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How to Make an Assignment Spreadsheet for Grade A Productivity

The fall 2021 semester has brought with it the return of in-person classes and activities across college campuses. Whether it’s your first time on your college campus or the first time in two years with all of your classes being face to face, we all have undoubtedly forgotten what it’s like to be in person, and more importantly how to balance assignments and due dates while attending in person campus activities. We at Her Campus Hofstra have detailed how to make a chronological, color-coded Google Sheet spreadsheet so you can keep track of homework, tests, projects and anything else you may want to organize.

Color Code Using Conditional Formatting

Portion of the spreadsheet making process for class assignments.
Original photo by Alia Ervin
Portion of the spreadsheet making process for class assignments.
Original photo by Alia Ervin

Using conditional formatting to color-code your classes and assignments will save you time and a headache trying to color each box individually. Go to Format → Conditional Formatting and input the range you’d like this rule to apply to (from the first box that you’ll use, usually A2 or B2, to the very last box. This can be updated later based on how many assignments you input). After you have your range, choose “text contains” in the drop-down menu under “Format Rules” and insert a class name that will be on your spreadsheet. Choose what color will represent this class, and you’re done with the color format for that class. Repeat this process for each class you have, and the boxes will color themselves as you input your assignments.

Tip: The format for a range is indicated with a colon (Example: B2:E100, not B2-E100).

Tip: Use conditional formatting to color-code different types of assignments like presentations and projects. You can do this by color coding each cell that contains the word “presentation,” “exam,” etc.

Input All Assignments for All Classes

Portion of the spreadsheet making process for class assignments.
Alia Ervin

This is the most tedious part of the process. Go through each class syllabus and input any homework, assigned reading, paper, project, presentation, quiz and exam. You can decide how detailed you want to make each entry, but double (and triple) check that you didn’t miss anything. The last thing you want is to spend time making your spreadsheet and still miss an assignment.

Tip: If links to upcoming readings are provided in your syllabus, copy them over into your spreadsheet to make it a better resource. Now everything you need to complete your reading is in one place.

Tip: You can add checkboxes to your spreadsheet to make finishing an assignment more satisfying. Highlight as many rows as you’d like in the first column (usually column A) and go to insert → checkboxes

Sort Chronologically

Portion of the spreadsheet making process for class assignments.
Original photo by Alia Ervin
Portion of the spreadsheet making process for class assignments.
Original photo by Alia Ervin

Tip: Don’t forget to update the spreadsheet if a professor cancels an upcoming quiz or changes the due date of an assignment.

At this point, all your classes and deadlines should be on your spreadsheet and each class entry should be colored in its respective color. The final step is to highlight every assignment entry, go to “Data” → “Sort Range” and choose to sort your spreadsheet by whatever column contains the dates of your deadlines (in this case, column E). This will bring the assignments with the closest due dates in all of your classes to the top.

Now you should have a functioning, chronological spreadsheet full of color, information and resource links. While the transition back to in-person classes can be a challenging one, creating resources for yourself to stay organized is a great way to set yourself up for success for the rest of the semester. You put all this effort into making a colorful, helpful spreadsheet, and now you just have to remember to use it!

Alia Ervin

Hofstra '22

Alia Ervin is a senior Public Relations major and Spanish minor at Hofstra. She enjoys poetry, a good bagel and writing for Hofstra's HC chapter!
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