7 Ways to Get Organized for This School Year

Organize your school supplies and assigments with these useful tips

College student organizing his schedule with a notepad and paper witting next to a backpack
Organize your school life with some new tech tips.

 Westend61

Getting organized for school has become much easier than it was in previous generations thanks to the invention of high tech products, programs, services, and devices.

Here are seven of our favorite back to school tips for using technology to organize your school life this semester.

Use Cloud Backups to Save and Protect Your Work

Nothing throws a high school, university, or college student's schedule off more than the accidental deletion of important computer files. Losing an essay or project can put you hours, or even days, behind your classmates, and what's worse is accidentally deleting a file isn't an excuse many teachers will accept in this day and age. You're going to need a backup.

A man and woman using Google Drive and the cloud to sync files between a computer and a smartphone
Google Drive can save data to the cloud and sync files across devices. Westend61 / Brand X Pictures

By far the easiest and most-reliable backup method is to utilize a cloud save service. Once they're set up, they run in the background on your computer, tablet, or smartphone and save all changes to supported files to the cloud (i.e. their online servers).

Many cloud services offer a free option which is usually enough for most people if you're simply using it to backup Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files. Some of the more-popular ones worth checking out include Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. School organization has never been easier.

Get Enough Sleep and Exercise With a Smartwatch

Once classes start, it can be hard to make sure you're getting enough sleep and exercise. A smartwatch, like the ones designed by Fitbit, are a great solution to unorganized routines. They can tell you how long you were in bed, exactly how many minutes you were actually asleep, and even how deeply you were sleeping. They can also make you aware of how much, or little, you're exercising throughout the day and motivate you to move more if needed.

Woman lying in bed syncing her Fitbit fitness tracker with her Apple iPhone
Syncing your Fitbit tracker with your iPhone or Android smartphone is a great way to view your stats.  Fitbit

Many smartwatches also have the ability to sync to your smartphone or computer and can relay reminders which can help you stay on top of classes, meetings, and projects. Worthwhile smartwatches include the Fitbit Ionic, the Fitbit Versa, and the Apple Watch. Younger students may be interested in the Fitbit Ace.

Stay on Schedule With a Task Management App

Thanks to the advent of smartphones and computers, the days of using pen and paper to remember project deadlines and classes are long gone.

Microsoft To-Do app
Microsoft To-Do is great for keeping track of assignments.  Microsoft

The free calendar apps on your Apple, Android, or Windows device can easily keep track of your class schedules and assignments, but many students prefer to use apps or services that focus entirely on task management, such as Trello, Asana, and Microsoft To-Do. Each of these make it easy to create a task, set a due date for it, share it with friends or classmates, and mark it as done as soon as it's completed. These apps can also send you a notification or email when you need a reminder to check your reminders.

Keep Your Devices Charged With a Solar Powered Backpack

Odds are you'll invest in a new backpack to carry all of your books and electronics between classes when the semester starts, so you may as well grab one that has a built-in solar charger. A well-made backpack with solar batteries does a solid job of organizing your school supplies and they'll ensure you're never left with a dead laptop in a lecture or during a school trip.

Female college student taking a photo on her iPhone while charging it with her solar powered backpack
A solar backpack will help keep all your devices charged at school and on trips. BirkSun

On a budget or already have a backpack? Pick up a small portable solar charger instead.

Keep Track of Bags, Keys, and Wallets With Smart Tags

Misplacing your bag, car keys, wallet, or school supplies can derail your entire day, but there's no excuse for allowing this to happen now that smart tags exist. These clever devices can be attached to your belongings, or placed inside a bag or wallet. Once connected to your smartphone, it'll keep track of them via Bluetooth. The two main smart tags on the market are Tile and TrackR.

Reclaim Productivity With Internet Blocking Apps

Email, Facebook, and Twitter can become huge distractions that decrease your productivity enormously. One way to combat the allure of the internet's numerous distractions is to use an app designed to do just that.

Woman working on a laptop computer
Organize your computer time by forcing yourself to go offline.  Hero Images

Three popular services are Freedom, Cold Turkey, and StayFocused. Each one can block specific sites and services, or the internet as a whole, for a customizable period of time. They're the perfect tools for those that can't resist hitting that inbox refresh button just one more time.

Declutter Your Wallet by Digitizing Your Bank and Rewards Cards

There's nothing more embarrassing or time-consuming than spending five minutes at a checkout trying to find your bank or membership cards. It's time to streamline your wallet by removing all of your cards and adding them to your smartphone.

Blonde woman paying with her mobile phone in a shop
Organize your wallet or purse by adding all of your cards to your smartphone. KNSY / Corbis

All major smartphones now allow users to add their credit and debit card information to their mobile payment platform. Once entered, you can then use your phone to pay at businesses with a simple tap. Acceptance of this payment method is pretty widespread, so not only is this more convenient for you, but since your phone never shares your card number during a transaction, it's also much safer.

Reward or member cards can also be added to you smartphone with an app like StoCard on Android or the Passbook app on iPhone.