Plan it Out: Organize Your Life for the New Semester

Organizational skills are key to succeeding in college. College students have a lot on their plate, including managing their heavy course load, participating in extracurricular activities, and applying for internships and jobs.. It can be overwhelming and stressful if you don’t have a system to organize your schedule. Utilizing organizational tools for your academic and personal life can manage your stress levels, improve your performance in school, and improve the quality of your life. Employers are also looking for candidates with those stellar organizational skills to prove that they can take command of all of their responsibilities with ease. Keep reading to learn about three popular organizational methods that can help you take control of your life and flourish.



Google Calendar


Google Calendar is a great place to start your journey towards effective time management and scheduling your life. This service is accessible on the web and as mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms. Start by creating a calendar for your class schedule. Within that calendar, you can add events corresponding to the courses you’re enrolled in and add the location of your classes, along with any notes you have. There’s even an option to add notifications, so you can be reminded to get going before your class starts. After adding your class schedule, you can use Google Calendar to schedule other events in your life, including social commitments, club meetings, appointments, interviews, and anything else you need to remember. Google Calendar also allows you to add tasks throughout the day to make sure that you are completing your assignments on time and finishing household errands. Another advantage is that it’s easily accessible on the go through the app. On Apple devices, you can add Google Calendar as a widget, which allows you to check up on your calendar throughout the day when you use your phone. It’s incredibly convenient to use and keeps you on track to meet all of your commitments.



Planners


Using a planner allows you to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and is essential for staying organized. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer a digital or physical option. Physical planners are good for people who like to write their tasks out daily and be able to feel the product in their hands. Handwriting your tasks can lead to success because it helps you process the information in your schedule so that you are less likely to forget about it.


Moleskine planners are sleek and bound with soft covers. These planners have a weekly notebook layout with a lined page on the side for you to write extra notes. There are plenty of planners on the market though, and you should decide which one fits your needs. The market is saturated with different options, including blank notebooks, bullet journals, and some with dates and some without.


Online planners are perfectly acceptable for keeping track of your obligations, too. Some options include: Todoist, Toggl, and Canva. Everyone has their own preferences, but it is important for you to utilize one to get the most out of every day.



To-Do Lists


After creating your schedule and adding items to your calendar and planner, it can be helpful to keep a running to-do list for every aspect of your life whether it be personal or academic. Breaking up large tasks into smaller chunks can make it more manageable and easy to process. You’re accountable for your own life by creating a to-do list, and there’s a sense of accomplishment when you can finally check off that item on your to-do list.


One of the most basic and popular to-do list applications is Google Keep. Google Keep allows you to keep running notes and reminders. You can pin the most important ones to the top of your page so that they are easily visible and accessible. You can set reminders so that your phone will send you a notification whenever you schedule it. There’s also an option to mark it as done, so that you can push that task to the end of the list.


Remember the Milk is a new and fun way to create your to-do list and sync it across all of your devices. You can enter the properties of your task, including the due date, priority, tags, and more to your list. You can set it up to send reminders to you through email, text, IM, Twitter and other mobile apps. Every task is also able to be broken down into subtasks to make your tasks more manageable. There’s even an option to attach files to your tasks from Google Drive or Dropbox to be able to keep them alongside your tasks. No matter what platform you decide to maintain your busy schedule, keeping a running list of tasks is essential for productivity and efficiency.



These organizational tools are the perfect way to start the semester off running. Maintaining an organizational system to keep track of your life and ensure that you fulfill your responsibilities can alleviate a lot of stress and make your life more manageable. There are a plethora of other organizational tools on the internet that may fit your personality and needs better, so feel free to explore your options and figure out what works best for you. Regardless, these should be a good starting point to improve your time management skills and manage your academic and personal lives.



By Mirula Prasad