I cannot believe it’s back to school time again – I walked in Target yesterday and resisted the urge to walk out with bags on bags of new school supplies! I love getting organized and seeing as this is my second year of grad school, I have so many back to school organization tips to share!
When I was in undergrad, at one point I was working three jobs, running a student organization and I had just joined a sorority – getting organized wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity. Even if you’re not living the hustle while you’re in school, these tips will help you stay on top of your classes and keep those A’s!
Back to School Organization: Before Class
- Wake up at the same time every day: I realized quickly that no matter what time my classes were at, if I woke up consistently at 7am every day, I could maximize my time and ensure I didn’t have a hard time waking up on days I had 8am classes.
- Make a quick to-do list: I am a huge fan of the app “Wunderlist” and while I was having a quick breakfast/coffee I would go through and list everything I needed to accomplish that day. This really helps to keep you from forgetting things!
- Organize your backpack: a backpack is a must for high school or college and mine is organized to a T! I was always going from class to event to sorority meeting to meet up with friends so I carried a lot of things to get me through the day. I found it helpful to keep three large canvas pouches, which I categorized as such: one for makeup, one for tech, one for toiletries.
Back to School Organization: During Class
- Combine your notes: I used one 100 page notebook that I had split into three sections using Post-Its as bookmarks for each section. I found this was easier than carrying around multiple notebooks, and I was less likely to mix up a book from another class.
- Color code the concepts: I color coded them according to content (I was a fine arts major so visually, this was easier for me to comprehend). Anything the professor/teacher said during lecture that was a key learning point, I highlighted in pink. Anything that was a definition was highlighted in green, and equations/formulas were highlighted in yellow. Everything else was written down and not highlighted.
- Get the email of a class friend: whoever you sit near, on day 1 I suggest striking up a conversation and exchanging emails so that in case either one of you misses a class, you can reach out and get notes. This is key and saved my grade a few times.
Back to School Organization: After Class
- Utilize Google Drive: Not only did this make it easy to share for group projects, but if your computer ever crashed (and mine did), it’s easy to access your files from any computer.
- Write down all of your major projects: I kept a white board that was hanging on the side of my desk so the moment I sat up in bed, I could see what was on it. I wrote down all of my major tasks and their due dates, from sorority events to people I had to call to when term papers were due.
- Schedule your homework in your phone’s calendar: I still do this trick, even in grad school! I use Google Calendar and I schedule out all of my homework and chapters I need to read. I’ve never been one for a paper planner and this approach to schedule what I need to get done for each class day by day is the best way to keep me on track.
- Make notecards in Quizlet: the reason why I had such good grades is all due to Quizlet. I love using notecards to study but making them by hand is so tedious – as soon as I’m out of class, I take my notes and turn them into digital notecards on Quizlet.
- Follow the 25-5 method: study for 25 minutes straight and then reward yourself with a 5 minute break to watch a Youtube video, look at Facebook or call your mom. The reward system concept is a powerful motivator when it comes to getting work done.
- Set aside time to relax: it’s always tempting after class to want to watch Netflix and take a break, but I curbed my procrastination habits by specifically setting aside time from 8pm and later each day as relaxation time. As long as I worked all day before then, I could turn on Netflix as soon as 8pm hit. Trust me, this works!
Back to School Organization: Dorm Rooms
- Invest in a paper organizer: it’s the perfect place where you can keep syllabi, paper drafts and old notes that are easily accessible.
- Get a small fabric bin for your food: no one likes to fight between roommates when some accidentally eats the other’s Cheetos…
Need some more tips? Here’s some of my favorite back to school organization ideas from other bloggers:
- Free Printable Student Binder
- Backpack Essentials
- Preparing for New Classes
- 7 Insider Tips to Rock your Freshman Year
- 12 Habits That Will Improve your Grades
- 23 Incredibly Useful Products Every College Student Needs
- How to Use Google Calendar to Organize your Entire Life
- Organize your Dorm Room with the Dollar Store
- How to Set Yourself Up for a Successful Semester
- 8 Tips on How To Keep Yourself Organized Throughout your College Career
- How to Stay Organized in High School