Wow, can you believe it’s August already? You’ve probably begun shopping for school clothes and all the accessories you need in order to get your school year off to a good start. But have you thought about how you’ll stay organized?

If you already have good organizational skills, great! But if you need a little extra assistance, here are some tips for staying organized during the school year.

Manage your time

There’s no more important thing you can do to stay organized than to make sure you know when your assignments are due. If you want to go low-tech, use a big wall calendar and sticky notes to mark important dates (such as tests and assignment due dates) and place it near your regular study space.

If you prefer to go paperless, use the calendar and scheduling app in your phone. If you have an assignment due date, go back a week and add a reminder that the assignment will be due soon.

Use color to stay organized

Color coding is one of the best ways to keep your homework, notebooks, folders, and school supplies organized. I’d recommend using highlighters, folders, notes, and stickers. Assign a color for every school subject and use the same color when highlighting notes, filing homework, and compiling research.

Pick a study space

Figure out what you need in order to stay focused on your homework. Do you need a quiet space, or do you need to study in a more public area? Do you do better when you’re listening to music? Don’t be afraid to get those headphones on and dig into your nightly assignments. If you’re home, and particularly if you study in your room, you may need to put your phone in another room in order to avoid the temptation to check your texts and social media.

Know what’s expected of you

Establish a mental framework ahead of time by previewing the material you’ll cover during the school year. Look ahead in your textbooks or, if your teacher offers a syllabus or reading list, why not get ahead of the game? Knowing what you’re going to learn this year will go far to helping you stay organized. Even if your teacher doesn’t offer a syllabus, it can’t hurt to ask politely; most will be glad to give you that information because your teachers want you to succeed.

Use checklists

If you have trouble getting out the door in the morning with all your school necessities, try using a checklist to stay organized. Your morning checklist might include things like “eat breakfast,” “gather homework,” “bring gym clothes,” and so on.

Do you have other tips for helping students to get—and stay—organized for the school year? Please share them in the comments!