Choosing a Student Planner - Paper or Electronic?

by StudyMinder 8. October 2011 21:07

Student planners and school planners are essential tools for students. Tracking your assignments and managing your homework is vital to doing well in school. Any type of planner that assists you in those tasks is a good thing.

Paper student planners

paper student plannerMost people think of student planners as something similar to a notebook. That is, something made of bound sheets of paper, with different sections to record different classes and school activities. Although the paper planner is extremely low tech, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Paper planners are portable, fast and easy to write notes in, don’t break when dropped, and can survive just about everything, except perhaps, the family dog.

One the other hand, paper planners have a number of drawbacks. Space for notes may be limited. Making changes can be difficult if an assignment date changes. And they can become difficult to read over time, with lots of cross outs and arrows pointing to updated information.

The electronic student planner

The alternative to a paper planner is a school planner software program. Moving your homework schedule to the computer overcomes the biggest limitation of paper. You can’t manipulate the information written on paper the way you can manipulate data in a software program.

It makes sense to use a school planner software program to manage homework. Students are always at the computer. The computer is used for taking and reviewing notes, researching, writing papers and communicating with other students. So while you’re there at the computer, you might as well use it as a student planner to keep track of your test dates and homework assignments.

StudyMinder Homework System is the most popular student planner software program for Windows PCs. StudyMinder overcomes the limitations of a paper planner. 

StudyMinder calendar view screenshot

 In StudyMinder you can

  • View your assignments in a list view, or see them by day, week or month in a calendar format – whichever way helps you best plan ahead.
  • See a total of unfinished assignments and the total study time required to complete them.
  • Keep an unlimited amount of notes for each assignment.
  • Enter your grades and automatically keep track of your current GPA.
  • Schedule reminders that popup to let you know of important upcoming activities.

Special StudyMinder features

StudyMinder is different from general purpose calendar software. It is designed specifically for students. In a typical calendar program you can record the date and time that an assignment is due. An office worker can do the same kind of thing with the same program, such as record when a meeting is scheduled. But the difference between office workers and students is that an assignment due date is a target date that requires preparation that must be done before that date. Just knowing an assignment is due on Friday doesn’t help you plan when you will complete the assignment.

When home assignments and tests are entered into StudyMinder, there is a place to set how much study time is required for each one. Then you use the calendar feature to schedule time to study. StudyMinder will then alert you if you have not scheduled enough study time to finish all your assignments.

StudyMinder has additional features that show how much study time is required to be done today to keep up with scheduled assignments. StudyMinder also indicates critical information such as late assignments or unfinished assignments that are due tomorrow.

Free trial

The program is easy to use and no cost to try. You can download StudyMinder here and use it free for 30 days. And if you have any questions about how to use it, there is a series of tutorials you can watch to learn about the various features.


So try out StudyMinder and compare it to your paper school planner. Decide for yourself which is better.



StudyMinder Video Tutorial 7: Options

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:38

The StudyMinder Homework System student planner has a number of options that you can use to customize the way the program works. This tutorials demonstrates options for showing and hiding the ribbon bar, customizing the names and colors of activities, and much more.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder homework planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript of Video Tutorial 7

This is tutorial number seven in a series of tutorials about the StudyMinder Homework System school planner. In this tutorial we’ll look at some of the options and features that we haven't touched on in earlier tutorials.

Let's start with the help button at the top right. If you click this button, you can show and hide tips. When tips are showing, just move the mouse over a button or control and you can get additional information about that button. To turn it off, just click the help button again.

Next to the help button there is a small arrow that points up. When you click it, you can hide the ribbon bar. Click again to show the ribbon bar. When the ribbon bar is hidden, you can still use the controls. The File and the Tools tab are still visible. If you click on File you can see the ribbon bar appears. Click on Scheduler and the ribbon bar disappears. Click File again. The ribbon bar reappears and you can click on a different control. To show the ribbon bar again, just click the down arrow.

The default screen that appears when you first launch StudyMinder is the Activities Today. All of the activities that you have scheduled, including assignments, tasks, study time, everything will appear here in this list. If you double click on any of these rows, you can open that particular item. The default is for Today and Tomorrow. If you change the menu at the right side of the grid, you can change the date range. You can change it to this Week or This Month, or just back to Today and Tomorrow.

On the left side of the StudyMinder window is a series of tabs with different features. At the bottom is Quote of the Day. There are about a hundred quotes that come with StudyMinder homework planner, and these change every day.  The buttons underneath the quote can be used to advance forward or back, so you can always go back to your favorite quotes. To hide the quotes, just click the button on that tab.

