15 Organizational Tips for College Students

college student with booksCollege life involves a ton of academic responsibilities topped off with a huge dose of social activities. It’s challenging to balance work and fun. Get and stay organized so you are able to meet all of your academic obligations and have time for your friends.

1. Wake Up On Time - Set your alarm clock in a place where you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. The more movement your body makes the better chances you will awaken quicker and stay awake. 

2. Place All Academic Responsibilities Together - Put all your class schedules, assignments, project due dates, and exam dates together on your calendar, whether it’s a digital or paper one. It will show you all your short and long-term must-dos in one spot.

3. Color Code Your Calendar - Add colors to your responsibilities. Mark finals and papers due in red, assignment due dates in blue, laundry in orange, and appointments in green. This way, you’ll find obligations quicker and it will provide a clearer snapshot of what lies ahead.

SignUpGenius can help you organize volunteers and collect RSVPs for campus events. Check it out!

4. Determine Your Best Time - Are you a morning person or a night person? Schedule your most critical tasks when you are alert and not sluggish. It’s smart to book your studying when you will get the most out of it. 

5. Develop a Schedule - Establish a routine of regular activities including studying, healthy eating, working out, and free time. You will function better physically, emotionally, and mentally. A well-balanced college schedule will give you the most out of your college experience.

6. Set Daily Goals - Write down a daily to-do list. A daily plan will give you a sense of direction on how you should spend your time. 

7. Stock Your Backpack - Don’t head out without pens, pencils, highlighters, a notebook – anything you consider essential. Don’t show up for class without something to write with and on. For early classes, plan the evening before.

8. Take Notes - Intense note taking is required for classes. Whether you are taking notes on lined paper or on your computer, do a quick read-through after class. When the material is fresh on your mind, you will better remember it and can add anything you might have missed. 

9. Create a Clean Workspace - Make your study area neat and clutter-free. Remove any items that will keep you from doing your homework. Minimize noise in your workspace that might make it hard to concentrate like a blaring television or loud music.

10. Organize Your Materials - Keep your class notes and course work in order. When it comes to studying, It’s helpful to find everything in one place like one folder on your computer’s desktop or one notebook.   

11. Turn Off the Distractions - When studying, it’s essential to stay focused. Turn off your smartphone and don’t check your email or social media while on your computer. With your full attention on studying, you will get a lot more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. Phone calls, texts, and emails can wait. 

12. Form a Study Group - Use SignUpGenius to organize a study group. Bringing fellow classmates together could prove to be a good learning strategy. Discussing theories and quizzing each other can help boost your knowledge on subject matter. Try to limit your study group to 6 people to keep it from turning into a social event.

Coordinate study group RSVPs or schedule a weekly rotation with SignUpGenius. SAMPLE

13. Use Your Phone for Reminders - Most phones have a reminder feature. Set your phone to remind you in advance of important events, so you don’t forget to turn in a project or study for an exam. 

14. Have a Budget - Keeping track of your receipts to help you determine where you money has gone and what’s left over to carry you through your month. Stay on top of your finances to keep from scrambling at month’s end. 

15. Sleep - A simple way to get the most out of every day is getting plenty of sleep. When you are well rested, you will be more alert and ready to take on all the necessary tasks you must complete in your busy college schedule. The more organized you are with your time and activities, the better you will perform at your maximum potential and the more successful you will be.

Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.