11 Habits to Become an Organized Student

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, forgetting assignments, or drowning in a sea of clutter? Don't worry; you're not alone. Not only are we passionate about organization and the power of paper planners, but on our team of experts are students, graduates, teachers, and parents of students. And we’re here to share with you 11 habits that, we know from experience, will transform you into an organized student all school year long. These tried-and-true strategies can benefit any student–children, teens, college students, even postgraduate students.

How to Be an Organized Student

1. Track Assignments, Exams, and Other Important Dates in an Academic Planner.

Say hello to your new best friend: the academic planner. This trusty tool will be your lifeline throughout your student journey. Make it a habit to jot down all your assignments, exams, homework due dates, and any other crucial dates for school as soon as you receive them. This way, you'll have a clear overview of your class workload and can plan accordingly. Plus, there's something oddly satisfying about crossing off tasks once you've completed them.

Learn more about How to Use a Planner for School.

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student - list of habits

2. Create a Personalized Study Schedule.

One size does not fit all when it comes to study schedules. It doesn’t matter if you’re a high school or college student, take some time to figure out your peak productivity hours and tailor your study schedule accordingly. Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, having a consistent study and homework routine will help you stay on track and make the most out of your study sessions.

3. Define and Prioritize Your Goals.

Setting clear, achievable goals is key to staying focused and motivated in all of your classes. Break down your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, and prioritize them based on their importance and deadlines. This will help you build organizational skills so that you're always working towards something meaningful.

4. Focus on High-Priority Assignments First.

When you're faced with a mountain of assignments from all your classes, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Hack this by tackling high-priority assignments first. Not only will this prevent last-minute scrambles, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum to tackle the rest of your tasks.

Remember, don’t wait for motivation to get started – jump in. We love this quote from renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. David Burns: “Motivation does not come first, action does!”

Get ahead with 8 Proven College Organization Tips to Maximize Productivity.

5. Create Visual Timetables and To-Do Lists.

Visual aids are powerful tools for organizing your thoughts and tasks. Consider creating visual timetables or to-do lists to map out your daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Seeing your tasks laid out visually in a to-do list can help you stay focused, prioritize effectively, and manage your time more efficiently.

6. Divide Large Projects and Assignments Into Smaller Tasks.

Large projects can feel daunting, but breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks can make them seem much more achievable. Take some time to deconstruct your assignments into bite-sized chunks, and tackle them one day at a time. Before you know it, you'll have conquered that intimidating project with ease.

7. Create an Organized and Productive Study Space.

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student - Create an Organized and Productive Study Space

Your study environment plays a significant role in your productivity and focus. Create a dedicated study space that is clean, clutter-free, and free from distractions. Personalize it with inspiring quotes, plants, or a

ny other important materials that motivate you to stay focused and productive.

College students, we thing you’d appreciate How to Organize and Decorate Your Dorm Room.

8. Utilize Technology Wisely.

While we’re big advocates of paper planners, we can't deny the usefulness of technology in staying organized. Whether it's using productivity apps to manage your tasks, setting reminders on your phone, or using online resources for research, find the right tech tools that complement your organizational style and workflow. The key is to find balance and benefit from both the best of analog and digital productivity tools.

Learn more about How to Use Digital and Paper Planners.

9. Create Visually Engaging, Color-Coded Notes.

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student - Create Visually Engaging, Color-Coded Notes

Gone are the days of bland, uninspired notes. Spice up your study sessions by creating visually engaging, color-coded notes. Get creative with your writing tools and sticky notes to use different colors to categorize information, highlight key points, and make important concepts stand out, and use different writing tools and materials to make it fun. Not only will this make studying more enjoyable, but it will also help you retain information more effectively.

Find a lot of fun and functional tools for creative notes (and more) with the Best School Supplies for All Ages.

10. Reflect on and Adjust Your Strategy Weekly.

Flexibility is key to maintaining an organized student life. Whether you’re a high school or college student, take some time at the end of each week to reflect on what worked well and what didn't. Adjust your study schedule, organizational systems, or habits accordingly to optimize your productivity and effectiveness.

11. Regularly Declutter Your Physical and Digital Space.

A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Make it a habit, either every day or every week, to regularly declutter both your physical and digital space. Get rid of any unnecessary clutter, organize your files and folders, and streamline your study materials. You'll be amazed at how much clearer your mind feels when your space is tidy and organized.

Learn more about how to declutter your physical and digital space with Home Organization Tips with Organizing Experts Home + Sort.

What are the Characteristics of an Organized Student?

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student - Characteristics of an Organized Student

Being an organized student isn't just about color-coding your notes or having a tidy desk. It's a mindset and a set of habits that foster success in academic pursuits and beyond. Here are some key characteristics that define an organized student:

Time Management Skills

Time is a precious resource, and organized students understand how to manage it effectively. They can allocate time for studying, attending classes, completing assignments, and engaging in extracurricular activities without feeling overwhelmed. By prioritizing tasks and setting realistic deadlines, they maximize productivity and minimize procrastination every day.

Goal-Oriented Mindset

Organized students have clear objectives and goals for their academic journey. Whether it's achieving a certain GPA, mastering a specific subject, or gaining admission to a prestigious university, they are driven by purpose. They break down larger goals into manageable steps and continuously strive to progress toward them, staying motivated even when faced with challenges.


