Update your planner, every day.
As the semester goes on, keep updating your planner in the daily section when assignments come up. Also add non-academic things to your planner that you need to be sure not to forget. Think doctor appointments, work meetings, and club meetings.
Secure all the resources you need for each week.
This principle will apply most to classes involving a variety of materials, rather than one main textbook. If your class has frequent readings, download all the readings you will need for that week. Put them in your desktop folder for that class. If you’ll be reading a new book next week, make sure you have it and switch out your materials. Friday is probably the best day to get everything together quickly for the next week. If you’re planning to check out for part of the weekend, once you are back in school mode, your assignments will be ready for you to tackle.
Bring the right materials to each class by planning the day before.
Each night, make sure you have the folder and the notebook/binder for each class the next day.
Keep your technology updated, and back up your files.
This important step is often overlooked or put off, but it’s easy to do and helps avoid a student’s worst nightmare: your computer crashes right before a major paper is due, when you lose the file and have to beg your professor for an extension and wallow as you contemplate whether technology is destroying society. This means a lot of stress for you, and your professor is likely to see this kind of predicament as a poor planning problem rather than a technology problem. So, with better planning, you can avoid this!
There are lots of cloud-based options for storage, including iCloud, GoogleDrive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Even if your computer crashes or gets stolen, you can still access your documents in the cloud.
You could also back up to an external hard drive. If these things are still confusing, just go to Tech Services and ask for help! They will be happy to restore you with a sense of academic calm.
Put your semester into deep storage.
At the end of each semester, make a new folder and place all the classes from the past semester there, so you can access them again if you need to but so that they don’t clutter up your day-to-day life. Label this folder something obvious, like Spring 2018 Courses, or university Semester 1. Here’s an example: