Why is it important to get organized for college? It’s a basic quality of a successful studentIt will make college life less stressful for youLess stress means more study timeMore study time usually means better grades and greater success
How do we get organized for college success? There are four areas that you should organize – your backpack, your home study area, your time and your technology. Use a calendar – any kind you choose! Paper or electronic, daily, weekly, monthly – whatever works best for you. Just remember to look at it frequently. Set alarms and reminders on your electronic devices! Write down everything on a monthly calendar – use sticky notes for extra reminders to stick on your purse, on the mirror, in your carPlan your study time in advance
Getting Organized for College
Presented by the LLCC Learning Lab
Being organized is a quality of a successful student
Being organized will make college life less stressful for you
Being organized means more study time and personal time
More study time may lead to better grades and greater college success
Colored folder or binder with tab dividers for
each class (keep your class syllabus here!)
Notebook or loose leaf paper for each class
Pens, pencils, highlighters
Calendar or academic planner
Class schedule (will be needed to obtain your
student ID from the library)
Student ID Card
Personal items (lip balm, Kleenex, etc.)
Lunch or snacks
Pack your bag the night before classes
Some students have 2 backpacks – one for classes
which meet on only on MWF and another
backpack for classes which meet on TTR
Use ONE calendar – monthly,
academic year, annual, chalkboard,
whiteboard, paper or electronic (find
a system that works for you!)
For small items, use a spice racks or
ice cube trays to hold paper clips,
thumbtacks, rubber bands, etc.
Use clipboards attached to the wall
for reminders, to-do lists, reminders,
necessary tasks vs. “can wait” tasks
Clean, empty food cans for pens,
File folder box or dish drying racks
for organizing papers for long-term
Smaller white boards for reminders
Pegboards for hanging items
Bookshelves made out of crates,
held together with binder clips
Drawer dividers for desk
Attach baskets to peg boards for
Set up trash cans and recycle bins to
help keep your area clutter free
Establish a spot for your phone,
iPod, etc. if you find them distracting
Pinterest has many more ideas, with
Put due dates and deadlines from your course syllabus on your calendar.
Check your calendar each night for tomorrow’s deadlines, meetings, events.
Get everything ready the night before your class – your
clothes, lunch, snacks, backpack, electronics, etc. Put these things near the
“Build in” 15 minutes of buffer time – get up 15 minutes earlier, leave 15
minutes earlier, etc. You will never feel rushed and you will likely be early to
your classes and appointments.
Set limits each day on how much time you will spend on social networking
sites, email, Pinterest, certain projects, papers, assignments, etc.
Plan ahead – break larger projects into smaller, manageable chunks.
Try to combine some activities – can you write a paper rough draft while taking
public transportation to class?
Record all appointments – either on your paper calendar, on your phone, or both!
Take time to do quality work the first time, to avoid having to redo tasks.
Set aside specific time for studying, for social gatherings, grooming, etc.
Study in blocks of 45-50 minutes, then take 10-15 minute breaks between
study sessions. Remove any distractions and distractions and focus.
Summarize your toughest subject 30 minutes before bedtime.
Your brain will consolidate, process and start moving the
information into your long term memory while you sleep.
Say no to non-essential tasks and delegate when possible.
Create a daily plan, possibly hour-by-hour.
Seek help from a professional counselor for additional time
Set automatic reminders and notices
for yourself – using Outlook reminders,
sending your self emails for future
delivery, or setting alarms on your
If you have a family, try using a
calendar that allows everyone access,
such as Google Calendar
Keep all of your contacts in your phone
– school, family, friends, doctors, etc.
Use apps to help you organize –
Evernote, Noredink, DropBox,
iprocrastinate, Studious, Trello,
Myhomework, Google Applications,
Make a folder on your desktop for each
of your classes
Create infographics to help you
organize information into a visual
Use mint.com to help you organize
Track your work and time spent doing
tasks on a spreadsheet
Use LinkedIn to manage your business
Use web-based conferencing or free
Internet calling such as Skype to meet
Use technology to make lists – a
grocery list, a to-do list, a gift list etc.
Update these frequently in order to
make them effective
Create a folder for each of your classes
on your desktop
Scan paper documents into searchable
PDF’s. (NeatDesk will do this)
When saving documents, use a very
detailed file name
The first week of classes is coming soon!
Before classes begin, do a practice run of your schedule – How long will
it take you to get to campus? Do you know where your classrooms and
lab rooms are located?
Introduce yourself to your instructor during his or her office hours
Print the syllabus for each class
Find your instructor phone numbers on the syllabus and save them into
Set a grade goal for each class and post it where you will see it often!
(Goals motivate and help you prioritize your time and efforts)
Find three places to study: 1 at home, 1 at LLCC, and 1 in another
location (e.g. Panera)
Locate the LLCC Learning Lab and ask about the FREE academic support
Organize your study area at home
Ask for three students’ names, phone numbers and emails – just in case
you miss class, you will have someone you can contact