Keeping track of appointments and dates in your head might work when you’re not in grad school, but once grad school becomes a part of your life, chances are good that you’ll have more to keep track of than your head can keep track of all by itself. Start keeping a calendar!
Now, if you’ve ever been by the calendar section in Office Depot, Wal-Mart, or even Barnes & Noble (the most colorful collection, I think!), you know there are about a zillion calendars to choose from. Of course, paper calendars aren’t the only ones available. There are online calendars as well, many attached with free email services.
So, how in the world do you choose? Start with something and see if you keep track of appointments and school deadlines; referring back to it is important too. If it’s not working, try something else. Most calendars, unless you buy a large leather DayRunner, aren’t very expensive, so they’re a good investment in time management and peace of mind, in my book.
One reason this subject has been on my mind lately is that I was in Barnes & Noble just last weekend, and ended up purchasing a Sierra Club desk calendar for 2012. I love the color photographs in the Sierra Club calendars, and that’s part of the draw, I want to see the next week’s picture! 🙂 Truth be told, though, I’m inconsistent about keeping up with paper calendars. I leave ’em at work or I leave ’em at home. And then what do I do with them at the end of the year?
I have two calendars that I keep up pretty well now, my Outlook Calendar at work, and my Google Calendar. I wrote a separate post about the virtues of Google Calendar back in July, so I won’t repeat myself much here. I can access both calendars online from either work or home, so coordination is easy, and I can refer to entries from previous months and years in seconds.
One thing I’ve started doing recently is updating my contacts list in my Gmail account, and adding birthdays when I know them (or look them up on Facebook). It turns out that the birthdays listed with each contact in Gmail show up on Google Calendar, which is fun! I like seeing birthdays, in addition to meetings, deadlines, and appointments, at a month’s glance. (Google Calendar can also send email reminders, which can help alot!)
Speaking of birthdays, today is mine. The past year has been a great one, which included applying and getting into library school, as well as completing my third half marathon! I’m looking forward to another great year!