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How to Stay Organized in College: 10 Simple Tips to Help You Survive

how to stay organized in college

One of the hardest things for students is learning how to stay organized in college. Balancing homework, studying, and your social life is hard enough, and doing it without tact can lead to a big mess. If you’re having trouble trying to stay organized in college, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 10 simple college organization tips to get your life in order.

1. Use a Planner

Every college student should keep a good planner.

Keeping a planner helps you remember all your due dates, and plan out your days. You can pencil in times to study and work, social obligations, and remind yourself of important dates. Using a planner means you’re leaving nothing up to your mind, meaning you’ll never forget an obligation again.

Keep your planner up-to-date, and carry it with you everywhere. Make checking your planner a part of your morning routine. Above all else, only use one planner to keep everything in the same spot.

You can get a planner book or an application on your phone or computer. Whatever works best for you, find it and do it. This simple tip is a real lifesaver and will save you stress.

2. Keep Your Syllabi

Every class you attend will give you a syllabus at the beginning of the semester. Keep all of these syllabi.

The syllabus outlines everything you’re going to do throughout the semester. It often includes due dates, readings, and layouts of the lesson. These become extremely helpful when it comes time to study.

3. Stick to a Consistent Schedule

It’s hard to keep to an exact schedule, but doing so will help you fall into a great daily routine.

Do your best to wake up at the same time every day. Have a set time for showering, eating, studying, and relaxation. By planning out every aspect of your typical day, you’ll find things much more organized.

4. Keep Your Backpack Stocked

There’s nothing worse than showing up to class just to realize you don’t have what you need.

It’s always a good idea to keep some of the most essential tools stocked up in your backpack. This includes pens, pencils, notebooks, and maybe even a few quick snacks. The fewer things you have to remember to pack into your bag, the less stressed out you’ll feel each morning.

5. Take Notes One Way

You’ll be taking a lot of notes no matter what you’re majoring in. Considering this, you’ll have to figure out how to best take notes.

Some people prefer taking notes on a computer, while others like using notebooks. Do whatever works for you, but stick to one method only. Don’t take paper notes one day, and computer notes another.

Taking notes more than one way is a recipe for disorganization. When it comes time to study or work on a paper, you’ll have to consult multiple sources for your information. You’ll never remember what you had on paper, and what you had on your computer.

Keep all your notes in one place for the sake of your own sanity.

6. Know Your Class Schedule

It’s important to know exactly what classes you have when.

One good tactic is to print out your class schedule and stick it somewhere on your wall. This ensures you’ll look at it every day until you have it burned into your memory. By memorizing your class schedule, that’s one less thing you’ll have to keep consulting.

You can also keep a copy of the schedule in your planner just in case.

7. Get a Bookshelf

You’re going to end up buying a lot of textbooks throughout your college career.

The best plan is to get a small bookshelf that will help you keep them organized. That way you’re not leaving them lying around your room, in danger of getting damaged.

With a bookshelf, you can organize your textbooks however you want so you can best find what you’re looking for. Try organizing them by subject. That way you know exactly where to look before each class or study session.

8. Use Tabs

Speaking of textbooks, you’re going to need a way to bookmark certain important pages.

Tabs are those tiny sticky notes you see poking out of the pages of most students’ textbooks. They help you keep track of important pages in your textbook. By using these, you’ll save yourself a lot of time flipping around aimlessly looking for the information you’ll need.

9. Keep a Clean Desk

Nothing discourages studying quite like a messy desk.

You should do everything you can to keep your workspace clean. Get some desktop organizers for your stationery, keep your drawers organized, and don’t leave anything sitting around. Follow an “if you take it out, put it back” policy for your desk.

A clean workspace means a comfortable workspace. You’ll find you’re able to study or work much longer if everything is in its place. Plus, you won’t waste any time searching for an out of place item.

10. Time Your Work

Many college students find great success by using a timer when working.

Some people work better in short bursts of time. They might work for half an hour, take a 10-minute break, then work another half hour. There’s no perfect length of time to work or break for, just find what works for you.

This will help you stay motivated and focused on the task at hand. You’ll have your relaxation time to do whatever you want, and your work-time to work. A simple timer is one of the best ways to organize your time.

Learning How to Stay Organized in College

Follow these 10 simple tips and you’ll learn how to stay organized in college in no time. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting an important textbook or paper at home again. Staying organized will keep you stress-free and thriving no matter what you’re majoring in.

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About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.