A 5-Step Guide To Digital Planning

Converting your paper planner to digital is a simple and inexpensive way to keep your agenda clear and concise during the fall semester.

We know, letting go of that adorable planner with dogs doing yoga on the cover might be hard, but if functionality is your end goal switching to digital is your best bet.

Step 1: Make a Google Calendar

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We won’t bore you with a lengthy how-to on making a Google Calendar. But, if you get stumped, here’s a crash course for reference.

Step 2: Let’s get digital

Feeling organized already? Us too! Now let’s get down to business. For starters, don’t be discouraged that you can’t use the color-coding system you’ve established with your paper planner. The Google Calendar allows you to highlight, bold, and color code as needed.

To ensure your digital planner is easily readable, choose a color for each school subject,organization, or club. This way, you can see exams coming up, projects deadlines, and event dates for your organizations. You can also bold crucial words like “final exam” so you never miss a study day.

For example: Sorority Philanthropy event in green, Geology final exam in blue bold, and Film project in red.

Step 3: Try time blocking

Google Calendar is also a universally easy way to practice time blocking. Time blocking allows you to finish different tasks (whether extremely lengthy and stressful or just a simple errand) one at a time, instead of all at once. Time blocking can be especially helpful to a busy college student with a lot on their plate and even more on their to-do list.

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Additionally, time blocking allows you to see what you are spending the majority of your time doing, and where you could spend more of your time for something more productive.

For example: If your calendar says five hours to binge Handmaid’s Tale, two hours of studying, and four hours of socializing with friends, you might want to re-evaluate your schedule.

Step 4: Turn on alerts 

Google Calendar allows users to turn on alerts to remind you about upcoming events and assignments. Take advantage of this feature since it is a tool you can’t find in a paper planner. You can even set alerts to remind you daily, so you’re never out of the loop and always on top of your coursework.  

Step 5: Make your calendar accessible on all of your devices

For easy reference in class or on the go, make your calendar accessible on each of your devices. If your professor mentions an important date in class, you can quickly type it into the calendar on your laptop and refer to it later on your phone when walking to another class. Download the app on your phone and sign into your email to sync your calendar from another device.

This is a crucial step if you want to get the most out of digital planning. Besides, it’s easy to leave a paper planner somewhere on campus, but you’d never forget your phone.

We check our devices when we wake up, in between classes, and we’re constantly on them for leisure— we might as well add organization to our busy lives while using them, too.