Mapping out your schedule is easy. Think of your calendar as a compass. It’s a guide for navigating your current term that will also keep you pointed toward your long-term goals.
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You keep forgetting assignments and can’t find your paper calendar.


Replace the paper calendar with a free electronic calendar or phone app.


Pick one of the following:

Google calendar (

It’s free, it syncs with every type of device, and it is connected with a free Gmail account that includes document creation and storage software. With this Web application, you can input assignment deadlines and reminders, sync with group members’ calendars during group projects, and even manage your social life by loading Facebook events.

iStudiez Pro app for Mac, iPhone, and iPad (

Rated the Best College Student App for 2011, iStudiez allows you to sync the following information across devices: a daily schedule, your calendar by term, assignments, grades, and instructor information.

Studious for Android (

If you own an Android device and want to ditch your paper planner, try out Studious. It is an all-in-one app for tracking your schedule, including upcoming homework deadlines, and can also be used for taking and managing notes. Best of all, it’s free.

Then, take these steps:

  • Find out if your college sells a special planner in the campus bookstore with important dates or deadlines already marked, or get the academic calendar from your school’s website. If neither of the first two suggestions works for you, then grab a sheet of paper or download a blank calendar template from the Internet.
  • Draw up a plan for the term, entering your commitments for each week: classes, work hours, assignment deadlines, study groups (including contact numbers), and exam and dates when school is not in session. Enter this information into an electronic calendar, or write it onto a blank calendar.
  • Transfer all the information into Outlook, iCal, or a similar ShareWare program. When you open Outlook or iCal, you can view by day, week, or month. Simply click on a date or time slot, follow instructions on the toolbar to create a new entry, and start typing.
  • Highlight the most important deadlines and activities. As you type in each new entry, you’ll have the option to color-code items by category (e.g., school, work, family). Set reminder alarms to keep yourself on track.
  • Use the to-do list on the side of the screen to jot down and prioritize tasks. Start a new to-do list every day or once a week. Every time you complete a task, delete it from the list. You can attach due dates to each task, and set up reminders.
  • Back up everything by syncing your calendar and to-do list with other electronic devices. If you need help, visit your college’s computer lab or information technology (IT) department. Alternately, turn to an organized friend for advice, or click to an Outlook tutorial on the Internet. As backup, file your original paper calendar away in case you experience technical difficulties down the road.