Alongside a bag and supplies for class, increasing numbers of UNH students are carrying around another item: a planner. Planners, also called agendas and assignment notebooks, can take many forms, but a calendar is typically included, as is space to write down additional notes. Some models even feature inspirational quotes, along with areas to write down goals. Color schemes and designs vary with these planners; some have bold prints and rich hues, while others are more traditional in neutral tones.
Sophomore business major Leah Harris said she has used a planner since elementary school.
Prior to purchasing one made by Blue Sky at the start of this academic year, Harris said she researched planner colors and styles online before viewing her top choices in stores.
“I was attracted to the color and the layout [of the model],” Harris said. “I like a lot of lines within each day so I can easily write about each of my classes with enough space for everything.”
Sophomore nursing major Paige Wasson owns an At-A-Glance planner, and shares similar thoughts with Harris.
“The At-A-Glance brand has very cool designs, colors and patterns that also stuck out to me. I love the color of my planner and the flowery designs on the inside,” Wasson said.
Popular brands on campus include Staples, Lilly Pulitzer, Erin Condren, At-A-Glance and Kate Spade, but students have planners by other brands as well. While the prices for some planners used by UNH students range anywhere from about $5 to $50, there are some who use the free planners distributed by the university.
Senior communications major Laura Doherty said that she thinks the target audience for planners is “young professionals and college girls.” She said she doesn’t know of any male UNH students who use one.
Motivation for using planners varies among individuals. While some said they want to keep track of assignments, others said they want to document additional information.
Junior marketing and business administration major Samantha Blaine said she uses her planner frequently.
“I write homework that was assigned that day, and then I map out when future assignments are due by going through my syllabi and writing dates down,” Blaine said.
Sophomore human development and family studies major Caroline Foster said she writes in her planner every day, noting homework, club meeting times and events.
“I always have my planner in my backpack ready to use. I do not have a specific organizational system, I just write down what I need so I remember it,” Foster said.
Some UNH students have specific ways of highlighting information within their planners; Wasson said she writes in hers with pens, using a different color for each class.
“I think I have seen an increase of people using planners because they keep people organized and remind them of particular events coming up,” Harris said. “Yes, planners are a trend.”
Blaine disagreed with Harris, and said that she doesn’t view such planner use as being trendy.
“I think it is a convenience that works for a lot of people,” Blaine said.
Even with planners being a common sight around campus, the rise of technology has influenced the ways students organize information.
“I think people still use planners for sure, but I also think that, in today’s day and age, a lot of people are using their phones for a planner,” Foster said.
Though planners are popular at UNH, there remain students who don’t use them, with sophomore occupational therapy major Emily Fox being one of them.
“I don’t use a planner because I haven’t had the need,” Fox said. “Most of my classes have the assignments posted online, and I write important dates in my calendar on my phone.”
Fox said she has, however, noticed some people in her classes using planners.
“I suppose some people might see someone else with a planner and copy them, but most people can decide what works best for them,” Fox said.
Many planner owners are satisfied with the aspects of their respective planner models, but some students said that there are certain drawbacks.
“I wish there were a few more lines with a bigger width to them to add more detail,” Harris said.
Similarly, Wasson said, “Maybe in the future I would consider getting a larger-sized planner because the month boxes are too small to fit in all the assignments I have.”
Foster noted that her planner’s binding has fallen apart multiple times.
Despite these aspects, some UNH student planner-users said they would advise others to use planners as well.
According to Doherty, using a planner “is the best way to stay organized.”
“I think it is a trend that is here to stay. It’s a great way for busy college students to stay organized,” Doherty said.