While nobody likes to be disorganized, for students with learning disabilities, disorganization can spell certain disaster. Searching for lost assignments or course handouts can take up valuable time, and it’s almost impossible to study and meet deadlines when notes from different subjects are all jumbled together.
There’s no “right” way to get organized. Teens need to be creative and flexible until they discover what works best for them. Here are some tips and suggestions from successful students and adults.
Tips for Students: Ideas to Help Them Get Organized
Do you know students who are challenged when it comes to staying organized? Share the following tips and ideas with the teen in your life.
If you work well with technology, use organizer software on a computer, a smartphone or tablet.
Retype your class notes and save them (with dates and course titles) on your computer. You can email them to yourself for easy access or use file-sharing software like Dropbox.
Write reminders on sticky notes or keep list pads around your room, by your desk, in your notebooks, and even by your bedside to write down things as your think of them. Be sure to collect these notes and consolidate all of the reminders on a single “to-do” list every day.
There are also plenty of smartphone apps that provide digital sticky notes. Use these when you’re on the go or all the time if digital sticky notes are easier to compile than their paper counterparts.
Divide your notebooks into sections for each subject. Hole punch and insert handouts or assignments in the appropriate notebook sections. Be sure to use dividers, and consider using different colored tabs for each subject.
If you tend to lose papers, try using a zipper binder to keep track of homework assignments.
Create a system for tracking papers.
A file cabinet might work well, or you can find a cardboard box large enough to fit file folders, label a folder for each subject, and insert papers in the appropriate file folders in the box.
Keep keys on a big ring so that you can find them easily, or use a brightly-colored key chain. If you store homework assignments and other important papers digitally, you can transfer these documents onto a USB device that can attach to your keychain.
Try a dry-erase calendar board if you want more space (and like using markers!) to keep track of daily tasks and events.
Make a daily list (on paper or on a smartphone) of everything you need for classes, labs or meetings. Include reminders for money, transportation and food. Check the list every morning before leaving your room so that you know what you have to do.
If you have trouble keeping track of passwords, try using password manager software like mSecure.
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