Organisational Skills for Students [5 Top Tips]

Dec 7, 2020

In this post, we share 5 top organisational skills for students.

Being organised as a student can help you to make the most out of your time at university by helping you to get good grades, find a job before graduating and to help you enjoy your student life.

Read on to find out more about organisational skills as a student, and how they will help you now and after university.

Organisational Skills for Students – What are they?

Organisational skills, at the most basic level, are the traits that allow an individual to maintain concentration levels whilst completing different pieces of work.

For students, these skills can be used to help you to achieve a multitude of tasks. Some examples of these tasks include ensuring that you submit your coursework assignments before the set due dates as well as helping you to manage other students in group tasks.

By developing the organisational skills that are written about below, even the most disorganised of students will be able to transition yourselves into students that can effectively organise your workload and in turn, succeed at University.

1. Prioritization

One of the most important organisational skills is being able to prioritize tasks. 

As University students, you are often set multiple assignment deadlines over a short space of time so it is imperative that you are able to prioritize the order in which the assignments need to be completed. 

For example, you could be halfway through completing an important paper with a deadline that is a month away when you are set another assignment that has a closer deadline. 

This would require yourself to pause your current assignment and to switch your focus to the assignment with the earlier deadline.

One way in which this organisational skill can be developed is by setting goals.

An effective way to set goals is to purchase a diary or a planner and then write in the tasks/assignments that you want to complete by a certain date. You should start with the tasks/assignments that have the closest due date and then work your way forward from there.

This will help you to visualise what needs to be achieved within a certain time frame and should motivate you to achieve those goals. If you are successful in keeping to your goals then managing your workload at University should become a lot easier.

2. Planning

Another organisational skill for students is planning. One of the most common reasons why students miss deadlines when it comes to written coursework is that they are unable to clearly organise their thoughts.

Planning is a way to get around this because if you spend time concentrating on what the written content will be focused on before you even begin the writing process then you will be less likely to have a disorganised assignment. 

This means that if you plan what you are going to write rather than just jumping straight in and writing instantly, you will be able to complete the assignments on time and to a better standard.

A way to go about obtaining this organisational skill is to break the planning process down. The planning process can be broken down into three sections: Research, Paragraphs and Bullet Points.


2.1. Research

Before you do anything else, you want to make sure that you fully understand the topic that you are going to write about. In order to do this, you will need to thoroughly research the topic of your assignment until you are confident that you know enough to be able to write about it.

2.2. Paragraphs

By conducting the research you will have learnt about the subsections of the general topic. You can then divide these subsections up into different paragraphs for your assignment to help organise the flow of the content. 

2.3. Bullet Points

Once you are sure on the topics of the paragraphs you should make a few bullet notes under each paragraph section. This is so that you can refer back to the finer points that you want to make about each individual topic when writing your assignment. 

Once your plan is complete all that needs to be done is to flesh it out by writing up the assignment in full. Because you have your plan to refer back to with all of your points organised, the writing up process should not take too long meaning that you will have no problem meeting your deadlines.

3. Time Management

Organisational skills for students are not solely used to help meet deadlines and for revision preparation. There needs to be time that is organised for the social side of University as well.

Making sure that you allow time to enjoy yourself is crucial to ensure that you are not overloaded by deadlines, revision, etc. This means that when you do come back to the more academic tasks, you will feel refreshed and ready to achieve your goals. 

There are so many activities that you can experience whilst at University during your social time so there will certainly be something for you. These activities can range from joining a society, enjoying the nightlife or even just going for a coffee with your flatmates.

However, it is important to note that this social time must be managed like any other part of your time at University. If you spend too much time doing one thing, such as socialising, you will not leave enough time for other tasks such as assignments or revision. This will ultimately mean that your time at University will not be as successful as it could have been due to you not managing your time properly.

If you want to read more about how to manage your time, please follow the link below to another one of our brilliant posts and scroll down to the time management section.

What to do if you’re struggling with university?

Ellen Kelley

4. Communication

In addition to the organisational skills that have already been mentioned, communication differs slightly as this skill does not just involve yourself but other students too.

Depending on your course, there may be times at University where some of your module grades will be assessed by group tasks such as group presentations. 

This is why communication is an extremely important skill for you, as students, to learn. If you are able to organise the members of your group by communicating effectively then it is much more likely that your group task will be a success. 

This is because by communicating your views to other group members they will be able to understand what you believe is required from them in the group task. This way the group members will be more sure of their roles within the group because they would have been clearly communicated to them.

There is a lot more to being an effective communicator than just being the one that gives out instructions to others, communication is a multifaceted skill. If you would like to learn more about developing your communication skills then click on the link below to read about 6 effective communication skills to develop in 2020.

6 Effective Communication Skills To Develop In 2020

students collaborating

Photo by from Pexels

5. Self-Motivation

ProjectElon – Study Motivation

One of the hardest but definitely one of the most important organisational skills to develop is self-motivation. In order to be able to develop the organisational skills mentioned so far, you need to be motivated. If you are not able to motivate yourself to develop your organisational skills then it will simply not happen. 

One way to motivate yourself to achieve your goals is to organise your thoughts. If you are a University student struggling for motivation to get organised, let’s look at a way that you could organise your thoughts.

By making the decision to attend a University you obviously want to achieve a good degree. So you should think about the feeling of achievement and pride that you will experience when you finally get your hands on that degree. But in order to achieve that feeling you know that you need to put the work in. This means developing organisational skills such as prioritization, planning, time management, communication, etc.

If you are able to motivate yourself to want to develop these skills then you have already won half of the battle.

Summary: Organisational tips for students

These are just some of the organisational skills that you will need to succeed at University, but they are not limited to academic institutions.

All of the organisational skills mentioned in this blog post are transferable into jobs such as graduate roles. Organisational skills are extremely valuable in pretty much every industry so by developing these skills during your time at University, you will be setting yourself up nicely to transition into a well paid graduate role after your graduation.

Featured image credit: Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

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