How I Stay Organized During the School Year

So the school year has come upon us.  Woopee.  I’m actually looking forward to it because then I get to see my friends more often, but I’m also dreading the homework.  I go to a co-op like place, so it’s sort of like going to a private, Catholic school two days a week, and homeschooling with all of the homework that they give us.  But my school gives out way to many chapters to read in one day, too many papers to worry about, and well, I guess the average amount of exams: two a semester.  Yet some how I manage to stay alive and keep my sanity.  Okay, maybe I don’t always have my sanity, but I can’t do anything about that.

That being said, I have found a system that works really well for me, and I thought I would share it.  🙂


1.  Color-coat Everything

I give each subject its own color, and try to use that color in everything related to that subject.  If I’m taking notes, I write the date and class in the proper ink.  If I’m writing my schedule, I use colored ink.  My binder dividers are color coated.  My course-pack binders are color coated.  I’m a little obsessed with that, okay?  😉


2.  Erasable Pens

Yes, they actually exist, and they are awesome!  They have this amazing technology that erases the ink with friction, leaving a completely clean surface that is cleaner then most pencil erasers. 

Erasable Pen

These are the ones that I use.  I love them because they are clicky pens, so you don’t have to store the cap over the eraser.  I ordered mine from Amazon, and they cost between $13 and $20, depending on what Amazon is doing that day.  They do run out quicker than most pens, but I don’t mind that; it’s kind of fun to use up an entire pen!


3.  Binder Dividers

I have one 2″ binder that I use to store all of my notes for all of my classes (which is 5).  I have to empty it out after every semester, or get a new one if my old one is falling apart.  But I always use dividers for each subject (color-coated, of course ;).  Ideally for me, I like to have two pockets for each subject: One for a syllabus and projects that need to be turned in, and another for graded projects.  Last year my divider had one pocket, and then I just got a paper protector sleeve thing (it’s clear, thin plastic) for the other pocket.  But this year I found one with a double pocket!  I also found one with a triple pocket, but I don’t think I’ll need that, plus it was more expensive.

Binder Divider


4.  Weekly Planner

I use this to write down all of my assignments down on.  You can get whatever kind suits you best, but I prefer ones that have long horizontal lines for writing on.  Here is what mine looked like from last year:

WIN_20140825_154907 WIN_20140825_154649 (Yes, I was using my laptop camera, so they’re not very good  😛 )

I always wrote my assignments on the day that they were due, that way I could see how much I would have to do in a week (or month) and budget my time around that.

Here is the one I’m using this year.  These are both by Mead, by the way.

WIN_20140825_154831 WIN_20140825_154813 WIN_20140825_154759  (I think you can click to view it bigger)

This one I had to fill out the days in myself.  That could be seen if smart, but it does require a bit of extra thinking about what to do if a week goes into two months.  And sometimes I have to rip out a page to make it work.  But it works!  The lines are also longer in this planner.  I added that sparkly “M” to the front, since I could not stand how boring it was.


So this is what I do to make the school year a little more manageable.  Not every system works for every person, so customize it to your own needs, if you decide to use some of these tips.  🙂

~ Mary


2 responses to “How I Stay Organized During the School Year

  1. You totally should! One of my teachers makes us take our exams with a pen, so I always use these, that way I don’t have to scribble over my writing if I change my answer. One note, I’ve read in reviews that they do fade if exposed to high temperatures (that’s how the eraser works, after all), so the reviewer said not to use them on legal documents.

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