10 Organization Tips For Every Student
Everyone starts the new school year with hope that it’ll be their *best year yet*. Your school supplies are fresh, your organizer is ready to be filled in, and you’re pumped to get those straight A’s. But after a couple weeks back, it can be hard to maintain a solid routine. The best way to stay on track towards your academic goals is to create an environment and routine that doesn’t let you steer off the path of success. Here are 10 organization tips that will make this your best school year yet!
1. Make a routine–and stick to it
And I’m not talking about just setting an alarm for 6:30 AM and hoping you’ll actually get out of bed instead of hitting snooze 3 times. Write down your ideal morning and evening routines and follow them the best you can. Keep yourself accountable too–if you’re not following it, make adjustments to see what’s not working. And if you’re successfully sticking to your routine day in and day out, reward yourself!
Base your routine on what you want accomplished daily. For example, if you’re more productive in the evenings, make sure to set aside plenty of time to do readings, homework, projects, etc. If you like to get moving first thing in the morning, set your routine so you wake up early, do your workout, and get some work done before moving on with the rest of your day.
Our days can be pretty dynamic, changing constantly depending on so many different factors. But if you set a routine for the beginning and ending of your day, it can help a lot to keep you on track and stay productive!
2. Use that organizer that’s been collecting dust
I have a problem. I buy organizers, doting over them for days and thinking of all the ways I’m going to solve my productivity problems with them, and then I forget to actually use them. Are you the same way?
Organizers can actually be life savers when you’re a student. There’s so much going on constantly and it can be difficult to keep track. You can use your agenda to write down due dates, deadlines, appointments, and study dates with friends. You can also keep track of your readings and schedule time to study each day.
Besides tracking your school-related activities, your organizer can also help you balance the other stuff going on in your life. You can schedule in your extra-curricular activities, or if you take lessons (music, sports, art, etc.) weekly. You can also write down birthdays, important dates, and so on so you have all your information in one place.
If you’re not into a paper-and-pen system, there are tons of apps and programs online that you can use to organize your schedule. It might be more convenient for you to bring up all your information on your phone than to carry around a physical agenda, but it’s all personal preference!
3. Create a productive place to work
This is one of the most important organization tips. You can have your supplies ready, your schedule complete, and be good to go–but if you don’t have somewhere you can work productively, then what’s the point of everything else?
An ideal work station is somewhere you’re comfortable, but is also quiet and clear of distractions. No TV running in the background while your siblings watch cartoons, or people speaking loudly when you’re trying to concentrate.
I spent most of my days studying in the library because studying in my room was tough–my bed was right there, begging me to take a nap. However, some people don’t like working in the library and that’s okay. If you’re working at home, find a place where it will be quiet and relatively void of distractions. Additionally, having a table to work on is pretty critical, so keep that in mind too.
And if you don’t really have anywhere private to work and are stuck making notes at the kitchen table, just let your family or roommates know and ask them kindly to respect the fact that you’re doing schoolwork.
4. Work, work, work–but also take a break
You might think working for 3 hours straight is really productive, but then you get burned out and can’t muster the energy to continue any more work for the rest of the day. You don’t want to exhaust yourself while doing your homework–you want to be efficient and complete your tasks without wearing yourself thin because then you won’t have the energy to do anything else after, either–whether it’s stuff around the house or even going out to see your friends.
There’s something called the Pomodoro Technique, which is a time-management system where you work for 25 minute intervals, and then take a 5 minute break. While that’s the traditional allotted times, many people adjust it to their preferences. For example, work 50 minutes straight and take a 10 minute break. Or, work an hour at a time, then enjoy 15 minutes to yourself. The point is to work productively for short bursts and allow your brain to rest before continuing again. This allows you to avoid burnout while also getting stuff done.
I suggest giving this method a try! Keep track by using a timer, which you can find on your phone or even online easily. Just keep working away until you hear the timer go off, and then enjoy a short break–eat a snack, watch a YouTube video, or close your eyes and just rest.
5. Checklists are your friend
Checklists had to be mentioned in this list of organization tips because I swear by them. I don’t think I could stay organized at all and get anything done unless I had my daily to-do lists, as well as my weekly task lists. When you have everything you need done laid out in front of you, then it’s so easy to be productive. Checking off an item off your list is such a good feeling because you know you’re actually accomplishing something.
