Tips to staying organised at University

Juggling a social life, exams, assignments perhaps even a part-time job can be hard at times. One of the easiest way to make sure you don’t leave everything until the last minute is to remain organised. We all have different ways of organising ourselves and we thought sharing LifeStart communities’ inside tips would be the best way.

Have a diary/calendar/planner

Annabel W. from Bangor University says that she “bought a huge academic year wall planner.” She recommends looking online or in stationary shops for one; sometimes the student union give them out for free, so keep your eye out! Annabel then “colour coded [stuff like] assignment deadlines, and weekends away and fun stuff too, so you can see exactly how long you have for everything.” Try and keep the calendar somewhere visible in your room so that you can keep track of the days going by and what’s coming up in advance. Whether that’s a friend’s birthday or an exam, you won’t have any surprises if you’ve written it down in advance and check it day-to-day. If a wall calendar isn’t your thing, a pocket diary can also be useful and means you can take it with you to class. That way you’ll never forget to write down those last-minute meetings or coursework deadlines. Some people like to keep phone or online calendars, which may be preferable to you. I often found that writing things down helps me visualise my week better. However, Carina M. from King’s College London said “Apple calendar governs my life.”

Work out what works best for you. The best thing about writing it all down is that not only does it help you organise yourself but “it’s also cool to look back on afterwards at how much stuff you did in the year!” says Annabel. You can be a proud of yourself and how you managed to complete everything.”

Use Storage

Keeping tidy and putting things away not only looks better it also keeps you organised. Whether you invest in files, draws or even just make sure your documents are in helpfully named folders on your computer desktop. A tidy workspace allows for a less chaotic mind. If things are where you think they should be that’s one less thing to worry about. Some people colour code, others file things by date. Work out what works for you and go from there.

Carina says “I am definitely not the most organised person in the world, but I find that what works for me is to compartmentalise my life. So I always try to get any work done (either university related or personal errands) outside of my home, at the library or a cafe. My home is designated for relaxing and leisure, which helps me de-stress.”

Remember to not only concentrate on your physical space but your online space space too. An application that I can recommend is OneNote. It allows you to have workbooks, with pages that subdivide. It allows you to write text anywhere in the page, record voice notes which can be great for lectures, and you can add helpful keys/notes for information that you should come back to later.

Work with others

Research has shown that when you start an activity with a friend, for example going to the gym, you’re more likely to attend regularly, workout more and see better results. You can replicate this in your university or school work too. Share notes and make sure that you’re both on top of assignments and deadline dates. During revisions sessions, you can test each other on what you know (or don’t!). There’s lots of research that has shown that when you teach someone, you will have more persistent learning gains! Not only will it half the workload as you share it between you and your friend, you may get better grades because of it. Now would be the moment to take out your phone, send this article to a friend and ask them to start studying together from now on. What are you waiting for?