Time Management for Students: How to Use a Calendar for Studies


The spring semester is nearing its finish. Whether you’re in high school or college, you probably have dozens of tasks to complete at any given time. If there have been times when you’ve felt overwhelmed or disorganized during the school year, a calendar can help.

But what can calendars really do apart from recording events and deadlines? Well, it turns out that modern digital calendars can do a lot. Here are four ways students can use a calendar to stay organized and keep their studies in order.

  1. Make Group Projects Easier

Ah yes, the dreaded group project. Besides the fact that one person usually ends up doing most of the work, it’s also hard to set meetings. Comparing everyone’s schedules can be a major pain depending on how many people are working together.

Thankfully, meeting scheduling can be a lot easier by using technology. A scheduling app works by pulling in calendar information from multiple parties. That way, it’s easy to see when everyone is available. No more sending emails back and forth, thinking you have a date set only to find one person isn’t available.

You can also grant viewing access to each other’s calendars. We’ll get into that more below, but it’s a great way to reduce back-and-forth communication. There are multiple benefits when it comes to group projects. One example is making sure everyone knows what they’re responsible for. If you put due dates for your project contribution, everyone can see when your work should be completed.

  1. Set Reminders and Automations

It’s one thing to put a due date on your calendar. It’s another matter entirely to remember to do it before said due date approaches.

When you’re putting events or due dates on your calendar, make sure you have plenty of runway with your reminders. A reminder an hour before your class starts might be sufficient to get you there on time. A reminder that gets your attention an hour before your thesis is due isn’t going to be a lot of help. 

Setting reminders for when you need to start working on your projects is much more helpful. You can even set multiple reminders as the due date approaches. Just be careful. If you overdo it and constantly bombard yourself with notifications, you might become desensitized to them.

If you prefer to work with summaries, there are calendar options for that as well. Google Calendar has an option for automatically emailing you every morning with an itinerary for your day. So even if the monthly calendar gives you an overwhelming amount of information, the daily summary can narrow it down to the next 24 hours.

  1. Use Color Coding

If you’re taking multiple classes, they can sometimes blur together. This can be especially true if you’re taking several classes with a similar subject matter. When it comes to keeping things straight with your calendar, use color coding to your advantage.

In most calendars, you can assign colors to events and other entries. Giving a unique color either by assignment type or class can help you compartmentalize. Not only is that good for organization, but it can also keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Three medium color blocks of activities might seem more doable than a bulk, monochromatic wall of responsibilities.

Another coding option is to use it as a priority system. If you put a red color scheme on important tasks, a quick glance at your calendar can give you an idea of your capacity. If there are very few red items, you’re probably on top of things. If your calendar is a wall of crimson, you probably need to block off some time or decrease other responsibilities.

  1. Share Your Calendar

Frequent communication regarding your activities can be surprisingly time consuming. Maybe your family is trying to plan an event that works with your school schedule. Alternatively, maybe you have a part time job, and an employer is trying to get your weekly hours figured out.

If other parties are amenable to the process, sometimes it’s much faster to just share your calendar with them. That way, your mom knows if you can attend your own birthday dinner. Also, your employer doesn’t have to find a weekly email from you with your availability. 

But what if you no longer want certain people to be able to see your calendar? If you leave your part time job, it would make no sense for your former employer to have viewing access. Thankfully, it’s easy to revoke access. Just make sure to remember who you’ve sent invitations to and purge regularly.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Being a student can be overwhelming, especially if you’re also balancing other responsibilities. Sure, you might be making do with sticky notes and a physical calendar tacked up above your desk. But with the options available to you through modern digital calendars, there are more efficient ways to stay on top of your studies.

Sure, you’ll need to get into the habit of entering your schedule, due dates, and reminders all in one place. Once you get into that routine, you might realize there were past blown deadlines and mix ups that could have easily been avoided. So get organized, set your calendar, and don’t make school any harder than it has to be.

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