BTS: School Hacks

Today I have my final post in this year’s Back to School series and I saved the best for last. This post will cover my favorite school hacks of all time. I have compiled my favorite tips from the internet and from my own personal experience. So let’s get into it!

Note Taking

Obviously taking notes is an essential part of education but it usually is tedious and unfortunately, pointless if not done correctly. So here is how to make them easy and useful.

The Ellie Method: I only call this “The Ellie Method” because I haven’t seen it anywhere before. Essentially, I take notes over the reading my teacher/professor assigns before I go to class using the front side of the paper. Then, when I go to class, I use a different colored pen to add notes to the back side of the paper with the information I missed during the readings. This is super helpful to me because it allows me to have everything written down but still be able to listen to my teacher.


Pretty Notes: These have recently become very popular all over Pinterest and Tumblr. I have not gotten very good at it yet, but I am really trying to get more into it. This blog has tons of tips to make your notes super pretty but I found this picture on Pinterest and it really makes it easy to create beautiful notes.

Pretty notes

Study Soup: This is something that I am absolutely obsessed with. Study Soup is a website that allows Elite Notetakers (like myself) to sell the notes they took during class to other students at their school. It is super easy to join and you can make money from it. That’s right. REAL MONEY for something you are already doing.

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For the longest time, I dreaded studying because of how much time it took me. It was only a few years ago that I realized some helpful things that made my life dramatically easier.

Good Music: As much as I love listening to some Chain Smokers, it isn’t always the best thing to listen to while you are trying to focus. Recently I have been loving the Brain Food playlist on Spotify. It is compiled of music with no lyrics so you can focus on studying and not on singing along.

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Crash Course: This is something I have been using for years and it has never failed me. Crash Course is a YouTube channel that has 15-20 minute videos explaining everything from Chemistry to Philosophy. I love using these while I am at the gym or laying in bed because I am still learning without having to use a textbook.

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Sensory recognition: This is a very interesting hack but it has proved to be useful for me in so many cases. When you are studying spray a certain perfume or chew a certain flavor of gum and use the same perfume or gum while you are taking the test. This will help jog your memory of everything that you’ve learned while keeping you focused.

Audio Recording: It has been clinically proven that you are more likely to remember something if you say it out loud. This is a way to do that and make it have a dual purpose. As you are studying, write down the things that are absolutely essential to remember, then say them out loud while recording your voice using the Voice Memos app on your phone (it’s preinstalled). Later, you can listen to these recordings in the car or during your workout. IMG_8999

Organization Hacks

Filing: I am a really big fan of filing my papers and this system allows me to do that with ease. I use a file organizer and some cute files from HomeGoods to sort and separate the papers for each of my subjects. This allows me to have everything in one place and always within reach.


At-a-Glance Calendar: I love my planner but sometimes I just want to see my whole week in a more simplified way. I use this calendar from Target to organize everything for the week. This helps remind me of what I need to get down without all of the specifics fogging my mind. I even use different colors to help make it more organized.



I hope you found this super helpful. Share your back to school hacks in the comments below so everyone can have their best year.

Lots of love,


Instagram: elllie.belllie

Twitter: elliescrazylife

Tumblr: thecrazylifeofellie

Email: elliekarayan


*Disclaimer: some of the links above are affiliate links that may benefit me when you click on them. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask down below.


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