While there are some aspects of college you cannot control, there are some that you can! Staying on top of your assignments and deadlines is one thing that you can do to ensure your success. Unless you are a person who loves organization, it can be difficult to keep track of all the deadlines, test dates, and more. Here are some great tools you can use to stay on top of everything due during undergrad!
1. Plastic Binders
Believe it or not, these do much more than provide a space for you to shove all of your syllabi and other important papers inside. If you take the time to punch holes and arrange them inside, you can have easy access to everything exactly when you need it! This way you will not have to worry about hunting down your syllabus to know how much of your overall grade your midterm and final are worth.
Whether you want to keep everything for your classes separated, or you just need something to hold a few important papers, folders are a simple and thin tool you can use to keep things organized and in great condition. This way, those important notes, and papers will not get crushed or crinkled in your backpack!
3. Binder Dividers
Having a binder for every single course can become confusing and take up too much space in your backpack and dorm room! Downsize to one or two binders and use dividers for each of your classes. It will be so much easier to keep track of your study guides and important papers this way! Plus, you can easily flip to the class tab before things get started and have all your notes ready to go.
This is an absolute essential for undergrad students! The more calendars, the better. Just make sure all your calendars have the exact same information on them and are updated accordingly! Buy whatever size one you want for your backpack, and if you can, keep one on the wall in your room. Calendars are simple ways to keep track of important and upcoming deadlines, test dates, and more!
5. Paper Clips and Binder Clips
No one is too old for these simple but effective organizational tools! Undergrad is a stressful time so it is important to keep things fun and colorful whenever you can. Keep them in an easy to reach place in your backpack or desk so you can attach those important notes together for future reference!
6. Reinforced Expanding File
If your major involves writing and keeping track of multiple drafts throughout the course of a semester, expanding files are a great tool for you to use. It is easy to lose track of those important drafts if they are not all kept in the same place! While they can be a bit bulky, they are a great way to ensure you are on top of your game during undergrad.
7. Labeled Files On Your Devices
Whether you are a laptop, tablet person, or both, one free and simple way to keep track of your files from the current and past semesters is with a filing system on your device! This way you can go back and look at old work to track your progress or pull an old research paper to present. Have a file for every semester, and nest additional files with labels for each class and keep everything under the proper file name to ensure you can find everything exactly when you need it!
8. Keep Important Information On Your Phone
You already are carrying it around with you anyways, you might as well keep some important things on it! Keeping your undergrad class schedule in your notes is an easy way to make sure you are in the right room at the right time. This tip is an easy way to avoid looking like a freshman and convince others you know where you are going!
9. Have A System
While the dorms and on-campus housing options are always cramped, but carving out some space for your books and papers is vital to your success! While it is not necessary to keep all of your books from undergrad in your on-campus housing, you should try to keep the important papers that you might need again in a filing or organizational system for your convince.
These little tools are perfect for keeping note of important phrases, terms, and more than you will want to remember for future reference or for a test! There are so many colors to choose from and you can use these in textbooks, notes, and other papers to keep track of everything you need to know or remember.
11. Sticky Notes and Sticky Tabs
If you need to annotate while reading through your various textbooks, use these guys to keep track of what is important! Maybe your university will not let you write in your books so using sticky notes allows you to annotate how you want without having to keep track of another notebook or collection of papers. Tabs are perfect for marking important pages and you can reuse them later on!
There is a strong chance that your on-campus housing will not come with any type of shelving. Having a place to put your books, papers, and other articles is a simple way to keep everything in one place where you can see it all! Simplicity is key and knowing all of your essentials are in one central location makes things a little less stressful.
13. Pencil Bag
Surprisingly, not many people invest in a cute, quality pencil bag before starting undergrad! Take this opportunity to buy a storage bag you actually like and throw in all your pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes in more to keep track of all your essentials! Keep it in a front compartment of your backpack for easy access during class or on the go!
What are your favorite organizational tips? Share yours in the comments!
Hi! My name is Hannah Warren and I just graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in English. During my time at Mercer, I studied both Creative Writing and Media Studies so I have dabbled in multiple writing genres including fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and more! Playwrighting and nonfiction are my favorite genres because more people relate to and understand the work when it is raw, genuine, and mentions different problems that most people are familiar with or have experienced first-hand. I have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them, but I am proud to say I am drafting a romance novel that I hope to have published one day! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I hope you will continue to read more of my little articles in the future!