Skip to main content

How to Get Organized When Studying Online

Online Learning July 26, 2019

One of the best ways to be successful in an online course is to be organized—right off the bat. While it may seem obvious, it can be overwhelming. At the start of an online program, students can be bombarded with syllabuses, assignments, and due dates all at once and that can feel like a lot to manage. To be successful in an online program, you have to be dedicated, motivated, and most importantly, organized. So, since organization is one of the most important aspects of studying online, what is the best way to get organized when studying online? Read below for our online studying hacks and tips. 


Online Programs 

Online certifications and online programs are an incredible option for many students. They allow students to study wherever and whenever they are. No matter where you are, you can study and work toward your goals, all while keeping with your routine schedule. Students who choose to study online benefit from learning in an environment that best suits their own needs – whether that’s at home, the library or their favourite coffee shop. If you have decided that studying online is for you – great. It’s an incredible option for students who work better outside the classroom. While it is an attractive and more affordable option than traditional learning in the classroom, online classes do take a lot of dedication and organization. If studying online is of interest to you, continue reading to learn how to get organized while studying online. 


Who are online programs made for? 

Online certifications are made for the full-time single mom who wants to further her skills but does not have the time or resources to attend class. Online courses are made for students who live far from college and cannot commute every day. Online degrees are for the secretary who doesn’t want to be a secretary forever. Robertson’s online programs are made for everyone, but they are specifically important for students who may not have the funds to attend university or other post-secondary programs. Having the option to receive an online degree or an online diploma is a great option for students who want to learn and who want to do better for themselves. 

Online programs allow students to squeeze college into their busy lives that don’t allow them the time for regular classes. Studying at Robertson Online also allows them to finish their online program as quickly as they can, or as slowly as they want. 


Online Studying Hacks 

If you want to get the most out of and be successful in your online course, check out our online studying hacks below.



1. Make lists

You may get a list of assignments and readings in your syllabus, but we still recommend writing out your own list somewhere. This can be done electronically or by hand, as long as it’s somewhere you will check often. Type out a list of assignments in the order they are due with the due date written beside them. This is the ultimate way to stay organized and to be sure you won’t miss an important date. Then, once you hand something in, you can physically cross something off once you’ve handed it in. 


2. Buy a calendar/organizer

Even though you will have assignments and to-do lists, it’s also great to purchase a planner. A planner is a great way to keep track of larger picture events and important dates. For example, holidays, birthdays, appointments. You can map out time on your planner where you know you won’t be able to study or times where you know you will be able to.   


3. Create a filing system

Whether you do this electronically or you physically print out your notes and assignments, this is key. The best way to stay organized is to organize your online courses in their own specific folders. You should have lessons and notes in their own folders and assignments and other important info in their own folder. Have fun with this! Colour code it, make fun names, do whatever you need to do to keep at it. 


4. Create a time management schedule

When taking online courses, it’s very easy to tell yourself you don’t have to start working or studying right away because you can do the work whenever, but that’s not the best way to approach online courses. The best way to fight this is to create a study schedule that is both realistic and manageable. Dedicate a specific time for school week each day and isolate yourself from distractions. 


5. Talk to your online peers

This is a great way to better understand the online course you are taking. There are typically Facebook groups or group discussions online where you will be able to interact with other people taking the same course. Talking to other students will help you stay motivated and on track. 


6. Take intentional and organized notes

When taking notes, make sure you are writing information that will actually be helpful to your future self. You want to take notes that are easy to read and written in an organized fashion. Also, if you are taking several online courses in an online program, it’s key to keep the notes for each class separate.  You will thank yourself for this when it comes to exam time.   


7. Mute your distractions

This may be the hardest but most important hack. When studying online, it can be so easy to begin mindlessly scrolling on social media, which is why it’s important to mute or put away your phone. Especially for online classes, you are left to your own willpower to put down the devices and get to work. To do this, put your phone on mute or leave it in the other room or in your bag. 


8. Allow yourself a break

Like anything else, if you don’t stop and take a break, you’ll get burnt out. Make sure to give yourself breaks – and don’t feel guilty about it. 


9. Ask questions

When studying online, it can be difficult to entirely understand the lectures since it’s entirely in writing. Sometimes we can understand lessons different when they are written rather than spoken to us. If you’re unsure or frustrated, send your instructor a note and they will be more than happy to help you. 


10. Find an inspiring work space

This may be obvious, but in order to get work done while taking an online program, you have to have somewhere you can go and do the work. A study and work space can look different for everyone, but it’s important to find a space that is free of distractions and an environment in which you feel motivated. This could be an office, a public library, a coffee shop, a kitchen table, or sprawled out on your bed.

Ready to Get Started?

Once you take the first step, one of our Student Admissions Advisors will get in touch to better understand your goals for the future.