Organization is something that is very personal. You have to do what works best for you. That being said, I feel like I’m a pretty organized person and with the fact that I’ve successfully completed 3 years and now, currently working on my 4th and last year of college, I have a good sense of how to organize my life for college.
I believe that being organized in college can really make or break your college career. There’s so many different things going on when you’re in college, different class schedules, assignment deadlines, social events, hanging out with friends, clubs and society events etc. When you’re organized you’re more likely able to stay on top of everything, know when you should be doing what, and most importantly stay on top of deadlines. Below I’ve included the ways that I stay organized, especially when it comes to college.
This is by far the most important thing for me. Some people can get by just putting a note down in their phone, but personally I think it’s extremely important to write it down and have a visual layout. I personally have the Erin Condren Planner, and I love it. With the vertical layout, I’m able to organize my days with headings for Class Assignments, To Do list, and a Due Today section where I just put all my deadlines for assignments, bills, or other random things that need to be done that day. This really allows me to stay on top of everything and see my day clearly laid out for me.
Even though I write everything down in my planner, I go the extra step and make a Google Calendar as well. I color-code my classes and have personal events color coded as well. This is just another visual layout that I’m able to see and it’s extremely convenient for times when I’m out and about and don’t have my planner necessarily with me. I also love Google Calendar because it automatically adds my work schedule and updates it if there’s been any changes throughout the week, which means that’s one less thing for me to have to stay on top of!
Typically I try to stick with one five-subject notebook for all my class notes. However, this semester I’m taking six classes, three each day. I decided to opt for two three-subject notebooks instead. I have one for my Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and one for my Tuesday, Thursday classes as well. I found through experience that when I had a separate notebook for each class or subject, I would tend to either forget the notebook or bring the wrong notebook with me to class. Since I only have two notebooks now and they’re different colors, I’m able to easily tell them apart and can’t really forget them.
Taking notes is probably one of the most important things you can do while you’re in college. Just like when it comes to organization, everyone’s different in the way they learn too. However, for me, writing notes is a must. Even if the Powerpoint lectures are online, I still prefer to write down my notes. Sometimes I take them on the computer and use the Microsoft Notebook template, but most of the time I prefer to use my notebook and pen. This way I can easily write down any additional notes and clarify what my professor has said in my own words while they’re saying it. I can highlight important phrases or definitions and give my own examples to better understand the concept. I’ve found taking my own notes and not just relying on the professors notes have really saved me with writing assignments and tests.
There’s a few ways you can choose to keep your school work, I’ve found the best way for me personally, is using binders. Most semesters I only have one binder for my classwork, but this semester I have two. My binders are two different colors corresponding to the notebooks, so it’s easy to tell which binder goes with what day. In my binder I keep divider tabs and divide the sections into each class. I make sure to hole-punch everything so I don’t have anything stuffed in the pockets and I can easily see everything. In my binder I keep my syllabus, any assignments that were handed back, reading material that I printed out, and any other random notes or study guides that I may have done for the class. I also keep things organized by date and by exams. This just simply means that all my material for exam one is together and all of my material for exam two is together. When it comes time for exam two I don’t have to shuffle through the binder looking at exam one material to find what I need to study for exam 2.
Organize Your Bag
Whether you use a backpack or a tote bag or alternate between the two like I do, keeping your bag organized is extremely important. For me this means cleaning it out constantly and organizing with pouches. I have a pouch that carries all my pens, pencils, highlighters, post it notes etc. I also have a pouch that carries all my random things, kind of like my emergency bag. Here I have things like Ibuprofen, a hair tie, Chapstick, floss, or any random thing I can think that I might need. I’ve had too many times where I would switch bags and need something but it was still in my other bag. Having the pouches makes it so easy to keep yourself organized and everything together, but also go back and forth between bags.
Declutter Your Space
The last one tip is to declutter your space. This tip I’ve found is extremely important. I’m someone where my space directly affects how my brain is feeling, so if my space is messy and all over the place, my brain is usually the same. Spending five or ten minutes cleaning up your space every night will keep things in order will allow you to stay organized.
I hope you can find my tips I mentioned above useful! If you’re still in need for some inspiration, check out my post on How To Instantly Get Motivated, especially when you’re feeling in a funk! Let me know in the comments down below what tips you have for staying organized!