The Novakian Notebook

The name is mine. That’s about it. Everything else is simple, straight-forward organizational skills with a little twist.

Equipment Needed:

  • One 2-inch, three-ringed  binder

  • One two-pocket folder for each class

  • Looseleaf paper

  • One box

There are four places on the face of the earth that a piece of paper can be during a semester of study.

Location #1 – The Do Side

Every class has a folder. The right-hand side of each folder is “The Do Side.” In this pocket goes anything that needs doing. This includes completed assignments that have yet to be graded. This includes notes if they need to be studied that night. It’s on the right because students can hold the binder and look through the right-hand side of each folder as they look to see what needs doing.

Location #2 – The Done Side

The left-hand side of  each folder is “The Done Side.” In this pocket goes anything that is done and not 3-hole punched: Notes, bell-ringers, graded assignments, packets, or labs. If it doesn’t need doing or will be done in class, it goes here.

Location #3 – The Space

This is the space between the folders. After each folder is a space for all papers having to do with that class. A small amount of loose-leaf paper is stored here for taking notes. When taking notes in class, use the paper in this section. Anything and everything that is done and 3-hole punched goes here.

Location #4 – The Box

Never throw anything away! During the entire semester of study, students are not to throw even one piece of paper away. It all goes in The Box. The Box is an empty dresser drawer, a large RubberMaid, or even the cardboard variety and is usually in the student’s bedroom. On a regular basis students go through their binder, while they are near The Box, and pull out anything that is not needed for upcoming tests or quizzes. It all goes in The Box.

At the end of the semester and before semester exams, the box is dumped out and sorted. Anything that is needed or helpful for final exams goes in one pile. All other papers are now ready for the trash.

It’s simple and for many students it works.