It’s a great time for students to start coming up with a system for keeping track of their academic materials. Here are Tutor Doctor’s tips to get organized at school!
1. Separate your materials by subject. Many students make the mistake of cramming all their notes and assignments into a single binder. Although it’s possible to do this with tabbed dividers, we recommend separate folders or notebooks for each class or subject. Even better, color coding these folders is a great way to visually keep track of your materials – and keeping your subjects separate helps to avoid misplaced assignments and notes!
2. Keep track with a planner. An agenda or planner is an excellent way to keep a daily log of assignments, upcoming due dates, and important tasks. If you choose to color code your folders like we suggested in our first tip, you can carry over this labeling system into your agenda! We recommend highlighting the assignments in your agenda with their corresponding class color. For more great tips on how to create an agenda, check out our blog “How to Create a Planner That Works for You.”
3. Make a list of important dates. Although you likely won’t know the dates of individual homework assignments at the beginning of the year, you can definitely make a list of important dates and deadlines. This can be especially important for older students planning their transition into college. Here are some examples of important dates you can generally find well in advance:
- Midterm and final exam dates
- SAT/ACT registration deadlines and test dates
- College application deadlines
- AP exam schedules
- Class projects or presentations
- School holidays and vacations
4. Make a kit of essentials. Keep a pencil box or dedicated backpack pouch for school essentials (things you’ll need throughout the day). This not only includes pens and pencils, but also extra items like spare calculator batteries or lead refills for a mechanical pencil. Some students also like to keep personal items they use on a daily basis, such as chapstick or tissues.
5. Pack up your materials before bed. Don’t make the mistake of packing up your materials in the morning while you’re scrambling to get ready for school. If you have everything ready to go in your backpack the night before, you’ll be much less likely to forget materials at home or misplace assignments.
6. Stock up on essential supplies. There are items that you’ll be guaranteed to need throughout the rest of the school year. It’s a great time to go shopping for all these materials in advance – especially loose leaf paper and printer supplies. You’ll never again have to worry about running out of ink the night before an assignment is due!
7. Use an appropriate backpack. Although single-pocket bags and messenger pouches may be stylish, they don’t provide a lot of comfort for long-term use throughout the day – especially if you’re carrying books and supplies around with you. Backpacks with multiple pockets and compartments are a simple solution for many students looking to keep their materials organized. For more suggestions on what to search for in a good school backpack, check out our blog “How to Choose the Right Backpack for Your Child.”