Just above the quotes is the study timer. This is intended for timing yourself while you do your study so you can see exactly how long you really spend. Just click the start button and the timer will begin. You can always pause the time by clicking pause. Start will continue it again. Next to the number display is a small button. If you click that button you can hide the seconds. Click again to show the seconds. To reset, just click pause and then reset, and you can start over.

In the tools menu there are a number of options here which you can use to customize StudyMinder school planner. You can customize all the colors and names that are used in different events and assignments. Let’s create an event first and you can see exactly how this works. So click on the scheduler. We’ll make a new event. And let's make this event a “Family” event. We can put “family vacation”. Also we can set the status for this activity. Let's call it “important”, so we’ve set the status “Important”, the label is “Family,” now we click Save and Close. So, here is the item in the scheduler. Notice that it’s green, and on the very left edge there's this red bar. This shows the status which we set as important. If we open it again, we can change the status to “Needs preparation.” This is purple. Click Save and Close. Now you can see it has a purple bar. The names and the colors are customizable, so if we go back to Tools, click Colors and Names. Let's change the Family label to Vacation, since this was for a vacation. And let’s change one of the statuses we were using, Needs Preparation, let's change it to Travel Plans. Click OK. So now when we go back to this item, you can see it now says, “Vacation” and it says “Travel Plans” for the status. We also change the colors, so that for a vacation we can change that to a brown color and we can change travel plans to a black color. So now you can see Vacation is a really dark green and it has a status of black.

Next to Colors and Name is the Options. There are several options which you can use to change the calendar. The default is Sunday as the start day of the week. When it’s set to Sunday you can see that Sunday is on the left, the dates run Monday through Friday, and Saturday is the last day of the week. But in the Options we can change it to Monday or any other day. If you set it to Monday as the start day of the week, then Saturday and Sunday are now at the end of the week.

You can also set the spell checker so that it automatically checks your spelling when you enter notes for an assignment. Here we have it checked. Let's look at what happens. If we create an assignment, and this is also true for events or classes, if we type in, “This is an assignment,” let’s misspell “assignment”, notice that it has a red underline because it’s misspelled. If we're right click it, we get a list of optional replacement words. Let's choose “assignment”. Now it’s correctly spelled. So we won’t save changes. We’ll close it and continue.

Next is the Calculate GPA feature. Let’s go back and look at our assignments. If we click on the homework list you can see we have six assignments that we've created for our different classes, but we have not added any grades yet. Let’s add grades to our Science classes. If we open up Science, here's our first Science assignment. Let's say that this assignment has a total possible score of one hundred and we got ninety five. When you enter the numbers, your grade and your percentage correct are listed here in the last two boxes. Notice that you cannot enter directly into the Percent or the Grade boxes. Just enter your final score and the total possible, and the grade and percent are calculated for you. Let's click Save and Close. The grade appears here in the list view. There's another assignment here for science. Let's open that one. Let's mark it as Done. Let's say that in this one we got fifty-five and the total was seventy five. So on this one we only got a “C”. Save and close. OK, now when we go back to the Tools and click on Calculate GPA we can see our total GPA for all of our classes and also a breakdown for the other classes. We haven't added any grades yet for the other classes but we have for Science, so let's click Science and you can see we now have an average score of eighty six percent on our assignments. We’ve done two assignments so far, we have two hours of study time total for Science and we have currently a “B” grade. So make sure that as you finish you assignments, go back and enter your grades and then you can click on the Calculate GPA and see exactly how you stand.

You can print your list view or your scheduler by clicking on the Print or Export button. We are now looking at the homework grid view. Let’s close this. Notice we’re looking at the grid view. If you click on print, we get the print grid screen. If we were looking at the scheduler, click on Scheduler, select a number of days, so now we have four days selected. Go back to Tools, click on Print, now we will see the scheduler. We have four days and all four days are listed here in the scheduler to be printed out. Let's go back and look at the grid view again. Go back to Tools, click on Print. One of the options available in the Print Preview window is export. If you click on the Export button there's a list of export file types which you can use to export this information from the grid view to another file. You can save it as a text file or also as an “xls” file, which is Microsoft's Excel file format. So you could open this up in a spreadsheet if you wanted to. Or, you can just go ahead and click the Print Options button and then print it to your printer.

