Technology for Organization
Getting and staying organized by keeping track of notes,
assignments, responsibilities, and belongings can be
difficult. Here are some tools that may help. Some can be
purchased cheaply, others cost a bit more.
“I really don’t know how it happens; I leave class with all my stuff, but
when I get home I have no idea where anything is! I end up getting
notes from a friend, searching for books, and redoing assignments.”
Binders, Dividers, Post its
→ Use one binder for each course and dividers to keep sections straight.
Get in the habit of putting papers in the right binder and section as soon
as you receive them. Use Post its to mark pages for easy access.
→ Computer files and folders can be organized and stored on a flash drive
you can easily keep with you for use at home or school.
→ Scanning handouts and typing notes keeps all your information in one
place. Assistive technology can also be carried on your computer so you
always have reading, writing and organizing tools with you.
“When I’m in class, I understand it and have good ideas, but it
all seems to get lost between my head and the paper or get so
jumbled up it doesn’t make sense anymore.”
→ Use your handbook to record ideas, questions, and references
during class so you can use them later. Don’t worry about
spelling, grammar, or organization — that can come later.
→ Use a program such as PDF Equalizer to make your own study
notes using the summary and/or highlighting functions.
→ This is an example of a program that uses visual maps to
organize ideas and information and then translate it into a written
“I am always losing my keys or my jacket, forgetting my
book bag or wallet, leaving an important binder at home
or showing up to class without my books.”
→ Make good use of your locker and figure out what can stay there so
that you always have it at school. Perhaps you can get a second set
of books so that you always have one copy at home and one copy at
Bags and Binders
→Always use the same bag for school and different bags for going to the
gym, staying at a friend’s, or guitar lessons. Different color binders
can also be a visual clue you’ve picked up the right one.
→ Use a PDA or cell phone to make a list of items you will need to take
with you when you leave the house in the morning or when you leave
school at the end of the day. Add to the list throughout the day and
even set an alarm to remind you before you head out the door.
Tips and Tricks
Many people struggle with organization in lots of different areas of their
lives. Explore the following sites for ideas, support, and more tools.
This site gives tips and links for organizing all areas of your life from cable clutter to
A site to dispel some myths about organization and provide really practical tips to pre-
pare for and enjoy your college years.
Find some methods for organizing course, materials, notes, ideas, and papers from
Muskinghum College. Lots of examples make learning these new techniques easy.
NSCC is Canada’s Portfolio College. A portfolio is an excellent way to capture and
organize your learning and employment experiences. Keep a look out for more info.