Things don't always go according to plan. Organized students possess the ability to adapt to unexpected changes and setbacks gracefully. Whether it's a sudden change in assignment requirements or a shift in study group dynamics, they remain flexible and adjust their strategies accordingly, maintaining their focus on the ultimate goal.

Attention to Detail

Success often lies in the details, and organized students understand the importance of paying attention to them. From meticulously organizing their study materials to carefully proofreading their assignments for errors, they demonstrate a commitment to accuracy and thoroughness. By being detail-oriented, they ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that their work reflects a high standard of quality.


Organized students are adept at making the most of the resources available to them. Whether it's seeking out additional research materials for a paper or finding creative solutions to academic challenges, they approach problems with a proactive and resourceful mindset. They're not afraid to ask for help when needed but also know how to leverage their own skills and ingenuity to overcome obstacles.


At the heart of organization lies self-discipline—the ability to stay focused and motivated even when faced with distractions or temptations. Organized students exhibit self-control in managing their time, prioritizing their tasks, and sticking to their study schedules. They understand the importance of delayed gratification and are willing to put in the effort today for future success.

Parent pro tip: Don’t give up on self-discipline in children (no matter how much they make you want to). Consider using age-appropriate early-organization tools from the Kids Collection. Our children love them for their own reasons (mostly the colors, prints, stickers, etc.), but we love them because they teach kids early concepts of self-dicipline and organization. They don’t realize it at the time, but this instills early confidence and an understanding of time management, which absolutely helps children become organized students when it matters most.

Why Is It Important to Be an Organized Student?

11 Habits to Become an Organized Student - Why It’s Important to Be an Organized Student

Being an organized student isn't just about having color-coded notes or a neat study space; it goes far beyond that. Here, we delve into the profound reasons why cultivating organizational habits can significantly impact your academic journey and beyond.

Let’s not forget how being organized can help with those overstuffed backpacks. Explore How to Organize Your Backpack (your back will thank you down the road).

Reduced Stress

Imagine this: it's the night before a major exam, and you're scrambling to find your notes, unsure of what topics to review. Sound familiar? Without organization, such scenarios are all too common, leading to heightened stress levels. However, by adopting organizational habits, you can mitigate this stress.

When you track assignments, create schedules, and break down tasks into manageable chunks, you're better equipped to tackle challenges calmly and efficiently. Organization alleviates the burden of last-minute chaos, allowing you to approach your academic responsibilities with a sense of control and composure.

Improved Productivity

Organization and productivity go hand in hand. When you have a clear plan of action, you're more likely to make the most of your time. By mapping out your study sessions, setting realistic goals, and prioritizing tasks, you create a framework that maximizes productivity.

Rather than aimlessly flipping through textbooks or scrolling through online resources, an organized student knows exactly what needs to be accomplished and how to do it. This efficiency not only enhances academic performance but also frees up time for other pursuits and activities, leading to a more balanced lifestyle.

Better Academic Performance

The correlation between organization and academic success cannot be overstated. Organized students tend to perform better academically because they approach their studies with intention and structure. When you track assignments in a planner, create study schedules, and break down complex concepts into digestible chunks, you're actively systematically engaging with the material. This systematic approach leads to deeper understanding, improved retention, and ultimately, higher grades.

Additionally, by staying on top of deadlines and managing time effectively, organized students are better positioned to submit quality work consistently, further contributing to their academic achievements.

Enhanced Focus and Concentration

Digital distractions are everywhere, making it challenging to maintain focus and concentration. However, organization can act like noise canceling headphones, allowing you to focus. When you create a designated study space, eliminate clutter, and establish a clear plan of action, you minimize external distractions and optimize your environment for learning.

Also, by breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable segments, you prevent overwhelm and facilitate sustained concentration. As a result, you're able to immerse yourself fully in your studies, leading to deeper comprehension and more efficient learning.

Side note: For parents and teachers caring for and educating children, we feel your struggle when it comes to distractions and the fight for focus. And for those children (and anyone, really) living with ADHD, it’s particularly challenging. We hope you find Choosing the Best Planner for an ADHD Brain helpful.

Long-Term Success

The organizational habits cultivated during your academic journey extend far beyond the classroom; they lay the foundation for long-term success in various aspects of life. Whether pursuing further education, entering the workforce, or pursuing personal endeavors, the skills acquired through organization—such as time management, goal setting, and adaptability—are invaluable (and transferable, truly).

Organized students develop a mindset characterized by discipline, resilience, and proactive problem-solving. These qualities are helpful for students of any age but particularly children (and parents) since they’re key for navigating the complexities of adulthood.

By investing in organization now, you're not only setting yourself up for academic success but also equipping yourself with essential life skills that will serve you well in the years to come. (Those of us who are parents and teachers can’t stress enough how true and critical this is our children and students.)

Becoming an organized student is not just about having a neat planner or a tidy study space; it's about adopting a mindset and habits that set you up for success. By implementing the 11 habits above into your daily routine, you'll not only become a more organized student but also a more confident and empowered learner (and a more capable, organized adult).

So what are you waiting for? Start by customizing your Acadmemic Planner to fit your style and schedule today and unlock your full potential as a student!