One of the many skills I will forever treasure from my time at university is how well I am now able to manage my time and space. As many students will tell you, it’s not always easy to keep on top of everything – but that’s completely normal and, in many cases, easy to turn around!
Since I have recently graduated from a four-year course, during which I spent a large amount of time studying at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought I would share some tips on how to successfully stay organised.
1. Use Google Calendar (or any other calendar app)
This tip is something I picked up from one of my housemates: having a screenshot of your timetable is all good and well, until you lose the screenshot, or forget to look at it… However, if you spend 10 minutes putting your lectures into a calendar app with notifications enabled, then you will get pinged when you need to be somewhere!
This also allows you to easily plan your non-academic commitments accordingly, whether they’re social, medical, or work related, with less risk of accidentally double-booking yourself.
2. Download relevant apps onto your smartphone
It’s very rare nowadays for a young adult to not own some sort of smartphone. Therefore, it makes sense to utilise them as much as possible during your time at university! Some of the most useful I have used include (sidenote: they’re all free!):
- Moodle – This is the platform on which lecture content will be uploaded, so having the relevant app makes it very easy to access and download this content on the go.
- Outlook – every student at the University of Roehampton receives a “roehampton.ac.uk” email address after enrolling. This is the address lecturers and on-campus services will use to contact you and it’s affiliated with Outlook, so having this app is perfect for catching up on emails wherever you are.
- OneDrive or another cloud drive – OneDrive is the cloud service that the university uses, and that you get free space on, during your time at Roehampton. If you have your own cloud space, then make sure you have that app downloaded instead – you can never back up your work too many times!
- Google Docs – This app is useful if you are editing a piece of work as a group, or if you want to edit a word document on the go. It can read documents formatted to Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Word can use documents edited by this app too.
- Citymapper – Although Google Maps can do the trick, this alternative free app has never failed to keep on top of any public transport delays, as well as providing the prices that different routes will cost. This app also gives estimates on how much a taxi or Uber will cost for the route you’ve selected so you can directly compare.
3. Organise your handwritten notes from day one!
Some people may prefer to keep typed notes, however, if you’re like me and prefer to write your notes in lectures, I can’t stress how important it is to keep your notes organised. For example:
- Store your notes in order of which week they were taught and write the date and week number of each lecture so you can easily find topics during revision.
- Use lever arch or ring binders to keep notes in so they don’t get lost or damaged. It’s also great to use dividers to mark specific modules.
- Use sticky notes and coloured pens! This keeps your notes looking engaging to come back to later. Where relevant, draw little diagrams to help yourself understand difficult-to-remember concepts when you return to your work later.
4. Follow social media accounts
Who doesn’t have some sort of social media account? Universities are using social media more and more to communicate with their students on a wide scale. Here are some accounts to follow for updates on events, interesting articles, and exclusive student discounts:
- Instagram: @uni_roehampton, @roehamptonsu, @urlibrary, @the_union_bar_roehampton, @nus_uk, @studentbeans, @wearetotum
- tiktok: @uni_roehampton
- Facebook: University of Roehampton
Below is a fantastic example of why you should follow some of these accounts – little reminders like this can help you keep your social events organised too!