Using iCal for College

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tetris23, May 3, 2012.

  1. Tetris23 macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2012
    Hi Everyone - first post!

    So I recently have started using iCal and was wondering how does everyone else use it for school?
    I have different Calendars for all my courses and input them into iCal, but what about assignments? Where do you guys put those?
    What do you use the reminders for?
    At the moment I tend to use the week view and put my assignments following the name of the course for instance: International Relations - ESSAY DUE. However, I feel this is not the most efficient and if I happen to go into month view I often time do not even see the assignment or exam.
    I also have a calendar in reminders called "school" that I use to remind me of stuff needed to do but that I can't really input such as "return library books" "finish notes on readings" "find essay topic" ect..

    So lets hear it! How do you organize your iCal for college?!
  2. Tetris23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2012
    There has to be some of you that use it!

    I start summer classes on monday and could really use the help!
  3. Kate. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2009
    When I was in college, I used iCal for scheduling but a separate, dedicated task manager for assignments. TaskPaper was my favorite for this although a simple text file could work too. There's no shortages of task managers on the Mac.

    It seemed unwieldy to me, trying to fit assignments into a calendar. Especially when you have multiple assignments per class — a reading assignment plus a writing component. You need to see page numbers and chapters, reference worksheets/handouts with questions and writing prompts.

    If I had to use iCal to keep track of schoolwork, I'd do it, like you mentioned, in the Reminders sidebar with my reminders using the same individual class calendars. It's easier to track progress (done/not done) and minimizes the risk of losing an assignment in the shuffle. But, like I said, I'd rather keep a list in a separate app. I've graduated but I still run my life this way — calendar is for scheduling and a task manager (TaskPaper for me) is for tasks and to-dos.

    Good luck in school — just don't try to shoehorn your life into a system that doesn't work for you. Keep your system as simple as possible to start and pay attention to what works and doesn't. Look around at some of the software available and see if something catches your eye as being a more efficient way to get all your work done.
  4. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    +1 for the post above -

    I think the OP should differentiate between your calendar (a hard landscape of time commitments) and assignments (tasks with start and due dates). These are two different problems, while they both have a time component, would be best managed using with two different solutions:

    iCal - use to manage your firm commitments
    [some task management product] to manage assignments.

    I use OmniFocus for the task management piece - expensive compared to other apps, a slightly high learning curve, but well worth the time invested. If you have an interest, you might try reading Getting Things Done by David Allen; OmniFocus is one of a few software products that facilitate the GTD system.
  5. ByronicLion macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    I am in to GTD so I use it in a similar way. I only put things in ical that are due or must be done that day. At the beginning of the semester I'll put all my exams and major projects/assignments that are due. Through the semester I'll add things like meetings with groups, meeting a professor, study sessions, assignments that are due, etc.

    Anyway that does not have to be done that day like studying or recopying notes I'll use omnifocus for. Any task management program would work.

    This method works for me as I'll just look at ical in the morning when I get up and at night to make sure I don't forget anything important but don't clutter ical up to the point that I stop using it.
  6. jahala macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2008
    Try schoolhouse

    When I was in college, I used Schoolhouse. It works really well and is cheap. It is specifically designed to solve your problem and can help you keep track of your grades as well.

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