Organization is essential to your success in college, whether you’re a freshman, senior, or grad student. By keeping on top of your classes, creating a reliable schedule, and taking more notes, you’ll achieve more while having additional time to spare.
Password managers, cloud storage solutions, and free organization apps can also help ensure the efficiency of your day-to-day routine. Here are a few tips for organizing your time and space in college.
Tips to Stay Organized In College
Staying organized in college begins with creating a schedule and a calendar. The timing of your classes is the foundation for these organizational tools, but to keep on top of everything, you’ll need to set a time for all the tasks and extracurricular events you’re planning to attend.
Finding time for everything becomes a challenge if you don’t set everything up in a planner or calendar app. Whether you’re working with a physical calendar or keeping everything online, your schedule is your primary tool for maintaining a high level of organization, particularly as you get deeper into the semester.
Take More Notes
Notes aren’t only a means of staying organized- they are also an important study tool. Detailed, well-organized notes make it easy to refer back to lectures and previous class activities, which is usually most valuable right before the final or the midterm exams.
Note-taking can also help you stay engaged with the lesson at the moment and help you process what you hear in a lecture or seminar. Folders for notes, color-coding, and visual note-taking are all interesting methods that can help you improve your existing note-taking strategies.
Whether you take notes on a laptop or by hand is entirely up to you. Taking notes with an online note-taking or document app on your computer allows you to access your notes from anywhere, but you’ll also have more distractions at hand during your classes.
However, if you’re writing by hand, you’ll often find that taking notes continuously for multiple courses at a time becomes a bit taxing. Either way, your notes are another key to your organizational success in university.
Don’t Take on Too Many Extracurriculars
Sometimes, it’s the activities you’re doing outside of class that make your semester’s schedule a hassle. It’s a common habit of first-year students to try out a handful of clubs, sports, and volunteering opportunities, without realizing how much time it will take to get to everything.
If you’re finding yourself swamped in tasks with little free time to spare, you may want to consider simplifying this part of your college life. This process is essentially a prioritization of what matters and can leave more room on your schedule for completing the homework and other essential tasks first.
Break Up The Larger Projects Into Tasks
Tackling the end-of-semester projects and papers is debatably the most challenging part of university life. To make these projects more manageable, break each component into smaller tasks and add them to your calendar. The sooner you get started with these end-of-semester challenges, the better.
For term papers and presentations, dedicate specific amounts of time to writing or assembling the necessary information. If you put one hour a day on your calendar a week or two before it’s due, you might be surprised at how much progress you’ve made, and the entire process will become less of a scramble.
Keep Your Files Accessible
Cloud storage apps allow you to access your files from anywhere, on any device. Cloud storage can be beneficial if you need to refer back to your notes, continue working on a paper, or keep up with a group project.
Google Drive and iCloud are two of the most popular choices for this type of storage app, though there are, of course, plenty of alternatives. Visual cloud storage, with apps such as Bublup and One Drive, makes it easier to look at media files on the go. This can be particularly helpful for art, graphic design, and theater students.
Clean Up Your Space
Staying organized in college isn’t just about creating a calendar and keeping track of your notes. The arrangement of your physical space can often play a role in the ease or difficulty of staying organized in college.
However, it’s all too easy to push off the task of cleaning up when it seems like there are so many other more important events and tasks to get to first.
To clean up your dorm room and study space, start by organizing your desk. What books, electronic equipment, and tools can you get rid of in order to keep this space free from clutter? If the surface of the desk is dusty, wipe it down. If there are too many papers, consider scanning or digitizing items with your phone.
In addition, think about the workflow of your dorm space. Is everything you need for studying, writing, or working on projects accessible or otherwise easy to reach? You might be surprised at how much of a difference rearranging your space can make to your overall organization level.
Use a Password Manager
Password management apps allow students to store personal login information securely and autofill information when they’re logged in. Platforms like Nordpass and Lastpass offer premium plans that are relatively inexpensive for personal use and go a long way in keeping you organized throughout the semester.
Take Time to Relax
Spending some of your time each day to relax and tune out offers a range of benefits for students. First, it can assist with concentration and general mental health. In terms of your physical health, taking half an hour or more each day to relax can lower your blood pressure and increase your nervous system health. You can also calm your mind, improve the quality of your sleep, and spend time socializing with friends.