Thursday, October 25, 2007

Takin' Notes at Santa Monica City College

today i was lucky enough to be a guest in Dyana Valentine’s class at Santa Monica College. Ms. Valentine teaches students the ins and outs of organizing your life--which is essential for college survival. She is also owner and brainchild of Creative Collaboration, which helps clients generate new ideas and execute projects successfully through workshops, individual and organizational consultations.

I stopped by for some face time with Dyana but I also gave the students a bit of neato knowledge in the department of keeping your notebook organized. it’s important to note that there is no one way to organize your schoolwork.

you could have; one 5 subject notebook for all of your classes
one very large binder for all of your classes
five 1 subject notebooks
five 1 inch binders
or my favorite--the combo
one 5 subject notebook and one big binder

honestly, that’s what i love about organizing--it’s not one size fits all!
so, onward and upward--some tips to keep it all together (your notebook/binder, that is)

five tips for notebook/binder organization

my favorite color is...
it’s important that you pick colors for your notebooks and binders. it ensures that when you’re in a rush, you know without hesitation what you’re grabbing. your favorite color can be your favorite subject. or when you think of science you think blue. whatever applies to you--incorporate that.

i never met a label i didn’t like...
use a sharpie. print out a label on the computer. use a p-touch. doesn’t matter. if you choose to go monochromatic on your notebook choice, the label is what will keep art class from meeting math class. also, you’ll want to label the pockets inside your notebook/binder. otherwise, papers become a big ‘ole catchall for pretty much everything. some label/category ideas are; syllabus (should be the very first thing for any subject) quiz/tests returned
assignments/papers to be turned in
study partners phone #’s/email

tab this...
if you are using a binder, it’s wise to stock up on some subject dividers. try to find the ones with pockets so they can do double duty (corralling information and dividing subjects). again, you’ll want to label the tabs on the subject dividers as well as the corresponding pockets.

titles ‘n’ dates...
in order for you to know what you’re actually looking at in your notebook/binder, it’s oh, so very important to date each lecture. i also strongly advise giving the lecture some sort of title or name--that way when you go to study for the exam, you’ll recognize the content information right away instead of having to read through every page (huge time saver).

scheduled maintenance...
one of the most important rules of organizing is regular, scheduled maintenance. a good way to keep up with these notebook/binder tune-ups is right after a quiz. they happen often enough to keep you updated and organized and it’s also a great time to figure out what systems work best and which systems can say sayonara!

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