Staff Opinion: Why UP students should organize their lives today

By Natalie Nygren | September 13, 2018 9:39pm
Natalie Nygren is The Beacon's Community Engagement Editor. She shares her tips on staying hyper-organized.

As a busy college student with several part-time jobs, 15 credits of upper-division marketing classes and an undying love for watching reruns of “The Office,” I have learned how important it is to keep my life hyper-organized. My closet is organized by occasion, my class folders and notes are color-coded, and I have my to-do list blocked out with times in my iCalendar. 

While I haven’t always been the most organized person (just ask my mom about my bedroom tornadoes in high school), I’ve figured out methods that work to keep my life organized at all times. And I think that every college student can (and should) do the same. 

Not convinced? Here are three reasons why you should hyper-organize your life today: 

  1. Never miss a required reading or homework assignment again. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into class every day knowing what’s due and that the completed assignment is done and ready to hand in? With an organized schedule, this can be your reality! 
  2. Take advantage of those few extra minutes of sleep before your 8:10am class. If you’re anything like me, the sound of an alarm loudly interrupting precious sleep makes you seriously consider dropping out of school and staying in bed forever. Packing your backpack, choosing an outfit and scheduling out the following day in your calendar before bed can let you hit snooze in the morning. Who doesn’t love extra sleep? 
  3. Earn time for yourself to spend however YOU want. While organizing your life won’t necessarily take assignments or working hours off your plate, it does allow you to schedule time for yourself to spend with friends, cozy up to binge your favorite TV show or make yourself your favorite dinner. 

It sounds too good to be true, but taking some time to organize will help you be a more balanced and happy person. Not sure where to start? Here are two quick tips & tools I use in my hyper-organized life, and maybe you’ll love them as much as I do! Good luck, Pilots.

  1. Trello. I cannot recommend this website/app enough. While mostly used by collaborative teams in business, I’ve adapted this app to outline all of my to-dos for the week in the form of boards, cards, and more awesome features that are unique to me. Here’s what my board looks like at the moment: 
Natalie Nygren encourages students to take control of their schedule using Trello. Image submitted by Natalie Nygren.

 2. Schedule by time. While Trello helps outline all my to-dos in the near future by categories, it’s not super great at scheduling due dates and times. I usually take my Trello tasks and spend a few minutes each night scheduling out assignments, meetings, classes and personal tasks on my calendar for the next day. This gives your life some structure day-to-day and helps conquer procrastination. 

While I know it can seem like a daunting task – especially if you’re used to “winging it” throughout the day – I promise spending the time now will save you time in the long run.

Natalie Nygren is a marketing major with a minor in communication. She is the Community Engagement Editor for The Beacon and can be reached at