However, it’s such a useful tool that it’s worth the extra weight. This is the ideal planner for college students who work, go to school, volunteer, participate in clubs and organizations, and intern all at once. It’s ideal for any extra busy and productive person.
inkWELL liveWELL Academic Planner
The Academic liveWELL planner doesn’t have a different layout from the regular calendar year version, but the layout is still one of the best for college students. Personally, I’m a fan of vertical layouts, so I love the Classic layout over the Flex layout, but both are great. The Flex will be better for students who like a horizontal layout.
The endless possibilities with the layouts are what make the liveWELL so ideal for students. Each column is lined with three colored boxes at the bottom. Since there are lines, but no times or checkboxes, college students can use the space however they need. They can write in the specific times for classes (college classes are notorious for those weird start and end times) and then have room to write down any assignments they need to finish that day. Or they can use these boxes to write down assignments due each day, goal tracking, or even meal/fitness planning if they want to. The space can be used a different way each day if needed, or to help students stay consistent with studying.
Speaking of goals, the goal setting pages inside the liveWELL planner are good tools for college students. Goal setting is a habit college students should learn and incorporate before they enter the professional working world.
Emily Ley Weekly Simplified Planner
The Weekly Simplified Planner from Emily Ley is similar to the Daily Simplified Planner in concept and color scheme, but is lighter and covers five more months. It’s a very clean, horizontal layout for college students to write down schedules, homework, and other information. Each day is divided into two: a lined section and a to-do list section. The lined section is great for class times, work schedules, and campus events, and the to-do list has plenty of room for assignments, chores, and errands they need to tend to. There’s also a small notes box at the bottom of each day to write down various information.
An important feature in any planner for college students is size and weight. When they carry around several textbooks and notebooks each day, the last thing college students need is extra weight in their backpacks. The Weekly Simplified Planner is 6×8 inches, book-bound, and a soft leather cover, so it’s lighter than most other weekly planners. This makes it easy to slide into an already full backpack without trouble. It’s also ideal for carrying around in a purse while running errands. The planner runs from August 2016 to December 2017, so it can carry college students through an entire three semesters of school, and they can go longer without spending their limited funds on another planner.
Erin Condren LifePlanner
The Erin Condren LifePlanner comes in three layout options, so there’s sure to be one that can meet any college student’s needs. There’s the vertical weekly (which divides the day into three sections you can use however you want), the hourly weekly (which is also vertical, but divides the days into time slots), and there’s the horizontal weekly (which is divided into two sections to be used however). The LifePlanner is all about offering you options, so there are also several cover options to choose from.
The vertical and horizontal weekly layouts are the best for college students because they don’t have any time slots printed. This allows students to write down those crazy class times, assignment due dates, campus parties, and internship/work times in the manner that works best for them. The vertical weekly’s three separate sections can be used as morning/afternoon/evening, or even categorized for schedule/to-do/schoolwork if that works better. The horizontal layout, however, is best for students who don’t want to write down a ton of stuff, but do need to make note of the big things, like test dates and special events.
Erin Condren’s new Academic Planner begins in July and runs for a year. This planner is great for college students because it’s durable enough to survive daily trips in a backpack, has thick paper that won’t bleed through no matter what pen is used, and is light enough that it won’t weigh down a backpack.
This planner comes in one horizontal layout that is designed to focus on school work and school work alone. Each day has a space for students to write down that day’s class, assignments, and due dates. It’s also an undated, 6 month long planner. This makes it easy to use at any point in the year, and to pair with another planner, like the LifePlanner, for a comprehensive planning system.
A planner isn’t required for college students, but a good one certainly helps them excel when class assignments, papers, tests, and other obligations all start to overlap. College students can rely on any one of these three academic planners to help them through the stressful times.
ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner
The ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner is a thoroughly designed planner dedicated entirely to student needs. It’s lightweight (good news for backpacks) and provides space for all assignments, test dates, and due dates that students need to keep up with. It comes in a vertical weekly layout where each weekday gets a column to itself and the weekend days split a column. The primary focus of the ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner is schoolwork, so there’s no room for a student to write down appointments of a schedule on the weekly pages; however, that can be done on the monthly calendars.
Because the ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner is centrally focused on schoolwork, it might not be the right planner for those who need to keep track of a robust schedule that includes work or internships. However, it’s a perfect option for junior high and high school students so they can learn how to manage their schoolwork early on.
PurpleTrail Student Planner
The Student Planner from PurpleTrail is designed specifically with classes in mind. It has a vertical weekly layout but it cross hatches with different classes on the far left side. This makes it an ideal planner for tracking assignments, due dates, and exams. Since this planner is by PurpleTrail, it’s highly customizable. Covers can be personalized extensively, and you can add in a number of additional sections, like budgeting and health tracking, to make it a more comprehensive tool.
Due to the way this planner is organized, it’s best for those who want to focus on their academic responsibilities during the week. There’s also a monthly calendar for each month that can be used to keep track of appointments and social plans outside of school. The paper in the planner is thick enough that the ink won’t bleed through, so students can color coordinate to their hearts’ content.