Five Ways to Craft an Assignment List

My first two years of college were spent floundering about, forgetting assignment after assignment until I was struggling to pass my classes with a solid C. It got to the point where I was on Academic Warning more than once.

I tried various planners (this was before my bullet journal craze), but none of them could keep track of every little thing that came my way. I needed a system that could hold every assignment, all in one place.

When I finally found the solution, I felt a little silly. A to-do list for assignments. It was so simple. How did I not think of that?

I began my search for the perfect assignment list. And today, I’m going to share the various techniques I tried with you, in the hopes that you’ll skip the mistake-making I made my first two years.

So without further ado: here are three ways to craft an assignment list.

1: Syllabus Highlight

This is the simplest form of assignment list, as all you need is your syllabus, a pen, and a highlighter. Flip through your syllabus until you get to the term schedule. Highlight any assignments, including tests, projects, essays, etc. Then, go back and underline any readings you might have. I like to underline my readings so they’re obvious at a glance, but separate from the lesser common assignments.

Here is a photo of the term schedule from my Spanish class, for example.

20160404_094506

And here is an example of my online class.

20160404_094730

This system will work best for you if:

  • Your professor includes all information on the syllabus.
  • You only have one or two classes, with only a few assignments and readings.

I would not recommend this system if:

  • You have multiple classes.
  • You have multiple assignments.

2: Written Out List

This assignment list is pretty self-explanatory. Make a chronological list of all assignments and readings you have for the term. I like to color-code it by class, and make a tiny ‘R’ next to an assignment if it’s a reading.

Here’s an example of one I made for the first three weeks of the term.

20160404_103835

This system will work best for you if:

  • You want a linear, chronological view of your assignments.
  • You like to keep it simple.

I would not recommend this system if:

  • You don’t think of time linearly.
  • The list would be more than five or six pages.

3: Calendex 

So, this is inspired by a bullet journal tool called the calendex. If you didn’t see it in my last post, here is a link to the explanation given by the creator.

Basically, the calendex is meant to by an annotated index for the bullet journal, where you make a spread of boxes for the dates and fill them in with markers corresponding to the details given on other pages. It works well as an overview of the term.

Here is my calendex I tried for this term. The readings section was a bit of a mistake, because of the annotated textbook titles being wrong (long story).

20160404_144700

This system will work best for you if:

  • You use a bullet journal and loved the calendex.
  • You like a visual overview of what assignments are due when.

I would not recommend this system if:

  • You are not a visual learner.
  • You have more than a few classes due in one day.

4: Technology

There are far too many class planner apps to choose from out there. I personally use myHomework for android on my tablet, and it works really well. I would also recommend Planner by Appxy (I only don’t use this one because it connects to the family calendar, and I don’t want to spam my family members with quiz notifications). They have a free version on Google Play,  but I could only find a link to the premium version.

Screenshot_2016-04-04-14-47-23

This system will work best for you if:

  • You’re a digital type.
  • You want something you can put on your phone.

I would not recommend this system if:

  • You’re an analog type.
  • You want something physical and tangible.

5: The Class Spread

This last one, combined with my bullet journal,  is the one I use. I got the idea from a long-term project planner spread I saw on Pinterest. Basically, you set one page for each class, and use special boxes coordinated with each other to include all your information. To make up for only having one page, I use it only a month at a time. So next month I’ll make new spreads for May.

In its essence, this system is about making it lovely enough that you’ll want to fill it up.

This assignment list can’t fully be explained, as it’s fully customizable, but here are examples of my four classes in my own format.

This system works best for you if:

  • You’re inspired by pretty things.
  • You want something more free form and abstract.

I would not recommend this system if:

  • You want something simple.
  • It’d make you overwhelmed.

So that’s it. Those are my 5 ways to make an assignment list. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it inspired you to take control of your life!

Have a lovely day!

Mikhela

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