Staying organized during college can make a huge difference in terms of your college career. There are plenty of resources that help facilitate organization for college students, like planners, apps, calendars, and more. Staying on top of things does not only reflect in your academic performance but also your stress levels and overall day-to-day life. In this article, we share the top 10 tips that help college students stay organized and excel in their college careers!
1. Download a File Organization App
There are many different ways to store and organize digital files, images, presentations, and notes. Having a cloud storage space to keep all of your most important files will help you stay on top of homework, studying, and upcoming tests. Keeping each class organized by designated folders will also allow you to separate the information, as opposed to having a huge mod podge of different notes scattered throughout.
2. Use a Planner
Using a planner is the key to success. Planners are extremely useful when keeping track of upcoming due dates, big exams, and appointments. Most planners have a place for you to take notes and prepare ahead of time for any upcoming events. This also gives you the opportunity to plan way in advance. If you know the dates of your final exams, as most instructors usually provide them early on in the semester, you can write them down in your planner as early as the first day of class.
3. Track Important Dates on Your Calendar
In addition to having a planner, having a calendar hung up on your wall is another great way to stay organized. This allows you to see all important upcoming dates for the month. Any important events, appointments, or exams can be dated and highlighted on your calendar! Another great way to visualize information is to color coordinate the item by priority level. Better yet, connect your phone’s calendar app with your school email. That way all of your deadlines are automatically inputted into your calendar!
4. Make & Honor Deadlines
A big component of college includes setting up deadlines for yourself to follow. While many instructors have determined due dates for assignments, you will have to organize yourself in terms of when you should know/understand certain course material by. This way you will be prepared for those due dates your instructor has set forth. Time management is a crucial skill to learn in college, especially if you don’t want to stay up till 3 AM writing a paper!
5. Adhere to a Schedule
While your course schedule will give you a schedule to follow and base the rest of your responsibilities on, you should also create your own. This will keep you on top of assignments and study time, as well as part-time employment if that is something you chose to do after class. Working in increments can also be effective. Study for 20 mins and take a break for 5 mins – perhaps studying in short bursts may be more effective for you than slaving over the same assignment for hours at a time.
6. Have a Binder for Each Class
If you like keeping your course materials physically organized, having a binder designated for each class is a great way to keep things neat and orderly. This will give you a place to keep all papers, notes, and assignments pertaining to that class. However, most courses are moving into assigning homework assignments digitally, slowly making paper homework a thing of the past. Despite this, keeping a binder for the class syllabus and notes is still a good idea!
7. Keep a Designated Workspace
Did you know that studying in your bedroom might make it harder to fall asleep at night? Keeping your bedroom and study space separate can help you segregate your time and energy, making your study space more efficient for studying. Because studying can be stressful, it’s best to keep that negative energy separate from the areas in which you rest and relax. Having a designated workspace also keeps your supplies in one, easily accessible area.
8. Take Good Notes
Part of staying organized entails good note-taking. Make sure you have a notebook or designated folder/cloud for each course. Taking effective notes is another important skill you will build out during your college education. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Write the subject of the day’s lesson at the top of each new sheet
- Date each new sheet
- Write clearly and legibly
- Make lists
- Underline/highlight important information
- Use abbreviations wherever possible
- Use post-it notes for questions or other important notes
9. Set Goals For Yourself
Learning how to set and achieve goals is the best lesson you can teach yourself. Specifically detailing goals that you’d like to complete every semester/year is a great way to visualize the bigger picture. Setting goals will also help you complete some of those necessary, but mundane tasks. People who set goals are more likely to be successful, making goal-setting a valuable life skill to have.
10. Develop Good Study Habits
Having good study habits is crucial to succeeding in college. Things like goal-setting, time management, and good note-taking all go hand-in-hand with good study habits. Setting up a designated time to study in a quiet and distraction-free environment will help you achieve a good studying regime and help you stay on top of your schoolwork. As a result, this will help you effectively learn the material, retain the proper information, and ace those exams!
Conclusion – 10 Tips to Stay Organized as a College Student
Staying organized in college is the key to success. With so many responsibilities and stressors buzzing around your head, it may be hard to keep ahead of the game. However, there are many things you can do to stay neat, organized, and focused. As college courses move more into a digital space, most assignments and exams take place online. With all the different organization and cloud storage apps available, it is easy to keep all your course materials in one, specific online space.