When you are a university student there are a lot of things that you need to juggle. From lectures and tutorials to part-time jobs and clubbing, you have a lot to fit into your days. But here is where you start to take control of your week, no more “I didn’t know the report was due tomorrow,” “since when did we have a quiz?”
You are taking control of your life and becoming your very own badass boss. I know some of you may be nervous to take on the title of an organised person, but once you’re there, trust me you’ll never go back. The first time someone called me organised, I genuinely laughed because I was only doing the bare minimum to appear as such, and that is what I will be sharing with you today.
METHOD 1: Know What You’re Doing Each Day
The first thing you need to do is get a diary.
I don’t care if this is a paper back that you carry around with you or an electronic app, pick one! I used to be a physical book kind of girl but after utilising an app that synced on to my phone and my computer, I was enlightened.
I am particularly partial to the “Google Calendar” app (all you need is a Gmail account to get started). The reason for this was that whenever I looked for other calendar or to-do list apps, they all wanted to sync with my cloud and I share the cloud with my parents; let’s just say they didn’t need to know what I was doing every day.
After downloading the app or purchasing a diary, it’s time for my favourite part. Colour co-ordinating!
Colour co-ordinating your diary not only makes it pleasing to the eye but it also removes the potential of a headache. If you’ve purchased a diary, use highlighters.
From here you are going to split your obligations into different colours. As per my calendar, this is how I have divided it:
- Class (e.g. lectures) = purple
- Due dates (e.g. exam) = red
- Work (e.g. shifts) = orange
- Fitness (e.g. F45 class) = green
- Social (e.g. coffee with a friend) = blue
- Miscellaneous (e.g. dentist apt) = yellow
- Reminders (e.g. purchase bsoc ticket) = pink
Those are my main divisions, but keep in mind if you want to be aware of your due dates when using the Google Calendar I use the “all day” technique. Instead of putting your due date at the same time you have class, make it an all-day event; this not only places the event at the top of your day’s itinerary, if you have multiple you’ll be able to clearly see it.
Play around with the settings that work for you. I don’t usually use the notifications because I constantly look at the calendar anyway but with my due dates I typically set a few reminders.
Your final product should look something like this:
METHOD 2: Know What You Need To Accomplish Each Day
Now I am someone who has always been a list person, I know not everyone is like this but the satisfaction you have when you’ve managed to tick everything off is worth it.
You can either write the list by hand, in your notes on your computer or download an app; wherever you know you’ll be looking. The app that I have recently found is called “todoist.” It’s free and it’s a life saver.
You can download this app on your phone, computer or apple watch.
The app allows you to break up what you need to get done by day. So instead of knowing you should study three days before an in-class quiz, put it on your list to make yourself accountable. It will not only make you organised but prepared too.
METHOD 3: Know What You Need To Accomplish Each Semester
Another thing that you can do that will ensure your organisational skills are up to scratch is by making an assignment summary sheet. Now I know that for all of our subjects we are given ‘subject outlines’ but to me this is just not good enough.
I want to know what each subject requires of me and I want to know when it needs to be completed.
The process itself should only take you an hour, but trust me you will be glad that you did it in the end.
Scrape through all of your resources for this one. You need the date its due, the week its due, the weight of the assignment or test, and the title of the assignment. Repeat this subject for all of your subjects.
Once you have compiled a list of all your due dates/exam dates for each subject, you can put it in a “due in succession list.” This way you’ll know what is going to be due next.
Please refer to the screen shots provided if you are having trouble.
The good thing about being organised is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. These are just the methods that work for me, if they don’t work for you go find something that will. If implementing just one of these methods helps you then I’ve done my job. Good luck on your organising journey!