Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Styled by KB: How to be fashionable and functional when it comes to organization


Share post:

Photo and story by Katey B. / Contributing Writer

Last week, I presented you with the best, most fashionable backpacks, and this week I’m telling you exactly what you should stuff those backpacks with for the fall semester. Whether a freshman or senior, organization seems to be an inevitable issue relating to all college students, so I’ve compiled a list of must-have items to help you stay organized.


While this isn’t a huge splurge, I feel like spending $40 on a padfolio is a little much, especially on a college budget. But the “‘SHE WROTE THE BOOK ON IT’ Leather Padfolio” by Kate Spade is both classy and sophisticated, which makes it the perfect place to jot notes. And the best part is it’s super trendy.


Okay; maybe I’m stuck in middle school, but I swear by a single notebook divided into subject-based sections. This is the easiest way to keep up with your notes, which is something I feel like everyone needs a little assistance in. 

My go-to brand is the Staples brand, which you can get on sale for $3 (normally $5.99). During this sale, I encourage you to stock up with enough to get you through the school year!


I will be the first to admit that I am 100 percent guilty of splurging on a planner each year and then forgetting about it three weeks after classes start. With that being said, I have already filled my planner’s every inch, because this semester, I am challenging myself to keep up with it all year long!

The best/most difficult part about shopping for agendas is that there are literally hundreds of designs to choose from. Kate Spade ($30 and up), Erin Condren ($30 and up) and Lilly Pulitzer ($24 and up) are always great go-tos.

If you prefer a more customizable option, Recollections at Michael’s ($19.99 and up) is super fun and completely created by you. If you’re into a simpler look, Anthropologie’s Productivity Planner ($24.95) exuberates sophistication.


I strongly believe that the cuter your notebooks are, the more encouraged you are to take good notes. Whether you want to splurge for the Kate Spade folio I mentioned earlier or save and go with a Staples brand notebook, there are aesthetically-pleasing options for all budgets.

In addition to amazing quality folios, Kate Spade also has a large collection of cute notebooks ($14 and up).  And it may be worth it to spend some extra bucks on a leather pad, because when you run out of paper (and you will), you can usually score a new stack in the dollar section of Target (it also looks uber professional to show up to your internship and whip that bad boy out).

On the other hand, if you know you are going to be writing several pages of notes every day, it may be easier for you to stick with a normal notebook.

Or, if you’re like me and you want the best of both worlds, you can use a fancy notebook, such as Kate Spade, for simple tasks like blog post ideas and lunch meetings and regular store-brand notebooks for class and extracurriculars.  

If you do choose to stick with a college-ruled notebook, check your local office supply stores before the days of school find you. This way, you can stock up and save money.


Typically, success comes easiest when you’re organized, but that’s all better said than done. But, I have found that incentives help in this area.

It’s not a bad idea to reward yourself every now and then. For example, if you receive that hard-earned grade you were hoping for, plan a night to get away or something fun of that nature. After all, this is a way of organization, and that’s where success begins.

I hope this post helps you in your organizational endeavors; happy early semester!

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

MTSU's digital daily news source

Related articles

“L-Pop” shows love for K-pop and Korean culture

Featured Photo by Disney+ Story by Larry Rincon K-POP is one of the most popular genres of music, not just...

KK’s Loan Music and Jewelry: A community gem 

Featured Photo by Anna Leadingham Story by Anna Leadingham KK’s Loan Music and Jewelry is considered a gem among the...

Think Pink: An Introduction to Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Featured Graphic by Shamani Salahuddin Story by Shamani Salahuddin For nearly 40 years, the pink-ribbon international health campaign known as...

Sunset Showcase superstar: Carter Elliott

Featured Photo by Anna Leadingham Story by Anna Leadingham They say everything is bigger in Texas, but the University of...