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Best Tips for Staying Organized in College

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Are you a college student who is struggling to stay organized? We get it — college organization can be tough! It’s hard enough to stay motivated and focused during a pandemic but add in the extra layer of staying organized as a college student, it can be exhausting. College is the perfect trial run for your future career, so figuring out all the ins and outs of proper organization now, will only help you in the long run! We’ve put together a few of our favorite tips and we hope they help you stay on track!

Stay on track with a calendar—Some students may track their work due dates in their agendas or notebooks but keeping track of your schedule digitally is the best way to manage your task list because it enables you easy access, no matter where you are. There are some great features with calendar apps such as Google Calendars. In college you have plenty of things to add to your calendar such as class times, meetings with professors, clubs and extracurricular activities, and potential part-time job schedules. You can use this platform to pre-plan other important tasks such as exercise, cleaning your dorm or apartment, and grocery shopping. Additionally, these apps often have a notes section that you can use to add details and reminders about what your projects entail or add the email links of the peers that you’re working with. If you love color coding like us, this app allows you to do just that and select coordinating colors for each activity or category. Having an organized visual format helps you to better plan, strategize and decreases your likelihood of forgetting a task.

Establish an intentional to-do list—While it’s best to keep long term projects and tasks scheduled digitally, on the other hand, physically writing down your daily tasks on a notepad every day will allow you the satisfaction of checking off what you need to get done and stay productive. We use our phones for everything so it’s easy to have a to-do list on your phone and get distracted from it. That’s why taking the time to write everything down and set the list of tasks visibly in your workspace will motivate you to complete the list before the day ends. This will also help you stay self-aware of your workload every day when college life gets hectic. Consider using a white board to hang on your wall where you can list out tasks for each day and be reminded of them as you pass by.

Proper notetaking—Depending on the type of information you need to learn in your course, you can save your notes in a variety of ways. If the course requires a lot of memorization and concept comprehension, it’s best to take notes on a physical notebook to retain information effectively. For this, use a separate notebook for each class or have one large notebook with embedded dividers to separate your class notes. It’s also best to use a pencil instead of a pen or colorful marker for taking notes in case you need to reorganize the information if you write something incorrectly. If the course requires you to save your notes to use as a reference guide for writing papers, keeping track of formulas, or answering interpretive questions, it’s best to type your notes digitally on a multidevice app such as Notes or Evernote. You can always write these notes and organize them with an index in your notebook but having your notes on an app for these kinds of classes allows you to search up any name, topic, or formula you need in the moment without having to take the time to search through your physical notes. When notetaking, remember to organize your class notes by topic and separate the notes with text indicators such as underlining, bolding, and bulleting.

Keeping papers and documents organized—In these times, college work is mainly completed and submitted virtually so organizing physical notepapers and assignment worksheets is not as much of an issue as it used to be. However, when there are physical papers to be organized, it’s most likely important. Keep your important documents and papers filed in folders, accordion folders, or binders by class or professional concern to ensure that you never lose or forget about anything. Having papers like project workbooks or resumes and cover letters organized will only save you time and energy in the long-run!

We hope that you have found these tips useful as you get organized for the semester and beyond!

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