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

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