Staying organised can be difficult but it becomes a necessary part of being a student. It enables you to become a master of the learning process. It is more than just meandering through your education, it is part of embracing what you’ve learned. Organizing your notes takes a bit of time but it’s so worth it. Here are some organisation tips I’ve found that work:
- Preparing beforehand
If your university or college makes the taught lectures available online before the actual lecture, it is worth printing these off the night before or on the morning to take with you. In my experience, a lot of lecturers speed through a lot of information so quickly so this allows me to write additional notes that they might give that aren’t already provided. These help me to understand the concept more and therefore I have more to write about in my assignments and exams.
2. Saving the syllabus
If you can access your lectures online, then it is wise to save these to your computer and back them up again, so you don’t lose them! I save all my lectures to my computer and also to my OneDrive account, and I also keep all my printed lectures and additional notes in binders (see below).
3. Organizing your notes into binders
I keep a separate folder for every unit/module I am taught at university. I tend to keep my notes in weekly chronological order with details on who taught them and their relevant contact details. I have also kept the notes I made at college and previous years at university for future reference. You never know when you’re going to need them! For instance, some of the notes I made at college I am now using for my dissertation!
4. Having a planner/journal
For me, this is the most important tip. I think keeping a schedule of events and deadlines, as well as keeping a daily to-do list is the key to organisation. You can use an academic diary, a simple yearly diary, or there are even apps you can use to do this. Personally, I use a Bullet Journal. A bullet journal is essentially a journal which you create your own planner. You can set up your own weekly spread with each day marking a new to-do list, any events, reminders, or notes. You can track your habits (e.g. how many hours you study for), make a list of your deadlines, write motivational quotes – anything you want to! I am currently using the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. There is a massive Bullet Journalling community, and if you’re interested on how to start your own take a look at the original bullet journal website: http://bulletjournal.com/ and also my favourite Bullet Journaller Boho Berry! I would really recommend bullet journalling as a fun way to stay organised.
5. Don’t put too much on your to-do list!
I am notorious for doing this and I very rarely manage to complete all the tasks I’ve set for myself! Therefore I try to keep my daily tasks to between three or five. Doing this doesn’t put too much pressure on yourself and is much more reasonable. However keep in mind the size of your to-do list should depend on the size of your tasks. Also, you can rank your tasks in order of importance and priority.
6. Make note-writing more enjoyable
Note taking can be so boring and arduous. You can try to make it more fun by putting banners around titles, writing your titles in a different font, highlighting your headers, and changing your font colour! If your notes look colourful and pretty, perhaps when you come to revise you’ll appreciate them more!
Organisation is a major part of your education journey and these skills apply later in life too. If there’s any tips you’ve got on how to stay organised leave a comment below I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for reading,
Today in the History of Psychology (Dec 16, 1901)
Margaret Mead was born. As one of the first women to conduct prolonged cross-cultural research, her ethnographic work on Gender Identity in Samoa shed light on the different patterns of male and female behaviour in each culture. She stressed the importance of cultural as a formative influence on development and argued that it was culture, not biology, that determines human behaviour and personality.
Psychology Pun of the Week
What is a Star Wars queen of the brain?