Dedicated Diaries and Perfect Planners

Users on The Student Room recently discussed their favourite diary and planner for the academic year.

Most of them recommended the Palgrave Student Planner.

The Palgrave offering may not be the cheapest, but the layout and the extras were worth it for most users. One person goes as far as calling the planner “an absolute Godsend”.

Over at Amazon, one user has helpfully added a few shots of what’s inside the planner. It’s all specific to students (as you’d expect!) and laid out nicely.

I’ve never used this planner myself, but with a lot of love over at The Student Room, it’s worth a mention. The 44 five-star reviews and average score of 4.6 stars on Amazon paint a positive picture too!

A diary is a great step for sorting your life out and getting things on track. Timetabling is a mental necessity one way or another. Beyond these plans, you may also want to keep an academic journal about what you’re learning, why you’re learning, the things you want to learn more, and so on.

There are loads of different diaries and planners out there. Do you have a favourite diary that you return to every year? Have you discovered the perfect planner? Or do you have a completely different way to arrange your year ahead? Let us know!

photo by Amir Kuckovic

photo by Amir Kuckovic

A Journal Journey – 10 Benefits of an Academic Journal

Keeping some sort of diary or journal isn’t restricted to your personal thoughts on how a hot date was, what you think of the stupid trick played on you by your so-called mates, and how amazing that low-key gig was last night.  Just look at the range of output you get from all the blogs out there.

One powerful way to whip yourself into great study shape is to start writing an academic journal.  The process can be as quick as you like and the benefits far outweigh the time you need to spend on it.

photo by lusi

photo by lusi

An academic journal doesn’t need to follow any particular structure, but you should take it seriously.  It only requires a few bullet points each day to show how you’re solving a problem, how you intend to find your voice, or what you’re doing to shape your future.  Feel free to write in whatever way you feel comfortable with.  It may take a few days to find a style or setup you’re happy with, but once you work through that, you’ll gain access to the bigger picture and take hold of a new perspective on your working:

  1. You can learn about yourself on a more engaging level;
  2. You can learn from your mistakes;
  3. You’re more likely to pick up on the ideas that work best for you;
  4. Your focus will remain pin-sharp;
  5. What was just a nugget of an idea, merely throwaway at the time, can expand into an elaborate vision when you revisit that thought;
  6. You can plan ahead with greater ease and pick up on flaws and overlaps;
  7. It helps you with the creative and written process;
  8. It helps you analyse at a deeper level;
  9. Your journal is a document of past moments that may be valuable to a great future;
  10. You should gain greater confidence through a journal, compared with just your thoughts.

I didn’t keep a journal while at university.  But I now see the value in making the effort.  I still don’t write a regular daily journal, but who needs to sit down with a ‘Dear Diary’ nowadays anyway?  All I do is fire open a journal on the computer and get down ideas for the day, respond to what’s on my mind and allow the creative juices to flow.  Often, it helps me ignore any Internal Editor sneaking around my head too.  It means my ‘journal’ is often subject to change.  But as it’s a personal document, it makes absolutely no difference.

In time, you’ll end up enjoying the process and realise how beneficial it’s become.  And it shouldn’t take up much of your time at all.  Bonus!

photo by dinny

photo by dinny