My Overly Complex System of Keeping Track of My Life

nathan-2013 Viterbi Class, Viterbi Life 2 Comments

Most people are able to remember day-to-day routines in their life. I am not one of them. Because of this, I have devised systems to alert me of where I am supposed to go and what I am supposed to do. Without this, I would be even more dysfunctional than I already am (and that would be truly scary).

One big thing for me to keep track of his homework. In high school, I pretty much knew that I would have homework due in every class every day. Not so much anymore. One advantage of college, though, is that many professors include the full outline of assignments that will be due for the entire semester on their courses’ syllabi.

At the beginning of every semester, I enter the homework information for every one of my classes into a program called Schoolhouse. I have intelligent filters (sort of like Smart Playlists in iTunes) that help me keep track of which assignments will be due soon, which are overdue (nothing right now!), which I need to prioritize, etc. I’ve found that keeping track of all my assignments in this way ensures that I don’t forget to do them.

As far as regular planning goes, I use a standard, albeit slightly intricate, calendar system for tracking my classes, appointments, meetings, activities, etc. My primary calendar is stored in Google Calendar, where I have separate calendars for each of the aforementioned categories, along with a few others. From Google Calendar, I use the CalDAV protocol, as outlined here, to sync with my laptop, where I interface with my calendar in iCal. I prefer iCal’s interface to that of Google Calendar, and being able to edit my calendar there makes it easy for me to access it even when I’m offline.

The reason my calendar is primarily stored in Google Calendar, though, is so it can sync with my phone over Exchange, as described here (also remember to follow the instructions here or it will only sync one of your calendars). Google Calendar can also synchronize with BlackBerry devices and those from other manufacturers.

I hope that this gave you some insight into managing time and keeping track of what you have to do. I’m the sort of person who can’t handle downtime; I go crazy if I have nothing to do. Despite this, being organized and keeping track of all of my commitments makes it possible for me to have fun and stay on top of all my responsibilities.

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