College Organization Tips You Can’t Learn From Books

+ How to organize binders

5 min read

Here are some tips on organizing and decorating your binder

How to decorate your binder?

  • add name & class
  • pick a color theme
  • design collages 
  • add calligraphy

1. Create collages

Design collages with photographs and quotes.

I chose a sophisticated black and white theme for Anatomy and Art:

photo by Bianca Soriano

2. Organize your subjects by color

It is easier for you to know which notebook is for what subject when you have different colors.

For example, I have blue for anatomy and green for art:

photo by Bianca Soriano

You can use Crayola markers like the one below or a calligraphy pen.

photo by Bianca Soriano

How to organize your binder?

1. Add tabs and dividers

  • keep quizzes, tests, or reviewers in divider pockets
  • or add tabs per unit

Keeping summarized papers of units like quizzes, tests, or reviewers in divider pockets helps you to visualize all the main ideas of your subject.

Sticking tabs helps to mark the location of a new unit on your binder.

2. Order your notes

  • syllabus
  • powerpoint/printed notes
  • handwritten lecture notes
  • order from oldest to newest

The first page in your binder is the syllabus.

It is an easy reference to your teacher’s contact info when you need help this semester. Remember to reference to the weight of tests and assignments to help you meet your academic goals.

Next is your notes.

Put powerpoint and printed notes first along with any handwritten notes you took during a lecture. That way all notes relevant to a concept is in one place.

To stay organized, keep your notes in order from oldest to newest.

Pro tip: Use sticky notes for questions you have and don’t forget to ask your professor.


pin it for later

How do you take notes?

Beautiful Reasons To Fall In Love With Flowers

+ 3 ways to preserve flowers

5 min read

My Lola (grandmother) and I prepared tropical and spirited flower bouquet assortments on all Souls Day to honor our deceased family members.

She cut thick green stems of mighty and blood red anthuriums as she carefully placed them into the wet green foam. Next to the alluring anthuriums were a different beauty: the most subtle, pure, and virtuous flower of Baby’s Breath (gypsophila) filled the space like beautiful angels.

Our preservation of memories are acts of love. Preserving flowers symbolize memories of our loved ones.

Here are the 3 best ways to preserve flowers:

1. Dry Hang Flowers

How to dry hang your flowers?

  1. Bundle about 5 stems together.
  2. Tie them with a rubber band, cotton string, or embroidery thread.
  3. Hang them from a high place that is dark yet airy to prevent discoloration from light
  4. Wait about a week to dry

After a week, you can use the preserved flowers as decoration by displaying them in glass bottles.

2. Book Press Flowers

How to book press your fauna?

  1. grab a book or sketchbook
  2. arrange flowers between pages
  3. close book and put heavy books on top
  4. Wait 1 week and don’t touch

After waiting a week, the flowers should be flat and dry ready for your next art project.

You can put book pressed flowers in collages and bullet journals or even as decoration in your room.

3. Flower Bottles and Herbariums

How to display flowers in bottles?

1. Petal bottle:

photo taken by Bianca Soriano
  1. leave petals to dry
  2. and after a few days, put them in a small bottle

You use small glass vials or any clear container.

The bottled flowers can be given away as gifts or souvenirs at parties or events.

Pro tip: add a tag or thin ribbon around the neck of the bottle.

2. Herbarium:

Herbariums are the same as flower bottles but with filled with oil.

  1. arrange a small bottle with assorted flowers and foliage
  2. Fill with herbarium oil (mineral/baby oil)
  3. Seal with cork or top

You can even put scented herbs like rosemary and lavender to use as essential oils.

These herbarium bottles can be used as gifts and decoration for your home.

Pro-tip: Use your favorite pressed flowers as decoration in your art or bullet journal.


What’s your favorite flower?

3 Quick Secrets on Starting Your Journal

5 min read

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I tested and approved of. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that are no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks.

How can I start my own journal?

Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind

Natalie Goldberg ( author of Zen Living, Writing and Eating)

1. What is my goal through journaling ?

Having a purpose for your journal can lead you in the right direction and look back to see if you grew and met your goals.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my journal for mental health, productivity, or to express my feelings in a positive and healthy way?
  • How do I express my thoughts? Do I enjoy writing them? drawing? or both?
  • Do I like to keep souvenirs from places, people, or events?

Here’s a quick reference guide on journals for creative students:

Art, health & fitness, productivity and goal setting, and personal writing are essential towards a happy and healthy mind and body. As college students you and I need to take care of our mental health because college can be an especially stressful time.

Types of journals you can start today:

1. Art Journals

Do you like to express your emotions through images?

  • art collage – a collage of photos, art, souvenirs, memorabilia, magazine and image clippings
  • sketchbook – your own drawings, paintings, sketches of people, urban sketching, lifestyle
  • nature – a collection of pressed flowers, art, drawings, dried foliage, poems, or any observations, feelings, thoughts, or studies inspired by nature.
  • travel – a collection of photos, souvenirs, drawings, sketches, thoughts, ideas, and writing about where you’ve been.

