Scheduling your Semester
Even though it isn't always the most fun thing to do, scheduling your time in some kind of a planner can help you stay organized. Some people prefer to use a paper day planner while others like the versatility of a digital calendar like Microsoft Outlook, iCal or Google Calendar.
Using a paper day planner
Here are a few reasons that paper planners are helpful:
- It is always on. When you want to make a note, you can do so without having to turn on your computer or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).
- It is inexpensive. A good planner system to help you keep track of your events, appointments, tasks to do list, important dates and addresses cost starts around $75 (for a really nice one).
- No danger of crashing. About the only way you would lose all your data in a paper planner would be if you lost it.
- Always ready. A paper planner has no batteries to recharge or replace.
Link to buy a paper planner - 2011 Planners
Don't know where to start on an important paper?
This website was created by the University of Minnesota to help you plan out the steps needed to write a good paper. All you have to do it enter in the due date of the paper and the site will map it all out for you.
You can also check out the University Writing Center here at TTU for help and feedback on your papers.
How to use Microsoft Outlook to organize your schedule
Here are a few feature of Outlook that are useful for students:
- Setting up recurring appointments: Instead of having to write in every single class on a paper planner, you can type in the information once and then set it up to recur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Adding reminders: If you are prone to forget things or if you need to be bugged to get something done, then reminders can be very helpful. You can add reminders for class times, assignments and tests so that you don't forget that your big paper is due next week.
- Categorizing: If you want to try to keep school, work and your personal life separate, you can color code classes and assignments in one color, work in another and personal time with a third color. That way when you look at your week, you can see where all your time is being spent.
- Day, Week and Month View: Some students can get overwhelmed thinking about all the assignments that are looming next month so Outlook allows you to control whether you see a day, week or month at a time.
- Syncronization with your phone: If you have a tendency to leave the information about assignments at home when you go to study, you can see the pages you are supposed to read for tomorrow on your phone. You can easily include information about assignments on the class appointments on your calendar.
Those are just a few reasons that Outlook could help keep you more sane when that crazy time in the semester hits. If you have done 90 minutes of work at the beginning of the semester to set everything up, you will be able to keep track of your life more easily.