College Organization Tips You Can’t Learn From Books

Learn how to organize your study binder efficiently. Practical tips on designing your binder.

+ How to organize your binders for college

5 min read

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I tested and approved of. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that are no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks.

Here are some tips on organizing and decorating your binder

How to decorate your binder?

  • add name & class
  • pick a color theme
  • design collages 
  • add calligraphy

1. Create collages

Design collages with photographs and quotes. I chose a sophisticated black and white theme for Anatomy and Art:

photo by Bianca Soriano

2. Organize your subjects by color

It is easier for you to know which notebook is for what subject when you have different colors.

For example, I have blue for anatomy and green for art:

photo by Bianca Soriano

3. Calligraphy is trending right now

You can use Crayola markers like the one below or a calligraphy pen.

photo by Bianca Soriano

I also love to write with the black Itoya Doubleheader calligraphy marker. It has a rich and smooth quality ink for $2.41. You can check them out in several awesome colors at Blick Arts materials: here

How to organize your binder?

1. Add tabs and dividers

  • keep quizzes, tests, or reviewers in divider pockets
  • or add tabs per unit

Keeping summarized papers of units like quizzes, tests, or reviewers in divider pockets helps you to visualize all the main ideas of your subject.

Sticking tabs helps to mark the location of a new unit on your binder.

2. Order your notes

  • syllabus
  • powerpoint/printed notes
  • handwritten lecture notes
  • order from oldest to newest

The first page in your binder is the syllabus.

It is an easy reference to your teacher’s contact info when you need help this semester. Remember to reference to the weight of tests and assignments to help you meet your academic goals.

Next is your notes.

Put powerpoint and printed notes first along with any handwritten notes you took during a lecture. That way all notes relevant to a concept is in one place.

To stay organized, keep your notes in order from oldest to newest.

Pro tip: Use sticky notes for questions you have and don’t forget to ask your professor.


pin it for later

Materials ideas + recommendations

Notebooks: Michael’s

Writing Supplies:

How do you take notes?

Feel free to comment down below

I like to draw quick doodles and tend to write all over my sticky notes.

Be sure to check out our new post on 5 Essential Drawing Tools for Beginners!

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