The last feature to talk about is probably the most fun to use. This is the Skins Gallery. StudyMinder school planner comes with thirty eight different skins and all you need to do to change the complete look of your scheduler is click on any of these buttons and it will change. You can scroll through them or you can open up the window by clicking this bottom arrow here and they will all appear. You can choose from a number of different styles. There are eight different Microsoft Office styles. Here's Microsoft Office 2007 Black Style, or you can use Microsoft Office 2010 Silver Style, a little bit more elegant. And there are some fun styles you can use too, even ones to change seasonally. Click on the Pumpkin to get an autumn Halloween look for your scheduler. Click on Springtime, or now it's summer, so we can click on the Summer Style and get a beach scene with the scheduler.

This concludes tutorial number seven on the options and special features in StudyMinder.

Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 6: Secrets of the Grid View

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:32

The assignment grid view in the StudyMinder Homework System homework planner has dozens of features for listing, sorting and grouping your assignments so you'll always know what's due. This tutorial takes you through the many features of the grid view.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder student planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript of Video Tutorial 6

This is the sixth in a series of tutorials on how to use the StudyMinder Homework System school planner. In this tutorial we’ll review the features in the Homework grid view.

Click on the homework icon to show the grid view. From here you can see all of the assignments that you have entered. You can make changes from the grid view by clicking on any assignment. Just click on the assignment and you can begin editing. To click on the English assignment, “Read chapter two,” we can change that to, “Read chapter three.” The assignment has now been updated and saved. If you click on the menu under the Edit column, a menu appears where you can open the assignment. In the assignment Edit view you can see that this assignment now says, “Read chapter three.” If we change it to “two” from the edit window and save, the grid view has been updated so it now says, “Read chapter two.” You can also open assignments by clicking on the far left edge of the column. That will open up the assignment that you selected.

You can arrange the assignments in the list view by clicking on any of the columns. If you click on Description, you can sort by description. Click on Type to show by type. If you click on the Done column, you can display your homework assignments in the order where they were completed. But there are also additional features in the list view. You may not want to see your completed assignments at all. When you move the mouse over the Done column, a little filter icon is displayed. If you click on it, a menu opens. And from here you can choose to show all of the items that are checked or unchecked. If you choose unchecked, now only the unchecked items appear, so that your completed assignments are no longer displayed. If you click on the filter again, you can show all, and now all of your assignments are displayed. You can do the same thing with any of the columns. If you go to the Class column, highlight the filter icon, click it, you can now filter so that only certain classes show. Click on English and now only English class appears.

When you’re filtering assignments, you can tell at the bottom left-hand corner of the grid view. It will show you that you're now filtering for classes and only the English class is showing. You can filter on more than one column at the same time. One of the English class assignments is completed, the other is not. So if we go back to the Done column and click on the filter, we can show only the unchecked assignments. Now we're filtering everything except English assignments which have not yet been completed. You can undo all of the filters at the same time by clicking the “X” that appears just to the left, at the bottom left-hand corner of the grid view. Click that, and now all of the filters are removed and you can see all of your classes again.

The columns can be rearranged by simply dragging on a column and moving it to a different location. If you'd like to see Description before Type, you can just drag it over. If you want Due Date to appear before anything else, take the Due Date, drag it all the way over to the left edge, and now the Due Date appears first.

Columns can also be removed. If you right click on any column, a menu appears. Choose the menu option, “Remove this column.” We've now just removed the Description column. You can remove as many columns as you want. To bring them back, right click on any column and select the “Column Chooser.” A box will appear that has all of the columns that you can select from. We just removed Description. If you drag it out of the box and move it back up into the grid view, it reappears. You can do the same thing with the other columns that are here in the customization box. You can take any of them and drag them up into the grid view.

When you exit the StudyMinder student planner, your changes will be saved, and the next time that you come back to the grid view the columns will be arranged as you left them. By right clicking on any column, you can also size the columns so that they best show the information. Choose “Best Fit All Columns,” and the columns are resized automatically.

Another feature you can access by right clicking on any column is the “Group By” feature. Click on the Show Group Box and a special box appears above the column headers. It says, “Drag a column header here to group by that column.” This is a special sort of filter, and it's a combination of filtering and sorting at the same time. Let's drag the Class column header up into the Group By box. Now you can see you’re grouping by classes, and now in the grid view each class appears on a separate row. If you check the Plus buttons, the columns expand, and now you can see all of the rows. So under English class we now have the English classes. Under Math we now have the math classes. You can continue to sort by clicking on any of the columns and the list will be sorted under each of the groups. You can also group by multiple columns at the same time. If you'd like to Group By Percent Complete, drag Percent Complete up into the Group By box, and now you have groups and subgroups. You can remove the grouping by right clicking on any of them, and choose Ungroup. Or are you can drag out of the Group By box and back into the grid view, and it will disappear. Right click on any column and choose Hide Group Box, and now it's gone.

