The major thing different in college classes from high school classes is the syllabus. I don’t know about you, but my syllabus in high school was always pointless. It always stated the same grading scale, the same attendance policy, and the same general information about every class.
In college, it’s different. Some professors put some assignments on the syllabus and then never speak of them again. No reminders the day before it’s due, no mentioning it in class, nothing. You need to be on top of your own work.. and I love that.
I have to admit, it was a little intimidating at first… but then I found this idea for an assignment planner by Kirsten at Organized Charm. I loved it.
So this idea was 100% from her. I changed it a tiny bit to fit me, but not much.
First, I gathered all of my class syllabus’ (syllabi?) together and highlighted all the important dates: due dates, exams, field trips, whatever I had to remember.
I opened up Microsoft Excel (this can also be done in Google Drive Spreadsheets if you do not have Microsoft Excel) and made a spreadsheet with 3 columns.
1 for the due date, 1 for the class, and 1 for the assignment.
Below that I merged the row together and wrote the first month. Then I skipped about 10 rows and wrote the next month.. and repeated until all the months for the term were on there.
Then I began to write in the dates for each class. I started with one class and added in each assignment under the month that it was due. In the assignment section I made sure that I was short and sweet, so that it didn’t grow too big.
Go class by class so that you don’t get overwhelmed with having to go day by day.
Once you’ve entered in all the assignments, arrange them by due date. If you’re not computer or spreadsheet savvy, this one might get a little confusing for you so I’ve laid it out in small steps below.
1) Highlight the Area
Click on the cell in the top right corner of the month (the first due date) and drag until you have selected all the assignments, classes, and due dates for that month.
2) Click the A-Z Button
Click on the button on your toolbar that says A-Z. There should then be a menu telling you a variety of different things. The most common is that it will say sort it A-Z (alphabetically) but that is not what you want to do. If it already says to sort smallest to largest, just click that and you’re done. If it does not, then click on the custom sort button.
3) Custom Sort: Smallest to Largest
When you click on the custom sort button, this box should pop up. Simply select to sort column A (your due date column) by smallest to largest and press ok!
Then your month should be all sorted out by due date! Nice and easy 🙂
Go on and select the rest of the months and do it again one at a time.
Now that you’ve made the spreadsheet, how do you use it?
I have mine taped up right next to my desk. When I start an assignment I highlight it in yellow. When I finish an assignment I highlight over the yellow highlight in orange. Then when I turn the assignment in I cross it out with a black pen. This way I can keep track of every step of the process.
Using this spreadsheet has already saved my grade, and I’m only 6 weeks into the semester! I was leaving for my morning class and I wanted to make sure that I had finished any homework due for that day, so I glanced at my assignment planner before I left. Turns out I had done the homework for that class, but I hadn’t done the homework for the one after it! It was an assignment that my professor had put up on the syllabus but had not mentioned anything of it in class. It was a very simple task, so I did it while I was waiting for my first class to start.
Turns out that everyone in that class forgot to do it, except me! Luckily I had the time to remind a couple of my friends in that class to get it done, and they were able to turn it in on time.
Since I made this planner one of my roommates has stolen the idea as well and made it her own. She doesn’t print it out, just keeps it as a spreadsheet on her computer, and strikes it off digitally every time she completes an assignment.
This spreadsheet is only one of the ways that I make sure I’m on top of my work. My main source of school organization is my planner, but my favorite? My post-it note calendar. I absolutely love my post-it note calendar.. but that I’ll be saving till next time!
What do you do to stay organized for school? Tell me about it in the comments and maybe I’ll try it out!
Tagged on: Academics assignment planner assignment spreadsheet blogging101 college craft diy do it yourself high school highlighter how to life my desk organize planner productivity schedule school spreadsheet university
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DaniOctober 8, 2014College, My Desk, Organization + Planning, Organize, Tech
Whether you’re a sophomore in high school or a senior in college, your life is full of attending classes, working on homework, extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends, and squeezing in family time when you can. We all have so much going on and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when.
