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I can’t keep track of everything!

Keeping track of the million and one things going on in your lives is next to impossible. I know all the parents out there have experienced their kids forgetting assignments or tests. And for students, there’s nothing more panicking than getting to class and forgetting you had that huge test or assignment due.

Today I’m building on my post from last week and giving you another system to reduce how overwhelming the application process can be. You can use this system for everything: classes, ECs, jobs, applications, even making sure you don’t forget your mom’s birthday!

Google Calendar – Your New Best Friend

At the beginning of each semester once you get your class schedule, take 1-2 hours to update your google calendar. Put in your entire class schedule, any holidays or school breaks you have, finals week, standardized test dates if you have them, etc. Set up google calendar to email you your schedule each day so you can read it when you check your email in the morning. As soon as you get a syllabus for a class, go into the calendar you just set up and update it with any big assignments or tests.

Do the same for college applications. Put all of the big milestones in your calendar and monthly check-ins to make sure you’re getting the tasks done. Spend 1-2 hours today to fill out your calendar.

Here’s my favorite trick: for big assignments, put the due date 1-7 days before it’s actually due. You have a 5-page history paper due October 29? Put it in your calendar on the 26th. Then even if you forget about it until you see it on the 26th, you still have three days to do it.

Google calendar also let’s you add notifications. This is great for tests, which you probably want to mark on the actual day. Just set either email or pop up notifications for 1 week, 2 days, and 1 day. You can also include your parents as invitees to your calendar so they know what’s going on and can provide you with help and support as needed. This will probably take you 2-4 hours depending on how many classes you have and how much detail you want to include, but the beginning of the semester is where you want to spend your prep time so that when it’s November and every class has a huge assignment and your applications are coming up you’re not pulling your hair out trying to “be organized.”

I’ve included a couple of screen shots to get you started. Email me at jyeager@post.harvard.edu if you want more Google calendar tips and tricks.

Action Steps

  1. Create and update your calendar today. This is the perfect time and a great task for students because it’s small and well defined.
  2. Email me or comment on how this went and if you encountered any issues. I read every one!

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