Apps & Other Methods for Organizing Your Academic Life

It’s the beginning of a new academic year, and a new set of graduate students are learning about all that will be expected of them as they earn their degrees.

[photo of Gustave Reverho]

One of them writes in seeking advice:

I am starting my first year of graduate school and I am worried about getting overwhelmed by all of my new tasks and responsibilities and managing my time well. 

For courses I’m taking, I need to keep track of what to read and when, due dates for writing assignments and when to start writing them, the various steps of  long-term projects, ideas I want to store for possible use later, etc. For the course I’m a teaching assistant for, I need to keep an eye on when I’ll be grading a lot and how that might affect what other work I can do.  Then there are program requirements to make sure I’m satisfying, departmental events to prepare for and attend, reading groups, meetings with professors, conference submission deadlines, etc., not to mention making sure I have time for some non-school activities (like exercising). I’m sure I’ve forgotten things that should be on this list… and that’s what I’m worried about!

Could you ask people how they do it? Is there an app or set of apps that are good for this? Do people use planner systems or wall calendars, too?  Something else? I already have too many post-it notes on the wall near my desk. Please help! Thank you!

Readers, what do you recommend?

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