5 Tips To Stay Organized in College

It’s that time of the year again, where we return to a life of overflowing homework, constant deadlines and crammed study sessions. If you’re entering your first year of university and you’re anything like me, you might still be hanging onto the preconceived notion that buying agendas to keep track of anything school-related is completely unnecessary and that all you need is your brain, reminders written on your arm in Sharpie, and scattered Post-It’s anywhere and everywhere. However, if you are a returning university student, you most likely know that it’s easy to get things mixed up and lose track of what to do with this loose method.

Developing a good organizing system will not only help you keep track of all your endeavors, but it’ll also ensure you have a (mostly) stress-free academic experience! Here are a few tips to stay on top of your organization game this semester:



Have a planner.

It can be hard to keep track of school work, social events, work schedules, and extracurricular activities all at once. Because of this, having something where you can have everything laid out and see what you have to look forward to is a must-- it’s one of the most essential steps in staying organized. There’s a variety of options to choose from, whether it’s a traditional planner, a calendar app, or a bullet journal (if choosing a bullet journal, make sure to keep it simple! Organization as an art form can do more bad than good).


Make daily to-do lists.

Hear me out! This may sound like a tedious task, but it’s a simple way to lay out what you want to carry out each day. You can do this on your planner/bullet journal if it has daily pages, or you can make these on a small notepad. Daily to-do lists don’t have to be some elaborative bullet point list of every little thing you have to do that day. The best way to make these lists is to keep them simple and direct. First, focus on whatever is most important, i.e. things you have due for the day after (homework, readings, etc). Then, add anything you want to get a head start on (like researching for an upcoming project or studying for a test). This will motivate you to be productive every day, and the feeling of satisfaction when you cross everything off the list is like no other.


Keep your space organized

It’s important to maintain your desk/study area consistently clean. It’s not enough to let everything pile up and eventually clean it. Make a habit of keeping your desk clean and experimenting with different ways of organizing it. Having a clean space can have a positive effect on your mind, leading to a calmer and more focused mindset when you sit down to study.


Save your syllabi.

Syllabi are great for keeping track of all your classes and their respective workload. Print your syllabi and save them in a folder or have them stored in a folder on your computer, and make sure to actually look at them every once in a while rather than relying on the professor or your classmates to know what to do. They are a powerful tool, so use them!



As helpful as planners, lists, and tidy desks can be, a clear mind is what matters most. We all know how stressful university can be, so don’t hesitate to take a breather every now and then if you feel yourself getting too overwhelmed with work. Make space in your day to meditate, to relax with a good book or lay down and listen to music. Remember that your mental health comes first because keeping your mind calm and organized is equally as important. (And if things get too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to talk to your professors, or to get professional help if you feel like you need it!)


Here’s to a productive and fun semester-- happy organizing!


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