While never using a planner and cramming every paper in one folder may have worked in high school, my first semester of college taught me that will last you, oh, maybe till your midterms and you’re screwed. I wouldn’t call myself obsessive or extremely organized but I have picked up a few tricks that work for me, and that I’m implementing from now on in my routine.
Keep it clean
Whether it’s your room or your backpack, the neater things are the easier it is to find it. That doesn’t mean that you need a spotless floor all the time, but having a good idea where everything is located is always a plus and saves time, and helps when you’re looking for the last page of your study guide. And when things start pilling up, I always do a major room cleaning and backpack cleaning on Fridays so it’s all done before the weekend.
Keeping subjects in color order has never failed me. I use red folders and notebooks for English subjects, yellow for Spanish, green for math, etc. It’s especially helped in college when you have only certain classes each day, and now I know in the morning I need my red, blue and green items for the day.
Keep a calendar or a planner
Being my preppy self, I invested in the Lilly Pulitzer planner, not the gigantic one because that frightens me, but the middle-of-the-road model. It has calendars for each month and then breaks it down by week. Writing down assignments, meetings and plans when you’re extremely busy as a college student drastically makes a difference. The weeks I forgot to use my planner, I was so stressed and reverted to being that girl sending these “When’s the meeting?” texts throughout the week. Whether it be on your phone, computer, or an actual planner, organizing your schedule is vital to keeping on top of things.
If you are like me and constantly struggle with where you put your keys, phone, head if it weren’t attached to your body, then start putting everything in one location. When I’m out, I put my phone, keys and wallet in one pocket in my backpack, so I’m not digging to China to find them. In my dorm, I put a Command hook next to my light switch to hang my keys on, so when you leave the room and turn the lights off, well, by gosh there are your keys.
I learned this from my sweet mother, who thinks I can’t remember a thing (and as shown in tip 4, maybe I can’t). Writing yourself little reminders on Post-It notes, and putting them where you know you look in the morning is a sure-fire way to remember to print something off, read a chapter of a book, put pants on, just to name a few. My go-to spot: closet mirror or on my phone.
Straighten up that desktop
Along with the annoyance of finding files on an utterly grotesque desktop, I made this inspired by a picture on Buzzfeed. That way I know what needs to get done, finished and shared. Also, organizing Word documents in file folders by class makes finding those lecture notes for class a lot easier.
Make it cute
You know how they say when you’re sick, dressing up makes you feel better? Well, I think dressing up your supplies makes studying more fun. Call me a nerd, but I love for everything to match and look all Pinterest-y, and it makes studying and being organized more fun for me. So as seen above, I organized my binders by day instead of subject and went along with the same design as a desktop. Yea, I am a nerd.
I hope these tips help you! Get out there and get organized!