What I like to do is organize all my tasks for the week, and then break them up for each day. Checklists go hand-in-hand with your organizer. Check your organizer each week to see what assignments and projects need to get done, and then break down that work into smaller components and fill out your to-do lists.
If you’re looking for some great tracking lists for your tasks, I’ve created a FREE productivity trio of printables–daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists so you can tackle all your work like a boss. Get your freebies below!
6. Always 👏🏻 Be 👏🏻 Prepared 👏🏻
When you sit down to work, you should have everything you need. No “OH! I forgot my pens in my pencil case”. Or “I forgot my textbook in my backpack”. “Ugh, my laptop is in the other room”. Guess what? These are all excuses to waste time and avoid getting the work done. This is not the productivity we’re hoping for, people!
What you need is to have everything prepared and ready to go. In the work space you created for yourself, you should have all your materials prepared so you can sit down and get to work right away. You can make a DIY homework station, like the one below. Prepare it with pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, notebooks or sheets of paper, a calculator–whatever you need for your various courses. Then you don’t have to rummage through your bag for a spare pencil when you could be studying instead!
7. Keep your notes nice and neat
Taking notes is a vital part of schoolwork–it’s what you learn and study from. If you’re going to learn the material and do well in your classes, you have to have notes that make sense. If it’s a scribbled mess that isn’t clear at all, then how do you expect to prepare for exams?
Some classes require handwritten notes, which can be tough if you have messy handwriting or you write quickly all over the page in order to get all the information your teacher is giving. Re-writing your notes or typing them up after class will help you in two ways: they will be neat for when you go back to study, and the information will stick more if you are going over the content more than once!
If you do type up your notes in class, you can still benefit from going through them again afterwards. While the lecture is still fresh in your mind, you can organize the notes so they’re more cohesive, or add a labeling system of some kind to make it easier when you go back to study them.
8. Set your own deadlines
All the work you do will have deadlines, but you might benefit from setting your own deadlines before your assignments are actually due. A lot of people procrastinate until the last minute and then try to finish an entire assignment the night before it’s due–these people might even claim they work better “under pressure”. The truth is that this causes unnecessary stress, and can be risky.
I’ve tried printing an essay the morning it’s due and had my printer completely stop working. So many things can go wrong when you’re trying to finish things on a very tight amount of time, so it’s better to just get all the work done in advance–at least a day or two–so you can account for any issues.
Setting your own deadlines is also helpful if you have multiple assignments due around the same day. Instead of trying to juggle everything that’s due on Friday, aim to finish one project on Monday and the other on Wednesday–then you have Thursday to review and print everything. Friday morning will come and you’ll have no worries or work to do!
Use your organizer to keep track of your actual deadlines, and then your ideal self-deadlines!
9. Harness the rainbow
Colour-coordination is one of my favourite organization tips. It just makes everything pretty and makes me want to use my school supplies that much more! But besides being aesthetically pleasing, it also has a practical purpose.
There are multiple ways to use colour to organize your school supplies.
- Have one colour associated with each subject so you can remember which notebooks/binders you need each day
- Use a colour scheme in your agenda. Write all your due dates, homework, etc. in the matching colour. It will help you remain visually organized when you go through your agenda
- Utilize a colour coding system in your note-taking. If you highlight your notes as you go through them, you can have different colours representing different types of information. For example: a yellow highlighter for dates, pink highlighter for facts about people, blue highlighter for definitions, etc.
10. Get ready the night before
The final of the organization tips is to prepare the night before. It seems simple and self-explanatory, but this tip really does help a lot. This can go along with your nightly routine–write down everything you want prepared for the next day and set it up on a regular basis.
To keep it simple, you can just prepare your backpack beforehand, such as putting in all your school supplies and completed homework. Additionally, you can also set up your outfit the night before, pack your lunch, and even make your breakfast! There are lots of ways to save time in the morning, so there’s no need to rush and potentially forget anything you might need.
If you’re interested in some time-saving morning tips, check out my article here on quick breakfasts. You can prepare your food in advance and still have a nutritious and tasty breakfast before school!
Use these organization tips to help you achieve all your academic goals this year. With a little hard work, you can definitely accomplish anything!
Let me know in the comments which organization tips you use to stay productive. And don’t forget to sign up for my trio of organization printables to help you stay on track with your tasks!