This concludes tutorial number six, how to use the homework grid view.

Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 5: Navigating the scheduler

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:25

Along with the homework list view, you can use the scheduler feature in the StudyMinder Homework System school planner to track your homework assignments and other activities. The scheduler arranges your activities into a calendar format. This tutorial shows you the special features available in the scheduler.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder student planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript of Video Tutorial 5

This is the fifth in a series of tutorials on how to use the StudyMinder Homework System school planner. In this tutorial we will talk about the scheduler. The scheduler is the calendar interface where you can add assignments, your class schedule and any other events that you want to keep track of. You can reach the Scheduler by clicking the Scheduler button in the top left corner. Below the scheduler is a calendar. By clicking on any day in the calendar you can navigate to that day in the scheduler. Dates that are shown in bold indicate that you have something scheduled on that date. Saturdays and Sundays are in red. If you need to see ahead farther than just one month, you can click the arrow below the calendar to see additional months. Clicking again will show third month and again a fourth month. Click the up button to go back to displaying just a single calendar.

The scheduler has special features that the list view doesn't have. So when you click on the scheduler button, an additional scheduler tab appears in the ribbon bar. Click Homework and it disappears. Click scheduler and it comes back. Clicking on the scheduler tab shows the additional features. There's a day button where you can show one day at a time. Click school week to show Monday through Friday. Click the week view to show seven days at a time, and click on the month to show the entire month.

There is also a special time line view. When you click on timeline, everything that you have scheduled for a particular day is displayed in one column. It's like a list view for each day. Now you can zoom in and out by clicking the zoom in and out button. Click zoom in and now each column is one hour, so everything you have within the same hour will appear in that column.  Click zoom out to go back to the day. Zoom out again takes you to the week, so every column displays one week's worth of activities. You can drag the scroll bar at the bottom to scroll through the timeline view. Clicking on any date in the calendar takes you out of the timeline view and back to the day view.

Let's add a homework assignment to the scheduler.  Let’s click the today button to take us to today and then we’ll highlight the upcoming weeks so we can see five days. By clicking on the scheduler and then adding an assignment or an event, the event will be added automatically to that place in the scheduler. Let's try it. We’ll click on two o'clock on Monday. Right-click and we’ll add a new assignment. Notice now that Monday two o'clock is to default time. This is convenient so that you don't need to change the time when you add a new item to scheduler. Let's add a Science class. We’ll call this a Quiz. We’ll set the type to quiz. We need to study for one hour, so we’ll finish now. Click Save and Close. Now the quiz appears.

This is an assignment. Assignments in the scheduler have a pencil icon to indicate that it's an assignment. There's also a red information icon which indicates that this assignment is not finished. If we double click it we can open up the assignment, check the Done box, save it, and now we have the green check mark that shows that it's finished.

Other types of items in the scheduler have different icons.  These are classes that are scheduled in the student planner and they have two people. Study time is indicated by a clock. Now for the quiz that we just created, let's go back and let’s uncheck the Done box. So now we have a quiz on Monday. Now we may often have quizzes for this class, so we might want to use recurring events. But homework assignments don't have the recurring events feature. That's because they need to be handled individually, because ultimately they'll all have their own different grade when you're finished. So recurring events don’t really work. But you can duplicate assignments and quizzes and any other events in the scheduler. You can do that by holding down the control key and then dragging. This will duplicate anything that you have selected. You can also select multiple items at the same time by holding down the shift key. Let’s select the first quiz, hold to shift key, select the second quiz, now they’re both selected. If we want to, we can be use the right mouse button and delete them. This will delete both. Or we can hold it, select them both, hold down the control key and drag, and now we've duplicated both. So now we have four.

You can also make changes from within the scheduler by clicking on an item and then changing it. Maybe we want to change this to, “Quiz on chapter seven.” We don't need to open it back up into the edit window, we can just change it here in the scheduler. It's also possible to change the length of time without opening the edit window again. Here's our math class. Perhaps math class is going to be a little bit long today. All you need to do is drag the bottom and you can extended it farther without opening it back up.

You can also zoom in and out on any view by holding down the control key and then spinning the mouse wheel. Here we are zooming in. Notice that hours are now much bigger than they were before. If we hold down the control key and spin the mouse wheel the other way, this makes the hour smaller. So we've zoomed out and we can see more. This works for any of the views, individual day, week or month. Just spinning the mouse wheel by itself allows you to scroll, so you don't need to drag the scrollbar.

This completes tutorial number five on how to use the scheduler. In the next tutorial we’ll talk about the special features available in the grid view, so you can enter your homework assignments more quickly.


Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 4: Adding classes

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:20

The StudyMinder Homework System is a full featured school planner and scheduler you can use to keep track of all your activities. This tutorial shows you how to add your classes for the current term to the scheduler.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder student planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript for Tutorial 4

This is the fourth in a series of tutorials about how to use the StudyMinder Homework System student planner. In this tutorial we’ll talk about adding your classes to the scheduler. Now when we create a new term, we click the Class Schedule button, this opens the Terms and Classes window. Let's click the Edit button. You can see in the term that we created for Summer 2011, we have three classes, English, Math and Science. Let’s close that.

Now adding the classes to the term doesn’t put them in the scheduler. Let's go ahead and do that. So when we click the scheduler button we can now see the calendar interface. Clicking on Today brings us to today, and one day is displayed. But you can show more than one day by highlighting a series of days in the calendar here on the left. So if we highlight Monday through Friday of the coming week, we see five days listed here.

So let's add a class now to the class schedule. Let's click on Monday. And if you right click on the scheduler, a menu appears and you can choose to add a new assignment, study time, new class or new event. Now classes are a special kind of event. An event can be anything that you want to add. It can be some kind of recreational activity, it could be your afterschool sports events, anything that you want to add as an event, you can. But classes are special kind of event especially designed to add your classes to scheduler.

Let’s choose New Class. And now when the window opens you can see on the right here a menu with the classes that are available. These are the classes that you've added to the class scheduler. Let’s add our English class. Now you can add a description if you'd like. We’ll call it “English Class,” and it starts at nine o'clock, and let’s have it run through to nine forty five. Now classes are something that occur more than just one time. They’ll happen probably every day of the week. So let's make this a recurring event. Click the recurring event button. Events can recur every day. Here's the Daily Options. So you can have them recur every day, but it's probably weekly. If you click the Weekly button you can see that you can have it recur on any given day of the week. Let's make it recur Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We set the time for nine o'clock. Now let’s have it recur, down here are the range recurrence options, we’ll have it end early August. This is when the Summer term will end. So now we click OK and we're all set. Click Save and Close, and now you can see that for each day of the week we have an English class scheduled. If we go back to the calendar and highlight more, you can see that it continues on all through the month, and it will also continue on to the end of the term, which is early August. Let's go back to this week in the scheduler. Click the Today button and highlight the first week again. Notice here that we have an assignment scheduled that's due on Monday. This reading assignment is for our English class. Notice that assignments are not directly linked to the classes in the scheduler. You don't need to enter your classes if you don't want to, but of course the option is there if you'd like to. But it's not necessary to schedule homework assignments. They will appear separately. Not actually inside the class but they'll appear alongside the class.

Let's add another class. Right-click the scheduler. Click New Class. We’ll do the same thing now for our Math class. So we can just type in, “Math Class,” in the description. We’ll have this one start at nine forty-five and have it run until ten thirty. Again we’ll make it a recurring event. It will recur Monday through Friday and it will end at the same time that the other class ends, which is the first of August. Click OK, save and close.

Sometimes you'll want to make an exception of an event that recurs every day. Notice that all of these events have a small little arrow that goes around in a circle. That indicates that this is a recurring event and they are all the same. The only difference from one to the next is that it's on a different day. They all occur at the same time. They all have the same description. But if you want to we can make special cases out of them. If you double click on a particular one, we can open it up and we can say, “Math class assignment due,” if we want to make a special notation. If we click Save and Close, this class now has a different description. So you'll notice that the circular arrows now have a slash mark through them because this one is different. We could also change the time if we wanted to. We can open it. Let’s say this class got rescheduled to a different time. Let's move it down to eleven. Click Save and Close. Now you can see in the scheduler it's at a different time.

You also have the option of changing a recurring event which has changed, and make it back to be the same as the rest of the items in the series. If you right click it you can see an option here that says, “Restore Default State.” If we select it, it will now make that particular item in the sequence the same as all the others. So now this math class has the same description, starts at the same time. Also, by right-clicking, you have the option of opening this particular one or editing the whole series. So if we choose to edit the series, the start and end times are now locked. But we can change the recurrence up here. So maybe we don't really have this class on Fridays after all anymore, so we uncheck that box, click OK, and now entire series has been changed so that it doesn't recur on Fridays.

There are many more secrets in how to navigate through the scheduler in the StudyMinder school planner. So make sure to watch the next tutorial. We’ll go into some of the special tricks that you can use to make life easier. That will be in tutorial number five.

Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 3: Scheduling Study Time

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:12

The most important feature of the StudyMinder Homework System student planner is how it allows you to schedule study time to complete your assignments. This tutorial shows you how the scheduling feature works.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder school planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript for Video Tutorial 3

This is the third in a series of tutorials on how to use the StudyMinder Homework System school planner. In the last tutorial we added two assignments. Now over the course of time you’ll add many assignments, tests, and quizzes to the scheduler and you’ll see them here in the homework list, and the list will get quite long. But for today, talking about how to use the study time features, let's just talk about these first two assignments, and it'll be easier to explain exactly how the system works.
Now, notice here on the left side, there is a tab called Study Time Today. Clicking the arrow will open and close it. And you can see that in Study Time Today it says that there are two unfinished assignments, and then here they are in the list view, one and two. Chapter one and chapter two, reading for the English class. And it says the total remaining study time for both assignments is three hours, and that's right. You can see here on the left it says, "Time left one hour thirty minutes" for each assignment. Now back to the Study Time Today tab, it says next that there's a minimum amount of study time you need to do today of zero, and the suggested amount of study time today is forty five minutes.

Now let’s talk about how these values are calculated. To do that let's go to the scheduler. Clicking on the scheduler, this takes us to the calendar view. Now you can move around from one day to the next by clicking on the days in this calendar on the left. You can also select multiple days. Let's do that starting with today, the Fourth, through let's say, Wednesday the Eighth. So now we can see here is today, June Four, tomorrow's June Fifth, and then on June Sixth, on Monday, is the first assignment that’s due. This assignment, if we double click we can open it up, we can see here it says there is one hour and thirty minutes that we need to study for this assignment. And on the left it says the minimum suggested study time that we need to do today is forty five minutes. So, this study time is calculated by taking the amount of time that we have from now until the assignment is due and dividing it up so we do an even amount of studying every day. You can see with today, if we study forty five minutes, and tomorrow, if we study forty five minutes, that totals ninety minutes. And that is how much time we need to study to finish reading chapter one for our English class.

Now if we had another assignment due, let's say, tomorrow, so if we right click in the scheduler, add new assignment, let’s add a class for math, and we’ll say the "Odd problems on page 10", and we’ll leave it at one hour estimated study time, click Save, so now we have another assignment here. So for today now, the suggested study time is higher, it’s an hour and fifteen minutes because we have to finish all of our studying for the assignment due tomorrow plus we need to also work on the study that we need to do for the chapter reading on Monday. Notice also now the minimum study time is now one hour. That's because we have assignments due tomorrow. So if we don't do any studying today, we won't be able to finish. Note that StudyMinder student planner does not consider time on the same day that an assignment is due. You have to finish all of your studying, complete each assignment the night before the assignment is due. So this is how the study time today tab will indicate to you how much homework you need to be doing today.

Now on the other tab under Homework Alerts, there are buttons here that will be highlighted if there is an alert. Let's look at the homework due tomorrow. If you click this button, it will tell you homework is due tomorrow. And you can see that we just added this assignment here, the math class which has assignments due tomorrow, so the Homework Due Tomorrow button is highlighted. Let's double click on the math assignment and let’s mark it Done. Click the Done checkbox, close, and now you can see that in the homework alerts the homework due tomorrow button is no longer highlighted because we have finished our homework that's due tomorrow. Let's go back and unchecked that, so now we have math due tomorrow, and go back to the homework alerts. It says that there's a study time alert. If we click on it, it tells us that we have not scheduled enough study time to finish homework which is due tomorrow.

So the key to organizing your homework with StudyMinder homework planner is to schedule study time. This is June Four, this is today, so let's schedule study time today. Right-clicking, we click the New Study Time menu option, and now we have the study time window open. Here, by description, there's a little clock. We see the clock, that lets you know that you are adding study time. This window looks a lot like the window that you use for adding assignments, but it is a little bit different. You can only select study time from the options. This is specifically for study time. You can add a description if you want to. We could just say, "Study time," or you don't need to because this will be a special color indicating that it’s study time. So tonight, we're going to schedule from five o'clock to six o'clock, one hour of study time. Click Save and it closes. So now, if we have one hour of study time scheduled, that means we should have enough study time scheduled to finish all of our homework tomorrow, which is one hour. Now the homework due button is still highlighted because we haven’t finished our homework yet. Now if we click on the Study Time Alert button, it now says we've not schedule enough study time to finish homework due on June Sixth. Notice that we have scheduled enough study time to finish homework due on June Fifth. Let's schedule more study time for tomorrow. We’ll schedule one more hour again. Click Save and Close. Now we have study time scheduled for tomorrow night too. But notice that the Study Time Alert is still on. That’s because we just scheduled one hour of study time for tomorrow night. But, for Monday, June Sixth, in this reading assignment, if you double click and open it, we have an hour and thirty minutes of study time, so we haven’t scheduled enough time to finish all of our assignments. So let's open back up the study time that we scheduled for tomorrow night. We can add the description, "Study time", so it's easier to see. Let's change the amount of study time to two hours. Save it and close it. So now we have two hours of study time tomorrow. If we open this up we have ninety minutes. Save that. One of our timers just went off. We’ll close that and we’ll just cancel that reminder so it doesn’t go off again. And now the study time alert has changed. Now it says we don't have enough study time scheduled for June Thirteenth. And that's true. If we highlight more of our calendar here, from June Four down to June Thirteen, you can see that we had an assignment down here and we've yet to schedule any study time for this assignment yet. We do have enough for homework due tomorrow and the next day, but not chapter two.