2. Health & Fitness

  • food log – keeping track of your intake and diet, water consumption, healthy recipes, dishes you’ve tried from different cultures, your own favorite recipes
  • exercise tracker- track your workout routine, weight loss plans, goals for your sport (ballet, track, martial arts etc.)
  • women’s health – period tracker, hormones, mood swings, feelings, fertility cycles etc.

3. Productivity

4. Personal Writing

  • personal log & feelings- a record or observation of daily events that resonated with you, interesting thoughts, ideas, goals, events, what you felt, people you met etc.
  • creative narrative- story writing, describing your own life or small moments in details, and short stories
  • poem- writing songs, haikus, writing down a moment or something that inspired you through the art of poetry.

Your journal is a reflection of yourself.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”


Don’t feel pressured to follow the bullet journal trend or confine yourself to a set of rules.

I personally have multiple journals that are a mix of all the above: a planner for tracking my college studies, deadlines, assignments, tests, projects as well as my social and personal life like parties, birthdays, and events. I also keep my goals, daily to-dos, and fitness plans. I have a pocket sketchbook for drawing quick sketches of people or scenes that inspire me while traveling. A bullet journal for dumping creative ideas, souvenirs, and pressed flowers and foliage. And a prayer journal for my daily life.

The most important thing about journaling is to relax and have fun!

2. Find Your Aesthetic

Finding your aesthetic may be more for creatives.

It may take some time but “find” what you like. In art, the more you practice, the more you start to develop your style.

Here are some of my favorite themes:

  • vintage theme
  • black and white
  • minimalist
  • floral
  • Brown, black, white, and gold
  • pastel
  • asian
  • glam or girly
  • travel
  • or a mix of your choice

3. Find Supplies

To me, this is the fun part.

Finding a notebook or journal that you love will make you want to write more. Here are some materials I love:

Materials ideas + recommendations

I got a lot of these from my local craft store like Michaels


Writing Supplies:


Note: you don’t have to purchase a lot of materials to journal. Just be creative with already existing papers, photos, pens, and materials.

“When it comes to art, it’s important not to hide the madness.”


How does journaling help you?

Comment down below and check out other posts on mental health here:

5 Essential Drawing Tools for Beginner Artists

I took art for 3 years in high school including drawing classes and AP Studio Art. These 5 materials are easy to use and inexpensive if you are just starting out. Here are some of my favorite art materials I used in high school.

1. Ticonderoga Beginner Pencils

This is the most basic art tool I learned to use in beginner art class. It is something I still enjoy to draw with today. This pencil is great for shading, sketching, and adding value to your drawings.

Note: This lightweight pencil is thicker in diameter than regular HB pencils!

Here are sample drawings and sketches with the thick Beginner Pencil:

a study of Michaelangelo’s David
the Outsider by Bianca Soriano

2. Charocal Pencils

Types of charcoal pencils:

  • Black Charcoal
  • White Charcoal
  • Colored or tinted Charcoal

This is one of my favorite classic drawing tools. General’s black and white charcoal is delicately soft and leaves dark hyper-pigmented marks. It is great for shading and drawing bold lines.

For beginners, buy the black and white first for its cheaper price. I recommend the General’s for their good quality and affordable price.

note: remember to purchase the General’s sharpener!

Here is my sample drawing using a mix of the black and white charcoal for the darkest parts of the face and graphite pencil for the lightest parts:

Angelic Comfort by Bianca Soriano

Colored Charcoal has the same soft and highly pigmented application as black and white but with different colors. This type is much more expensive than regular charcoal.

My favorite colored charcoal set is the Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil Sets in which a starter set is about $14.58.

Another high rated colored charcoal set is the Conte a Paris set!

My sample drawing using colored charcoal:

White Lillies by Bianca Soriano

3. Oil Pastels

I love how vibrant and pigmented these oil pastels are. They have a smooth application and are incredibly easy to blend.

You can use fun and colorful pastels for landscapes, portraits, still-life drawing and more.

Above is the 36 count Oil Pastels from Pentel Arts that I got from my local art store.

A 12 piece set from Pentel cost only $2.25.

Here is my sample drawing using oil pastels:

Drei Dreaming by Bianca Soriano

4. Blending Stumps

Blending Stumps

Blending stumps will smoothen out the marks of pencil, charcoals, graphite, oil pastel, chalk pastel and more.

Use them for a smoother portrait and background.

5. Micron Ink Pens

Micron is known for its for fine and high-quality pigmented ink pens.

It can be used to draw cityscapes, urban sketching, and simple portraits.

The brush tip pen can also be used for calligraphy.

A sample drawing using Micron pens:

Texas Darling by Bianca Soriano


My Favorite Drawing Tools for Art

  1. Ticonderoga HB Beginner Pencil
  2. Charcoal pencil
  3. Oil Pastel
  4. Blending Stump
  5. Ink Pens

Other great tools also include: Hi-polymer erasers, graphite pencils, watercolor pencils, and chalk pastels.

What is your favorite drawing tool?