Friday, August 9, 2013

Back To School: Organization, Supplies, & Tips

I am not a big fan of taking around a ton of notebooks & binders individual to every class, I like to downsize... A LOT. Here's what I do to remain organized throughout the year!!!

Textbooks: I don't take all of my text books back and forth everyday. Many of my teachers don't even require you to bring it, so I either leave it at home, or in my locker. There are some I have to take back and forth, but with online text book codes available, I can choose not to bring them to and from home.
Binders: I only have binders for classes that require me to get them. I hate carrying around the bulk of them, and find that unnecessary with these other tips.

Mead Five Star Hybrid Notebinder
I only use notebooks for the classes that need them, I use one subject notebooks in the college ruled. I've tried to use 5 subject notebooks, but I usually end up with a lot of extra paper in one subject, while running out in another. I also keep a lot of loose paper with me, so if I ever do run out, I have some.
I use notebooks to actually take notes, I use loose paper from homework, it's much easier because I have to turn it in a lot.
I also like to use graph paper notebooks for math & science, those are the two classes I get a lot of homework in & it's turned it usually, so it keeps it organized.

Folders: I don't use individual folders, I use the Mead Five Star Hybrid Note Binder in 1 1/2 in. Although it's expensive, it lasts years, and truly fits everything in it. An alternative would be to get a 1 1/2 inch binder, and put in folders for each subject, or sheet protectors. I did the sheet protectors last year.
TIP:: Keep all the papers you don't need anymore (you've already had the test for this unit) in an expanding file folder. They're super affordable, around $2 at Target, Walmart, or Walgreens. This way you have all the materials organized and ready for when you have to study for finals, and since you're not carrying it with you, you're less likely to lose it! **Make sure that your teacher is truly done with this topic before you put it away, I suggest waiting a couple of days after the test**

Planner: I've tried to make my own planners, using my own calendars, so I have enough space, however it just doesn't work. Last year, what I ended up doing was keeping a print out of all the months in my everything binder, and loose paper for daily to do's. This is a very disorganized method for most people, while I liked being able to make a busy to do list, I bought a planner this year from Walmart.
TIP:: Walmart has the cheapest, and biggest varieties for planners. I don't like getting super busy planners because I find that I get tired of them after a while. I also go for a bigger planner to get more space to write.
Other Supplies:

Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils- These are the best old school pencils I've come across, they're most expensive than the average, but they are worth every penny. I use these occasionally, but I mainly use them for standardized testing, they have such a great eraser too!
TIP:: Buy random pencils too. The ones that are like $.25 for a pack of 12. Whenever someone asks you for a pencil, give them those, so that if they don't give them back, you haven't lost anything.
Post-its- I suggest getting three kinds: The regular sized ones, for bigger notes, and reminders, the flags, for text books, and highlighting, and the mini ones for annotating. These help you stay organized so you know exactly what to study.
TIP:: Also buy some Index cards for studying, they go hand in hand with the post its, best way to study vocabulary.
Highlighters- Honestly, any kind will do. I like to get a pack with lots of colors, but just buy the cheapest ones you can find. I use them to high light my notes when I'm studying.
Colorful Pens- Again, buy whatever brand you want. I don't go crazy with the color, but I like to have some variation for my notes. Now my favorite brand is Paper Mate, so that's what I've linked, I find that their pens write the smoothest.
TIP:: Don't go crazy with the color, it's makes it harder to study. Use black and blue pens and then use the colored pens to emphasize words or sentences, or to separate things.
Mechanical Pencils- I refuse to use regular pencils throughout the year. I find that the expensive mechanical pencils are definitely worth the investment. These are my favorite, they are the Pental Energize pencils. They last longer than a year, and retail for around $3 in staples, but buy the two pack in store for more color selections.
TIP:: Also stock up on extra lead right now, it's usually on sale somewhere, so you save money buying it now than later.
Erasers: These are the best erasers I've come across. They erase the most, are smooth, and last the whole year.

Biggest Tips::

  • Buy all your school supplies now, they're all on sale, even the pretty ones. Stock up!! & SAVE THE RECEIPTS. After you get your list, supplies will no longer be on sale, buy binders and extra notebooks for now, and then if you find that you don't need them, save for next year, or return them! 
  • Shop around, Staples, Walgreens, and Walmart are my favorite places. They have the best deals and the largest selection. I find Amazon, Target, & online sites to be over priced. They don't have the same jaw dropping deals. 
  • Sometimes the prettier supplies sacrifice quality. Look for materials that will last you all year. At the same time, the quality sometimes costs a lot more. IT'S WORTH IT. 
Purse? Tote? or Backpack?:
Personally, I use a large crossbody bag. Last year I got mine from Forever 21. I'm still searching for a new one. I like to have one that fits my lunch and planner. 
I also have a back pack though, I use it on days I have lots of things to bring to school or from school. I use the Jansport Big Student Backpack. I got it for $25 from Marshalls, it's such great quality, and an amazing value. 

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