There are many ways to effectively organize your schoolwork in middle & high school. Sometimes, your teacher will request that you organize things in a certain way for their class, in which case you should follow their instructions because they are likely designed for the specific teaching style and subject matter of that class. However, if you have a choice of methods, you should spend some time researching ones that will work for you.
Tools for Organization
A variety of tools exist to help you organize yourself in middle and high school. Before buying or making these, you should do some research on what will work best for your budget and what you think you will realistically use. Do you prefer keeping everything bound in a notebook, or would you prefer an organizer that can contain both loose-leaf paper and notes? Do you prefer to use an electronic form of planning, or do you want a physical reminder of what you need to do? Here are some organizational tools you may want to use:
Binders can be used to store handouts, worksheets, old tests and quizzes, notes, and loose-leaf note and graph paper. A binder can hold the materials that you need for more than one class, depending on what you keep in it and how much paper you need and receive in each class. Binders are useful if you like things to be in chronological order, if you like to separate items by type (notes, tests, etc.), and if you like the flexibility of moving things around.
Notebooks can be used to hold notes for one class. They can also be used as planners, lists of things that you need to do, and a way to study for tests. Notebooks are useful if you like keeping things in chronological order, want all of your notes to be in one place (separate from handouts), want a planner or list book that offers more flexibility than a dated model, and if you do not receive many worksheets or handouts in your classes. Some teachers may require that you keep a notebook for journal entries, reflections, or another specific assignment.
Planners are used to write down everything you need to do on specific dates, such as homework assignments, meetings, sports games, important events, and more. You can also use planners to keep track of things you do regularly, like exercise, drinking water, taking your vitamins, feeding your cat, or practicing an instrument. Planners are useful if you like a visual representation of what you need to do, want to ensure that you remember important assignments, and want to keep track of important events and habits. You can read more about planners in Time Management.