Getting some kind of organizational system

In organization on September 17, 2008 at 3:09 am
Photo by hawkexpress (thank you!)

Photo by hawkexpress (thank you!)

I am not naturally an organized person. My brain often races from one thought to the next, and I have no memory whatsoever (if you’ve been in my classes, you know this about me!). My mind’s natural state is chaos. As a result, I’ve had to learn how to get organized. When I left home to go to college, I brought a planner—a calendar with plenty of space for notes. As classes begun, I dutifully filled in all my assignments, my work schedule, and my other responsibilities. The little calendar seemed kind of silly at first, but it came in handy later in the semester. While my classmates forgot assignments or remembered to study for a test only at the last minute, I had everything pretty much organized. That’s not bad, for someone with no memory!

While I used good old fashioned pen and paper, there are many many online tools to help with this kind of thing, if you like. Here’s a quick round-up, off the top of my head:

Online Organizational Systems
*Disclaimer* All you really need is a calendar of some sort (whether it’s on your cell phone, online, or on paper) and a to do list of some type. Other stuff is sometimes fun, though!

Notely (www.notely.net) — organizational system created for students. It includes a calendar, a place to keep class notes, and to do lists. Free.

Remember the milk (www.rememberthemilk.com) or Vitalist (www.vitalist.com)– both are online to do list. Works well with the GTD system (explained below). Free.

Box.net (www.box.net) — online storage space for files. Never worry about forgetting your jump drive again. Free for up to 1 gigabyte of storage.

(www.airset.com) — online calendar. Also includes to do list, blogging, calendar sharing, and other fancy features. The neat thing about Airset is that you can create multiple calendars and share some with others. Create a homework calendar and a social calendar — then look at all your events at once, or just your homework schedule. Google calendar is nice too, but it’s not as pretty!

A Book to Help You Organize
Getting Things Done, by David Allen
*This book is often referred to as GTD (for Getting Things Done). If you google “GTD,” you’ll find lots of discussion and devotion to this system of staying organized. I think it works well — as long as you don’t try to cram your to do list too full. Remember to leave time to relax!

Photo by hawkexpress (Thank you!)


Other student tips to help get the school year off to a good start:

1) Communicate With Your Teacher

2) Beat Procrastination

3) Focus on Your Process

4) Be Kind to Yourself


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