Life and school can be very busy, especially depending on your course load and the extracurricular activities you participate in. It can be difficult to balance everything and have time for yourself. As we live in the digital age and on our laptops most of the day, it would be easy to get used to using a digital planner.
There are a ton of different digital planners to choose from, the easiest option is Google Calendar because if you mainly use Google Chrome as your web browser, it is already linked to your account.
Create your own color palette
Google Calendar lets you view your schedule from a monthly, weekly, daily, and yearly view so you can plan your schedule as far ahead as you want. You can add any course or activity to your calendar and give it a specific color. There’s even an option to add hex codes for specific colors if you want your calendar to have a color scheme.
To add it, you can find the hex code of the color you want online, copy and paste it, click on the course you want and click add custom color, then it will give you the option to add the hexadecimal code. The process is pretty easy, but finding the right colors makes it a bit tricky.
Useful extensions to use with Google Calendar
There are other Google extensions you can add to your calendar, such as Keep, Tasks, Contacts, and Maps. Keep can be used to take notes or leave reminders for yourself instead of using a physical sticky note.
Colton Loeb, a theater graduate student, uses the Tasks extension to track due dates.
“I use it for homework so I know when things are done and it helps me stay on track,” Loeb said.
Contacts can be used when scheduling meetings and it makes it easier to use them since you already have their contact details to send them an invitation or a reminder. The Maps extension is useful if you have an event taking place at a particular location and it will give you directions.
Another useful trick in Google Calendar is being able to schedule recurring meetings or due dates without putting them every week. For example, if you have a club meeting that meets every Wednesday at 5 p.m. but you don’t want to create an event every week to remind you of it, you can instead customize the time to repeat every Wednesdays at 5 p.m. until the date you want it to end. This way you don’t have to put it on every week and you know that time is blocked every Wednesday.
Gail Jacky, director of the Huskie Academic Support Center, uses both a digital calendar and a paper planner and suggests students use one, if not both. She also recommends combining school work and personal events on your calendar.
“If students don’t implement both homework and extracurricular activities, they won’t maintain a balanced schedule,” Jacky said. “We want students to turn in their homework, but they have to find a balance between the two so they don’t go crazy.”