Never Lose an Assignment: My System for Organizing School Files and Notes

I am extraordinarily good at losing flash drives, and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s the simple answer: they’re small. Or maybe it’s gremlins, or Keebler elves. I’m leaning towards one of those, as I don’t usually lose any of my other personal effects.

Whatever the reason, losing flash drives burned me several times in high school. When I got to college, I decided that I’d never again live and die by the mercy of these easily-lost little pieces of flash storage – so I set to the task of building a file organization system that would help me:

  • Never be without access to any of my work
  • Always be able to find files I need with minimal effort

In this week’s video, I’ll show you the major components of that system.

While we won’t go over some of the parts that were overkill (like having an iPhone app that gave me remote access to my desktop computer), we’ll look at the parts that had the most positive effect without needing a lot of effort on my part.

If you find that you forget assignments back at your dorm more than you’d like, or you have to spend an inordinate amount of time searching your desktop for EnglighFinalPaperVersion8FINAL-noreallyseriouslythistime-final.docx, then you should find this video to be useful.

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

Looking for More Study Tips?

10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades - Thomas Frank

Organization is a huge topic, and you’ll find even more tips on it in Chapter 6 of my free 100+ page book called 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less).

The book also covers topics like:

  • Defeating procrastination
  • Getting more out of your classes
  • Taking great notes
  • Reading your textbooks more efficiently

…and several more. It also has a lot of recommendations for tools and other resources that can make your studying easier.

If you’d like a free copy of the book, let me know where I should send it:

I’ll also keep you updated about new posts and videos that come out on this blog (they’ll be just as good as this one or better) 🙂

Video Notes

Never Lose an Assignment: My System for Organizing School Files and Notes

Here’s a Pinterest-worthy image for sharing this video 🙂

How do you organize your own files? If you’ve got a system that improves on mine, let me know 🙂

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Images: Flash drive, toilet, prairie dog, mad-eye moody

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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4 Comments on "Never Lose an Assignment: My System for Organizing School Files and Notes"

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Tuvshinzaya Amarzaya

I do have a suggestion for improvement: Reusable whiteboard notebooks (like NU, wipebook, or Everlast). Just as the name suggests, these are notebooks with whiteboard-like pages which you can write/draw upon, scan & save for later, and just wipe with moist tissue to reuse the page again. I particularly like Everlast because it is actually linked to Evernote, Dropbox, and co.

PS: Thanks for all the great content – I am going back to school after a break and I found so many inspirations and ideas from CIG!


Have you ever used Back Blaze? It is similar to Dropbox. When you need a file you just go into the site, search it up and restore it onto your computer.

Anyone who watched/read ( might be pleased to know if you have Office 365 you can make your documents sync (available offline type sync) with OneDrive For Business. The benefit over Dropbox and Google Drive is that you can sign in from a browser, open and edit a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote file. You can edit on any machine if you can surf the web; even if office is not installed on that computer. This is nice because when you make a change on any computer with a browser, the changes are make on your own device as well. I have mine to set up to ALSO sync with my flash drives. (all of them) So when someone copies a file to my usb, eg marking guide, as soon as I plug that back in my computer it is uploaded to OneDrive; but it is also synced to all my other usbs when i plug them in. In case you are wondering, I also bit locker (encrypted them with a password) all my drives. Although this is bypassed very easily, it just means no one who doesn’t know what they are doing find there way into all my files,… Read more »

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