By Scott Lutostanski
Each year as students head back to school, they are usually armed with a brand new set of school supplies. Pens, pencils, folders, binders, loose leaf paper, and more are unpacked and thrown into a backpack. These are the exact supplies that can cause students to have organizational problems. Below, I’m going to cover the most common organizational problems that I see for students.
Loose Leaf Paper for Notes: Typically, this means that students keep loose leaf paper in a binder, and they have a binder for each class. This strategy can cause things to go haywire. Papers which are taken out of the binder to take notes then they have to be put back in, and in the correct spot. This means that notes end up being out of order, in different places, disappearing, or ripping and falling out of the binder. I have seen so many notes become irrelevant because they can’t be found. The solution? It’s simple: just buy a notebook and keep it in your binder. Notebooks come with 3 hole punches, so it will easily replace your loose leaf paper. This ensures all your notes are in one place and in perfect chronological order. Take the extra steps that come with loose leaf out of the equation.
Non-Folders as Folders: When students start using the folder pockets on the inside covers of their binders, they create issues. First off, they don’t hold many papers, so they get stretched out and break. And second, they create one giant mass of papers. The same goes for folders that are within a notebook. It’s not effective. They turn into one giant pile of difficult-to-find papers. The solution? Just buy regular folders. Again, keep it basic. These can also have 3 hole punches and go in a binder.
Multi-Subject Notebooks: 5-subject or 3-subject notebooks seem sleek and efficient, but they should be avoided. They can lead to hard-to-find notes, difficult-to-locate papers, and general confusion. Not to mention, if every subject is in one place, you can lose all of your papers for all of your classes by losing one thing: the 5-subject notebook. Combining classes means more effort and thought to stay organized. The Solution? There’s a theme building here: keep it simple. One notebook for each class works perfectly.
Organization is not about finding the fanciest or most consolidated version of school supplies. The basic way is the easiest way. Regular notebooks and folders that are color-coded and can go in a binder for each class are the best structure to stay consistently organized throughout the year.