Digital vs traditional: The best organization techniques
Organization is more than time management, it’s making the best use of available resources to maximize your time management. In fact, organized people often create their own tools to best manage their schedules. As they incorporate work, play, family and study time into their daily lives, they accomplish their goals by prioritizing and organizing their to-dos.
Some people are techno-geeks who love electronics, apps and finding ways to better organize their lives using digital technology, while you’ll see others with backpacks full of notebooks, highlighters and Post-It® notes. Let’s look at the best organization tips for students juggling work and home lives as well as their online degree coursework.
Apps to improve productivity
Fully utilizing software organizational apps is like having a personal assistant who follows you around, coordinating every move you make. For students, CollegeChoice.com says your brain is the only study app you need, but “it doesn’t hurt to have some free software to help out.” Here are some lifestyle and student apps to help you organize your time and money more effectively:
- Cozi: Input your family’s busy schedule into the calendar feature, complete with reminders and to-do lists.
- Evernote and Todoist: Evernote organizes your notes and to-dos and even scans your paperwork, prompting fans of this organizing interface to declare it “a joy to use.” Meanwhile, Todoist tracks course assignments, bookmarks webpages and sets reminders.
- Quizlet: This is a flashcard-based study tool created by students for students. You can integrate images and audio to boost the learning process, as well as share/use other students’ Quizlet content.
- RedLaser and Groupon: Saving money matters! Great if you’re shopping at a store that will match competitors’ prices, RedLaser lets you scan barcodes to see if lower prices are available elsewhere, while Groupon automatically updates its deals based on your location. What’s more, Groupon sorts deals by category (food/drink, beauty, etc.) to make relevant offers easier to find.
- RememberTheMilk: This “smart app for busy people” allows you to organize your to-do list by priority and time, and even send yourself reminder messages.
- XMind: “Mind-mapping” is a great way to make the most of your workflow, and XMind is a desktop app that helps with handling projects and studying, in addition to featuring a “robust research tool” for students.
Habits to boost organization
No matter how many times you try a new strategy to re-organize your life, it may seem as if things all fall apart sooner or later – usually sooner. Maybe the problem is that you’re focusing on the wrong word. Rather than “organization,” why not focus on “routine”?
Books and periodicals like The Washington Post often cite the habits and beliefs of highly effective (organized) people. These include:
- A place for everything and everything in its place: Take the extra time to return everything to where it belongs. You’ll save tons of time not looking for misplaced items and notes.
- Be a list-maker, but make just one list: Your to-do list should travel with you and be handy enough for you to add information throughout your day.
- Short spurts of organization have their merits, but they can’t compete with maintaining a good routine: Don’t compromise your study and research time or you might find that instead of planning to succeed, you planned to fail.
- Simplicity: Make your organizational efforts easy to follow and you’re more likely to stay the course.
Whether you are digital-oriented or prefer analog study methods, UTEP Connect's online programs were created for people like you – individuals who know that investing in themselves will pay off in the form of a better future for themselves and their families. Call 915-747-5000 or contact us to learn more.