Hey, hi, hello there Dear Reader 🙂 I hope this ol’ fashioned blurg post finds you swell.

Back to school season is upon us, which means that in the coming months, those of us who are living the privileged life of attending some institute of higher education are hopping back in the saddle! Here we come, classes! Here we come, clubs! Here we come, move-in! And registration! …and sports games, and having a social life, and eating healthy, and going to the gym, and… Ah. All aboard the juggle express.

Taking advantage of all that college life has to offer is—in my most humble opinion—the key to making the most of the four-year experience. (Here’s a post I wrote going into my freshman year about saying “yes” to everything: click my butt.) But structuring the mayhem is token to not getting swallowed whole.

Organizational skills are one of the greatest lessons a kid can learn in college. They alone constitute the primary reason that no matter your coursework, college will prepare you for “work work,” if you like. And contrary to all of Pinterest, you don’t need the DIY skills of a millennial mom to stay visually organized during the school year.

Here are great tools and tricks for managing the madness throughout the year.

1. Keep a calendar and sync, baby, sync

This seems pretty basic to me, but I am always surprised how many of my peers don’t keep an updated calendar. I use iCal because I can’t stand how ugly the desktop Google Calendars UI is (even on Chrome?! wtF?)—but I wholly admit that Google has better syncing/sharing capabilities. Do what you will.

2. Color code your heart out

Breaking things out by color will help you visualize what you’re spending your time on throughout the day. You can also toggle what you’re seeing at once. Want to know what classes you have tomorrow? Just look for red. Wondering what all that blue is? Hmmm… looks like you’re hanging out with friends alllll day on Saturday… better make Friday a work day. (I have calendars for classes, school (things like office hours, study sessions, going to the library), Cath in College, work, extracurriculars, and ‘everything else’.)

3. Notes all around me!

As much as I love my tech, sometimes it’s most helpful to take pen to paper. Unlike with virtual reminders/calendars, physical ones embed themselves in your surroundings, making it easier to remember your goals–and harder to forget them. My wall in Cedro this past school year was covered with your letters, as well as a whiteboard where I drew visual reminders of my goals for the day/week/quarter.

4. Journaling

As I said, sometimes ol’ fashioned pen n’ paper is best. (A mon avi.) I’m stoked to shout-out the Self Scholar journal (see pics) which make staying organized stupid easy. It’s got sections for monthly, weekly, and daily agendas, as well as places to reflect and write down your goals.

I never partner with brands/products I don’t actually love, so trust me when I say this journal is pretty much foolproof. If you stick with the way it’s set up, you can’t not crush the school year. I’m going to be using it this fall. Can’t wait!

Isn’t it beautiful? Here’s a link where you can snag one yourself: click mehhh

Alas, these are the main tools I use to keep my life in order throughout the school year. I’m curious, DR! What are some of your favorite organization methods? Do you keep a journal? Do you use an amazing task-tracking/calendar app? Are you making a tool like the Self Scholar journal that the CiC community could benefit from? Let us all know in the comments below 🙂

Sending all my love into the school year,

This post was sponsored by BestSelf Co. Cath in College abides by FTC guidelines. 

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com


  1. I love using the site/app mystudylife, and I combine that with GoogleCal. On mystudylife I can see what classes I have and where + I can easily check what assignments are due soon and what exams are planned. It gives me notifications when something is due the next day so I can finish it quickly.
    And I use GoogleCal to coordinate plans with my family (because I still live at home), so we can all see where everyone is (supposed to be) at a certain time.
    I also always write out my to do list for the day so I can check things off my list as I finish them.
    This school year is going to be a hectic one for me (school, field hockey, dance, debate, work & friends) so I hope to keep my head above water (is that just a Dutch expression or does it also work in English?) with this planning technique.


  2. Hey cathy cat i have a journal which is very much unorganized. I’m a very lethargic person to sync but the way you do i’m pretty much impressed. I’m glad you shared it. Its going to be really helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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