Confession: I am a planner and organization junkie. I carry my LifePlanner with me everywhere, along with a bag of pens–for color coding. I also keep an electronic version, thanks to Google Calendar, and it’s so full it looks like confetti exploded on my phone/laptop screen. I’m telling you this because I understand how important finding the right planner is. Hours of research went into my first big planner purchase, and my guess is (if you’re reading this post) you’re a bit like me.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of the 7 best planners for students:
LifePlanner by Erin Condren
Price: $45-$65 + add-ons
The LifePlanner was my first mega planner purchase and I love it. If everything in your life is organized by color, this is the planner for you. In addition to interchangeable, customizable covers, you can also add on stickers of all shapes and sizes. Mine also came with a sample pack of stickers and a movable ruler/bookmark. You can also find stickers on Etsy that are the same size and shape of the boxes in the LifePlanner.
It comes in three different layouts: horizontal, vertical, and hourly. Each weekly page also has space for a to-do list, which always comes in handy.
Student Planner by Plum Paper
Price: $18 + add-ons
Plum Paper’s Student Planner would be excellent for any high school student or college student with a heavy course load. Each week is organized by day and class period (7 spaces available).
The nice thing about this planner is you can customize it to start at any month during the year. So, if you’re not satisfied with a previous planner purchase or you procrastinated and don’t want to spend money on missed months, go with this planner. It comes in 6 months or 12-18 months. So, you can also give it a 6 month trial run if you’re still not sold.
Academic Daily Simplified Planner by Emily Ley
Price: $58 + add-ons
Emily Ley’s Academic Daily Simplified Planner is full of inspiration quotes and gold detailing. (And we all need a little inspiration to keep going sometimes!) These planners are made for academic schedules (i.e., they run August-July). In addition to 6am-9pm hourly spots, there are also spaces for notes, daily to-dos, and dinner plans.
The design of these planners are classy-chic. One of my college friends swears by this planner. She just purchased her second one and doesn’t plan on changing it up any time soon.
Flagship Collection by Day Designer
Price: $59 + add-ons
If you’re all business and don’t feel the need to decorate every square inch of your planner, the Flagship Collection is for you. These daily pages run from 5am-9pm. Each day has a space for to-dos, gratitude, your top 3 to-dos, notes, and more. The Flagship collection is available in beginning and mid-year editions, each running 12 months.
If you’re feeling the need for a bit more organization in your life, there are also a plethora of free printables available. These include bucket lists, notes, organizing your week, gratitude journals, food and exercise logs, and much more.
Academic Daily Planner by Bloom Daily Planners
Price: $13.95-$26.95 + add-ons
The Academic Daily Planner comes in hard or soft cover, and a choice between a normal academic planner or a vision planner. The vision planner is organized to help you set and work towards your goals. The academic year planner also has spaces for your goals, to-dos, and a fun list of reasons for a party.
It also has an awesome academic scheduler placed in the beginning pages. There are places for time, class, professor name, and room, all by day of the week and term.
The Happy Planner-Student Edition by Me & My Big Ideas
Price: $19.99-$29.99 + add-ons
The Happy Planner is the creative student’s dream planner. You literally make it all you want it to be, and can add or remove pages at any time. It’s basically a scrapbook that functions as a planner.
One of my favorite things about this planner is you can actually go to a store and check it out. It’s also 100% customizable. You can add pages, bookmarks, inspirational quotes on tabs, and even clip in pictures. If you want to check it out in person, head to your local Hobby Lobby store.
Academic Planners by Mead
During my first few years of college I relied on my Mead planners to keep my life organized. I started with the small, 4″ x 6″ size, and ended up with the giant 8.5″ x 11″. These are great planners because you can choose daily, weekly, or monthly layouts. They’re also extremely affordable.
Yes, these planners are a bit more subtle than some of the others listed above. However, if you’re feeling the need to spice it up a bit, you essentially have a blank slate that you can make entirely your own. Head to a craft store, buy some stickers and fun pens, and spend an afternoon decorating your new best friend.
Planners are as unique as the people who use them. Each one is loved and used in its own way. If you have a favorite that isn’t on this list, share it in the comments below!
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite planner accessories:
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