Many graduate students juggle time between work, family, and school. As such, they often find themselves overwhelmed by the number of things they need to do—so much to do, so little time!
While knowing how to manage your time, focus, and energy is crucial for graduate school success, good organization skills are likewise important.
Below, we’re outlining several organizational tips you can start implementing today.
Handy Organizational Tips for Graduate School Students
Create a Consistent Schedule
It doesn’t matter what calendar type you’re using; traditional paper calendar, planner, or the calendar app on your phone, what’s important is you plan your schedule wisely. This includes scheduling your work hours, meetings, project deadlines, research, writing time, and household chores in your calendar, as well as time with family and friends and other activities you deem important.
Remember, too, that creating a study and work schedule is one thing. Sticking to it is another.
Use Technology Tools to Help
A calendar app like Google Calendar can help you keep track of your appointments, exam schedules, and research deadlines, while task management tools like Trello and Wunderlist let you stay on top of your obligations and to-do lists.
Other technology tools you can use for getting organized and staying productive include:
- Evernote and Microsoft OneNote for note-taking
- Dropbox and Google Drive for storing and sharing your files
- Pocket for bookmarking web pages and online articles for later reading
- Meetup for networking opportunities
- Calm for meditation and restful sleep
- Mendeley to generate bibliographies and manage references
Related Article: Can Music Help You Study and Focus?
Organize Your Email
Take the time to sort through your email and limit your inbox to messages you plan to immediately resolve. Create folders for important emails for easy tracking. Don’t forget to label the folders accordingly. While you’re at it, delete spam and unsubscribe from mailing subscriptions you no longer find useful.
Set Up a Document Management System
Sooner or later, you will be accumulating a lot of documents--manuscripts, research materials, assignments, etc. You can keep those documents in filing cabinets, binders, or folders with pockets. To prevent clutter, sort through your files periodically and remove what’s no longer necessary.
For electronic documents, use apps like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive for storing files and folders. Appropriately name your folders for easier tracking and retrieval. For example, you want a “Research” folder containing subfolders for “Interviews,” “Surveys,” and so on.
Related Article: Time Management Exercise: Calendar Blocking
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Clutter can be stress-inducing. Clean homes promote a sense of control, which makes it easier to develop and maintain good habits.
Simple things such as keeping your keys in a bowl or your utility bills in a designated box can help. You can also store seasonal or unused items in a garage or basement. But no matter the size of your home, don’t forget to dedicate a space for your studies.
Get Organized - Today!
Cleaning and decluttering are the first steps toward getting organized, but developing good habits will keep you organized and productive for the long haul. Follow the tips above and see for yourself the difference they can make.