How I Organise My Notes

I often mention organisations systems and note taking in my blog posts, so I thought I’d do a post on what my organisation system actually is. The system I’m currently using is working well, better than anything else I’ve used before so I’d definitely recommend it to someone looking for a neat and coordinated way to organise their notes and schoolwork.

I use a binder system. Just two binders, one for current classwork, basically the equivalent of having a notebook and a folder for worksheets, and one for each semester that I keep all the work for all my classes in.

My current classwork binder is a small two ring binder that I take to school everyday, I have five dividers, one for each of my four main subjects and one for paper. The way I use this binder is that I keep paper at the back, which I take my notes in and then clip into the section for the class I took them in, I do the same with worksheets, albeit not until I get home as it’s really not realistic to carry a two hole punch around all day! I keep all the notes and worksheets in my binder until we finish the topic that they’re from. I then transfer all the work into my large binder, which also has a section for every class. I basically just grab the whole stack of papers and stick them into my semester binder, which is more of a lever arch file that I keep on my desk. This system works really well because it means I have everything within easy reach when trying to find old notes and I’d definitely recommend it!.

Let me end by saying, I really, really, really love binders!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

 

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How to memorise an essay

I have to write an essay on Monday and I was terrified, until I started memorising it. Essays freak me out, especially if they’re ones you write in class. As much as I enjoy writing, I always fear running out of time and not completing my essay or completely forgetting what I wrote in my draft, I actually had a nightmare about it, no kidding! I was wondering what I could do to help myself remember my essay and came up with a few ideas I thought might help. I can’t say that they work yet but all will be revealed on Monday morning!

Step one: read it! I know, self-explanatory but it’s a definite way to embed information in your brain, read it until you’re sick of it.

Step two: say it, out loud or in your head just keep going over it, whether you’re with friends and feel like annoying them or trying to fall asleep at night, just go over it.

Step three: write it out. Remember look cover say write check in primary school? I know, the traumatic memories that come with those five words but you can basically do it with memorising an essay. Look at the sentence, cover it up, write down what you remember and then check it, you can skip the ‘say’ did anyone ever do that anyway?

Step four: practice! As if you were in class writing it, set a timer for how long you’ll have and then write it out using only the notes you’ll have in the essay, or no notes if that’s the requirement. Do this a couple of times and you’ll ace that essay!

Anyway, this post was slightly different to usual but I thought I’d write about something I’m still learning about. As I said before, these methods are not guaranteed but I’m really hoping they work for both me and you!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

A productive evening routine

After a long day all I ever want to do is binge watch Netflix but unfortunately, there’s this little thing called homework that restricts me from being the couch potato I so desperately want to be. I generally like to keep to a system (as I do with most things in my life) when trying to have a productive afternoon. My evening routine usually goes something like this.

First things first. Food. One of the first things I do when I get home from school is grab a snack and relax for a while. I like to take 30 minutes to wind down after the day and scroll through social media. It’s important to have a break between schoolwork and homework or else you’ll feel overwhelmed.

After I’ve had a snack and relaxed for a little bit I’ll head to my desk and do my homework and a little bit of daily organisation. The first thing I like to do is clip all my worksheets into my binder, I prefer not to take my hole punch to school as it’s very bulky so I do this at home. Next, I’ll go through and write a key for my notes, when trying to get information down in class I shorten everything, it’s slightly ridiculous and often I can’t tell what it means when looking back through notes, so I’ll grab a sticky note the same colour as my notes theme and write a key for what my abbreviations mean. I also add calligraphy headers to my notes if I didn’t have time to in class. Next, I’ll check my planner and see what my homework is, I like to try to do all homework on the day it’s set. Once I know what my homework is I’ll start doing it. After I’ve finished my homework I’ll study for any tests I have coming up and spend a couple of hours doing that. It usually takes me about 1-3 hours to complete this routine depending on my amount of work.

After I’ve finished all my homework I’ll usually enter the potato phase, I’d love to be able to say that I workout next but that would be a very big lie and I like to be an honest person. I like to sit down and relax by watching Netflix for a little while, It’s highly important to take a few hours out for yourself every night, especially after you’ve worked hard all day. After I finish relaxing I’ll head to bed and read for a while which is another way I love to relax.

Hopefully, this post was slightly helpful. I’m definitely not the most productive person but I like to think I’m somewhat productive anyway see you in my next post which will hopefully be sooner than this one was!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

The Perfect Study Space

The Instagram, Tumblr worthy desk setups, that have an aesthetic level of approximately 5000. They always look so perfect and inviting, having a beautiful study space that you enjoy being in is the key to good study and focus. It might seem impossible to have a perfectly arranged, minimalist space like the desks you see on Pinterest but I can assure you it’s not.

