Being organized involves having an understanding of the task to be done, the estimated time to complete the task and time available, and the tools needed.
While there may be a connection between neatness and organization, it is not always the case. People have different styles and tolerances, and some people are "selectively organized" in areas that reflect their personal values.
In broad terms, individuals may adopt a style that is "left brain" (logical, detailed, sequential, linear) while others favour a "right brain" (holistic, relational, creative, gestalt) approach or a mix of the two styles. Depending on your personal cognitive style, different strategies will be helpful around "task, time and tools".
If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, you may have a preference for a left-brain, or sequential style. These people may find it easiest to learn through auditory presentations and abstract reasoning. Their strategies for organization will favour reasonably detailed and schedule-based techniques.
If you answered ‘yes' to some of the above, you might be a right-brain/simultaneous thinker!
Administering: Organize your study space/ desk area; your notes in binders with tabs, file folders or note pads and colour-code by course, download notes from the Web before each class, find old exams early in the term.
Analyzing assignment worth: At the beginning of the term review your course outline or syllabus to note the value or weighting of each assignment. Write the assignment AND its weighting on your term calendar.
1. Form a study group
2. Find peer support-use a friend to help you stay on track. Find someone who is very organized as your role model. Find someone you can go to the library with every day.
3. Make a contract to get organized. List what you will do in the presence of a family member, friend, peer mentor, or learning strategist. Have him/her witness it. Review it regularly.
4. Use technology: MSN check-ins with friends, software scheduling programs.
Course Planner (22 KB)
Task Analysis (22 KB)
Term Calendar (125 KB)
Weekly Schedule (161 KB)
Interactive Weekly Schedule
Whole Braining Learning: Mind-mapping (181 KB)
How to Use Homework Time (25 KB)
The ‘5 Day' Study Plan (28 KB)