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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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

My Study Routine

We don’t like school and we don’t like study but let’s face it, it’s pretty important. Some people never study and still manage to ace their tests with flying colours but the majority of people have to work to succeed. As much as we would love to snap our fingers and get straight A’s that’s not the reality, as Rhianna said we have to “work, work, work, work, work” and that involves study. My typical study routine goes like this:

I’ll start off by getting comfortable. You’ll be so much more motivated if you feel comfy so put on your tracksuit pants and faded hoodie, nobody’s going to see you whilst you’re studying! Also, make sure your chair is comfy, If you don’t have a cushioned chair just put a pillow on the back of your chair, instant comfort!

Next, I’ll get some snacks. If it’s a cold day I like to drink tea while studying, on a hot day I’ll drink some water or a healthy smoothie. As for food I like to eat healthy food such as nuts and fruit, if I’m feeling indulgent I might have some chocolate too, hehe! My favourite snack is a trail mix: to make a trail mix just combine your favourite nuts and dried fruit, I also like to add chocolate chips. Along with a trail mix, I’ll cut up some fruit and eat that as well. When you’re studying eating healthy food is really good for you and can keep you focused.

Now that I’m completely ready I’ll go sit at my desk. It’s a good idea to have a designated study spot. A desk is the best option but if you don’t have a desk you can study at the table, studying on the couch or your bed isn’t a good idea as you associate these places with rest and you shouldn’t sleep while studying! Make sure you have everything you need at your workplace: pens, pencils, paper, white out etc. Having all your supplies within reach will keep you from getting up and getting distracted. Keep your study space organised and special to you. My desk has a blue theme because I love blue, make sure you’re happy in your study space and you’ll feel more motivated.

Now let’s get down to the whole point of this, the actual study. Starting with set homework tasks, if your teacher has set you a task e.g finish textbook questions 1-5 do exactly what the task is. Keep your work neat and ask your parents, siblings or friends for help if you need it. Completing homework tasks is pretty self-explanatory.

The next type of study is assignments. Assignments take a lot of work, I recently had an assignment that I spent a total of ten hours on but it paid off because I got a grade I was happy with at the end of it. When completing assignments don’t do it all at once, spread it out, do an hour then have a break then come back. Don’t try to complete something in one day, work on it over a long period of time. Every teacher will tell you this but NEVER LEAVE SOMETHING TO THE LAST MINUTE! Don’t let yourself start writing an essay at 8 pm the night before it’s due, nobody wants to stay up all night doing schoolwork so manage your time wisely.

Last but not least is studying for tests. We all hate tests, one hour of answering questions is nobody’s idea of a good time but if you study well you can ace those tests! I have three methods for studying for tests:

  1. Reading over class notes, this is pretty self-explanatory but read over all your class notes, texts you’ve received and class powerpoints. Start doing this 5 days before the test and you’ll be set
  2. Rewrite notes, pretend you’re writing a note page for the test even if you aren’t allowed test notes. Only write key points. If you aren’t sure what to study ask your teacher, they’ll be able to give you a brief idea of what you need to know for the test.
  3. Flashcards! I make flash cards for every single test. These are so good for studying with friends and you can test each other. Make flashcards for definitions, key points and formulas.

If you’re getting agitated whilst studying, take a break for 5 minutes. Don’t study for more than 1 hour at a time.

Try making your notes neat. I personally use coloured pens and go all out, you don’t need to do this but make sure your notes are legible.

Hopefully, these tips help you!

That’s just my taste of B’liss

How to ace school

School… it’s a word that nobody likes which is quite understandable if you ask me. Who wants to sit in smelly classrooms for 6 hours every day? Sadly school is probably the most important part of our lives, school equips us for the future and without school, we can’t get a job (Do I sound like a Mum yet?) In the past year I’ve developed a few tips and tricks that have really helped me do well in school so I thought I’d share them.

Study, I know it’s so obvious but you’d be surprised what people count as study. Let me put the record straight that a 10-second glance at your class notes 10 minutes before the test does NOT count as study. To get high marks you need to work for them. A good study session should last about 30 minutes to an hour and you should be rewriting notes and making flash cards, not just reading over your notes. Handwriting information down is the best way for you to retain what you’ve learnt.

Stay organised. Keep your desk, bag and notes organised. Organisation will motivate you!

Have a positive mindset, if you keep telling yourself you hate school you’re not very likely to succeed, instead focus on the positives and tell yourself you enjoy school. Reward yourself for studying with a chocolate bar or some Netflix time and you’ll be so much more motivated. Just keep thinking positively and you’re likely to do well.

Be interactive, ask questions in class, get involved in class discussion and seek teacher feedback. This is my goal for the year, I’m usually very quiet in class and I barely ever raise my hand which is why I’m going to work on it.

Don’t compare yourself to others, if the brainy kid next to you gets 100% and you got 99% don’t beat yourself up if you tried as hard as you could. I constantly compare myself to my friends and get angry if they get better marks than me, which is something I need to work on. Instead of envying them I should be happy for them but resolve to beat them next time, a little friendly competition never goes astray ;).

Set goals for yourself. If you didn’t get the mark you wanted, try harder next time and just keep going. Set goals for the week, goals for the term, goals for each subject and goals for the year.

Hopefully, this post helps you do well at school. If you want to see a study routine post please like this post and comment.

That’s just my taste of B’liss