I am super EXCITED about writing this post because I love organizing for school. However, this will be my first year not going back to school (so it’s a little weird for me). I really believe that staying organized can help you excel during stressful times. I wanted to share some tips that helped me survive college and law school:
(1) Write it Down: Invest in an agenda or planner. So maybe you didn’t need an agenda in high school but for college or grad school…. it is a MUST. Studies suggest that if you write it down, you are more likely to remember it. It also makes you feel really accomplished when you can check it off in your agenda. Sometimes if I have a big deadline for an important paper or test, I’ll even write in “days till..” so I can make sure I don’t fall behind. (Prevents procrastination). I also love to look back at my old agendas a few years later and see “Evan’s Graduation” or “3 Weeks till our Wedding!”. It’s so fun to see what I was doing each day. Anyway, here are a few planners that I love:
- Ban.do: This is my current favorite and the one I am using for the next year. I love how the agenda is small and can easily be tossed in a bag or purse. This agenda has a monthly overview and a week-by-week overview. It even has little random holidays, so you won’t miss “National Donut Day” or “National Coffee Day”. This agenda even comes with cute stickers to give your agenda a little love on those special days. The Ban.do agenda is the lowest priced which is perfect for all those college girls on a budget. ($20)
- Lilly Pulitzer: I used the Lilly Pulitzer agenda all through college and law school. The Lilly Pulitzer agenda has super cute patterns that are released each year in August. The agenda also has a monthly overview and week-by-week overview. The Lilly Pulitzer planner is a tad bigger and they even have a jumbo agenda if you prefer a large agenda. Lilly Pulitzer agendas also come with stickers to add some fun! ($30)
- Kate Spade: Kate Spade agendas are also out for purchase. These agendas are a little more conservative in color and decor. If you tend to not need color or stickers… this planner is for you. It has the same features as the calendar but with less fluff. These agendas lean more into the sophisticated realm. ($30)
(2) Color Coordinate Highlighting: This is something I started while in law school (because I had so much work and extracurriculars). Basically, I make it easy to quickly skim my agenda and see what’s happening for the week. I use one highlighter color to each represent work, exams/reviews, fun activities, and practice or chapter meetings. So for me… pink is work, blue is exams/reviews, orange is fun activities, and purple is practice or chapter. It seems silly but it keeps me focused on what I have each day. I can easily look and say ok on Wednesday I have a review and work. This also gives me a chance to see what additional things I have to do each day on top of my school work.
(3) Super Important= Sticky Note: If i have something extremely important to do that I haven’t gotten around too, I write it on a sticky note. I put the sticky not on the corner of my laptop. I use this for important things like “Reply to Professor Smith’s Email”, “Go by and pick up Midterm at 4pm” or “Submit Quiz by 11pm”. I use this to remind me again that something must be done. E-mailing professors back in a timely manner is a great way to ensure success and show that you do care about your class. Side note, I used like a million sticky notes during law school. I wish I used this trick more in college!
(4) Storage Space: Buy something to store your books in! Whether that it a book shelf or container, it is crucial when you live in a dorm. I bought a really cute storage piece that is an ottoman and storage. I bought it at Staples for under $30. I used it to prop my legs up on long study days and for storage or notebooks, books, etc. This is an easy way to prevent your books from being everywhere and scattered. My storage ottoman was a life saver. You always feel more prepared if your desk or room isn’t covered in books and papers.
(5) Buy Extra Supplies: Always buy a few extra items that are not on your “list” such as folders and notebooks. Just one or two extra of each is so helpful because at some point you’re saying ” I need something to put all these lab sheets in?!” and voila… you have an extra. I hit this point at least twice in the semester. I have all these random handouts stuck in a notebook and I end up using an extra folder to stay organized. This little trick can help ensure that you have everything in one spot in case you need to go back and review it.
I hope these tips were helpful as you begin your new school year! Stay organized and success will follow! If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck!