These saved my life. I know everyone’s always saying to keep your stuff in one place and keep track of it all at once, and the way to do that is (apparently) thick, 5-subject looseleaf notebooks and 3″ binders. These have never worked for me, and here’s why: the larger the notebook, the more it catches and rips and doesn’t close right.
Plus, the larger the notebook, the longer you use it, and the longer it has to survive that wear and tear! (Bonus: without having to worry about the notebook being destroyed, I also don’t have to buy the more expensive and durable brands; now I only pay for quality of paper and pretty colours!)
So, I use one-subject notebooks for each class and go through multiple (I’ve never noticed a significant cost difference). A single one-subject notebook lasts me 4-6 units, or about one quarter/half a semester. When I complete a notebook, I simply begin the next, and carry only the newest one with me places. The previous notebooks are kept in my study space so I can always reference them as though it’s one large book, and I rarely need the previous chapters for in-class work.
I start with one notebook per class plus one notebook purely for scribbles or rip-out looseleaf paper, and keep a supply of empty notebooks at my permanent study space.
central grade collection.
I do this because it’s easy to reference back to. Soooo many terrible teachers who simply don’t trust their students. Feels nice to whip out a test to prove you were right (and aced it!). Calculating the grade myself makes me more aware of what’s going on with my academics. My biggest downfall this year was not paying attention to my grades!
I used to use an accordion folder for this, but this year I’m going to try combining that with a digital file.
Whenever I receive a grade back, the paper copy goes in a physical folder and the percentage/grade itself goes onto a file on my computer.
The physical folder is organized by classes. As I receive grades back, the newest goes in the front, so each class is naturally ordered chronologically. I tried organizing it further by putting flags to tell apart tests, quizzes, essays, etc. It worked well but eventually I just didn’t bother.
The computer file is actually multiple files (again, one for each class). An excel spreadsheet or a simple word doc works well. I specify the material as much as possible (for example, “Unit 1: Trig. Quiz 1: Identities. Date: 7-4-2015″ using both words and numbers) so I can easily search for it later. Next to it goes the numerical and letter grade. I’m thinking of incorporating a note-taking system as well, listing what went wrong and such.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it takes very little time and is well worth it. Logging the grades take about 5 minutes, tops. I often find myself putting off work by organizing grades. Obviously it’s hard to log things instantly, so I keep a stack of “to be graded” on my desk until I get around to it.
Oh, and keep the physical folder safe in your room/dorm. Carrying it around for spiteful moments is not worth the risk of losing all your grades!
I don’t know about you, but my school has something similar to a block schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays all have the same classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays have the same classes as well. My method works for real block scheduling, too, for even/odd or on/off days. I once had a chronic problem of bringing in the wrong day’s homework. Not anymore!!
Basically, just keep the two workpiles separate.
I have two cabinets on my desk: one for MWF classes, one for TTh classes. On my desk at all times are my “daily” tools: laptop, charger, planner, pencil pouch, water bottle, etc.
In the morning, I always put my dailies in first so I don’t forget, then I check the calendar. Tuesday? Shove in the TTh stack. It’s as simple as that.
When actually doing my homework, obviously, prioritize. There isn’t a hardfast “do your homework the day you get it” rule, especially since studying is a process! But when nothing’s especially urgent and I don’t have a favourite assignment, I literally flip a coin.
computer files have to be neat.
I have so many subfolders I don’t know what to do with them.
Separate everything, again, and again, and again. And label it all to hell and back. You can never have a file title that’s too long.
You know how you can make multiple accounts on your computer? Admin vs user? Yeah, do that.
Make your admin account your free-time, slacker account.
Make your user account your work account.
Make all the settings admin-only accessible. Don’t get distracted by downloading random crap while doing your homework. Put restrictions on internet usage, gameplay, etc. To get distracted, you have to make the effort to enter an admin password every time you get off task.
Bonus: during presentations, you never have to worry about accidentally opening something embarrassing. Everything embarrassing should be in your personal account!
Lastly: don’t stress!
When I stress, everything gets disorganized. My mind gets cluttered and so does the rest of my life. I used to stress so hard about grades.
If you don’t think you can make the deadline, don’t. One grade is not worth a night of sleep and mental health.
If the grade is super important (not all grades are like this: prioritize!) work on it as hard as you can. Don’t stress; put all that stressful energy into the work. Focus your ass off. If you can’t do that, it’s time to stop.
Talk to the teacher the next day. Take responsibility for your mistake. Apologize, and do not give excuses. Show to your teacher that you care more about the learning than the grade; it will pay off in the long run.
The day after missing a huge assignment is rough. Don’t let it get to you! Dwelling on this assignment only sets you up for failure on any other assignments you have that day. Focus on those and not on what you did wrong. Have yourself a good break, snack, jog, and get back in there. The world isn’t over!