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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As a college student, managing time becomes very difficult with extracurriculars, work, additional homework and readings. As a person who has remained busy practically her entire life, I am going to share with you the ways I keep my life organized. I use a lot of different techniques. However, I pair them together to take full advantage and optimize my schedule for its highest efficiency.

simple to-do list

The to-do list is my ultimate favorite. It has been a staple of mine since high school. So I don’t overwhelm myself, I tend to focus on adding items to my to-do list that should be accomplished on that specific day. I keep this to-do list on a dry-erase board that I normally update at least once a day, usually at the beginning. This keeps my momentum high and gets my productivity going.

Pro: Creating a to-do list is pretty simple. All that’s needed is anything that can be written on. This is a way to prevent too much anxiety and panic surrounding deadlines, especially at times when your week may be exceptionally hectic. Take it one day at a time.

Con: Since I feel that it is most effective as a physical list, if you forget to bring it with you, then all of the items that you needed “to-do” are left up to what your brain remembers.


This is where I put the more solidified and constant events of my week. This mostly consists of any classes, work or weekly meetings. Even though these events are constant, life happens and even the most standard time commitments can sneak up on you at the worst possible times.

Pro: It has that weekly glance and is normally short and simple.

Con: This weekly schedule does not account for varying factors in the week such as once-a-month meetings. It also needs quite a big board space to write down weekly obligations from Sunday through Saturday.

Overall, while it does work for me to an extent, I must admit I do not really pay too much attention to it. The value is not the same for my to-do list or an Apple calendar (at least in my opinion).

apple or google calendar

This applies to any digital calendar or app.

Pro: These are extremely helpful when keeping track of day-to-day activities or remembering something three months into the future. I always like to pair these with a physical to-do list. Specifically pertaining to Google Calendar, the built-in to-do list is super convenient. A bonus that I am in love with that is it offers reminders! Utilize these reminders, even if it is only the “five minutes before.”

Con: Oftentimes when you check your phone or device, Instagram always seems to find its way to the forefront of your screen (a phenomenon I am still trying to explain).

Overall, as an overview of the day, week or month, it works perfectly. However, as a constant reference, it may do more harm than benefit to one’s screen time and overall productivity.


We all need a TikTok break

♬ original sound – Ant🤞🏼


I’m talking about the paper book, whether it has lines beside the days or has larger boxes in the calendar grid style. I feel like a planner is the method you really have to follow through on. The day the planner closes, it just does not open again for the rest of the year.

Pro: It is a nice way of keeping oneself organized.

Con: It is a closed book and it only works if you open it and look at it. Yes, that is true for everything on this list. However, I just feel there is something about that closed book planner in comparison with a to-do list or a phone calendar app.

Overall, if it works, it works. But, if it doesn’t, it just won’t.


For those who do not know what time blocking is, it is planning out by the hour or minute exactly what is going to be accomplished within set times. It is commonly used by individuals who have a lot of obligations that have to be satisfied. An easy way to do this is to give everything its own appropriate time block.

Pro: This works very well with busy schedules. It keeps every category in its own time limit to successfully maximize time in one’s day. This is quite helpful for those moments when there are a lot of time constraints and pressing issues that need to be tended to at the same time. I frequently resort to time-blocking when I have organization meetings paired with classes and homework. This strategy of time organization alleviates the struggle of time constraints by putting time into perspective. This allows for a bigger picture of the day rather than an immediate glance.

Con: I find it hard to stick to that strict schedule at times when I am not so busy. This oftentimes can lead me to get off schedule and even more behind.

Overall, this method simply requires discipline for it to be effective.

These are the basic ways I keep myself organized. If you are lacking in organization, maybe this list will give you a few ideas on how you can optimize your life. Remember, there are 24 hours in each day. So, even at times when it may appear as though there are a million and one things to do, take it slow. You can do this! Become that academic weapon.

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Hi, my name is Amanda! I am currently a full-time student at Florida State University, and a part time writer with HerCampus. Writing is one of my more prominent passions and I love the ability to be able to share it with you. To keep up with my life…you can follow me on Instagram @theamandaflynn