Monday, February 3, 2014

Keeping It All Together

With the new year and new semester, I've seen several other blogs posting about how to stay organized, so I thought I'd post my own! First, here are a few of my essentials for staying organized.

My Lilly Pulitzer planner has been life-changing this year. Everyone should have a planner- your phone is great for remembering events and holidays, but homework assignments should be written down. I bought the large agenda last summer and it has made a huge difference (it's also a preppy staple!). At the beginning of each semester I sit down with the syllabus for each class, writing down every reading assignment, quiz, test, and project due date. That way, I don't have to keep checking the syllabus and I stay on top of everything.

My iPad is probably the most important thing in my arsenal. I have a case with a built-in keyboard that I use to take notes in class. It's much easier than carrying a laptop (although now that I have a MacBook Air my iPad has a challenger), and all of my notes are stored in Evernote, a great note-taking app that allows you to have a notebook for each class with individual notes for each day.

I also have most of my books on my Kindle app. I bought 10 books for this semester, and 8 of them are on my iPad! As much as I love having a physical book, it's easier having everything on one device. I always have it with me in class, so if my professor brings up a certain passage or section of the book, it's right there in front of me. And who wants to carry 8 books around?

Even though I take notes on my iPad, I have an obsession with stationary and pens, hence the notebooks and Betsey Johnson pencil bag that's stuffed with every color pen you can imagine. I use the notebooks for test reviews, since I study better by writing things down. My big pink notepad is for my never-ending to-do lists. If I write something down and can physically see that it's not done, it's a big motivator for me!

There's not one way to stay organized, but here's some of my tips:
  • Find a study playlist- I personally listen to classical because I'm not tempted to sing along! 
  • Get a study partner- I spent the weekend before finals in the library with my friend and I actually got so much done. Motivate each other to get your work done so that you have more time to chat later!
  • Give yourself a set amount of time to finish tasks- if you have two hours free, give yourself an hour for one task and the other hour as your free time. 
  • Don't wait until Sunday night to start your homework- try to get your work done on Saturday, so that if you go out that night you won't be pressured to try working sunday morning when you're still hungover. 
  • Always do the reading- you never know when a surprise quiz is coming or your professor will choose you to lead the discussion. Be prepared!
Being organized is all about motivation- try making lists or writing down weekly goals for yourself. Holding yourself accountable will make it harder to procrastinate. 

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