Thursday, January 10, 2013

Taking Notes and Staying Organized for the Lazy Girl

I love organization, but tend to struggle with keeping organized. I start with good intentions and desperately want to be neat and organized, but tend to  struggle carrying out my plans. The systems forced on me in middle and high school never worked because they didn't fit my personality or study style. At one point I even hired a friend to help me in the middle of the semester because I felt so disorganized and out of control. Obviously, I needed to take more time to really think about what would work for me. 
When I started college, I came up with a system that used my organizational shortcomings to my advantage. Ever since I started using this system, I've been able to keep track of all of my notes, study more efficiently, and even carry less in my tote for class!  I understand that this system won't work for everyone, but I thought I'd share in case it might help you!

The Supplies: 

  • Legal Pad (with holes, in case a teacher/professor wants to put work in a binder)
  • Folders for each class
  • Highlighters and pens that suit you. I prefer a large variety of colorful pens because I'm very visual, but if you're a black and blue only girl, that works too! 

The KEY to my Lazy Girl note system!
Hole punch legal pads which should be available at most office supply stores

Seriously, that's it!  I'm telling you, this is easy peasy.

5 Step Plan: 
  1. Carry one legal pad in your bag at all times. Instead of having a bunch of notebooks or loose leaf paper, carry just one legal pad. This way, you can take all of your notes for all of your classes in one place. It seems like it would get hectic, but it actually works really well.
  2. In your workspace, keep folders for each class.  When you prepare for the day, put the appropriate folders in your tote or bookbag. These folders will hold handouts, tests and quizzes, and later- your notes. 
  3. Review at any point, leaving your notes on the legal pad.  Try to keep notes on the legal pad for big chunks of time so that the folders aren't cluttered. You can still add to your notes or go back and review them, but you're keeping everything for school in one small place.
  4. When it comes tame to study for a bigger test or exam,  go through the notepad and pull out all the notes for that class related to your exam.  Now you've got a set of notes ready for studying, and you can go back through and highlight your notes and make study guides from your notes. This way there's no time wasted searching for notes all over the place. 
  5. After your exam, paperclip that group of notes together and put it in the folder with a sticky note to label the section. This keeps your notes organized in your folder! If you feel like your folder is getting too cluttered because the class is heavy on handouts and/or notes, you can make a current folder and an archive folder for that class. Obviously, use the archive folder for past notes and the current folder for current hand-outs, quizzes, or other paper before that section's exam.

A little peek into my note taking system! It's early in the semester so my folders are a little empty right now but they fill up quickly! 

Let me know if you have any questions about my note taking system! I'd love to hear what you use too! I'm always looking for new ways to stay organized, especially because I want to give my future students some options.

Hope you're all enjoying your new semesters!
Stay beautiful,

1 comment:

  1. I like this idea! It could make my blog planning so much easier!