In the beginning of every New Year, purchases for planners, bullet journals and calendars sky rocket. Many college students set out with the resolution to be more organized. For some of us, this is easier said than done. Those agendas that you swore to yourself you would keep up with are blank by February and somehow you’re still that same student you were last year— texting all your friends before a class asking what the homework was, or missing your advising appointment because it slipped your mind. It’s hard not to blame yourself for having a Type B personality. But in busy lives, keeping all that information swirling around in your head is inefficient and can cause unnecessary anxiety. Here are VALLEY’s top tips for keeping a schedule when planning ahead seems impossible.
Sticky notes are the tried and true reminder method. If you’ve given them a shot before and they haven’t worked for you, here are some tips to use them effectively.
The most important aspect of this organization method is putting sticky notes in a place that you will regularly see them. For example, placing notes on your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator is a great way to be reminded ever morning. If paper isn’t your thing, try keeping a ‘To Do’ list on your desktop using the ‘Stickies’ software on Mac, or installing ‘Sticky Notes’ on Windows 10.
Keeping a paper calendar can be overwhelming. Many Type B personalities struggle with planning far in advance, but using an electronic calendar in a weekly format is much more digestible. Use the built-in calendar software on your laptop. From there, import your class schedule and regular meetings to repeat weekly. Now the majority of your work is done! This tactic is great for flexible scheduling of your appointments or responsibilities that don’t occur on a regular basis. The great thing about this method for Type B personalities is that you can be inconsistent. Try this method out, and if you miss a week — no problem! Your weekly classes will be intact the next week, and you will be back into planning — free from an all-or-nothing scheduling mentality.
If you like to have handwritten notes, VALLEY recommends keeping each subject in a different notebook with the date to keep consistency and help with studying. Although, most students like to take notes on a computer because it helps them stay organized and objective with your schoolwork. Instead of writing notes in a lengthy Word document, try using Word Notebook Layout. This software is made for academic note-taking and it well suited for bullet point and graphical information organization. The great thing about this tool is that it is designed just like a notebook would be. Divide each page up by chapter for easier and cleaner studying.
With all these organization tactics, remember that you will not become organized over night. For someone who has difficulty keeping to a schedule, these tips are helpful because they are forgiving. They are small steps towards a larger goal of success.
What’s your favorite way to stay organized? Tweet us @VALLEYmag!