Sunday, 9 November 2014

5 Things You Need to Stay Organised this Semester


   We're well into this semester, and by now you've probably planned out or written up a few assignments, attended a good few seminars and sifted through a fair share of journal articles. 

   At the beginning of this year, I thought I'd start fresh and get super organised; I archived all my work from previous years, swotted up on my new modules and started planning and researching my dissertation topic. All was going well, until the work began piling up and suddenly that Netflix addiction I developed over the summer didn't seem like an option.

   If you're in the same position as I am, and you're in need of an organisational boost, have a look through this list of five basic items to keep you organised this semester:


1. THE DIARY

   I don't know why I waited until my third year to buy myself an academic diary; it would have come in handy at any time during uni.

   Most of you will have had one of these in high school, and at that time we resented the fact that they were used for noting down homework rather than for doodling, but a diary makes keeping on top of assignments so much easier.

   Try this super cute safari-style planner from Etsy for £11, or basic options on Amazon from £1.60.

2. THE STORAGE BOX

   I literally can't get enough of storage boxes; to me, there's nothing more satisfying than clearing up all the clutter in my room and hiding it away in pretty storage.

   I've used this hot pink storage box from Leitz at Shoplet* (above) to file all my old uni work. It's A4-size, so it's perfect for storing all those loose bits of paper that may come in handy when you're writing an essay. 

   This flatpack-style container has side handles for easy placement, as well as a label space in which you can write a word or two to remind yourself of its contents. Plus, it comes in a variety of striking colours, so you can personalise your storage to the theme of your room.

3. THE FOLDER

   I used to be super lazy and pile all my notes into an A4 sleeve, until I realised that a lever arch file would make my life a million times easier.

   This 85mm-width folder from Shoplet* (below) takes 250 sheets, perfect for keeping all your notes in check, and also features a multi-line label on the spine for categorisation if you plan to separate notes from different modules.

   It also comes in a variety of colours, so you could even match it to your storage and be ultra colour-coordinated!


4. THE APP

   We all know about Evernote for taking down those all important notes in your lectures, but what about other apps to help you stay on track during the semester?

   OmniFocus organises your tasks into folders categorised by importance and lets you set due date reminders as well as review your projects to see how much progress you've made. Great for timekeeping, but it's a little on the pricey side at £13.99 from iTunes.

   An easy-to-use free app is Wunderlist, which allows you to create an infinite number of lists, share them and personalise them with photos, PDFs and presentations. You can also set reminders, so you never miss a beat.

   If, like me, you're studying English, Sparky will definitely come in handy. It's a free app that lets you browse SparkNotes on your phone or tablet, just in case you haven't brushed up on your Jane Eyre for that presentation tomorrow (I'm not condoning this. Only use in case of emergency...)

5. THE NEW HIGHLIGHTER

   Silly me, thinking that the only way to bookmark interesting quotes was to underline the phrase, then fold down the corner of the page.

   Removable highlighter tape is so much easier to use, and works great if you're using library books, as it can be removed without leaving a mark; simply stick the tape over the desired quote, then remove once you've finished! Try eBay for low prices.

* Items were gifted for review purposes
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