How to Stay Organized in College


College is not easy; that’s no surprise. It is truly a challenge to keep everything on track and balanced while having other responsibilities to take care of besides your studies. Attending lectures, keeping notes, doing homework, writing essays, and having exams are standard student responsibilities. But when there’s too much to fit in in a day, students start suffering from stress. And that happens more than you think. That comes as a result of not knowing how to stay organized in college. 

Staying organized all the time is not an easy process, but applying the correct practices and tips will make a difference in your current lifestyle. Let’s learn more about the importance of being organized at college and how you can achieve it. 

Why You Must Stay Organized in College

Strong organizational skills allow students to do better in school. Many of you can be good at grasping all the information presented during class, but what fails you is the time you should spend studying afterward. Not being able to prioritize assignments and organize time evenly for each project or simply your physical space is a sign that your organizational skills are failing you. 

Being organized in college will help you maintain a healthy mind and body. Imagine how good it would feel not having to worry about a tomorrow-due paper because you did the brainstorming, research, writing, and everything else according to the right schedule. Now you would simply take the time to rest. All of this would be possible if you try to invest time and effort towards becoming more organized. 

And most importantly, there is a bright future awaiting you after graduation. You will be thankful for investing effort in becoming more organized because organizational skills will take you as far as you wish. That pretty much answers why you must stay organized in college: for a better future.

Tips to Stay Organized in College

Becoming an organized person takes effort, that’s no doubt. But with the right plan on your hands, it will not feel as daunting as you might think. How do college students organize their day? Well, we have created a detailed list of steps you can take to help you stay organized and ultimately result in a better study journey. If you are still curious about the tips, read on. 

Use a calendar


Students have a life outside their studies. There are family, friends, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and many other things you need to keep up with. And it becomes hectic when you don’t know what and when you should do something. There’s where the calendar comes in handy. You can use apps or online calendars such as Google Calendars or simply write everything down. Either way, it will free up so much space in your head. 

Things you can add to your calendar are:

  • Classes
  • Work
  • Study time
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Meetings with friends
  • Meetings with colleagues (when you have projects)

Having a calendar does not indicate that you shouldn’t and can’t be spontaneous, but it will give you a clearer view of when you should do things. And, as you proceed with your days, you can delete or add events to your liking. 

Use to-do lists


If you are ready to take things to another level, then using a to-do list will be the perfect second step. To-do lists are good for managing daily tasks. You can either prepare a to-do list a day ahead or right after you wake up. 

Again, many digital apps can help you keep track of tasks, or you can use your notebook. Whatever you choose, make sure to put a tick on the box after each completed task. This will help you get more control over your life, and you will feel a sense of achievement throughout the day. 

Plan realistically

We know how good it feels to have every event and task written down, ready for us to complete, but sometimes we get carried away and keep adding more to our list than we can handle. This is a mistake you should avoid. Take your time and think before adding to your calendar or to-do list. 

Let’s say you have your to-do list ready and filled with tasks, but have you planned everything realistically? Did you write down “wake up at 7am and do homework”? If you are a morning person, that will work, but if you’re a night owl, you should stay away from putting such a goal when you know you will be up late. Instead, schedule your homework at night. This way, your late nights will have a purpose, and you don’t have to worry about homework when you wake up. 

Take notes and digitize them

Note-taking is an essential skill in itself. Knowing how to take notes and keep them organized will save you so much time during revisions and finals. More specifically, digitalizing your notes will make your life simpler. 

Sometimes reading your handwriting or going through pages to find something important becomes challenging. To make the most of your notes, you should digitize them and make them searchable. When you digitize them, you can simply search by keywords. Additionally, it is easier to carry them with you anywhere. 

Organize by class


There are many ways to organize your studying materials, and one of the best tips is to do it by arranging everything by class. You can use binders and separate each subject of each class by color.

And if you don’t like carrying binders around, you can create folders on your computer, name everything accordingly, and add your notes or sheets.

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Plan ahead

Those interested in becoming organized students should know that planning ahead is the key to staying organized. Planning for the next day is one of the most important things you can ever do. By identifying your plans early, you can put measures into place and change them along the way to help you reach the lifestyle you want.

An example that would make a change is to read the syllabus your professor provides on the first day. If you read it, you will have an idea of what will be covered in each lecture, and you can go prepared. 

Develop a routine/follow a schedule

When integrating any tips to stay organized mentioned in this article, remember that consistency matters to succeed. Implementing some actions to stay organized one day and not keeping them up for weeks won’t get you anywhere. Planning ahead, having calendars, to-do lists, or digitizing notes are all helpful if you stick to a schedule and integrate those habits into your daily life.

Declutter your study space


Most of the time, we hear people say that they get the urge to tidy up instead of study. That is because the untidy place calls for unfinished work, making it almost impossible to focus on other tasks, such as schoolwork. So, go ahead and try decluttering your study space from time to time. Clean and tidy study spaces will most certainly make you feel more productive.

Avoid distractions

Almost everything will get between you and the study session when you don’t feel like studying. Therefore, you should schedule a studying session when you are done checking emails, social media, or watching your favorite TV show. You don’t necessarily have to block yourself out of the world to study, but try to minimize using electronic devices when studying. 

Organize your backpack


Sort your school materials according to how often you use them.

You can place smaller materials that you frequently use in the outside pocket of your bag. Then, beginning from the bottom up, stack your books, notebooks, and all your school materials according to how frequently you use them.

Of course, you won’t be able to sort everything in the right order if you are running late; therefore, keep in mind to organize your backpack the day before class.

Reflect on your week and plan for the following

Weekly reflections are an excellent method to look back on your week and consider what was learned, how you succeeded, what difficulties you had, and what goals you would like to set going forward. Weekly reflections allow you to drive and take charge of their education. 

Remember that even if some tips didn’t work out the way you wanted them to, you could try new things out.

Take care of yourself

Don’t be hard on yourself. Make some time for yourself, relax, eat your favorite food or go for a walk. Find ways to reduce stress. Schedule time on your calendar for friends and family; it will help take your mind off school work and make you feel more relaxed. Remember that taking care of your mental and physical health comes first. 

And if some of the tips above don’t work for you, you can always try out new methods. Don’t limit yourself. 


Being disorganized in college might be dangerous. You risk misplacing important notes, forgetting classes, scheduling incorrectly, and suffering from an untidy workspace if you lack the necessary organizing abilities. But with the tips we have provided in this article, you will most certainly succeed in becoming a more organized student.

Planning things ahead will make your studying journey much easier, and you will be better prepared for work life. 

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