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Notebooks or Binders??? Laptops and studying?!

CityGal55CityGal55 Posts: 195Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2006 in College Life
I'm about to start classes and was just wondering what the most productive school supplies are in college, since it isn't like high school where you can run back to your locker when you need something.

I was originally planning on using binders for all my classes, but then I realized that on days when I have 3 classes back to back, carrying around three binders might be too hard. Also, the desks in lectures are so small...will I even have room?

The reason I like binders is because they make staying organized easier, because you can just punch holes in anything as you go and move the pages around.

Notebooks take up less room, but in my opinion, they get messy SO easily, and then there is nowhere to put old tests and handouts.

About laptops...should I carry it around all the time in case I want to type something up without going back to my dorm? That seems really annoying, but since studying in your dorm seems pointless (too many distractions, too noisy, etc), what should I plan on doing here?!
Post edited by CityGal55 on

Replies to: Notebooks or Binders??? Laptops and studying?!

  • ThinManThinMan Posts: 248Registered User Junior Member
    In my experience, you use a lot less paper in college than in high school, so having a binder for each class is probably overkill. I would recommend taking a clipboard of some sort to your classes, and then emptying the papers into a big binder for all your subjects at the end of every day. I use a variant of this system (instead of a clipboard I use a small binder that lets me divide up my notes by subject), and it seems to work pretty well.
  • kwtortoisekwtortoise Posts: 654Registered User Member
    I would use a good-sized binder for all three classes together for example (probably 1.5 inches, emptying out old notes as you go). Personal opinion again here: laptops in class are annoying. You have to start them up, you can't diagram stuff unless you have a tablet one, and they take up space on the desk and your backpack. Carry an old fashioned planner to jot to-do lists and due dates of papers and homework.

    Studying in your dorm doesn't have to be pointless--you can find quiet times when no one is there, or gather all your stuff and go down to the library, etc. There is always earplugs or music as well. Learning to study in a less than perfect environment is a good skill to learn.

    I've never used spiral notebooks. I think I tried to once in junior high and ran out of space, besides not having organization for other misc papers. I have always used binders, and keep plastic file cases at home (or dorm) with folders for old papers and notes once I'm done with them.
  • scorpscorp Posts: 994Registered User Member
    I use 3 subject notebooks and 1 big thing of folders (like a huge folder with 20 sections...) dump old tests and handouts into my backpack and empty my backpack into that big folder at the end of the day/week (you don't get many handouts usually, at least in the sciences.)

    During class I use the 3 subject notebooks, 1 notebook per class.
    In each class: 2 subjects/sections of the notebook for notetaking
    and 1 subject/section for homework and practice problems or whatever
    Also, I make sure I'm using fairly decent paper (nothing expensive though.)

    I also use mechanical pencils with 0.5 led.
    I never take my laptop to class, too big, and can't take notes in science/engineering/math classes anyway.

    I got this down to a science.
  • valentinavalentina Posts: 155- Junior Member
    For two semesters I only had one binder (I took ten courses, most of them back to back).

    Every two weeks I would transfer my notes in that one 1 1/2 inch binder to individual subject-based binders that I kept on my shelves in my room.

    I thought it was harder to haul around more than one binder when one would do, if you just keep track of stuff in your room. My messenger bag was therefore always lighter and less filled than my classmates', and whenever I wanted to study the past week or two's notes I could just go the library instead of running back to my dorm and making sure I had the right binder or notebook or whatever for what subject I was studying for.
  • MacTech92MacTech92 Posts: 759Registered User Member
    If I handwrite the notes, I use a legal pad. Anything that I do goes into a folder.

    I've never done well when I use notebooks for some reason. For some reason, most of the classes I've gotten an A for a final grade in were taken without using any sort of spiral-bound notebook.

    The only time I have used a binder in college is when a book fell apart and I used one to re-bind it. (Binders are awesome for rebinding stuff--you can get them for a buck at Wal Mart and they're pretty durable, even the economy ones as long as you don't put them in backpacks all the time).

    As for legal pads, I always use white recycled ones. For some reason I like the feel of recycled paper better, especially with pencils.

    Laptops, for me, are the most effective note taking devices. I can type much quicker than I can write something, and on the comptuer it's always legible. And don't count out the tape recorder either. I usually save this for guest speakers but I have brought it into lectures that I know will be important.

    An example--in high school chem, we were learning how to balance some type of equation. I wrote down the steps but also tape recorded the lecture. When I got home, I went through it again with the audio, re-copying the problem. I wound up getting the top grade in the class on the next test as a result of this, and I wasn't the best chem student.
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