The first step to a great study space is to have one. Some people, they must be superhuman, can study at the kitchen bench with their brother and sister screaming and TV playing in the background, if this works for you, great but there are better ways to study. The best place to study is at a desk in a quiet room, preferably somewhere you can keep all your supplies but if you don’t have access to your own room and desk, a library or a shared study works too.

The second step is to have everything you need within reach, not just in a pencil case but laid out on the desk, so make sure you have the essentials: pens, paper, highlighters, pencils, whatever you need to study. Make sure you have everything you need within reach so that you don’t have to get up and lose focus but only what you need, you don’t want clutter!

Make it unique! Nobody wants to study at a wooden desk, with nothing but a dim lamp and a few pencils. Pick a colour scheme, your favourite colour is a good starting place, mine’s blue! Fill your desk with items that colour, such as blue pencil pots or pink folders, it’s ok to have a few items that aren’t study related, such as a succulent plant or candle. Filling your desk with beautiful items that make you happy to look at is a great way to feel motivated to study!

Lastly, organisation. Don’t just shove papers in a drawer and forget about them forever, come on, we’ve all done it! Find an organisation system that works for you, such as a binder, or paper holders and stick to that method! If you want a post on my organisation method just let me know 😉

I hope these tips help you create your perfect study space, just remember what works for somebody else might not be perfect for you, so make it unique!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Avoid the rush, just get it done,

It’s all well and good to get your homework done on the bus, on the way to school because you forgot about it last night, or outside class, leaning paper on your knee and writing at a speed of a million miles an hour, we’ve all been there, rushing to get our work done, not really focusing on actually gaining anything from it. Everybody ‘s had their share of “quick, do it under your bag, pretending to get your stuff out, so the teacher doesn’t notice,” experiences of forgotten homework. Sure, it’s easy to get away with it if you’re a master of excuses, or a last minute queen but it’s really not helping you. I’m going to sound like your Mum but,  teachers assign homework to help you, they don’t do it to be horrible and ensure you have no social life, although it seems like that sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself, is get it done, PROPERLY. One of my biggest struggles is the temptation to write the first number that pops into your head, or even writing 41 on a multiple choice question where 41 isn’t even an answer, I always find myself thinking, or saying out loud if I’m really frustrated, “x can be what x wants to be okay, so x will be 42.” It’s done, you have something to show the teacher and you’ll avoid detention, but the goal of school isn’t to avoid detention, it’s to work and retain knowledge, you’ll only do that by working hard and doing your homework. The best way to make sure you don’t end up rushing through your work is to manage your time wisely. The best way to do this is to write all homework down in a planner (Diary, bullet journal etc.) As soon as you hear the teacher say the inevitable “For tomorrow,” or “Tonight I want you to,” get your pen and planner ready to write it down. When you get home from school look at that day’s date, all your homework should be written in, and do all the work that was set that day, it doesn’t matter if it’s not due for 2 days, get it done, you’ll thank yourself the next day when you have no homework because you got it all done the night before. Just make sure you’re writing everything down and getting everything done, you’ll surely avoid the stress of the moment when the teacher says “get out your homework,” and you realise, “crap! I haven’t done that,” instead you’ll have the satisfaction of showing them your properly done, perfectly worked out work.

This post was very all over the place, it started out as something completely different and morphed into this, but I just let my thoughts flow, anyway let me know what you thought in the comments!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

The Best Study Techniques

You get your healthy, ‘brain food’, the study tea, coloured pens, palm cards, paper and the perfect focus playlist. You sit down at your desk, headphones on, ready for an intense study session. I usually get this far before realising, hang on, how am I actually going to do this? Sure, highlighting texts in a million different colours is fun, and looks productive when you post it online but is it really helping you? Everybody tells you to study but nobody actually tells you how to study, it sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Everybody overlooks studying, they assume it’s simple enough to work out but in reality, without guidance, we can all get a little lost.

In my first year of high school I was overwhelmed, teachers telling me to study, leaving me on my own to work my way through the jungle that is school and tests. I eventually worked it out but it took me a while and a few disappointing test scores until I got the hang of it.

There are many different methods of studying, but I usually use three different methods, I vary my techniques depending on the subject I’m studying for.

My favourite and hence most used method is to write a page or two of notes, I like to pretend I’m writing a cheat sheet for the test and make sure I only include key points. It always helps me to make my notes pretty, eg. calligraphy titles and colour schemes but this isn’t necessary, I just like to make my notes ‘aesthetically pleasing’ so that I can actually stand to look at them! This method is helpful for subjects where you need to remember a lot of information, such as science or history.

