Because there's no time like the present to write about the past

Living la vida loca (or, I'm a PhD candidate and all I do is READ)

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Time Management
What resources or techniques do you use to keep track of your schedule, to-do list, and other projects or events?

Before grad school, I never worried about this. I used a legal pad at work to keep track of my calls, but that was all; it was simple, and it was all I needed. My personal life has always been uncluttered enough that I didn't really need a day planner or anything else.

Of course, grad school changes that game. In my first year, I tried a dayplanner, and I really loved the one I had. If I had found an identical dayplanner for this year, I probably would have been all set - but I couldn't find one for the life of me, so I went for alternatives.

In this past year, I've tried:
-A crappy dayplanner that didn't work, despite its purported "student" format that allowed a breakdown by school stuff, personal stuff, and "other" (really, it just wasn't big enough, space-wise).

-A PDA. Except that coordinating the PDA, remembering to charge it, and syncing with Outlook was, well, a bit too much. I liked the idea of it because if a student wanted to make an appointment with me after a class, then theoretically I'd have my calendar right there and wouldn't have to flip through pages.

-Very late in the game, I discovered Gubb, which is great for lists, but doesn't really work for me as well as a dayplanner.

-Most recently, I've migrated everything to Google calendar. So far, I love it. It emails my agenda to me, as well as specific reminders. This is great, because otherwise I'd forget to check the calendar. However, I'm ALWAYS on my Gmail account.

I still think I need to get a good dayplanner (paper-based) as backup. But I really, really like being digital. But if you have any tips or ideas or resources YOU use, I'd love to hear them. I'm still evaluating this system; we'll see if it works as the summer progresses.

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I use MS Outlook. I update it almost daily and then print out a weekly and monthly spreadsheet. I also have a dayrunner, but I dont use it very often.

My routine in grad school was always pretty stable so I didn't use a paper planner much. I started using Google calendar to have special things emailed to me that I might forget, like meetings, etc.

Maybe carry a small calendar with you to jot down appointments, etc and then immediately enter it into your google calendar so you can get the email reminder?

I always, always used a dayplanner or student calendar in undergrad. I NEED lists. Need them. And, I am the sort to plan out my day, like 10-11:30 gym, 11:30-2 library, 2-3 lunch, etc, so I felt better having written it down. Of course, it never went to schedule and that was ok as long as I had the original plan written down. Make sense? No, but it made me feel better.

So, I just get as big a planner as I need and write everything down in it. I haven't used one this year as my office uses Office, but honestly, I prefer paper. I would lose, break, forget to charge a PDA. I guess I also would feel tethered to the internet/computer (something I already feel too strongly, like my email/blog addiction...I feel less anxious after checking my email.) Having it on paper makes me able to check it wherever I am.

I think I will use both a paper planner and something like Google calendar (free and I already use gmail) to remind me of big things.

I'm thinking of doing this since I only need a small paper planner:

Also, not that you need another book to read, but you might look into _Getting Things Done_ by David Allen.

Ooh, the moleskine comes in extra-large, which would be PERFECT for me! (the traditional moleskine size is too small for my tastes/needs). this could be a great pairing with my electronic resources.

I've heard of the book, and I really should check it out - thank you for the recommendation!

Re: Planner

I use a great system. I get more done than ever before.

I have been thinking about this myself. That Google calendar looks handy!

I used to try to keep everything in my brain. When that stopped working, I got a little weekly planner, you know the ones that have your university's emblem on the cover in gold? (it makes me feel smart) But I sometimes forget to write stuff in the planner, and I often go back after the fact to write what I did so I feel productive.

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