Struggling to stay organised? Do these five things!

I like to think I am a fairly good student – it’s not because I’m particularly clever or anything. I just know how to stay organised and on top of things, which makes my life much easier when it comes to actually learn!

How do I do it I hear you ask? Well, read on, because I’m listing everything I do to stay organised at uni below!

Step 1: Use a planner to stay organised

Do you think I’ve drummed this in enough on this blog yet? I am such a planner advocate it’s unbelievable.

For a really detailed overview of how I use my planner read my post – Organising your planner for success

I really really really believe that without a planner you just can’t be organised, I write literally everything down in my planner and that’s one of the reasons why I seem like I always know what I’m doing.

It’s no good just having a planner though you actually have to use it. By keeping your planner on you at all times then you’re more inclined to actually use it. When the lecturer mentions a due date – add it in. When the seminar tutor gives you something to read? Write it on your to-do list!

Having these things in front of you means you won’t forget to do them, you will allocate enough time for them and you will get a good grade as a result!

Related post: How to create a to-do list that will help you productive

use folders

Step 2: Keep your paperwork organised

Or your digital work I suppose

Whatever your folder system is, make sure you have one and stick to it.

I have seen a few different ways to organise your folders for school and uni.

Personally, at the minute, I have one small ring binder folder for each of my modules at uni and take whichever one I need on that particular day.

However, I have in the past used the ‘portable folder’ method, which is basically where you have lever-arch folders for each subject/module at home and only take a small folder to school/uni/ each day. At the end of each day/week/month, you sort the small folder into the bigger folders!

See this video by Eve Bennett to see how to do the portable version in more detail – Eve Bennett

No matter which method you choose it is important to use dividers in your folders in order to keep everything, well, in order. People view information differently so I’m not going to tell you what dividers to use or what to name them but make sure that the information flows in a way that makes sense to you!

Of course, you might have pretty much everything digitally! I do, I take all of my notes on my laptop and don’t really get handouts or anything. I’d still recommend having a folder system and printing some of the more important stuff out! Just in case the worst happens!

Similarly, if you are using your laptop make sure to keep everything in digital folders so that you can find it at the touch of a button!

Step 3 – Organise your notes

Keeping your notes organised will save you a massive headache when it comes to revising them or when you need to find any information.

Everyone has a different way of taking notes, I personally use my laptop for two reasons.

  1. To keep everything in one place and on one document. Since I do a lot of my work outside the house so having everything in one place when I need it is very important to me
  2. I am a much, much quicker typer than a writer (plus I hate my own handwriting so am much less likely to want to look back at my notes!)

Some people say you remember information better if you handwrite but for me, I find that as long as I review the information I remember it just fine.

If you’re not sure whether to handwrite or type your notes do some research and try a bit of each!

Whichever method you choose make sure to make your notes clear and organised. Headings, bold and italics are all vital for ensuring that when you look back on those notes 12 weeks from now it’ll all make sense!

Also, review your notes. Whether its an hour or a few days after the lecture go over the information, add anything in that you’ve understood from your reading and format your notes in a way that makes sense to you. Highlight and underline. If you handwrite your notes then I’d recommend re-writing them after the lecture.

laptop and coffee on bed

Step 4 – Organise your time

Of course, it’s no good being organised with your papers if you aren’t organised with your time.

Again I recommend using a planner but I’ve also picked up a few other ways to stay on top of your time that I’ll share with you.

Use your time wisely

If you have a few hours between commitments then I’d really recommend doing some studying or whatever in between – just think about how much more productive that is than watching TV or scrolling through Facebook!

Keep Assesment dates and due dates literally everywhere

They should be written on your calendar, in your planner, in your phone and on your notes. By keeping yourself aware of all the due dates you have you won’t forget about them and cause yourself a last-minute panic!

Step 5 – Be Prepared

This sounds simple because it is. Think of all the times you’ve been told that you should layout your clothes the night before! I seriously think that doing things like packing your bag with everything you will need the following day on a night-time is such a good way to save yourself the stress.

Also always keep on top of things that are happening on your course. You don’t want to be that one person who has no idea what’s going on. Check your online learning platforms regularly and also have records of your syllabus that you check regularly!

And there you have it! My top tips to stay on top of your studies!

I hope you have found this helpful! What do you do to stay organised? Let me know in the comments!


  1. zandra castillo

    Great tips on staying organized. I struggle with organization and I am going to try these tips

  2. Valerie Fowler

    These are such great reminders. I don’t think organization comes naturally to many people. I am so much better with time management and organizing than I used to be, but it took effort to get here. When I was in school/university, I would not have been this on top of things, ha.

  3. Virginia

    I got to get back into using a planner. My problem is I was using this amazing planner I liked that went Aug-Aug but now I just bought a Jan-Dec calendar for next year so I got this gap in between. I have an extra planner that doesn’t have dates that you can fill in but I find myself not as attracted to it.
    When I was in college for my first few years, I didn’t use a planner but used a giant washable calendar that I’d look at above my desk and across my bed in my small dorm room.

  4. Kathy Walker

    Thanks for the tips for getting organized. I need improvement with this as I’m always going in different directions. I brought a 2020 planner already and going to give it a try.


    Constructive tips. A good student is organized. Studying becomes easier if notes are in order too.

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