Flash cards! They’re a lot of fun and you can use them to study with friends, which is always a lot of fun. When using flash cards, I like to write down a word on one side, then a definition on the opposite side. When studying with these, I’ll get a friend or family member to show me either the word or definition, and I have to remember what’s on the other side, this is definitely the most enjoyable form of studying!

The last way I like to study is  practice, I know, I’m crying too. This is most helpful for maths, I like to do equations multiple times until they’re stuck in my head. This method can also be helpful if you’re studying for an essay or report that you have to write in class, set a timer for the amount of time you will have, and then practise writing it out, in the exact conditions you will be required to do it in. This is the least fun form of studying but often the way to get information permanently in your head.

There are other study methods I like to use but these are my top three, anyway have a great day!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Study Blues

Test.Study. Repeat. Sometimes it feels like school has us in a neverending cycle and it’s hard to keep up with it all. The minute you finish a test, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You bounce happily into your next class, only to hear that you have another test coming up, throughout the day, your load gets heavier and you leave school only thinking about the 3 tests next week and essay due in two days, you can kiss goodbye to that Netflix date you promised yourself.  At school, you can have weeks of leisure and then one day it all hits you, like a tidal wave in a calm sea. It’s hard to find motivation in this repetitive cycle but just focus on the goal and strive towards it. This was more of a heartfelt whinge about school over anything motivational but we’re all stuck in the cycle so we may as well make the most of it.

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Bullet Journalling-What’s the fuss?

So, bullet journaling. You may have heard the word or seen it on your Pinterest feed but you’re probably wondering what exactly it is and what the fuss is about. I’ll break it down for you.

Bullet journalling is a planning system in which you draw up the spreads yourself rather than buying a diary/planner with everything filled in. Some people like making it beautiful and artistic, whereas others use it only for practicality. Bullet journalling is great because it’s completely customisable, you can fill it with absolutely anything.

I personally love bullet journalling and would say my system is a mix of artistic and practical. I am by no means at all decent at drawing, to give you an idea, I spent an hour following tutorials on how to draw leaves for my March spread, but I do enjoy calligraphy and creativity. I use my bullet journal mainly for organisation for school but occasionally get a bit creative and do quote pages.

You’re most likely wondering what the intent of this post is? I just wanted to make it clear what bullet journalling is so that when I mention it in future posts nobody is confused.

On a scale of 1-10 I rate bullet journalling a 9 and 3/4 , see what I did there 😉

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Changing it up

As you might have realised, I’m changing things up. I’m planning on turning my blog into more of a study/school tips platform and less lifestyle. I’ve been finding it hard to get motivation for posts and all I want to post is study blogs so I’m going to change it up a bit. I’ll still post some different content but this will mainly be a study platform. My new name is Study like Hermione, yes I am part of that fandom, and I’ll be posting more study routines, note taking, bullet journal etc. Anyway, stay tuned for exciting content!

Lyss xx

Ps. I need a new catchphrase/slogan to end my blogs with, preferably a Hermione quote or something to do with studying. Let me know your suggestions,please! Xx

Getting things done

Do you ever have so many things to do but absolutely no motivation to do them?Sometimes it’s just so hard to find the motivation you need to get things done, we like to pretend we’re motivated and productive but most of the time we’re just sitting on the couch watching youtube videos or reading blog posts about productivity instead of being motivated and getting things done. I’m not a motivation queen or anything but I do have some motivational tips to share with you.

Remind yourself of the final product. If you have to tidy your room envision the cleanest room ever and you’ll feel more motivated to get your room looking like that. Just remind yourself why you’re doing whatever you’re doing and you’ll be more productive.

Have some fun. It’s no fun doing jobs and hating them, you may as well make the most of it and play some music or watch a movie. If you’re organising or doing work put on your favourite tunes and incorporate a jam session into the chore, I play music everywhere and anywhere and it makes me so much more willing to do a job. If you’re folding washing or washing dishes put on a movie or your favourite TV show and have some “you time” whilst doing a job.

Take breaks. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Maybe do two large jobs a day and have rewarding breaks in between. If you spend too much time working you’ll start to hate it and have no motivation so give yourself a break, you deserve it.

Get company.  My sister and I often help each other tidy our rooms and it just makes the job so much more fun especially if you listen to music and have a cleaning party together.

If all else fails. JUST DO IT (sponsored by Nike ;), no not really) and get things done sometimes you just have to enforce some self-control and turn off the TV and do what needs doing.

Hopefully, this post helps you get things done and have some motivative productivity, I’m definitely not perfect at getting jobs done, just ask my Mum 😉 but I still try my hardest.

What are your motivation tips? Let me know in the comments below.

That’s just my taste of B’liss xx