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.
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!