Artful Advice

The power of planning: a guide to thriving as a uni student

Tips for organising your year with an academic year diary.

The power of planning: a guide to thriving as a uni student

Failing to plan is simply planning to fail, so if there’s one lesson that you’ll continue to learn long after graduation day, it’s that you’ll never stop attempting to perfect the art of getting ahead. But as a busy student with hectic weeks and a growing workload, it can be tricky to balance all that academia with a fulfilling social life and all-important downtime.

So, rather than the daunting prospect of a clean, blank page, our academic year diaries are here to give you a hand – full of prompts and tips styled with students in mind – designed to help you ace at organising your time.

Tips to make a Papier academic year diary work for you

Stay flexible

Anyone who is a pro at planning knows that flexibility is the secret to that ever-elusive work/life balance. Forcing yourself to stick to a strict schedule – especially one that isn’t working for you – is sure to secure a one-way ticket to quitting your diary altogether. Instead, break things down by setting weekly goals, ticking off one task at a time, and learning to love life by hitting deadlines, not fearing them.

Here are some of our favourite gentle guidelines for using your academic diary, without the pressure.

Prioritise tasks, not timings

Get started by evaluating your workload by two factors: importance and urgency. If you feel as though you are constantly being reactive rather than proactive, and fighting fires to get work completed in time for a deadline, then this step is your most crucial.

Colour-coding your pages with tabs and stickers can work wonders, and you’ll find plenty to help in our stationery collection.

Create a schedule that suits you

Cultivate a sense of calm by finding rhythm and routine to your week. Use your academic diary’s timetable and deadline pages to really get to grips with what needs to be done when, and where there’s a little time for a much-needed breather. Getting into the habit of building regular study blocks for different classes or modules will help you to compartmentalise and give each project the focus it deserves.

Track your progress and celebrate every win

Never lose focus on why planning pays off. Our academic diaries include space to track your assignment dates, exams, and final grades to stay on top every step of the way. By keeping a record of how your grades are affected by your study plan, you’ll motivate yourself to know your schedule back to front.

If your results aren’t as you hoped, noting them down can be a handy way to re-evaluate how you split your time across classes. If you notice you’re slipping in one class or course, you can then choose to shift your schedule and dedicate more time to the areas that need it.


Plan in – and never miss – your downtime

Whether it’s pulling an all-nighter in the library or letting the fun carry on a little too late before a busy day, there’s no denying that student life can be a little overwhelming. When it all gets too much, it’s so important to allow yourself the time and space to rest.

A relaxing bath, a good book or re-watching your favourite Netflix series can be just what you need to get back into your groove and feel at your best again. Remember to always schedule this time to recuperate and recover for the sake of your studies and as an act of self-care. If you find yourself needing a little extra space to reflect and release your thoughts on the page, a wellness journal could be a great addition to your daily routine.

Accept that sometimes plans don’t work out, and that’s okay

Despite all your efforts, it’s natural that planning – even with the best of intentions – won’t always help you to achieve what you hope to. Maybe you didn’t note down an important date or deadline, or you’ve left yourself with too few hours to complete that urgent, and – as it turns out – time-consuming assignment. Firstly, don’t be hard on yourself. Whether you forgot this time or simply dropped the ball, remember you’re human and mistakes happen.

Next, try to decipher, without blame or self-judgement, what it was that caused you to not get it quite right this time. Maybe you’ve been distracted by another project or enjoying the university social scene a little more than usual. Take this opportunity to re-centre and learn, but remember, consistency is key when it comes to diary keeping. Take comfort in the fact that university is a marathon and not a sprint, and jot upcoming must-remember dates on weekly and monthly overview pages to make sure you know what’s coming up.

Always have finance tips and recipe tricks ready for busier times

From finances to recipe planning, our academic diaries have pages for keeping on top of all those areas of life that can slip away when we’re busy. Give yourself a hand by planning easy meals and fun free activities to counterbalance times when spending and socialising get a little out of hand.

Build your planning skills now to thrive in your future

Learning the art of great planning during your university or college days will give you a headstart on balancing life in the workplace and your future free time. With an eye on what’s coming up ahead, you’ll find that your work benefits and you’ll be able to relax in the moments spent away from your desk or lectures.

As you move through life after your student days, you’ll also realise that planning is an inevitability of adulthood. Whatever career path you end up in, scheduling and prioritising tasks will no doubt play a key role in developing within and, most importantly, enjoying your job. Building a healthy relationship with planning now will undoubtedly help you lead a less stressful life for years to come.


Ready to get started? Our academic year diaries are here for you, every step of the way.

Organise your student days

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