College Organization Tips (+ My School Supplies!)

The college blog posts continue with an exciting ORGANIZATION POST! If that doesn’t push you to the edge of your seat, how about a peek at my very own school supplies? :)

I just want to start by saying organization is a very personal thing. I know people who throw caution to the wind (I mean, they don’t use a PLANNER) and somehow wind up getting everything done on time. I know people with flash-card obsessions and detailed, color-coded notes as pretty as they are useful. I am somewhere in-between.

You know where you fit on the spectrum. I encourage you to take these suggestions and make them work for your personal organization style (or lack thereof :)).

Without further ado: the tips

Color-code. While my notes are black and white, my folders are a different story. I assign a color to each of my four classes each semester (blue, red, green, and purple). I use that color for two things: my folder for that class, and the assignments I write on my wall calendar. I can quickly glance at the current month and see what class has something big coming up.

Give everything a place. My folders and notebooks go in my magazine holder. Books line up next to that. My planner is either in my backpack or on the left side of my desk. My laptop is always on the right. My letter organizer sits in the top left corner. And so on. Giving everything a home (on your desk and throughout your room) makes it less likely you’ll lose something. It also lets you know where to put something (thus avoiding too much clutter).

Put what you’re using in front of you. New assignments go in the front of your folder, as do printed readings. Books you’re currently reading sit at the top of the stack/front of the row. This goes for class, studying, clubs, anything! Life gets a lot easier when you’re not constantly searching for a frequently-used item.

A planner is a girl’s (and guy’s) best friend. I’m a very forgetful person. I’m constantly over-correcting that flaw with alarms, reminders, emails, a dry-erase weekly calendar, and my planner. A planner is the best way I’ve found to remember what I have to do and when I have to do it. How you decide to use it is up to you, but writing things down means it’s way more likely you’ll remember them.

If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again! The system you think is going to work doesn’t have to be the one you stick with. Freshman year I had decorated, color-coded binders I loved, but never really used. I had single-subject notebooks for each class, but never filled them up. It took a little trial and error, but now I have a system I love. Don’t be afraid to try out different organizing styles before settling on one that works best for you.

Speaking of the system I love, now we move on to the show-and-tell portion of this blog post: my 2014/2015 school supplies! (I apologize for the sub-par photo quality…it’s been cloudy in Indiana :))

College Organization Tips | Scribbling in the Margins blog

  • Five-Star three subject notebook. I used to have a one-subject notebook for each class, but I never needed that many pages. This three-subject suits me well (not too big, not too small). I’ve been reusing a one-subject each semester for my writing classes, since they don’t involve many notes.
  • Two-pocket folders. Here’s the color-coding I was talking about. If a folder starts to get full (I’m looking at you, writing classes), I move old papers to manila folders.

College Organization Tips | Scribbling in the Margins blog

  • Pen and pencil. Basic, but oh so important. I use a pen for notes, a pencil for- you got it- scribbling in the margins of my books. My new favorite pen is the Pilot Acroball, but I also like the Bic Round Stic. My pencil of choice is also Bic; I’m not sure what model. It’s just a mechanical pencil :)
  • NEW Lilly Pulitzer Agenda. I could seriously write a whole post on this planner. The struggle to find it this summer was intense (in tents…)I might dedicate a post to it once school gets into full swing and I start using it more (let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like to read). I’m lost without a planner. I can’t imagine surviving college without it.

College Organization Tips | Scribbling in the Margins blogWhat organization tips do you have for school? Any favorite school supplies?


Below the Line:

  • Tomorrow is the big day- I move in for my junior year. I made a packing list yesterday, so… that’s a start :)
  • Yesterday was also my back-to-school dinner with my family at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I just can’t get over how amazing their pasta is- that Mizithra Cheese, man…
  • My friend Sarah and I got pedicures Tuesday and I opted for this beautiful bright pink (the only place I really like the color is on my toes :)) I keep peeking at my toes!
  • Have you started classes yet? How have they been going for you?

One thought on “College Organization Tips (+ My School Supplies!)

  1. Pingback: What’s on My Desk: College Edition | Scribbling in the Margins

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