How to Organize Your College Classes

how to organize your college classes

One of the best parts about a new school year (besides choosing a planner) is getting the right supplies together. Every year, I would set up a notebook and binder for each class but this year I decided to do things a bit differently. I used a notebook and washi tape to label each class and I really love how it has been working out so far!

I bought a bunch of notebooks in various colors, one for each of the classes I’m taking this semester. Because I had a bunch of cute washi tape, I decided to use it to label my classes on the front of my notebooks.

college notebooks


I placed some clear scotch tape over the washi to prevent it from peeling off the notebook cover and it has been working really well! If you read my previous post about what to do with your college syllabus, I mentioned how I color code for each class. I also use this color coding in my notes.

college notes

I’ll use the color for that class to write headings and important information! I also feel like my notes are so much prettier and easier to read because of the “accent color”. At first I was worried it would take too much time to switch pens while taking notes, but it really hasn’t made too much of an impact.

I don’t get many handouts in my classes which is why I decided to forego the three ring binder this semester. However, all of my notebooks have a front pocket which is super handy for storing that syllabus I told ya is so super important! All of my notebooks look like this in the front which is great because that means the syllabus is always with me and it’s super easy for me to refer to whenever I have a question about a due date or assignment!

college syllabus

My method isn’t complicated or fancy, but it’s something that definitely works for me! I’d love to hear and see how you organize your school supplies. Feel free to write your own post and share your methods in the comments below! Maybe I’ll turn this into a linkup :)

  • Sydney Power

    I love the washi tape idea! My classes have a lot I mean a lot of handouts!!! I have to go with a binder and then have a notebook for notes inside. I think I am going to give this washi tape a try!

    • Most of the stuff for my classes is online, that’s why I decided to forego the binder this year!

  • Your notes are beautiful! I’m not the best note taker but I am very organized. I usually just write everything down in my planners, since I have one for work/life/everything and one just for school.

    Kirsten –

    • i do the same thing, but I have to have my notebooks and notes corresponding with my planner haha.

  • Anna Hubbard

    I always have to have those front pocket notebooks – they’re so handy! And I love your idea of using washi tape to label your notebooks – so cute and unique!
    -Anna |

    • Thanks Anna! I loved all the washi tape I had and wanted to find a good way to use it!

  • My notes (when I took them, lol) were never that pretty! You are destined for that A+ girl!

  • I have accent colors for my notes too! For my math classes I use green for important equations and purple for examples. It works so well!

    Caitlyn |

    • Oh I love that! Such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • I used to color code everything, but I got super lazy and stopped doing it. Your notebooks are super cute!

    Alix |

    • Thank you! I love keeping everything color coordinated, it makes me feel like I have it all together lol.

  • I love seeing organizational posts like this! I try so hard to be organized, but it’s so hard!

  • These are such great tips! I’m definitely trying out the accent colour for each subject with different coloured pens. It sounds like a great idea. I also have notebooks in different colours, I don’t know why I never thought of writing the notes in different colours as well. Thank you! :)

  • Love this method! I’m definitely going to have to try it!

  • Macarena Ferreira

    Ummmm I’ll have your handwriting please. :)

    xo //

    • Haha thank you! It definitely wasn’t always this nice.

  • Loving this method!! Your handwriting is so nice, mine sucks!!!

    • Thank you Bella! It didn’t always look like this, trust me!

  • Miss ALK

    OMG you look so organized haha!! I always had two big binders- one for my M/W classes (or senior year I had Monday/Friday classes), and one for T/TH classes. And then I did dividers in the binder for the different classes.

    xoxo A

    • Oh I like that method too! I know a few people who organize their lives that way :)

  • Amy

    I love color coding my notes too! Never thought to use the corresponding color as an accent color for my notes though!


    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • I just recently started doing it and I love it!

  • I’m taking 17 credits this semester and I wish I would have seen this before classes started. Maybe things wouldn’t be as hectic as they are now lol. By any chance, do you have advice on using spiral notebooks? After a while, the spirals start to bend really badly and it make using them hard.

    All your work looks so organized, if only my notebooks and binders could look that good lol.

    ♡♡♡ //

    • Hi Joanne! My advice for using spiral notebooks is to try to get the Five Star brand if you can (the spirals are really sturdy and never bend for me!) also, try to only put the notebooks you need in your backpack for the day and when you’re done, store them somewhere that the spirals won’t be bent or squeezed. Also, I sometimes alternate the notebooks when they’re in my backpack like I’ll flip the notebooks around and alternate so the spirals aren’t touching if that makes any sense? And I put my notebooks on my bookshelf when I don’t need them that day. I just try to be super conscious and aware of how I treat them so they last longer! Hope that helps! Have a good semester :)

    • Angelina LaRotonda

      Hey, I have always carried one notebook with me to classes that I take notes in during class. This notebook doesn’t matter how it looks or if it gets bent because I switch everything to my nice notebooks at home. This gives me the chance to review and organize! It really helps me remember what I learned!

  • Such a great system! I used binders in high school and college because I was really hard on notebooks. I also loved designing binder covers!
    Sending this to my little sister!

    • I did the same thing! This year I’m doing it differently and skipping the binder :)

  • This is the same method I use and have been using since about high school when teachers started letting us organize our supplies how we want. This semester I’m trying something new though and printing out all of my readings that our professors post online and keeping them in an accordion folder but transferring them ti a big binder when the folder gets full.

    • Oh I like that idea! I’ve never used an accordion folder but they always fascinated me haha.

  • Tara

    Hi Kayla! As a fellow future SLP, I wanted to let you know of a system I found super useful for me during my undergrad clinical practicum! This is also my last semester in undergrad (crazy how time flies!) but I use a clipboard binder for each of my clients (as an undergrad I only have one), but it’s been so amazing! You can keep reinforcements and visuals in there, as well as data collection sheets and things you’re working on. Its all in one place and easy to carry around. I bought some at target for around $8 or $9, but you can get them almost anywhere. Good luck getting into grad school!

  • Delaine Gneco

    Hi! Which method was easier/better for you? Using a notebook and binder for each class, or the colored code notebook?

    • Hi Delaine! I found using a notebook with a folder pocket was best because a lot of my classes didn’t give me many handouts. And I prefer taking notes in a notebook as opposed to loose leaf paper in a binder. Sorry it took me so long to respond, hope that helps!

      • Delaine Gneco

        No problem, thank you so much.