(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)
(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)

We’re nearing the end of fall semester and you’re about ready to breathe a sigh of relief–right after you ace those finals. What better way to ensure you do well than to make sure all your school materials are well organized? (Besides the standard studying, of course.)

Never underestimate the all-powerful planner. Planners offer a helpful visual of what your next few days will be like, making them a useful tool when making appointments. Beyond that, planners are also handy for recording homework. The notes margins are perfect for scrawling down assignment due dates. Weber State planners are available in the bookstore for only a few dollars, or you can pick up a standard one at a local store or online.

In addition to a planner, it might be nice to keep a to-do list. Yup, think of a grocery list format with check boxes on the side to mark tasks upon completion. Although it might seem a little excessive if you already have a planner, it helps sub-categorize things. Your planner contains events and things for the future, as well as school assignments. The to-do list would encompass a range of tasks such as filling up on gas, picking up groceries or dropping a present off to a friend.

Now that the majority of the term is over, it’s probably not too far-fetched to guess that your folders, textbooks, and backpacks have been stuffed with old notes and worksheets. Take a minute to reorganize and decide what is or isn’t still relevant to your class. Maybe even take it one step further–group things according to the topic or unit, so when the time for finals rolls around, you can focus on studying only what you need the most help with.

On that note, you might consider organizing not just your materials, but also your time. An idea similar to the planner, but a little more long-term. If you know you have a test in two weeks, set aside this weekend to study the first half of the material and work on the other half throughout the second week. Spreading the work out makes it less overwhelming and reduces the chances that you will need to cram in any last-minute work or studying.

Simply planning out your study time will never do you any good if you don’t follow through with it. One of the most vital steps of being organized is to stay organized. In order to do that and not fall behind, you need to stick to your schedule. Instead of laying in bed and watching Netflix all day (as nice as that may sound), get up, go to your classes and finish your homework and errands before settling down. If not, all your work gets pushed to the next day, meaning that day will be absolutely filled with too much to do.

The bottom line is that it’s important to stay organized with materials, time and your to-do list. It’s equally important to follow through with those plans. Doing so should make the last tests and assignments of the semester easy to wrap up.

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