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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you do as a college student? Life can get stressful and unorganized between classes, work, clubs and your social life. Staying organized can reduce stress and help you prioritize and manage your time better. With the spring semester just starting, here are my top tips for staying organized in college. 

  1. Set up a planner 

A planner helps you take a seemingly large amount of work and break it into chunks to seem more manageable. A college planner allows you to zoom out and see the bigger picture each month and the entire semester. You can use your planner to schedule important dates, meetings, assignments, classes and extracurriculars. You can write down tasks and assignments in a physical planner or use a digital planner that is easily accessible through your computer and on the go. 

Here are some helpful planner tips to include: 

  • Color code assignments 
  • Make daily to-do lists
  • Include an estimated time completion for each assignment to help improve time management skills 
  1. Create an excel spreadsheet with assignments

Most of your college professors should have a course syllabus they provide you with the first few days of class. Most professors include a tentative course schedule with an outline of due assignments within those syllabi. If you create an excel spreadsheet with each assignment color-coded and organized by date, keeping up with due dates and assignments becomes less confusing.

  1. Utilize your desktop folders.

Another of my favorite organizational tips is keeping the work you submit for classes organized. At the beginning of the semester, create a desktop folder for each course you’re taking, and save each document you submit into your corresponding desktop folder. You can keep daily assignments, papers and quizzes in these folders. This is important because it will help save you time and energy if you ever have to refer back to one of your old assignments for a new class, while building your resume or when studying for midterms/finals. 

  1. Set reminders on your phone or computer

This tip is beneficial if you constantly forget due dates and are busy or on the go. We all have our phones on us, so setting up reminders on your phone will help keep you focused and organized in your daily tasks and activities. You’ll never go another day turning in an assignment late with reminders set on your phone. 

Adjusting to a new academic schedule is always stressful, and losing track of assignments and responsibilities can happen quicker than you anticipate. So, if you adopt some of these organizational tips will significantly decrease your stress levels, and you’ll be better prepared for a fast-paced college environment.

Julia Schweitzer

Illinois State '23

Julia is a senior at Illinois State University pursuing a BA in English Publishing. When she's not studying, you can find her reading her favorite romance novels, practicing yoga, or grabbing a coffee on campus.