On the blog today, we’ve invited Jessica from Belle Adore to share her top five favorite things as she gets ready to head back to The University of Richmond for her senior year of college. She has such classic style and beautiful taste—so even if you’re a little beyond your college years—you’re going to love her picks just as much! Plus, she’s a pro at preparing for each day and staying organized and productive.

I can’t believe how fast this summer flew by! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was packing up my dorm room and saying goodbye to my roommate!

Now my internship is winding down and it’s already time to head back to school in less than a month! I am SO excited to get back to Virginia for my last year at the University of Richmond. I can’t believe I’m a senior in college this year, but I have a feeling that this will be the best year yet!

With my day-to-day schedule being so busy with multiple classes, work, assignments, and everything in between, I don’t really have all that much time to spare at the end of each day. I value my time and really try to stay productive!

Over the past few years in college, I think I’ve narrowed down a few products and tips to help me be more productive and intentional—and make the most out of each day!

1. Tote Bag

This might be a personal preference but I would rather use a tote bag instead of a backpack. That being said, the bag needs to be comfortable to wear all day and large enough to hold everything I need!

I’ve been using the St. Anne Tote from Barrington Gifts for the past 3 years and I still love it so much (my roommate got one too so we always end up matching)! The inside pockets and zippered pouch are the best for all the little things you throw into your bag, it’s super easy to clean, and one of my favorite things about the bag is the fact that you can customize the look of it! I went with a classic color palette of navy, white and pink and I still get so many compliments on it!

2. Day Designer

I’ve already expressed my love for my Day Designer but I really can’t imagine life in college without a planner! I juggle classes, clubs, jobs, and my blog during the school year so my life is pretty busy—similar to most of you, I’m sure! It’s easy to let things get lost in your inbox, or simply just forget, so having a physical reminder of my responsibilities keeps me much more accountable! Plus, not having more reminders/lists on my phone takes away the possibility of getting distracted from being on my phone! My planner is with me pretty much at all times and I truly think it’s helped me to simplify my days and focus on productivity!

Also, if anyone was wondering, I only use these pens when I’m writing in my planner—they are simply the best!

If you want to read more about why I love my Day Designer, check out my last blog post!

3. Podcasts

Ok, so this isn’t a tangible thing but I’m a huge podcast listener! I usually listen to them when I’m walking to and from class around campus or I’m finishing some tedious computer work! I gravitate toward podcasts related to entrepreneurship and professional development but also enjoy a couple just for entertainment!

I love professional development, networking, resume building, etc. and I find these types of podcasts to be a great resource for learning. They’re interesting and motivational and generally leave me feeling even more inspired to get creative and apply myself harder to school and work!

For me, podcasts are a great way to stay focused, as funny as that sounds! As opposed to just putting on one of my favorite Spotify playlists and zoning out, a podcast really demands my attention. It’s like being a part of a casual conversation with friends! Even if I’m just walking to class or grabbing a quick bite to eat, I find myself being more aware of my surroundings and attentive to what’s going on around me.

A few of my favorites are How I Built This, Skimm’d From the Couch (from the founders of The Skimm!), Second Life, Girlboss Radio, The Morning Toast, My Favorite Murder (anybody else into true crime?!), Fat Mascara, and Bad on Paper just to name a few!

4. Beauty Products

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a beauty junkie! I’ve had morning classes every year and since I don’t usually have a ton of time in the mornings, my routine is pretty simple and straightforward! I swear by these products to help me look put together even if I haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep!

IT Cosmetics CC Cream, Tarte Shape Tape for my under eyes, Glossier Boy Brow, Bobbi Brown Mascara, and DryBar Detox Dry Shampoo. When I don’t have that much time, I reach for these products and I instantly feel more put together.

5. Water Bottle + Coffee Mug

I stack my classes so that I have multiple on the same day and try to fit in a shift of work somewhere in between! When I leave in the morning, I’m usually out for the whole day!

My coffee addiction is SO real (sometimes 3 cups a day, oops!) so instead of buying multiple cups, I try to bring a to-go cup with me in the morning and just refill it throughout the day from the coffee shops on campus! I recently got the Yeti Tumblr and it is the best for coffee—easy to drink from, easy to clean, and it keeps your coffee so hot during the day!

The same goes for water—I love my 1L bkr bottle. I know that if I drink a few of these, I’m definitely getting the recommended amount of water for the day. Not to mention, they are simply adorable with all the fun colors to choose from, good for the environment, and more sanitary than other bottles because they’re made of glass.

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While I could go on and on about products I love and use every day, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about a few of my absolute favorites!

Here on the Day Designer team, we love every single one of Jessica’s back-to-school essentials and top picks for organization, productivity, and feeling your best! Be sure to check out our previous post where Jessica shared how she designs her day, stays organized, and creates balance. To stay in touch with Jessica, follow Belle Adore on her BlogInstagram, or Twitter

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