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Learning Center

Get Organized

Organization is essential to succeeding in college and is closely linked to time management. The goal of organizing is to bring order to your academic and social life so that you are in control. There are many ways to organize, and each individual will find things that work for him or her. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a list of things to do on your desk so that you can always remind yourself what needs to be done. Making lists is a good way to "see" everything you need to do and to begin to take control. Lists can help you minimize anxiety.
  • Buy separate, different colored notebooks for each class. You won't bring the wrong notebook to class.
  • Consider buying more than one notebook for each class, depending upon the different work you do. For example, use one notebook for lecture notes and one notebook for homework problems.
  • Make sure you have all the desk supplies you need: pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, pens, highlighters, post-it notes, paper, notebooks, paper clips, stapler, staples, index cards, etc. Most of these supplies are fairly inexpensive, so you should be able to have what you need when you need it.
  • Use post-it-notes to tab important textbook or notebook pages or the pages about which you have questions. The colored tabs will act as a visual reminder. Use folders to keep papers, notes, homework, old tests, etc. organized and easily accessible.
  • Keep your study area neat by keeping your books and notebooks organized. Students who pile books and papers on the desk or bed or floor can have a hard time finding things or remembering when something is due, and commonly forget to turn assignments in. And, a disorganized space can increase your level of anxiety because you know you're not in control.