I have already talked about my love of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 study books. However, one thing that seems really simple has made studying much easier. That is unbinding and hole punching study books and putting them in a binder.
You might ask why I would do this. First, it makes the books easier to work with. For example, when I am in a particular module (ex. pulmonary), instead of carrying around the whole 860 page book, I can just take out the chapter on the respiratory system.
Second, using a binder allows multiple review books to be combined together. I have also unbound and hole-punched the review book that comes with the Pathoma program. Then, I have added the Pathoma chapters behind their corresponding chapters in my First Aid for the Basic Sciences: Organ Systems (which is the one I use the most). Therefore, similar topics can always be found together.
Third, I can add my own study pages and notes to the book. Again, everything can then be found together. This also helps make things a bit easier because who wants to carry around several review books, a notebook, and a folder when you can just carry around one binder that has everything.
Making the study binders was actually really easy. I took my books to Staples and their Copy and Print center did everything for me. Then, with freshly unbound and hole punched pages, all I had to do was add them to a binder. Voilà! Every little thing that can help make our lives a bit easier gets an A+ in my book.
Do you have any tips of how to organize study books and notes? What have you found to work best?
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