Pens, check. Pencils, check. English paper, check. Math homework, check.
When it comes to getting organized for school, many students are fired up at the beginning of the semester and lose their motivation by the middle of the semester. The good habits, such as writing down all assignments in one place or making to do lists, fade as the craziness of the semesters sets in.
“I strive to be organized because I recognize how beneficial it can be for school, work, and life in general. However, it will only last a week or two before my innate unorganized tendencies kick in and I revert back to the slob life,” said Tony Ly, an MU undergrad.
Getting organized can seem like a daunting task, especially for students who lead busy lives. But getting organized doesn’t need to be complicated: it can be as simple as downloading an app on your smart phone.
With the end of the semester push coming, students who want to get their assignments and homework in line for finals don’t need to look very far for help:
• Evernote (Free with the option to upgrade in app): Evernote is an app that allows users to create notes. Users can save webpages, record notes, create lists, email and tweet notes, as well as organize their notes by tags (i.e. school or work notes will be searchable). Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone as well as Mac, Windows, and iPad. The best part: Evernote will sync across all devices.
• iHomework ($1.99): Specifically designed for students, iHomework will keep track of students assignments, reading lists, schedules, course info, and even teacher contact information. In addition, the app offers a reminders feature that students can use for things beyond school. iHomework has a color coordinated calendar that makes it easy to keep track of class work and allows students to keep track of all their grades on assignments. iHomework will sync across all Apple products.
• 2Do ($9.99): A steep price for an app, but the features are advanced for a phone app. The app offers tabbed lists, alerts for tasks, the ability to create projects, checklists, or just one task to complete and date range searches. Users can add notes and record voice notes as well as creating smart lists and adding searchable tags to notes. Users can drag and drop tasks onto lists and the app offers password protection for the entire app or for specific lists. Available on iOS, Mac, and Android.
• iProcrastinate ($.99): Very similar to iHomework, iProcrastinate is designed for task management. This is an app that can be used outside of school as well. iProcrastinate allows users to star important tasks, move tasks to different lists, and designate different tasks as “high priority” or “low priority” as well as repeat tasks. In addition, users can group tasks by due date.
For those students without smart phones, or who aren’t willing to pay for organization, it’s still easy to get organized.
• Buy a planner: The school store sells them and so do most bookstores. Consider investing in one. Planners are a great way to keep your assignments in one place so you will always know where to look for upcoming assignments.
• Use some calendar: Whether it’s the calendar on your computer, a wall calendar, or a planner, make sure you have some way to keep track of upcoming assignments. Write in paper due dates and big assignment due dates ahead of time.
• Make a to do list: Some people hate to do lists and find them daunting, but writing out a list of tasks that need to be accomplished and visually seeing what needs to be done can often be a good motivator as well as give you a great feeling when you finally get to check things off the list.