How to Stay Organized
Organization is essential to successfully managing your time, reducing stress, and keeping your grades up to par as a college student. The shift to online/hybrid schooling has changed the way we stay organized. For some, this transition is difficult, especially for those who are not technologically savvy or familiar with computers and their hidden features.
Here are some tips to staying organized on your computer so you can continue to succeed:
Having an organized calendar for your busy college schedule will be a game changer. It will help you efficiently manage your time by eliminating the need to remember class start times, appointments, and work schedules. Going old-school and using a paper planner may help, but if you haven’t yet switched to a digital calendar you are missing out. Digital calendars will help you access your daily tasks in a matter of seconds, from anywhere, at any time. You can also block out time to finish tasks that you’ve been putting off. Using a calendar will help keep you organized and productive. Not sure what type of digital calendar to use? Try Google Calendar. The platform is simple to use and it is compatible with your Android or Apple smartphones and computers.
When you keep track of your class times, important due dates, meetings, exercise times, extracurricular activities, and work schedules it is saved it to a cloud system. From the cloud, you can view your schedule from your computer, phone, or even your smart watch.
Create Your Semester Spreadsheet
Entering a new semester can be difficult, but creating a semester spreadsheet can be extremely helpful in remembering your weekly course load, work schedule, and meeting times for extracurricular activities. I like to have a simple and organized layout for how my semester is going to look. It helps at the beginning of the semester when class times are still unfamiliar. When registering for your classes under your myUIC account, the university provides an organized spreadsheet for you. You can screenshot the layout and save it for personal use or create your own in Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel.
This website can help you create a weekly schedule. Be sure to color code your classes, work, and personal routines, and then save it as a screensaver on your computer and phone until you have it memorized.
While keeping track of events is important, you need to be able to keep track of tasks as well. Whether it is an assignment or a goal, I recommend setting reminders in your phone at the beginning of each week and treat it as a “To Do List” and then check off each task as you go.
Setting reminders is easy. If you have an Apple iPhone or MacBook, open your Reminders app and then type your reminder. If you have an Android, open the Google Calendar app. In the bottom right corner, tap create reminder (+). From there you will be able to choose a date, time, and frequency.
Notes can be hectic and differentiate from person to person. While I still take notes in a 5-subject notebook, writing notes in a Google Doc can be very beneficial. A feature that comes in handy is the find feature (Command-F or Control-F). You can use it to help you find information in your notes. You can simply type a keyword and find what you are looking for in a matter of seconds. For each chapter of a subject, start a new document and take notes as you would in a real notebook. Then, keep them organized in folders.
Organizing files is the most important. An organized computer will keep you stress free and save you a lot of time when looking for files that you should be able to access in seconds. If you have a lot of files for various classes and homework exercises, I recommend using an external hard drive. I have a portable drive that I take with me everywhere. Contained on the drive, I have a school work folder, where I organize my info into semesters and classes. Within the class folders, I organize my content by homework, notes, etc. I also like to keep each class color coded.
This year has been difficult and has been stressful for a lot college students. After all, we are the only generation that has had to go through a year of school from our own homes, but trying times will not lead us to failure. Staying organized is just a small step that will make your online college experience more clear and less stressful.