During the first few days of class, you'll start to accumlate an avalanche of syllabi, OnCourse readings and random notes scribbled in different spots. Believe it or not, organizing all your school supplies the first week can seriously affect how successful you are later in the semester. These are easy ways to keep your materials straight.
While folders are less heavy and notebooks seem like the obvious choice for note-taking, binders can take your hodge podge of doodles and digressions and turn them into a cohesive summary of the semester. Take notes on loose leaf paper, date each piece and insert them in order in the binder. Print out OnCourse readings and punch holes in them to file them into the corresponding date slots with your notes. It might take an extra thirty seconds now, but when you go to study for the final in December, you'll have all your material in one spot and in chronological order.
I don't know how people survive without planners, let alone succeed in college. This is time management 101. Write down due dates but also write down every little thing you have to do. Reading assignments, forum postings, drafts, and group work can get so complex and tangled in your mind if you don't write them down when they're assigned.
These are perfect for that growing grocery list or for keeping track of things you need to do that don't necessarily have a deadline. See a chalking about a call-out meeting while you're walking to class? Instead of blowing it off, just post-it in your planner so you can remember to look it up when you're home.
It's easy to let the first week go by in a blur of one binder and one notebook, but you'll thank yourself in December if you start the semester out in an organized fashion.