How to be an Organizational Wizard

One of the most important things to try and learn as a freshmen is how to be organized. In my experience, there are three things that have made my college career a big hit: a small or medium size pocket datebook with weekly and monthly pages, a large desk or wall monthly calendar, and a to-do list.

1. Datebook
This datebook or agenda should come with you to every class. Feel naked without it! I even color code events and use pencil to write in my events and assignments for easy changing access. I don’t highlight the item until it is handed in or completed. Keep track of the number of hours you spend working (if you have a job), homework assignments for the week, and club meetings or events you want to go to. Even schedule in time to go to the gym, if that helps you. I have a different color for each category (RA Office Hours are in Blue, Assignments in Purple, Events in Orange, Student Aide job in Red, Free Time in Yellow, etc.) Do whatever works for you.

2. Monthly Calendar
Use this large calendar (dry erase or paper) for placing by your computer, your closet door, wherever you know you will be able to see it often. Mark down when assignments are due and Important college policy dates such as when your bill is due, when you register for the spring semester, etc. See the Busted Halo Study Budget pdf (http://thefreshmansurvivalguide.com/wp-content/uploads/FreshmanSurvivalStudyBudget.dwnld_.pdf) for help in organizing your study time or just for putting down your weekly schedule of courses.

3. To Do List
This can be updated daily, weekly, or however often you want. Keep a small notebook with you, use post-its, or sheets of paper to help you keep track of what needs to be done for that day. Use some sort of short hand to help you understand what is the most important and what can wait until later.

Whatever tips you use, just remember to use what works for you and to continue to use those tactics. See Chapter 11 for more organizational tips.  Good Luck! =)

One comment

  1. Megan offers great advice for getting and staying organized.

    You have to figure out what works for you. For some people using a blank calendar, for others an organizer, for others it’s their phone or other technology like an iPad, Google calendar or Microsoft outlook work best. Explore your options and see what works. Your calendar really should run your life and you should feel lost without it, but make sure you have a back up in case you lose it or in the case of technology —it crashes.

    Once you find the thing that works for you, layout all of your syllabi and put all due dates on your calendar. Include test, papers, group projects, and presentations. Next, add any shifts you have to work, any club/organization meetings or events, and any personal dates and events like: birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations. Do not leave anything to memory. Chances are you will forget something and you don’t want it to be the project worth 50% of your final grade. By the time you are finished your calendar will be bursting with information.

    This approach will take some time on the front end, but you will be happy at the end of the semester when you have avoided lots of undue stress due to an unorganized life. Try it once, if it is not for you, try something else until you find a good match.

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