It was the pile of waded up receipts on her son’s dresser that gave Susan  M. Sparks the idea for The Student Life Jacket, The Easy-to-Use Organizer and Guide to Staying Afloat in a Sea of Paperwork for Young Working Adults and College Students.  Sparks calls this guide an “organizer with a slice of motherly advice.

USA Book News selected her book as the winner in the Parenting/Family: Organizers and Planners division. The international competition had over 1500 entries in various publishing categories.

Sparks said the idea for the unique guide and organizer came after her son began to pile receipts and other paperwork everywhere. “When I asked my son about the pile of receipts, he only shrugged and said he was told he should hang onto them, that’s when I realized the next step was missing, he didn’t know what he should he keep or how to organize it simply.”

She went on a search for an organizing system that would be easy to follow; instead, she found complex systems ideal for homeowners, or student organizers that only focused on class schedules and homework.  Sparks designed her own system geared to young adults adjusting to college life and those with their first full time job.

“The Student Life Jacket is designed to help young adults understand the why and how of managing financial papers, personal information and other original documents that they haven’t been responsible for until now.”

Most students are wired in to laptops, mobile devices and an endless array of apps, but original documents, such as birth certificates and social security cards can’t be stored virtually. The organizer provides tips and guidance for topics including money, housing and health followed by a file pocket for documents that relate to that section. A variety of forms for emergency information, roommate agreements, road trip checklists and other ‘motherly advice’ is included.