11 school organization and time management tips

Use an app for this.If you just can’t see yourself using notebooks, planners, or paper notes to keep track of your life; Fear not, there are plenty of digital tools that can help you do the same. “Use a digital to-do list app to help you keep track of everything, including when to study for exams, work on papers, and more.” Laurie Palau, Founder and CEO of simply B organized, said. She recommends List of wonders Where Evernote, which “equates to having a virtual notebook with you at all times,” says Laurie. “You can easily modify, update, share and retrieve all your information from any device, at any time.”

Color code your calendar.Whether you’re a digital or paper calendar, try color-coding everything you type or write in it. “Assign colors for each category ([for example], blue = social events, red = homework due dates, purple = meetings) so you not only stay on top of what’s coming up, but you can use it as a daily checklist for how prepare you for the day”, professional organizer, Rachel Rosenthal, tell us. “Nothing is more frustrating than being across campus and realizing you left something in your dorm and have to go back to get it.”

Plan your goals.Don’t just set your goals or write them down on lists. In fact, schedule time to accomplish them (or to take the small steps you will take to accomplish them) in your calendar. “Estimate the time [each step] take and then schedule the task into your week […] with start and end times,” explains Barbara Di Gangi, a licensed master social worker with expertise in productivity and self-improvement. “It will help you stay focused on your task during the day, prioritize and be reasonable about what you have time to do in the time you have.”

Make the most of your downtime.Even the busiest people tend to have downtime between classes, commitments, and activities – those that are too short to come home and take a nap or relax, or do a major project, but long enough to accomplish something quick and easy. The key is knowing what you can accomplish. “Have tasks at hand that you can accomplish quickly [like] answer emails, return a phone call, read a section of an assignment, or write a thank you note to your grandmother,” Frank Buck, author of Get organized! Time management for school leaders, said. “You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish while taking a break between classes, waiting in line, or waiting for that notoriously late friend to show up.”

Spatial organization

Maximize vertical space.In dorms, every inch of space counts. And while things like beds, desks, and futons tend to take up most horizontal space, vertical space is often underutilized. “Maximize vertical space ([like] walls [and] backs of doors) with hooks for jackets, jewelry, keys, [and more], said Laurie. “Use bed risers to add extra storage space under your bed. They even do bed risers with outlets and USB ports so you can charge your devices without having to run extension cords all over the room!

Jeremy S. McLain