Ah, college. This lovely, exciting, life-changing thing that can really challenge the ability to stay organized. At the beginning of every semester, I map out a strategic plan to keep me on track, and by week three, my planner barely makes it out of my backpack. Not to mention, my drawer full of post-it’s, binder clips, and every other organizational tool you can think of, rarely gets opened.
Admit it, you’ve been there too.
Your life becomes overwhelmed with a list of to-do’s and somehow you don’t even have enough time to write them down.
And don’t even get me started on how heavy your rucksack becomes by the end of term!
As a student who’s nearing graduation, (at what seems like lightning speed, AHH!), I have taken it upon myself during the past year to make organization a habit that I cannot break.
So far, I’m still going strong!
There are no doubts about it, getting your year off to the best possible start can have a huge impact on your motivation to study.
Moreover, I know that for me, investing in a new college bag always makes a big difference where staying organized is concerned.
However, this year I only want to spend my money on quality products that will last me for the entirety of the college year. Besides, no one wants to have to splash the cash on a new rucksack a few weeks into the term because the one that they originally purchased was not fit for purpose!
With this in mind, I would strongly encourage any aspiring students to take a look at review websites before buying any things for college. For example, last year a friend of mine managed to find a fantastic rucksack after reading a few different reviews online and it is still going strong to this day!
Accordingly, if you would like further information about choosing the best possible rucksack for your needs or any other college essentials, you can find more here.
For now, though here are some more of my strategies for staying organized all year long!
#1 Good Pens
This seems like such a silly “organizational” tip, but to be honest, I wouldn’t write down half as much if I had a “normal” (kinda crappy) pen. I love writing with felt tips, rolling ball pens or anything that effortlessly glides across my paper. My favorite pen right now is a Sharpie Pen that I got from Staples, but you can get a pack on Amazon for even cheaper!
#2 A Planner That’s Worth a Little More
A good planner is essential to staying organized, especially as a student. Even though I didn’t start using it religiously until this year, it’s always been the one thing that has stayed somewhat consistent in my life as a student. I used to only write down tests and project due dates, but after purchasing this planner, I’ve turned that around. I spent a little more on a BLOOM planner this year, and let me tell you, it was worth it.
What I keep track of in my planner:
- due dates and deadlines
I fill it out on Saturday or Sunday of each week, going through the syllabus for each class, as well as any emails that I’ve received from my professors. This is also a great way to get a feel for what your workload will be for that week. It’s even better if you outline more important things or write them in a different color to really make them stand out!
#3 List Journals
I have a low-key obsession with writing out lists. I use these two small notebooks for just that. (I got these at Wal-Mart for $1.88, doesn’t have to be fancy!)
I use these for two different things. One is for “to-do” lists such as housework and homework assignments. The other is for creative projects lists such as ideas for blogs, videography and other visions that come to mind.
#4 Fridge Meal Calendar
I only recently started keeping this cute little meal/workout tracker on my refrigerator, but so far so good! I like it because it helps me plan a grocery list (I do this on Saturday or Sunday) for the week, along with workouts and meals. It helps me make sure that I don’t overspend at the store as well, which is ALWAYS a plus.
I found this adorable free printable from Cassie over at Wholefully. It’s a great motivator to stay healthy!
#5 A Functional Command Center
This has been a great part of living in my own apartment this year. Having the luxury of being able to hang more things on my walls can be beneficial! I love having one place that has everything I need.
Although this isn’t the prettiest picture, you get the point.
Clipboard: I love using this for making a grocery list. Whenever I realize we are out of something, I can just jot it down and I won’t forget it on the next trip to the store! If you’re a visual learner and enjoy writing notes, then it might also be a good idea to invest in some whiteboard paint from WRITEYBOARDS.COM. WriteyPaint can be used to transform any wall in your home into a whiteboard wall. Why not give it a try for yourself?
Hooks: These are very convenient. They hold our keys, headphones and even my purse, and honestly I can’t remember the last time I lost my keys at home because of this.
Weekly Schedule: This is a good view of the week and as I pass this every time I come or go, I’m sure to never miss a thing! Similar to the planner, I fill this out every Saturday or Sunday. I also write down what’s for dinner on each day, that way I’m never rushing to figure something out last minute. (And who doesn’t love a cute chalkboard?)
Monthly Calendar: Everyone benefits from a monthly calendar. I only write down meetings, appointments and events on this one, such as days off and holidays.
Baskets: I love these because they hold all of my class folders. I don’t like keeping them in my backpack because this encourages me to actually use them instead of only keeping one folder for all of my classes (guilty). You could also use these for mail, we just don’t get very much!
#6 Post-It Note List
If I have a big to-do list and cannot seem to find the motivation or patience to do anything, I make a to-do list out of post-it notes and stick them right to my wall! I stole this idea from one of my favorite vloggers, Monica Church and I love it.
Once you finish a task, you rip the post-it down and for some reason … it makes you feel quite accomplished!
And there it is. My 6 tips for staying organized that seem to help me out more than anything else. You may think “That’s a lot of different spots for calendars,” but to each his own! Keeping track of my schedule in multiple places never lets me forget a thing.
Have a good semester fellow students!