How to stay organized in college with your smartphone

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Stay organized in college with the use of something you most likely have in your pocket---your smartphone. Fifteen years ago, the main tool for keeping track of day-to-day activities was a day-planner which was cumbersome to carry around, and easily misplaced.

Smartphones, now proverbial extensions of our bodies, are able to accomplish everything that pen and paper could do, and more. As a bonus, it can be backed up in multiple locations in case you misplace your phone.

With the use of your smartphone, you can ensure that your semester is organized, that you are on-time for events, and that your study time is productive.

Calendar your semester

CalendarA major benefit of smartphone calendars is audio alerts. This feature is invaluable, especially for those who forget to check their calendars on a regular basis.

Organizing the information from your syllabi at the beginning of the semester is time consuming, but worthwhile. Once it's done, you don't have to stress about missing deadlines. Within the first day or two of class, you should:

As the semester moves on, you'll be glad that you don't have to be constantly checking your syllabi. Edit your calendar if needed. Don't assume you'll remember that the test was moved forwards or backwards a week. As soon as events come up, input them into the calendar. This will keep you from accidentally double booking yourself with a study group on the same night as your friend's birthday party.


AlarmsIt used to be that we only set alarms to get up in the morning. Smartphone alarms are much more versatile because you can set as many as you want, you can set them up to a week in advance, you can set reoccurring alarms by day and time, and even name the alarms. If you tend to be forgetful, use this feature to it's full advantage.

You might start getting worried that you will have too many alarms going on, but alarms can do two very important things: 1) they can remove the worry to remember everything, which can lead to unnecessary stress and lessened focus when you do get around to things; and 2) they will help you get mentally prepared for a task before you have to actually start working on it, thus making your time more productive.


TimerTimers are an invaluable tool for organizing your study time. Some people are comfortable studying for hours at a time. For those who are more easily distracted, timers will help you stay on task, while allowing time for breaks. This is especially helpful for those with ADD or ADHD.


To-do listDo you always feel like you write a to-do list and then you can't find it? There are a number of apps in phones that will allow you to create notes with different names. If you'd like a dedicated “to-do” list app, Wunderlist, Task, and Pocketlist are all included on the Forbes “Best To-Do list Apps.” Several apps allow you to create lists verbally.

Smartphones are here to stay and vital for people who are either incredibly busy or incredibly forgetful. With your smartphone, you can create a schedule with manageable goals, study time with fewer distractions, and set alarms that remind you to be where you're supposed to be, when you're supposed to be long as you stick with the plan!