Tag Archives: color coding

Planning for Next Semester

It’sPlanning Fall Semester 1 that time in the semester when all the projects are coming down to the wire, exams are constant and I want to tear my hair out.  So, why not think about fall semester classes on top of everything else?  Since I go to a satellite school, I have a very limited amount of classes I can take, and I sometimes have problems fitting exact classes in my schedule.  So, the first thing I do is meet with my advisors to make sure I’m taking the right classes.  Since my physics advisor is on sabbatical this year, I’ve been shuffled to another brilliant advisor,
Dr. Levine.  He’s currently researching dark matter.  He is Planning Fall Semester 2brilliant, and also very nice.  I had a conflict with my upcoming physics 3 class and my linear algebra class, and he was kind enough to move the physics class.  This is wPlanning Fall Semester 3here small universities can sometimes be more awesome than large ones.  We have tons of research opportunities at the university.  I met with my math advisor to ensure that I was on track with taking 3 math courses next semester:  Linear Algebra, Calculus 3, and Differential Equations.  (I love me some math.)  So, knowing that I needed these courses, I created a new time table that has fifteen minute steps and started it from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.  None of my classes will go past that this nePlanning Fall Semester 5xt semester.  My classes only run Monday-Thursday, but I keep Fridays in the layout because it helps me plan out library blocks.  This way, I can record the class and section number, the
professor, the room/building (if there is one), and time blocks.  This gives me a visual to look at so I can figure out where I will have study blocks and library time.  Three math and two physics classes are a heavy load to take, but I am happy with it as long as I have time to decompress and study between classes.  This semester, once my classes start, they are back to back, and I don’t get a chance to eat lunch or really do any processing of notes and lectures between classes.  It’s frustrating.  I have to remember things through four to five hours of classes.  I am happy next semester I will have more than 15 minutes to gather my brains together and prep for the next class (not to mention GRAB LUNCH).

First Week!

Ok, so the first week of the semester is always busy.  Homework, and getting back into the routine of getting up at the crack of dawn to go to get to class on time.  I didn’t get all of my class syllabi in time to plan my semester before it started.  So, I am playing catch up.  However, it allows for me to take more pictures, and slow down a bit as I go.

So, in order to plan, I go through a single syllabus at a time when planning the semester.  This way, my brain has a single focus, and I can ensure I don’t miss any deadlines for the class.  I always color coordinate my classes.  This year the code goes like this:  German- blue, Physics- pink, Calculus- orange, Computer Programming- green.  I make sure I have proper amounts of sticky notes in these colors as well as page flags.  So, basically by the end of my Semester planning session, the monthly layouts are covered in sticky notes before I ever put pen to paper.

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As you can see, I chose to use the peach vertical planner this year.  It was so hard for me to decide.  I thought about rotating through ALL of the colors, but I wasn’t sure I’d like that too much.  I might try it eventually.  I sometimes get bored easily.  However, since I decorate my planner, I really don’t worry much about most of the color.

So, this weekend, my project is to ink and place planner stickers on the important monthly dates on what is due.  I will then add these to my assignment lists, both my master list and my individual class lists in order to keep track.  From there, I will keep a project planner in order to keep track of progress on each major assignment and exam.  As I do this I will keep track and post the photos on instagram if you are curious.  Follow me @coffeeconfessor to see more!

Beginning to Prepare

School Blocks Quarter Inch cool colors-1@0,5x
Cool School Calendar and Grade Trackers

With the start of the fall semester just around the corner, I have been working on a way to keep classes and their assignments more organized in my planner.  I am constantly wanting to know what assignments, quizzes, exams and projects are coming up in order to better prepare for them.  I also like to keep track of my grades throughout the semester so I know how to adjust my studying or ask for help if I need it before it is too late.  Since I decorate my planner, I’ve found that double writing of information is kind of a pain in the butt.  So, I have created some cutouts to put on my planner as I go, as well as a full page assignment/grade tracker.