Now one thing that you may want to do to make it simpler, let's go back and just highlight the upcoming week here in the scheduler. One thing that you can do is schedule study time on a recurring basis. Let's take tomorrow’s study time, open it up, and check the recurring event box. This allows us to schedule study time on a recurring basis, so that every night, or sometime during the day every day, or whatever frequency we choose, we can automatically have our study time scheduled. So we can do it daily or weekly. Let’s choose weekly, and let’s say that we're going to be studying Monday through Thursday, or let's say Sunday through Thursday. You may not want to study on Friday night. And we're going to study for two hours every night on these days. And we’ll just set this to continue to occur and until the end of the term, which, let’s say, is the first of August. So now you can see Sunday through Thursday we’ll be studying and we’ll do this through the entire term. Click OK. Now click Save. So now you can see in the scheduler that we have study time scheduled every night on the nights that we selected. Now you can open up one of these and change the recurring event if you want. Just come right back here. We’ll leave it how it is. So now you can see that the study alert button is not lit anymore because we now have scheduled all the study time that we need to have for all of our assignments.

This completes tutorial number three, on how to schedule study time and use the homework alerts in the study time today display.


Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 2: Entering an assignment

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 19:59

It's easy to enter your assignments into the StudyMinder Homework System student planner. This video tutorial takes you through all the features available for tracking your homework assignments.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder school planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript for Video Tutorial 2

This is the second in the series of tutorials on how to use the StudyMinder Homework System student planner. In the first tutorial we created a class schedule. Let's take a look at that quickly. Clicking the class schedule button opens the Terms and Classes window. We can change the term here or start a new one. But let’s click the Edit button so we can see what we just finished. We added a term for Summer, Summer 2011, and three classes, English, Math and Science.
So click the OK button. Now we’re ready to add our first assignment. You can add an assignment from the Scheduler view, this is the Calendar view that you can use to see everything that you have scheduled, assignments study time, classes or any other events that you want to add to your calendar. You can also add homework assignments from the Homework view. Clicking the homework button shows you the Homework list view.

Let’s add our first assignment here. Click the New Assignment button and this opens the assignment window. Now from here there are a lot of controls that you can use to give information about the assignment to you're creating. The class menu shows English, Math and Science. Now these are the classes that we just created in our term for Summer 2011. Notice that is says Classes for Summer 2011, so we know that were in the right term. We’ll select English, and we’ll enter a description for our first assignment. Let's say "Reading chapter two." Now under the Assignment Type menu you can select what kind of assignment this is. This is a reading assignment, so we’ll choose that. But notice also in the assignment Type menu there's Tests and Quizzes. Make sure that you add all of your assignments, tests, quizzes, projects, reports and everything you do for a class. Add those assignments, and that way StudyMinder will calculate your GPA using everything that you have done for each class. The next step is to select the Estimated Study Time. Let's say that it's going to take us two hours to finish reading chapter two. The StudyMinder homework planner will calculate how much homework you need to do using the Estimated Study Time. So, think carefully about how long you think it will take. Now that we've selected the study time, let's go on and set the due date for the assignment. We’ll say Monday at nine o'clock. So now we have everything that we need here. We can click the Save and Close button and our first assignment has been entered.

Notice that it's displayed here in the homework list view. Now from the list view if we want to make any changes we can do that right here in the list view. Let's change the description to, "Reading chapter one", since this is the first assignment that we’ll be creating. We can also change the due date here. The calendar will open up. Once you have completed part of your assignment you can come back to StudyMinder school planner and make changes. You can open the assignment window back up by selecting the control under the Edit column. Choose Open and the assignment opens back up.

So let's say that we finish reading for thirty minutes. Under Percent Complete, choose 25 percent because that’s 25 percent of two hours. And now you can see the time remaining is one hour and thirty minutes. Click Save and Close and you can see that the time left has been updated here.

