ORGANIZING NOTES AND MATERIALS (It is never too late to get organized!)


Make at least four copies, one of which is reduced enough to be taped to the inside cover of your academic planner. In addition, tape copies on the on the inside of each binder or spiral notebook, and give one copy to your parents.

Binder Method for Notes

  • Divide classes into two binders (i.e. English/History/Language & Math/Science/Elective)
  • Use dividers with pockets to separate classes
  • At the end of each term, transfer notes to one large “master binder” that you will keep in a safe place for final exams.

Spiral Notebook Method for Notes

  • Make sure you buy the notebooks that have pockets for loose-leaf handouts
  • If you choose to devote more than one class per notebook, make sure you buy notebooks that have dividers with pockets built in.
  • Buy new notebooks for each term, and store your old notebooks in a safe place for final exams.
  • You can also buy an accordion folder (the plastic ones are the sturdiest) in which to keep loose-leaf handouts from term to term.


  • Keep all your relevant textbooks for the current term in your locker; rotate out at the end of each term.
  • Remember to write your name clearly and in large letters in all of your textbooks to prevent loss and/or theft.
  • Obviously, keeping your locker clean and clutter free will make it easier to find what you need when you need it and get to class on time.

The "backpack check":

These things should always be in your backpack:

  • Appropriate binders or notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Academic planner
  • Several pens and pencils
  • Highlighters or markers for underlining
  • Portable 3-hole punch if you use binders
  • Calculator and/or other math tools

Final Tips

  • Aim to clean out your notebooks every Sunday night after filling out your academic planner; throw away any notes or pieces of paper that are irrelevant.
  • Aim to clean out your backpack every two weeks.
  • Aim to clean out your locker at the end of every month.
  • If you lose your academic planner do everything in your power to find it; but if you still can’t find it after several days, buy a new one right away. Do not wait weeks to replace it!
Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 4:25 PM