Getting Organized – Students

For students, getting organized can be extremely challenging. Without organization, it is almost impossible to succeed. Even a hard-working student will receive a poor mark if important details and deadlines are missed due to poor organization. It is important to take time to organize, no matter how hectic one’s schedule may be.

Organizational Answers – What You Need to Know to Get Organized

1. What is the task?

For students attending school, knowing what needs to be done is usually relatively simple. Teachers assign homework/assignments/projects. Most teachers will give a handout or notes explaining what is required for each assignment.

2. When to do the task?

Again, for students, knowing when to do the task is fairly straightforward. Teachers will give a due date for the homework/assignment/project. Students then need to determine how long it will take to do the work and plan their time accordingly. It is much more desirable to be finished early than to have to try to ask for an extension.

3. What materials are needed for the task?

Students need to take note of what they will need in order to do the assignment. The materials needed are usually listed on the handout provided by the teacher. Supplies should be assembled well before they are needed. If you wait until the day before the project is due to look at the assignment handout, you may not be able to get everything you need in time.

Organizational Tools

A calendar is the most important tool to get and stay organized. This may be in the form of a large wall calendar, a three-holed calendar that fastens into a binder, or a small calendar that can be carried in a backpack.

Another calendar option is to use Google calendar. It is free to get a Google account. If students already have an email address somewhere else and don’t want to have to tell all their friends a new email address, they can simply set the old email address to forward to their new Google account. The Google calendar is an electronic online version of a paper calendar. The student can enter events or assignment due dates. Google will send email reminders at times set by the student. A great way to make even better use of the Google Calendar is to have it send text message reminders to the student’s cell phone as well.

A ‘to do’ list is vital so that the student knows what all needs to be done. Such lists can also help students spread work out evenly over the time available. One option is to keep ‘to do’ lists in a notebook and cross off or checkmark items as they are completed. Alternatively, student could use gmail to help keep track of the tasks. Gmail has a “tasks” feature which allows students to mark down their ‘ to dos’ and strike them out when done. Students can even attach a related email to a certain task on the list. As well, it is possible to look at and modify the tasks list using a smart phone.

Just remember what you have to do, when you have to do it, and what supplies you will need. Get a calendar and make a ‘to do’ list today if you have not already done so. Getting organized will help you reduce stress and succeed in school.

© Celesta Thiessen

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