Use your planner - Sound familiar? Can you tell we are obsessed with planners? Visit the ARC to see sample pages from Kent students for ideas that you can adapt!
Purchase a separate binder for each class. Get in the habit of immediately placing handouts, graded assignments, and class notes directly into your binder to avoid papers piling up and black hole backpacks. Don’t put a math quiz in your French binder. Make sure each binder is stocked with lined paper and tabs dedicated to major topics. For example, your English binder may include a labeled tab for grammar and vocabulary, quizzes and tests, class notes, and writing assignments.
Folders can be great ways to store documents for easy access. Some students have a separate folder for their sports team or afterschool activity. Other students may use folders for college counseling appointments and advisory meetings.
Take a few minutes over each weekend to clean out your backpack, and use the same backpack or bag daily to avoid misplacing important materials. Purchase a pencil sleeve to contain smaller objects like pens, highlighters, and sticky-tabs. Make sure you have a designated spot for important cords, phone and key card!
Color coordination saves lives. Keep your backpack stocked with plenty of post-it notes, bright pens, and markers to help you manage tasks and draw attention to key parts of your notes, planner and textbooks. Perhaps all of your history materials are blue whereas your biology resources are green. Have some fun with this!
Use GoogleDrive, Dropbox or iCloud storage to back up all of your files. Do not simply "save documents to your desktop." To avoid clutter, download storage software and create folders for each topic. For example, you may have a special folder for Modern European History that has sub-folders within that section for midterms or major grading periods, topics and themes.
Once you find a system that works for you, stick with it! Remember that it takes 7 - 21 times to make or break a habit.
If the paper planner is not for you, try a planner app, desk calendar, whiteboard or pocket to-do list. Here are some popular planner apps: