Paper, paper - everywhere!

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I'll admit, I'm not a very organized person. I'm pretty fly-by-the-seat of my pants spontaneous, and I can tell already that i'm going to have a BIG problem once school starts if I don't get it under control now. :chuckle

I'm not the most well-organized person on the planet....... just the amount of papers I have right now is baffling, much less when school actually begins!

So any suggestions on taming the paper monster? Syllabuses, calendars, notes, research assignments, etc


438 Posts

2 words...

accordian (accordion?) file! it's cheap, flexible, has lots of dividers, easy to take w/ you, unless your syllabi are huge, then I would suggest 3-ring binders and dividers.



25 Posts

I haven't found anything that really helps me to be organized. What I have done to keep myself at least 'half-way' organized is to keep a binder and i have lots of removable tabs that I can write on so nothing is permanent if i need to move something or take something out.


1,483 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

I admit that I'm very organized, with files and notebooks and staples, paperclips and 3-hole punches. A place for everything.

But...........I keep everything. That's my downfall. Just this weekend I weeded out my filing cabinet. Why was I keeping LPN program info, Surgical Tech program info, etc., when I wasn't even going to APPLY to these programs? So, out it all went. Don't keep anything you don't need. Don't keep redundant information. I don't even keep old checks anymore once the statement comes in from the bank.

In terms of class stuff, I have yet to figure out what to keep and what to toss. I think it will depend on the instructor, and the testing. If tests are not cumulative, I may just keep the tests and important notes. If they are cumulative, I'll keep everything. I did just toss out all my Medical Terminology notes because I have the flash cards and book - the notes were sort of pointless.

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Date everything as soon as you receive it. 3 ring bnders, plenty of tab dividers.

I have a small baker's rack that i keep each day's stuff on. This keeps it together, and all i have to do is swap what's in the shelf for what's in the bag.


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.
3-ring binders and dividers

that's me too. For each section, I put the syllabus, calendars, etc. right at the front for quick reference then the rest of the notes and stuff go in order behind that. It has worked well for me. I started out with separate folders but soon switched to a large 3 ring so everything would be right together.


65 Posts

2 words...

accordian (accordion?) file! it's cheap, flexible, has lots of dividers, easy to take w/ you, unless your syllabi are huge, then I would suggest 3-ring binders and dividers.


For my pre-req's I use your standard 2 pocket folder. I am organized and have already thought about what to do when I'm in nursing school (that's not sick, is it?) :rolleyes: Anyways, I plan on using the accordian also and want to have a file cabinet specifically for my nursing classes since I too, have a tendency to save everything!

Good luck and have fun organizing!


423 Posts

2 words...

accordian (accordion?) file! it's cheap, flexible, has lots of dividers, easy to take w/ you, unless your syllabi are huge, then I would suggest 3-ring binders and dividers.


Teheehee! I have one of those, and I barely found it (after not knowing where it was for 3 months) beneath all of my papers, lol. I am extremely disorganized....I have found that sitting down once a week, and going through all of the papers I have accumulated works best for me...I file them or throw them away. Right now, with the hustle and bustle of final exams, it's hopless for us disorganized folks. Lecture notes are crinkling under my chair rollers as I type this:uhoh3: Papers everywhere. I think it might come down to some major self discipline. Who knows.:)


612 Posts

I swear by binders too. Everything will be in one place at your fingertips for quick reference. I've helped several people at our school with my example whose "filing system" consisted of papers literally spilling out of their book bags, stuck to wet soda cans, etc. :chuckle It's a good idea to get into the organizing pattern now, as a nurse this will be important. I also keep a little planner calendar with me at all times - got mine at the dollar store - to keep track of exam dates, upcoming projects due, etc. Helps a lot!

stressgal, RN

589 Posts

Specializes in CCRN.

Okay, I am VERY organized, not to mention anal. I have a 3 ring binder and folder for each course. I also have two bags to carry my stuff back and forth. One a rolling backpack for the busy days with lots of books to carry, and a small bag to throw over my sholder for the light days. (I happened to get this bag one year with the purchase of some perfume and just had never used it, it was in the back of my closet.) I keep a set of pens, pencils, and highlighters in each binder so I do not have to worry about digging one out of my bag at class. We have a dollar store close and I was able to find great canvas, 3 ring pencil bags for under a dollar each. I use tab dividers in all the binders as well as a Mead brand Bungee folder. These are great to keep quizzes and misc. pieces of paper together. I also place my sylabus and class calander in page protectors as well as a calendar made on my computer that has a space for assignments due and readings required. Oh, I also include a sheet indicating the possible points for the course so I can keep track as papers are handed out. Told you! It reallly doesn't take any time to do this as everything is saved on my computer and I just make a few changes each quarter, empty the notebooks at the end of a quarter and am ready to go for the next. I have received many compliments on my ideas and have classmates utilizing the same techniques. It all stems from the fact that I am truly lazy. I am organized so I have more time to enjoy my family and goof off.

kahumai, RN

304 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry.

Binders and a 3-hole punch....lifesavers.

I have a 2-inch binder for Med/Surg which is just about filled to max (thank God the semester is over!!) I have saved every handout, worksheet, case study, powerpoint, you name it...All of these things go into sections tabbed Exam 1, Exam 2, etc. Then, inside each section I have those little paper Post-It tabs (in bright colors :) ) separating each day of class so that I know that this case study goes with this power point, etc. It has helped me so much. Our syllabi comes as a booklet, but I ripped it apart, 3-hole punched it, and stuck it in the front with the schedule for the class. It usually takes a few hours to do all of my binders each semester, but I'm one of a few people who can find everything!!!

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