Getting Organized 101
Being organized was critical to me, especially since I am one of those unfortunate people who get scattered and easily distracted. I'm sure you know someone who is as likely as not to be unable to find something that is right there in front of them, especially if the object of the search is not where it belongs. That's me. Look it up in the dictionary - there's probably a picture of me there.
Here's how I cope:
From day one, I've created a main folder for each course, then within it another folder for each module. Since I work from multiple locations (home, school, etc.) I located my course materials in my Dropbox folder. It syncs across all of my devices, so it doesn't matter if I am on my school computer, laptop at home, or an iPad on the road. I can always access my latest files.
Here's my folder structure:
Next, I break it down by module - and all of the courses are laid out the same way. Once I create my first empty directory structure, then I copy the empty modules into a folder for each course. Why do it twice, right?
*My final folder contains all of my articles and presentations seamed into one file so I have everything I need in one place when it's time to take my final.I use Acrobat to combine them into one document, and I make sure that it's searchable for easy management.*
It may seem that I further complicate things by breaking each module into its components like this:
This is method to this madness, however! Each course will open the Friday before it officially starts. I use this time to download everything - presentations, readings, application directions, etc. Once the course actually begins, I don't want to have to bother with it. That, and since I use Dropbox, everything that I will need for each assignment will be there when I need it - except for the research I have to do for the discussions and applications.
I would also recommend creating an APA-style template for your analysis and reflection papers, then copying it to each module's application or reflection folder. It saves the trouble of having to recreate each paper from scratch.