How to use a School Diary

February 26, 2018 Mike Spruce

Unlike traditional diaries, school diaries run through academic years (September - September). With that in mind, a new diary will be issued on the first day of your Autumn / Winter term and it’s important to begin using your diary straight away in order to set a good habit for the year ahead.

A good school diary or planner will have many sections, including an annual calendar, a daily or weekly calendar, school rules and an array of other useful inserts as well as blank or lined note pages that you can customise.

To help you to use and organise your school diary efficiently, we’ve created a list of great hacks for both students and teachers so that you can really get the best out of your diary and establish it as your own.


Step 1: Establish Your Diary

Start by adding the following dates to your annual calendar:

  • Key academic dates:
    • Holidays
    • Term times
    • Exam dates and mock exam dates
    • School trips
    • Dress down days
    • Sports days

  • Relevant personal dates
    • Birthdays
    • Known or regular appointments
    • Regular clubs
    • Academic deadlines (e.g. UCAS application deadlines)

Step 2: Make Your Mark

As all school diaries will look identical, it’s important that you can easily identify your diary as your own. Keeping things within school rules, think of creative ways to help you identify your diary as your own. For teachers, it’s important that your diary can be easily recognised as a teacher’s diary.

For example, writing your name on the front or back cover, as well as on relevant internal pages or adding smart stickers with your initials. Remember, you want to keep your diary looking sleek and professional, so don’t go overboard. It’s also important that your school can be identified from your diary in case it gets lost.

Step 3: Use Colour

Colour-coding information is a great way to be able to know what’s coming up at a glance and also to help you stay organised and focussed.

The more useful your diary is, the more you will use it and it will help you to become a more organised person. If you can easily know what’s coming up and when, then you can prioritise your time accordingly.

Before you start colouring at random, come up with a system and a key for your system. This will help to avoid confusion or using colours that have already been used to identify other activities.

Some ways to colour code:

  • By subject
  • By activity type (extra curricular, homework, classes, sports, external appointments etc.)
  • By priority (red = urgent)

Step 4: Keep Your Diary Close

The real secret to getting the most out of your school diary is to use it! Get into a routine of checking your diary each morning and each night. This will give you an opportunity not only to see what activities are coming up, but also to update your diary with anything you need to add that came up that day.

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