Helpful Tools to Keep Track of Class Assignments

todayFebruary 2, 2022 143 1

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By Celeste Parler
Web Content Contributor

Classes have started up again and for some of us, they are kicking our behinds. Most of us know what it’s like to miss a due date because we have trouble remembering all of our assigned work. Surely something is bound to slip through the cracks. Perhaps you have experienced so much stress to keep track of deadlines that you end up compromising your sleep schedule or your mental health.

As a fellow college student who has taken several virtual and/or asynchronous classes, I have been there. Since I was 17, I have been using several tools to organize my life from class to extracurriculars and more. Now that I have more responsibilities than ever, I’m glad that my organization and planning skills have paid off. 

So I’d like to share a few ways I am able to keep track of class assignments. This is by no means an exhaustive list. And if these techniques don’t work for you, then I encourage you to discover more organizational devices, websites and apps to fit your needs. 

An open-faced planner at the week of November 8-November 14, 2021. At the top of the left page reads Weekly Gratitude with a handwritten sentence on the two lines. Various assignments and events are slashed through. Highlighted in pink are the holidays Veteran’s Day and World Kindness Day. On top of the planner sits a black pen and a pink Sharpie highlighter.
How I used my planner in November 2021.

1. Old-Fashioned Planner

Chances are that if you are not already using a planner, someone in your life has recommended that you start. That’s because planners do more than just helping out college students. Today, planners are designed for people of all interests and professions, including students. That’s why I use an academic planner that starts in August and ends in July of the following year. You will find that several academic planners also include educational resources and pages to write out your class schedule.

My current planner from Bloom Daily Planners features a vertical layout that allows you to organize daily tasks by class. Unlike other planning tools, I prefer to write out responsibilities in my planner one week at a time. I do this to not be caught up with deadlines that could be changed at the last minute. Planners might be the best option for those that prefer a pen and paper to screens and keyboards.

A screenshot of a spreadsheet on Google Sheets displaying the author’s sheet used to organize class assignments and deadlines from Spring 2021. The title row reads from left to right class name, assignment type, assignment name, due date, due time and complete. To the right of the table is a key to indicate the color of the cells correlated to the course number and its days taken.
My class assignment spreadsheet from Spring 2021 created in Google Sheets.

2. Assignment Spreadsheet

In the last year and even the last few weeks, there have been several viral TikToks of students creating beautiful spreadsheets to organize their classwork. And these TikToks were the inspiration for me to make my own. I use Google Sheets so that I can access my spreadsheet from a browser and the Sheets app from my phone. With a few clicks, you can customize your spreadsheet and have all of your assignments and deadlines organized in chronological order. 

I get to work on my assignment spreadsheet at the beginning of the semester after I received all of my class syllabi. I not only include graded assignments, but also deadlines like readings and presentation days. As you can see from the image above, I organize by the course number, assignment type and due date. I also create a key and include smiley face emojis to indicate if I have completed an assignment on time or not. The work may seem tedious, but I promise it will be worth not forgetting a major assignment. 

3. Canvas Calendar

Every Texas State student is familiar with Canvas, but not everyone is aware of its special features. I’d like to highlight the Calendar feature found below the Groups page on Desktop or to the right of the dashboard on the mobile app. You’ll see that Canvas has already done the hard work of inputting data on a calendar color-coded by course. Also, on the Canvas site assignments will have a strike-through when once you have completed them. 

The calendar can also be modified to include personal to-do items and events in a course group with the plus button in the upper right-hand corner. Yet what makes the Canvas calendar a must-use planning tool is its ability to have your information be exported to your other personal calendars. Canvas makes it easy to merge your deadlines and events with the Calendar Feed feature.

Featured Image by Celeste Parler

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