Keeping Things Organized During Online Learning

It can be difficult to keep up with classes and  assignments in this new online environment, but there are ways to stay on track for success, even during online learning in a pandemic.


Life is stressful right now, so forgetfulness and disorganization can easily happen. Many students feel overwhelmed during the pandemic and online learning, and that is completely normal, but it is important to stay up to date with assignments and not fall behind.


I had the privilege of interviewing a sophomore at Apex High School, Emily Hoder. She is enrolled in Plan B this semester, and in some ways that is even more difficult than Virtual Academy because of having to switch back and forth between online and in person classes. This semester has a lighter workload than last semester for Hoder. She is taking AP Human Geography, English II Honors, Honors Chorus, and French II. These are by no means easy classes to have to juggle, especially because they are all either Honors, AP, or in a different language.


Despite all the rigorous courses she is taking, Emily has great ways to help herself stay on track and keep up with homework. “First semester I had a lot more, around five hours on some days, mostly from math. This semester is much lighter so far, with only about an hour of homework after school. I usually try to do it either during the asynchronous time or right after fourth period so I don’t forget, and I can have the rest of the night without having to worry about it.” According to Hoder, the asynchronous time is very helpful when trying to get work done, and she highly recommends using it. Even if she is not able to finish an assignment during her asynchronous time, Emily says that getting a good start on her homework makes it feel much less daunting when she goes back to it later in the day.


Another great piece of advice Emily suggests is to get a planner. A planner is a great way to keep track of assignments and quickly be able to tell when they are due. They also make it easy to jot down notes in the margins from teachers, to help remember important information about the work that may not be in the instructions on Google Classroom. In addition to her planner, Hoder says that she uses her phone calendar to remind herself of dates for quizzes and tests. When learning online, it is also a great idea to set alarms as reminders to get ready for each class on time; it is easy to get distracted during asynchronous time, and accidentally log in late to class. Setting a reminder for Cougar Class each Wednesday morning is another great use for that phone calendar.


One of the biggest obstacles to actually getting the work done is motivation. There is so much to do, not only in live classes but also after school, too. With so many hours of just staring at a computer screen, no wonder burnout is so common; there is no change, so boredom and apathy set in. The best way to combat this is to set realistic goals for the amount of work that should be completed every so often, and then reward yourself by going on a walk, getting a snack, or scrolling through Instagram for a while. It is important to do the work in a timely manner, but doing it all at once, especially if the assignment is a project or paper, is not realistic. This strategy helps to decrease burnout as well as gives the motivation needed to do the best work possible on the assignments that need to be completed.


These are just a few of the strategies that can help to improve organization and productivity while learning online. These circumstances make it hard to concentrate sometimes, but using the tips provided, and getting a good night’s rest, will really help to improve work ethic and motivation in online classes.

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