College is a lot different from school — it is a whole new world where you’ll find that you have more freedom to do the things you couldn’t do before. However, along with freedom, you will also have more responsibilities and will have to manage your time accordingly to stay on track.
Worry not, we’ve got you covered! These college life hacks will help you stay organised so that you can have a stress-free college experience.
#1. Stick to only one planner and one notebook
Yes, we understand the temptation of owning multiple planners and notebooks especially when there are so many cool planners available out there in the market. But, possessing too many journals can be counterproductive as you’ll have to carry multiple books in your backpack and you may eventually forget which information is written in which journal.
Our advice? Use only one planner to jot down all deadlines for your assignments, presentations and group assignment meetings. For ease of use and a clearer view of your schedule, colour code your types of tasks in your planner. You can also keep a separate notebook that is large and thick enough for you to write all your study notes in — so that you don’t have to keep switching books for different subjects.
#2. Keep all your papers in a multi-pocket folder
Do you often have trouble looking for your note handouts, which were given to you by your lecturers? They’re probably either in bad shape now (donning creases and tears) after being stashed in between books inside your backpack or worse, M.I.A. So you constantly end up having to ask your most reliable and organised friend if you can borrow their handout so that you can photocopy it.
Our advice? Get a folder with multiple pockets to store every piece of note and paper that you receive in college. Using the pockets, you can divide them into several categories such as ‘’Forms and Official Letters’’, “Lecture Notes”, “Personal Notes” and “Miscellaneous”. Alternatively, you could also categorise them according to different subjects.
#3. Always have a plan B
As the saying goes, never put all your eggs in one basket. Although your trusted laptop and PC are perfectly capable of storing your files and documents, it’s always wise to have backups in case you accidentally hit the delete button or if your device unexpectedly malfunctions.
Our advice? Remember to click “Save” and immediately create a backup every time you’ve progressed in your work. You can either copy and paste your folders into a USB or an external hard drive, or sync the files in cloud storages such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. This extra step could be your lifesaver!
#4. Less is more
As you are handed more freedom when you enter college life, there will be countless situations where you’ll be tempted to buy items that you don’t actually need. All these items that you purchase in the spur of the moment will end up taking up more and more space and will crowd your room.
The first step to combating this is to control your spending habit. When you come across an item you want, simmer on the thought of it before buying it straightaway and consider if it’s a want or a need. Next, always keep your room and workstation clear. Designate at least 30 minutes every week to declutter and organise your space — this will help you create a better study environment where you can focus.
#5. Set your own deadline
Are you one of those proud procrastinators? Does working on your assignments at the eleventh hour give you the extra kick to complete them faster?
Well, we don’t mean to burst your bubble, but doing work last minute will induce more stress to your body and affects your health as well as your grades. This thrill may work for you at the beginning of your semesters when your subjects are easier, but it’s a recipe for disaster — especially when you’re working on your f-y-p (final year project).
So, it’s wise to plan out your tasks and assignments, by allocating your own (earlier) due dates, which are preferably at least two days to a week before the deadline. This helps by giving you additional time to review your work, receive feedback and make edits to it. On top of that, it’s also the perfect contingency plan should any mishaps (e.g. falling sick, laptop crashing) occur.
#6. Use productivity apps
Living in the age of technology, you should absolutely utilise all kinds of free software and applications that are available to you. These apps are here to make life simpler for you and will help you breeze through life in college. Here are several productivity apps that are a student’s best friend:
- Grammarly – This app helps to analyse your documents and highlights incorrect grammar and spelling for you. It’s a great tool to help you with your written assignments!
- Session Buddy – Say no more to losing an important site! This is a browser manager that helps you save all your open tabs and can help you recover them even if you accidentally close the entire browser.
- Evernote – This is a digital notebook for you to store texts, photos, audio, documents, PDFs, videos and more. It’s also super handy to use in class.
- Google Classroom – If you’re not a fan of paper planners, then this app is a great tool for you to schedule your timetable and keep track of your tasks. It syncs with multiple devices too!
- Promotodo – This app helps you manage your time following the Pomodoro Technique (a time management method to break down your tasks into a series of 25 minutes).
#7. Plan things out
Do you find yourself arriving late to class regularly because you’re always fickle about what to wear in the morning? Or do you notice that by the end of the week, you never seem to have enough money to set aside for savings?
A simple method to combat this is to devise a plan beforehand. For example, you should decide on your outfit and the materials you need to bring to college, the night before your morning classes. You’ll avoid the wardrobe rage and save plenty of time.
Likewise, for your expenditures, it is essential to learn some money-saving tips so that you don’t overspend unnecessarily. One way to do this is by always keeping your money for savings aside as soon as you get it — so that you don’t spend it all.
#8. Use our EduAdvisor Study Pack
If you’re feeling thrifty, instead of buying those pricey planners in the stores, you can use our EduAdvisor study planners which are customised just for you. All you need to do is download and print!
You can use our weekly planner to schedule important tasks and study plans for the following weeks ahead of time while the daily planner is perfect for ensuring you get enough study time before exams. You can also use our cheat sheet and flashcards (horizontal, vertical) to write down important points to remember and test yourself after you’ve completed your revision.
Now you’re all set!
We hope these 8 handy hacks will help you stay organised and stress-free in college. Be sure to stick to these tips and you’ll be ready to roll.