Tips for Getting & Staying Organized

  1. I am trying to enjoy and relax as much as possible this summer before school starts this August. I will be returning and taking my prereqs for nursing and I have never been to college before. So can anyone share some tips that helped with staying organized....especially with a husband and 4 kids? My children's ages are 10, 7, 4 and 21 months and I find myself starting to stress, but I am trying not to! The main thing that I do have going for me is not having to work, however, my husband does have two full time jobs and I really cannot count on him during the week.
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   greeniebean
    I feel ya! I have 2 small children. I suggest getting one of those huge desk calanders and writing EVERYTHING down. Appointments, test dates, study times. Having everything mapped out can make it a lot easier. You could also invest in several folders to keep all your classes organized(keep all handouts, study guides etc.. in each folder to keep it all straight)

    Good Luck to you.
  4. by   Seyma
    Well I don't have any children but one thing thats always helped me out, and I've been teased about it alot, but I always keep my notes on me at all times. You never know when your going to have a spare few minutes and if you're crunched on time, those few minutes could be life savers. I've brought my notes with me to concerts, to parties, to dinners, grocery store, to the bathroom haha just about everywhere.
  5. by   futureflrn
    I agree with mimib. The giant desk calender is great. The way I plan to set my up for the fall is, once I have my teachers picked, I'm going to print up their syllabus, and write in all the due dates on my calender. Also, I color code each class...and, I've hung the calender on the wall across from my bed, so that I see it first thing every morning, and know what I need to work on.
    In addition to that, (I take a couple online classes) I make folders on my desktop for each class, so that notes and assignments have a home, rather being lost in documents. I also "name" each assignment by class code and assignment/chapter #. And, if you do take online classes, make sure you print up your notes/reviews so you can look at them away from the computer.
    Good luck staying organized.
  6. by   my4helpers
    Thanks for the tips so far. I love the calendar idea and the taking your notes everywhere with you! I sure hope it all comes together for me!
  7. by   go2hvn4
    When I was in nursing school, I had a newborn baby 5 months before graduation. I recorded my notes and reading material. I listened to them commuting in the car, bathing the baby, cooking, etc. I also color categorized my life. Each nursing class had an assigned color. I used yellow and pink legal pads, colored construction paper, etc. The baby had an assigned color for records, medical appointments. I could find the right paper/referance I avoided white paper completely. Handouts got transfered to color paper, sometimes w/ a glue stick or tape. It doesn't need to be perfect or high tech to be organized. I bought a month by month school yr. calender, in bright pink, 8x10, so I could carry it w/ me. Now I have four children, and still do the above. Each child has a color ink assigned to them so I can look quickly @ my calender to see who is doing what. There are lots of neat pens w/ 4-6 colors in one. I simplified everything. Meals were simple, to save time. I avoided the gossip "straglers" between classes, instead I studied or reviewed notes. I still had a family and social time, choose it wisely. Our class started w/ 60 RN students, I was 1 of 16 who graduated!!
  8. by   anoon
    Well, I don't have children, but I do work full time in addition to nursing school ( I actually nanny so maybe that's something like having kids LOL). I can tell you a few things that I absolutely have to have to stay organized and preserve my sanity in nursing school

    1. A HUGE calendar - compile ALL your families activities onto ONE huge calendar and then you never have to go looking for appointment reminders or anything.

    2. Post-It notes. I cannot function without them. I put them EVERYWHERE. If I need to do something and can't right now, I write a note. If one of your kids needs something (like an appointment) right a note and get to it the next time you can.

    3. I organize my school stuff by class. So all my notes, books, flashcards, everything will be color coded to not only help me keep it together on the shelf, but also find it quickly. For example: all of my maternity stuff is pink. The book cover is a pink color, the binder is pink, the flashcards are pink, the notes are highlighted in pink - this seems like overkill but it's a life saver when it's finals time and I don't have time to sort through notes to find what I need.

    4. I take notes on a laptop but if you don't I suggest one of those spiral bound notebooks for every class. It helps to keep all the notes in one place and you don't have to worry about dropping your stuff and mixing up all your notes.

    5. I pack lunches the night (or sometime days) before. I work a lot and do not always have time to pack a lunch. In order to prevent myself from eating junk, I pack my lunches in advance and then I can just grab them on the way out. (**My mom used to do this when my brother and I were in school to help us out in the morning...might be useful for your kids too )

    6. I designate a time of the week for house related stuff. My Sunday afternoons are for house cleaning, grocery store trips, laundry and anything else that needs to get done. I find that if I schedule it in, it will get done instead of putting it off because you have other stuff to do. It has it's own time so there is nothing else that you have scheduled during that time. (I know with kids this may not always work, but for the most part it might.)

    7. Keep your school stuff separate from everything else. I HAVE to do this or I lose everything. Especially if you have kids, this may be really important to keep it from disappearing.

    I really hope this helps!

    Amber N. - Elsevier Student Ambassador
  9. by   Tracy724
    I agreee with the calendar ideas submitted...but I am a big fan of colors. Esp. Highlighters!! This help things to jump out. Esp. of you create a routine for what color goes with with what class or activity.

    I am also starting my pre req. this siemester and from my past college exp. a calender, post its and highlighters were with me at all times.

  10. by   daisyt83
    Quote from go2hvn4
    I recorded my notes and reading material. I listened to them commuting in the car, bathing the baby, cooking, etc.
    This sounds like a really great idea. I also have four kids and am not always able to go read on my own. What type of recorder did you use? Could you recommend one?
  11. by   go2hvn4
    Well, that was 12 yrs ago, I used a sharp w/ the cassettes. They still have these kind available. I liked that I could label the tapes and switch them out. Their might be some more high tech ones out now. But like I said it doesn't have to be high tech to be organized. Simplicity is the best!! I carried extra batterys in my backpack also.
  12. by   daisyt83

    To the OP, I also recommend the calendar. In addition to that, I have a planner and I write everything in there too. I even schedule in study time, lol.
    I'm a terrible procrastinator, but this really helped me.
  13. by   mylife101
    I go to a website and print out a free calendar for each month in school and write down homework due dates, labs and test dates. Then I save a couple of month's worth of calendars on the desktop so all I have to do is click the icon and that calendar is everything going on and it is color coded. It also contains tests and important school things, but it also has trash day, kids music lessons, etc. I have 4 kids myself and this has seemed to help me a lot. Hope you find a way to get organized!
  14. by   SnowRain7489
    Yes, I use this planner that is attached. I have already filled it in for every day of the week. Include permanent items like lecture & clinical. Also include: study times (be specific on what ur going to do), exercise, sleep, meals, etc. Of course put in time w/ kids & things that u have to do w/ them, I'm sorry I'm not trying to sound ignorent I just don't have kids so I can't really give u advice on that part of your planning. I just wanted to attach this planner as it is a good way to visually see what amount of time u have for all the things u have to do. Space your items out, don't try to do it all in 1 day because guess what...You Can't, nobody can.