Get Organized This Semester With Google Calendar

Ads by Google

math-studyingIf you’re in college, chances are you’ve already started your spring semester or it will be starting very soon.  One of the most difficult parts of college (besides the homework, of course) is managing a complex and ever-changing schedule.  If you think of each class as an individual job – making each of your professors your boss – you’ve got a lot of people to manage just to get through the week.

One of the best things you can do to start your semester off right is to leverage free online tools to help you manage your classes.  In this article, I’ll show you how to manage your schedule and get organized this semester with Google Calendar.

Step 1 – Collect Your Schedules

schedules2Before you can get organized with Google Calendar, you need to get all of your schedules together.  Start by locating an official copy of your semester course schedule (which is typically available from the same website you use to register for classes).  You also need to find schedules for any extracurricular activities, work, or events you plan to participate in during the semester.

Get as much information as you can for each of your events to make your schedule as robust as possible.  This includes dates, durations, locations, required textbooks – even teachers.  Don’t be afraid to include too much information in this step, you can always remove it later.

Step 2 – Identify Important Dates and Events

schedulesTry to identify any important dates or events that will occur this semester.  The highest priority dates will be for things like when tuition is due, last day to add a course, last day to drop a course, and the date when financial aid will be dispersed.

Ads by Google

If your university posts an official calendar, check that out and make note of any other significant events.

Step 3 – Get Organized with Google Calendar

Now that you’ve got the hard steps out of the way, you just have to put it all together.  Head over to Google Calendar (this requires a free Google account) to get started.

We’ll start by creating an individual calendar to hold your class schedule.  Creating an individual schedule gives you the option of toggling it on/off later on which can be handy if you’ve got a lot of events.  Click Create under My Calendars on the left side of the screen.

get organized with google

You will be given a variety of fields to fill in like the name and description of your calendar.  You will also be given the option of sharing your calendar which is great if you want to keep your friends or relatives in the loop.

calendar-naming

To start adding courses to your schedule, click the arrow next to your calendar on the left side of the screen and select Create event on this calendar.

calendar-newevents

Since most of your courses will repeat throughout the week, you can use the Repeat… checkbox to schedule patterns like Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday.  You can also set the last day of semester in the Until: box so your calendar will automatically clean itself up when the semester is over.

get organized with google

Before finalizing the course entry, I recommend adding extra information about the course in the Description field such as the instructor, textbook, and office hours.

use google to get organized

Keep adding calendar events until your schedule is full!  Don’t forget to add things like your work schedule or extracurricular activities.

Step 4 – Accessing Your Calendar

Now that you’ve got your entire schedule in Google Calendar, the last step is to make it available on any devices you own.  You can always access your calendar from any web browser, but one of the best ways to interact with your calendar is to get an application for your mobile phone.

Google Calendar currently syncs with many popular mobile operating systems such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia/Symbian, and Windows Mobile.

Another great way to keep an eye on your calendar is to add it to your Gmail sidebar.  To do this, enable the Google Calendar Gadget in Gmail Labs.  If your course schedule calendar isn’t visible, click Options –> Edit visible calendars and enable it.

calendar-gmail

Step 5 – Notifications

It can be especially hard to keep track of your schedule at the beginning of a new semester, but Google Calendar can provide notifications via SMS and email to keep you on track.  To enable notifications, click the arrow next to your calendar and select Notifications.

calendar-notifications

If you’re really concerned about missing classes, you can enable reminders that can alert you before each class starts.  This could come in handy during the first week of class and can be easily disabled after you are familiar with your schedule.

calendar-reminders

Conclusion

Although it takes a little time to put it all together, having your schedule online and available on all your devices can be a great asset throughout your semester.

Have any tips for staying on top of your semester?  Share them with us in the comments!

Be sure to check out the rest of MakeUseOf’s articles about staying organized with calendars!

Image Credits : Evan Wondrasek, Brymo, Matt Biddulph.

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Awesome Internet (and Tips)
Awesome Internet (and Tips)
1452 Members
Stay Invisible Online
Stay Invisible Online
1042 Members
Deep Web Links & Tips
Deep Web Links & Tips
709 Members
Web Security & Privacy
Web Security & Privacy
522 Members
Music Apps & Sites
Music Apps & Sites
400 Members
Become Better :thumbsup:
Become Better :thumbsup:
332 Members
Affiliate Disclamer

This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
New comment

Please login to avoid entering captcha

Log In