Having one fixed place to reference all of your past, present and future assignments can really put your tasks into perspective. Every college student needs a system that will keep important dates and assignments organized and visible, so that they are always aware of what needs to get done. This leads to more efficient time management and less procrastination. Luckily, big desk calendars are formatted in such a way that a whole month of assignments can be set out right before your eyes, and tasks can be neatly crossed off as you get them done. Having such a reference will really help you stay on track — as tasks, social events and club meetings can all be included in this one master calendar. It's also comforting to know you can take on the semester one month at a time. Whether you have your own makeshift desk calendar (I've seen people just print out large monthly templates and tape them to a desk) or buy one, the principles below that summarize the benefits of utilizing a big desk calendar still ring true.
1. There's no way to hide from your responsibilities.
At least once in our school experiences, we've all pretended that our daily planners didn't exist in order to avoid the assignments written in them. Out of sight, out of mind. However, with a huge desk calendar you can't just avoid your work. The scale and location of a desk calendar makes it hard not to be constantly aware of what you have to do. Whenever your desk is in sight, you know that calendar is there with all of your assignments just sitting out in the open. It's difficult to slack off when you see some major tasks staring you straight in the face.
2. Calendars are super easy to refer to.
In your room and can't be bothered to dig your planner out of your bag to check what assignments are due? Just hop over to your desk. Your calendar is always right there. This is especially useful if you're in a hurry. Color coding certain clubs or highlighting important assignments makes it easy to see what you have to get done in a jiffy.
3. You can put all of your assignments on it before you even get to class.
Assignments can be put onto a desk calendar as soon as you get your syllabus. You know they'll be due, so don't wait until your teacher reminds you the day before in order to be aware of their presence. You'll be on top of the game before you even show up to your first class. Then, the second you get any new assignments or readings that aren't on the syllabus, put it into the notes app on your phone or in a small planner. Once you walk into your room just transfer the information to the calendar at your desk. This also goes for meetings or plans with friends. It's very easy, and now you've got a comprehensive reference point for all assignments and social events.
4. A calendar puts things into perspective.
You may think your week will be pretty light on work just because you don't have anything due the next day, but your desk calendar can show you that the other days of the week are actually quite full. A desk calendar helps you start thinking about doing assignments in advance because you can see them all on the same page (unless they're in another month). Seeing everything you have to do for the month ahead of you makes you more likely to start tasks earlier.
5. There's room for plans with friends.
On something as large as a desk calendar, you can have both important events and assignments written in the same place. This calendar doesn't have to feel like it's solely for school — you can color code and label it for club days, appointments or social events — as opposed to a planner, which might seem too school-oriented to write less formal events in. With a desk calendar you won't be neglecting or forgetting about other plans in lieu of schoolwork taking up your whole space.
6. Desk calendars are actually fun to design.
The way you lay out your calendar is completely up to you, as there is lots of room for creativity. Color coding is a big space saver and — depending on your color scheme — can enhance the look of your calendar. Get yourself some cute colored pens and go crazy (I recommend Midliners — they're highlighters in pastel colors and come with a pen tip on the other side). Desk calendars also offer lots of room to write, so you could even pencil in your assignments with some nice lettering. If you need any more room, there's usually an additional "notes" section included either under or next to the calendar section that you can write in for more information. Another fun aspect of a desk calendar is that after a day goes by you can cross a big red "X" over it, which is really satisfying if you finally were able to hand in a big, looming assignment.
7. Everything is in one place.
The best part of a desk calendar? You can't lose it. If you've been keeping up with putting all of your assignments and important meeting dates on your calendar as soon as you get them, you always know where your information is and will never forget an important date.
So whether you use a large desk calendar on its own or along with a daily planner, the benefits are evident. It offers another layer of much needed organization. However, desk calendars aren't all that popular among college students at the moment. Let's bring them back and get organized for the spring!
Lead Image Credit: Rick Payette via Flickr Creative Commons
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