Staying Organized in College

staying organized in college

I had a really exciting phone call about an internship yesterday morning, so I basically celebrated in my head all day long. (Now I need them to call me back again!)

Which kind of leads me to why staying organized in college--and life in general--is really important.

When you're applying for a bunch of things (scholarships, internships, etc.), taking a bunch of classes, working, and getting involved on campus, things can get a little hectic. My key to keeping myself sane during all of this is to write everything down.

Seriously, write it down. Multiple times, in multiple places.

Just last week I had my week planned out in my planner, a to-do list on my dresser, notes on my desk at work, and a sticky note on my laptop with my homework for each day outlined. Oh, and everything is color coded because it looks cool and it helps.

Here's how I do everything:

1. Use a wall calendar for easy-access.
I have a big dry erase calendar on my wall where I map out my entire month. I write down due dates, meetings, events I have to work, and anything I might be doing outside of school that I need to actually have in writing. Each class is in a different color marker and everything else is in black.

2. Write in and use a planner. 
First of all, get a cute planner because you'll use it more. Maybe buy a Lilly planner because your wallet will feel it and buyers remorse will have you using that thing on the daily. The monthly view of my planner looks exactly the same as my calendar. The weekly pages are a little more detailed. Instead of writing assignments down when they are due, I schedule when I actually have to work on them. I also use my planner to keep track of little notes, work stuff, and blog post ideas.

3. Wunderlist.
This app is quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to my apartment. You can share lists with people so my roommates and I have an ongoing shopping list. We add things as we need them and when we go to the store everything we is right on our phones. We also agreed that if it's a group shopping trip (saving money!) we won't buy anything that hasn't been added to the list (saving more money!).

4. Keep applications organized on excel. 
Excel is the bane of my existence. I can't figure it out, I don't want to figure it out, and I want to use it as little as possible. BUT during a resume/branding workshop that I went to on campus, I realized this was actually a really good idea. Basically you'll make a spreadsheet to keep track of where you've applied, contact information for the company, when you applied, what version of your resume you used (because I know you have 50), the date applications were due by, and anything else that might be important (like when you plan to follow up). The best part is, you're basically just using excel for it's tables and not any of it's math functions which is the complicated part.

5. Leave sticky notes everywhere.
Plan out your day, use them for important reminders, use them as motivation. They're good for everything.

I'm not really a crazy, organized person (anyone in my life can tell you that), so the fact that I do all of this is a big deal. It honestly helps so much with keeping the pressure off and making my schedule at least seem manageable.

Hopefully this helps and let me know if you have any other tips!

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  1. These are great tips! I use a website to keep track of all my homework and a notepad for grocery and to do lists, but that's just what works best for me.

  2. Great tips! I need to invest in a desk calander and the planner really really does help! Especially in a weekly and daily type of formatting!

  3. I know what you mean. Sometimes it's really hard to keep track of everything, but I usually feel so much better after putting it all together.

  4. I used to use the app, but I like the website better!