School Blocks Quarter Inch Brights-1@0,5x
Bright School Calendar and Grade Trackers

I color coordinate my classes and assignment trackers.  I have found that it is the best way to glance at things and see what is due.  I am thinking of changing a few things, so the colors are in families and the darker it is the more important it is (i.e. deep teal or deep berry means exam or final, while pale magenta or pale aqua mean I only have homework).  However, I’m not sure how it would actually work.  I know some people use the color red to denote exams, yellow to denote homework, orange to denote quizzes, etc. for all of their classes.  I just happen to like to know which class my exam is in at a glance, as opposed to noticing that there is an exam, but not sure which class it is for, so I have to turn around and look at my syllabi to figure it out.  It really doesn’t work for me.  However, if it works for you, I did create calendar stickers for it.

Cropped Assignment and Grade Tracker Picture
Assignment Tracker

By using an individual assignment tracker for each class School Littles@0,5xI can file away the syllabi and just have the important stuff in my ARC notebook.  This way I’m not  wasting valuable notebook real estate on 5-10 page syllabi for 5 or 6 classes.  The assignment tracker pages coordinate with the bright school calendar labels and grade trackers.  The reason I use both ways to track my grade is because I can write down the individual grade of my assignment in the full page assignment tracker, and I can keep track of my weekly grade in each of my classes with the smaller trackers.  I know it seems a bit obsessive, but I like to know what my grade is at all times, and if something is wrong, I can always double check, and I have information as to which grades are wrong in order to get these things changed if necessary.  I also keep a seven pocket file folder for the semester to put my class assignments, tests, and quizzes in so I have them handy if I need to show them to the professor.

I wasn’t always this organized, I learned the hard way that one should have information in triplicate in order to prove something is wrong.  Trying to scramble to find an assignment that I had thrown into a drawer in order to double check that I was getting the correct grade became a pain.  So, when in doubt, triplicate the information.  I haven’t resorted to digitizing my former assignments and exams just because I’m afraid that my computer will die with all of my assignments I scanned in and I realize that a grade of mine is wrong at the last minute.

I hope you enjoy the things I created for you.  Remember that these creations are for personal use only, and aren’t to be sold.  Send people a link to my site for them to download these printables!  Also, if you have any questions, comments, requests, please feel free to drop me a line.

Class Assignment Tracker

Bright School Calendar Labels and Grade Trackers

Cool School Calendar Labels and Grade Trackers

Other School Little Printables

 

Rainbows of Colors

With the spring semester over, I am now able to concentrate more on my blog.  Last Thursday, I got an e-mail saying that they cancelled my Intro to Computer Programming class, so I am going to take it in the fall, and this summer I am going to take Anthropology.  I figure since I am not looking forward to the class anyway, I might as well take it in a shortened version where it only lasts until the end of June.  I still have my two other online courses:  Visual Literacy and Digital Photography.

Being the type-A personality I am, I try to remain organized (sometimes it doesn’t remain so).  I color code my classes and use a planner.  I have noticed that the busier I am, the easier it is to stay organized.  Today’s post is just about the tools I use to ensure that I stay organized.  I use colored pens (my favorite are the Paper Mate InkJoy pens) and my Pilot Frixion erasable Penshighlighters.  They are imports from Japan, but totally worth th
e money on Amazon.  I got a really good deal at Staples on the InkJoy pens.  I signed up for them to send me coupons, and I got a pack of 14 colorful pens that usually run about $25.00 for half the price.  So, I jumped on that bandwagon.  I don’t get paid to endorse these companies, I just really love their products.  The Pilot Frixion pastel highlighters are awesome.  I got mine from Amazon.com.  They were about $7.00.  I used to use Pilot Frixion
Gel Pens from Japan, but they ran out of ink quickly.  As much as I loved them, I didn’t even finish a semester before the ink was out of them.

Staedtler Fineliners              After that happened, I switched back to my Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens—I love them, but the tips definitely smash quickly if you are a person who is heavy-handed when you write.  Plus they are expensive– $12.00 for just 10 pens.  A different brand that isn’t so expensive would be Stabilo .88 Pens.  I used them for my Anatomy and Physiology 261
class.  I also used them to color my diagrams for the class.  I got a pack of 30 colors for about $16.00.  Experimenting is definitely the way to go when it comes to different pens and markers.  My sister doesn’t like Paper Mate InkJoy pens and prefers to use Pilot pens.  Everyone has a preference for certain things.  There is no one size fits all when it comes to organizing one’s time.