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pre-meds, how do you stay organized?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gobbler, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. gobbler

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    I am having a terrible time staying organized with my coursework so I am wondering what tactics my fellow students have used to stay organized.

    I tried a variety of tactics.

    One of them is to have a big binder divided into 5 sections for each of the 5 courses I am taking. I put all my notes, lecture print outs, course syllabus in there. First couple weeks, goes well. Couple weeks after that, binder exceed capacity, all the pages came off and everything is a mess.

    I also tried using a magazine holder thingie to stuff the stuff I have for my courses. Problem is, I can't seem to remember to put the stuff into those magazine holders.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    what about multiple binders? When one fills up, go to the next.
     
  4. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    go electronic.



    I use some binders for papers that I can't get electronic copies for, but everything else I have folders for in my computer (that I backup roughly monthly). Also, Microsoft OneNote is AMAZING at keeping your notes organized. You can attach documents, pictures, audio files, video files, whatever you need in it and keep it all organized. plus the search function allows you to search through your notes if you ever wondered if a subject was brought up in a class. Oh and having a tablet helps too because you can draw graphs and diagrams by hand. Also, lots of textbooks have PDF copies or CDs with all their pictures. Great to complete your notes.
     
  5. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    I second this. The problem I've found with binders is that it's a pain in the ass to sort through AND you can't SEARCH for something you need.

    This is not so with a digital format. Technology FTW!:thumbup:
     
  6. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I have a file cabinet, I don't allways put school stuff in it but if I have lots of papers that's where it goes.
     
  7. gobbler

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    I find the formatting in onenote is a pain in the butt. I inserted copies of my lecture slides and tried to write notes on it. When I try to print, it is all over the place. Had to switch back to MS word.
     
  8. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    I don't... hahahaha. Man this semester was a NIGHTMARE for me as far as organization goes. Usually I am well on top of things. This semester though, I had one notebook that I used in all 4 lectures, had pages torn out, etc. Hell I didn't even have my chemistry textbook. My girlfriend (now exgirlfriend) had it so I just used hers and we did all our homework together.

    This semester was definitely the exception. Usually I have to have a clean notebook for every class. I have to have matching folders (color needs to be the same). I label each with one of those fancy dancy label makers. I even have separate folders for my labs.
     
  9. Zona Pellucida

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    About a week to two weeks before any major exam, I began working on my own study guide for the exam, filled with specific power point slides that were harped on a lot in lecture and any other notes I took during the lectures. Also, if there was a concept I did not fully understand or that I wanted worded better, I would (seriously) go to wikipedia and learn as much as I could on a specific protein, for example importins for cell biology, copy the explanation into my guide and study from that.

    Also, office hours is HUGE. It lets the teachers know you care, develops personal relationships (LoR!), and can really help you out in the end.
     
  10. JeetKuneDo

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    Yes, we must all learn the power of wikipedia. I'd say if I had to rank importance of material to study from for my science classes, it'd be:
    1) Professor lecture notes

    2) Wikipedia

    3) The Textbook
     
  11. savant

    savant XIII
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    Specifically, what are your organizational problems? Losing notes and papers? Not understanding what is important and not important? Too much stuff?
     
  12. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    It may take some getting used to, but I usually don't have a problem with OneNote. Plus, exporting to PDF is the shizzlez. Also, I still type most of the notes from class supplymented with screen clippings from the professor slides/handouts. I would say I only use the tablet function about 20% of the time in my notes, but that 20% makes exactly for the times when I would really wish I could just draw an arrow or do a quick diagram.
     
  13. billy72583

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    This was my tactic. As you received papers/documents/syllabi, wedge the papers in the appropriate text book at approximately the chapter you are currently studying. Occasionally, some may occasionally fall out into your backpack but as along as you periodically look through those and re-insert them into your book you should be fine. The key is to not let them sit there long enough to become what is essentially a giant ball of lint.
     
  14. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
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    I think the best thing is to experiment around a little bit and figure out the best solution for you personally. Accumulate all the tips in this thread that you like, and try out the most promising until you find the best way to do it.

    I'm still trying to perfect my system. I hand-write my notes, so for each class I have a notebook with a couple of pockets. Next semester, I'll also have a color-coded folder or small (1-1.5") binder with dividers for each class's papers. I think labs are going to get a binder with the lab manual printed out and three-hole punched inside of it.
     
  15. gonj

    gonj Oh no you di'int
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    separate med sized binders for each class works for me
     
  16. Forbes

    Forbes K20A2
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    Epipen is not kidding. Onenote has saved me over 300 pages in organic chemistry alone. Not only are you super duper organized, but also you are doing the environment a favor I suppose. However a tablet is pretty much required if you are gonna take notes in classes like Organic, and Physics where writing things other than words and simple equations are required.
     
  17. IsMD4me

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    WOW thanks for the advice...this is pretty helpful... those tablets are probably pretty expensive...I don't know too many people that use them either...

    good advice nonetheless.
     
  18. Forbes

    Forbes K20A2
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    Au contraire, go on Ebay and you can get an X61 (newest edition) equipped very nicely for the same price as a macbook with twice the functionality. Not hating on macbooks, I just use 1400$ as a upper/middle price laptop.

    I bought mine for that price from ebay with a 3 year warranty, it has treated me well.
     
  19. Maygyver

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    I lay everything on the floor. The most important stuff usually finds its way to the top. ;)
     
  20. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    You totally stole my thunder! I was going to say that I put all my important stuff on the floor! :laugh:
     
  21. lovedocta07

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  22. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    Best strategy I've seen yet...although it does get a bit tough to walk around the apartment by the middle of November ;)

    I also utilize scraps of paper containing important due dates and appointments. The scraps of paper fit conveniently within my pockets. Left front pocket is priority one, right is priority two, and rear pockets are variable (these are largely used for larger pieces of paper rather than scraps).

    If I wasn't perpetually running down my last $20, I would look into a tablet and OneNote. Then again, I only have one semester of undergrad work left.
     
  23. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    I used to do the papers, but now I set alarms of my phone!
     
  24. bnleong

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    What I do is for each class I have color coded folders. These are just folders without pockets so pasically its just a divider.

    For a class like bio that contains many lecture notes. I will divide the material up based on exams. IF there are three exams, I will put exam 1 material into green folder 1, and exam 2 material into green folder two and so on. I would do the same for physics using the red folders. A class like english would likely have a lot less notes so 1 folder may suffice.

    In addition, I have 1-2 composition notebooks per class also color coded. These are my own notes that I take after lectures. During the lecture, I will scribble some things down but they are basically illegible so I rewrite any important information into my notebooks.

    Lastly, For each class, I have a folder in my computer with backups of all the powerpoint slides, and written assignments. I may also have practice exams and keep links to information that I used to study.

    I have tried organizing everything electronically but I have found that being near or in front of a computer will unavoidably lead me to go on Youtube where I will spend 13 hours watching random things like marines blowing up washing machines and random objects.
     
  25. gobbler

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    So I suppose for those of you using onenote, you guys don't exactly print out your notes do you?
     

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