8 Tips for Staying Organized in College

Staying organized can be a challenge for some people. Since I’ve been blessed with good organization skills, I figured I could share some tips for those who don’t have a knack for it. I would go so far as saying organizing things is a hobby of mine. I enjoy planning, organizing my closet, and keeping my class notes looking nice. My room might not always give the same impression, but we all have our weaknesses, right?

Over the last week, I’ve received numerous compliments about how organized I am from friends, professors, and even people who follow me on Instagram. Here are 8 tips for getting and staying organized. They’re geared towards college students, but they can be modified to fit any lifestyle!

  1. Keep your backpack/purse stocked with your essentialsimage1-1
    • I always keep my planner, pens, pencils, highlighters, a calculator, snacks, headphones, a phone charger, and a water bottle in my bag
  2. Pack your bag before you go to bed
    • Put all of the extras (notebooks, folders, binders, laptop, etc.) you need for class in your backpack the night before to eliminate stress in the morning
  3. Use a planner or calendar of some sort
    • I prefer a paper planner to an electronic one. Your preferences might be different from mine, and that is okay. Find a planning method that works best for you. I tried to use my paper planner and my Google calendar same time, but found it harder to keep up with it all.
    • I LOVE the planner I have this year from Limelife Planners; it’s their Layout C and has 6 boxes for each weekday. You can check them out here, and even get $10 off your first purchase if you use the code that appears after you follow the link above. Note: You don’t need an expensive planner; there are many low cost options at Target and Wal-Mart.image3
    • Color-code your plans
      • I use a different color for each class, one for work, and one for other things
      • Some people like to use one for school, one for work, one for social events, etc.
      • Some people use different colors depending on when an assignment is due
      • Be consistent in your color-coding
      • If you’re a student, it can be helpful to color-code notebooks, folders, and/or binders with your plans too! For example, all of my notebooks have white covers, but I put a strip of washi tape across the top that coordinates with the color for that class in my planner
  4. Take notes in classimage2-1
    • Like planning, everyone has different preferences and styles for note-taking. I prefer a basic notebook, but you can try taking Cornell Notes or using a program like OneNote or Notability. Find the method that works best for you in each class, and stick with it!
    • I like to organize my notes by unit so all of the content that will be on one exam
      is together. To do this, I put a strip of thin washi tape across the top of the page to quickly identify the unit.
  5. Date your notes!image2-2
    • Taking notes in class is important, but they can get disorganized very quickly. When you sit down in class and open your notebook, the first thing you should
      do is put the date on the page.
  6. Keep your course syllabi
    • As boring as they might seem, your syllabi are important! They usually contain information about grading, contacting the professor, and due dates
    • Sit down with your planner and your syllabi and mark all of the big due dates or exam dates in your planner
  7. Make a semester assignment sheet
    • If all of your course syllabi include all of your assignments for the semester, it can be helpful to combine them all into one list.
    • I used this tutorial from Kirsten at Organized Charm to make my assignment sheets; you can go into as much detail as you’d like.
    • Note: this isn’t as helpful if your professors don’t have all of the due dates determined right away. I didn’t make one this semester because most of my assignments are not given until a few class periods before they’re due.
  8. Keep up with your emails
    • I cringe when I see people with hundreds or thousands of unread emails. I try to check my email at least twice per day, but it’s usually more frequently. If you don’t need the email, delete it!
    • Make folders or labels for your emails so your inbox is less overwhelming

Even though it’s the middle of the semester, it’s not too late to become more organized! Remember that not everyone functions the same way when it comes to organization, so you might need to try several methods before you find the right one.

Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention?

~E

 

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