Executive function helps us organize our thoughts and solve problems. It’s something we use all the time, whether it’s to stay focused on a task, figure out what to do next, or remember what we’re supposed to be doing. Without it, things might be a bit chaotic! It’s important because it helps us think about what might happen if we take certain actions, and plan accordingly. Think of it as your own personal assistant in your brain! 

I recommend three tools for students who have big projects to do, want to keep their notes organized, and want to be flexible with how they use the tools.

An Assignment List can be a spreadsheet or text document (Google Docs, MS Word, etc.). A Working Journal is text document for recording your daily study progress and is best shared with accountability partners. 

A Working Notebook is for practice questions (mistakes on assignments, quizzes, and exams), and rewritten and summarized notes for refreshing and practice. Only keep papers with these notes temporarily until rewritten. During study sessions, return to these practice problems to improve your understanding and proficiency.

For other papers, use a different notebook for each subject if possible. Get rid of papers that aren’t helpful anymore. Use plastic pockets, document sleeves, and tabbed separators to organize projects in the notebook. Save digital documents, annotations, and research on a flash drive in the notebook.