Strong organizational skills in college are a must. This post is for all of the students that begin the semester using a perfectly organized planner, then suddenly… stop. I want you to know that I see you and you’re not alone. When I first started college, my favorite thing about the new school was picking out a new planner. I’m talking about the pricey planners too (Day Designer, Ban.do, etc.). Sophomore year, I was given the Class Tracker which I used a lot more (probably because it was super practical). The Class Tracker only lasted me for one academic year, so once it was done, it was done (read my full review here). For Junior year, I opted for a cheaper planner from Target. I used it for a couple of months (bad example of organizational skills btw) then I needed to make space in my backpack for other things, so the planner got purged. That’s when everything started going downhill.
We love a good to-do list! I usually take a piece of printer paper, fold it in half, and dump everything that I have to do for the week on one side. This is extremely helpful during midterms/finals when it seems like everything is due at the same time. If it’s a lot of stuff, I typically write down the due dates too. There’s also the option of using an app. I really like the MinimaList app. The name pretty much says it all; it’s super practical. I usually turn to this app to “write down” things that I know I’m going to forget.
I mentioned, in this post, that I like to use sticky notes to keep track of everything that I have to do, especially if I’m pressed for time. Sticky notes come in handy when I’ve waited until the last minute to try to get stuff done. I write down what’s due (based on my habits, big assignments due in like 3 days) and stick it write on my computer. I have Macbook, so I do have the option to use electronic stickies. Normally, I use this when I have a random (but still important) thought, but I don’t have a pen or paper on hand. For me, the Mac stickies aren’t the best option because they get covered whenever I’m working in Chrome. I like to be able to see my tasks.
So, I’m not confident that I can write a tutorial post on how to use iCal, but just know that it’s been a great tool. I have three calendars: Life, Work, S&S (my student org.). I put my class schedule, volunteer dates, and appointments into my life calendar; my work schedule and work-related events into my work calendar; any student org. related things into the S&S calendar. I immediately turn to iCal whenever people ask me when I’m free as it is a good reflection of my day-to-day schedule.
So that’s all I got. At the end of the day, you just have to do what works for you. One person’s organizational skills aren’t going to be the same as the next person’s. Just as everything is getting done well and on time, then you’re doing something right.