Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School: Supplies and School + Organisation Tips!

Hi there! A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to write about school and organisation tips, so that's what I'm here to share with you all today along with what school supplies I'm using this year. I always get really excited to see what other people use to stay organised and succeed in school (or life in general) so I hope that you'll enjoy this post as much as I've enjoyed writing it. I've done something similar last year, so if you'd like to check that out, you can do so right here.

While I believe that it's never too late to change your ways, it's also a really good idea to start off on the right foot so you don't have to go through the trouble of picking yourself back up and sorting through the mess of a whole you've dug yourself to get yourself together.

What I'm about to share with you is just a list of things that I've found to help me throughout my freshman year of high school, so just they might not be totally applicable to you, but I hope that you'll be able to get something out of this post to get you excited and organised this upcoming school year.

Now let's get started.

1. Don't procrastinate

I know that most if not all teenagers procrastinate and I've certainly had my fair share of that in the past few years, thankfully not very much at all last year, but procrastination is the thief of time. You might click on YouTube and intend on only watching one video, but then you'll look at the clock five minutes later and it's already past 10. I also have a whole post dedicated on how to get rid of your procrastinating ways.

Try your best not to get distracted and prevent yourself from doing that by cutting out the distractions, which leads me to my next point...

2. Have a designated workspace (aka not your bed)

Please, please, please do yourself a favour and don't make your bed your workspace unless you don't have a desk or you really, really need to because your desk space is inadequate. Your bed should be a place where you feel relaxed and where you sleep and wind down, so don't make it a place where you also stress and work really hard on some assignment. It won't provide you with the right atmosphere to be productive and that will just not help you.

So have a designated workspace and try to keep it as distraction-free as possible.

3. Make good use of your pens and highlighters.

I typically use pens at school unless I'm in Math class and I try to colour code things to make it easier to scan my notes or my agenda for tasks that I need to do. I use the Pentel RSVP fine point pens in black, blue, red, green, and purple to do all this colour coding and they're my absolute favourite pens to use. The ink runs very smoothly 99% of the time and I repurchase theme very year.

As for highlighters, I'm definitely a Sharpie girl, so don't try to make me use Bic or any other brand, specifically this one yellow highlighter that is extremely difficult to get a hold of on its own because I love seeing the ink and its slightly softer tip.

Also, as a side note, it's a good idea to use some white out to get rid of any mistakes (mine's from Grand & Toy).

You could also add some decorative tape to your school supplies just to make them a bit more festive. I got mine from Scotch, but any washi tape will do.

4. Stay organised with your agenda.

I didn't use my agendas as much as I should've and could've last year and I think it was mostly because it was just a cute little agenda that wasn't very practical for my style and needs. This year, one of my good friends was thoughtful enough to get me this lovely Kate Spade agenda with the bookshelf print for my birthday and I absolutely adore it. It gives me tons of space to write and stick post-its as well as really nice double page monthly calendars so I can get a very clear visual of my schedule.

5. Get yourself a mini stapler.

I can't tell you how many times I've used and other people have used my mini stapler this past year. It might seem like a novelty item to a lot of you, but I assure you, this little guy was very, very useful. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't use it very much at all because I figured that I could just use my teacher's stapler, but sometimes they don't have one on hand in you need to staple your work and other times, there are just random papers that belong together, but are floating around in your binder that needs to be stapled together. 

Personally, I just think it shows that you're independent because I think it's a bit awkward when everyone's being quiet and you just go up to the front of the class to ask your teacher if you can use their stapler. It's just best to have your own, especially when everyone else in the class is lined up to use it.

The next few things are just other school supplies that I use, honestly, so nothing really structured at all.

I favour binders over notebooks just because I don't really see how one could use them for school. I don't know about you, but my teachers give me a fair amount of handouts and even if we don't get a lot, we'll still need to write stuff down and keep our old assignments somewhere and I think that'd be a bit difficult with just a notebook. 

That's why I use the Avery Durable binders and I'm really excited about this year's because last year, my friend and I bought matching binders that were really very pretty, but they all fell apart by the end of the year and I remember these working really well a few years ago, so I'm giving these another go.

I like to stick loose leaf paper in either one of the front pockets or in one of the pockets of my binder dividers. Also, it's a really good idea to get dividers with little pockets to stick your papers in because it's actually so useful. I divide my binder into units and for every unit, there'll be evaluations, so tests and assignments that will be graded, so I like to keep the evaluations for a certain unit in the same place as that unit, hence how useful these pockets are.

Also, back in middle school, I used to stuff the back (and sometimes front) pocket of binders with scrap paper with doodles on them. Just try not to doodle in class and try not to accumulate a bunch of junk there because it'll just weigh your binder down and won't make you feel very motivated to learn whenever you open your binder to get to work.

Another thing is to get yourself some post-it notes! Maybe I'm biased, but I'm a huge post-it note junkie. I find them so useful and handy because I always find myself having to jot something down or mark a place in a textbook or something, so it's good to always have those somewhere in your bag if you carry it around with you in school, or in your pencil case. I find that it's a good idea to have some regular square ones that are big enough for reminders and smaller plastic-esque ones to mark your place in textbooks or maybe even your agenda.

Last, but not least, keep a spare of everything in your bag and/or locker, but preferably both. You never know when you're going to run out of ink when using a pen or accidentally lent someone your last one, so it's always good to be prepared with extras of everything that is an essential for you to get through your school day. I keep an extra pen, post-its, and other life things like hairbands and all that girly stuff in both my backpack and locker just in case.

Which tip did you find the most useful? Do you have any other tips for anyone going back to school? Is there anything else you'd like me to cover? If there's something that I missed, please go check out my Tumblr where you can ask me questions (I'm trying to move all the questions over there, so please go ask me question on my Tumblr instead of!) or just leave a comment down below.

Thank you so much for reading!
- J

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