Now we may want to add a reminder to our assignment so we make sure so we don't forget about it. Let’s open it back up and click the Reminder button. With a reminder set we can now choose the amount of time we want to be reminded before the assignment is due. Say, five minutes before or anytime up to two weeks before. Let’s set four days before so we can see that see what happens when the reminder actually goes off. Click Save and Close. Now, when you click the Show Reminders button, here's the reminder. All of the reminders you have set appear here in this window. So you can select a reminder, you can choose to cancel it, or you can snooze it, or you can just close this window. Leaving the reminder there allows you to come back anytime, click Show Reminders and you can see what you want to be reminded of. Let’s snooze this one for one minute. We’ll set it for one minute, close the window, and in one minute from now the reminder will go off.

If you want to duplicate an assignment, you can easily do that. Go to the Edit column, open it up and choose Duplicate. So now we have this assignment here two times. There's our reminder. Let's close it. We’ll change the new assignment to "Read chapter two" and we’ll set it to be due on a different day, let's say one week from when the first one was due. So now we have two assignments and we have a reminder set for both assignments. So now, there's the second reminder, we’ll close it.

This completes tutorial number two, How to Add an Assignment. In the next tutorial we’ll talk about how to schedule study time and use the study time features in the StudyMinder Homework System.

Categories: Video Tutorials

StudyMinder Video Tutorial 1: Adding your classes to the class schedule

by StudyMinder 22. September 2011 20:03

The first step in getting started with StudyMinder Homework System student planner is to create a new term. Then you add your classes to the class schedule for the new term. Video Tutorial 1 guides you through the steps. 

(If you are not using the StudyMinder school planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript for Video Tutorial 1

Welcome to the first in a series of tutorials on how to use the StudyMinder homework system school planner. In the first tutorial we'll talk about creating a class schedule.

When you first launch the StudyMinder student planner, a window will appear telling you that you have not yet created a new term and class schedule. So all you need to do is click the OK button and this will take you to the class schedule window.

In StudyMinder your classes are always grouped within a term and when the term changes at the end of your report card period, you'll come back here and create a new term for your new classes. If you have four report cards a year you'll have four terms. If you're on a semester basis you'll have just two terms.

Now usually the name of the term is the season and the year, although you can make the term name anything you want. We'll follow that convention here. And we'll call this Fall 2011. So there we have the term name set, and now we're ready to enter the start and end dates. If you're not sure exactly what the start and end date of your term is yet, it doesn't really matter at the beginning. Just put in an approximate date. We'll start this one near the end of August and we'll have it end about the end of October. So there we go. We have the start and the end dates set and now we're ready to enter classes.

Click the Add Class button and the first blank class will appear. We'll call this one English. Now we move to the Credits column. The credits indicate how many class credits you receive for this particular class. Now in high school you probably just get the same amount of credits for each class, in which case you can leave this as one. In college you may have different credit amounts. So let's say for English we'll get four credits. You can put any number you want here. The only difference that it will make is when StudyMinder Homework System school planner calculates your GPA. Classes with higher credit values will have a heavier weight in the GPA calculation.

Now we'll set the class color. This is the color that will appear in the scheduler window for this particular class. We'll call this one, let's make it Sandy Brown. And there we go. We've got the first class set.

Add another class here, we'll call this one Math, and we'll give it three credits. We'll make the color Salmon. And then one more class. We'll call it Science. This class we'll make five credits and the color Light Blue. So there we have our classes.

Now you can always come back and change the name of the classes or the credits or the color. All of these options can be changed any time. You can also click the Delete Class button and that will delete the class we just entered. Let's add it back again. Now we have not actually used this class schedule yet, so StudyMinder student planner did not give a warning message about deleting the class, so we were able to do that. But if you've already created a class schedule and you've added classes and assignments to this Science class, StudyMinder will give you a warning message. If you delete the class after you've added assignments to it, all of your assignments for class will be lost. So you'll receive a warning message. The same is true if you try to delete a term. Once you've added classes and assignments to your term and you delete the term, that can't be undone. The StudyMinder homework planner will warn you if you try to delete it and let you know that it can be undone. But this is a new term so we can change and delete it until we have it the way we want it. And when we're finished, click OK.

Let's go back to the class schedule. Open it up one more time. We'll choose Edit This Term's Class Schedule. And now if we try to delete the Science class it will warn us that we have not - that if we delete the class, we'll lose any assignments. So if we want to, we can just click No, we don't really want to delete it. Of course you can delete it. Just keep in mind that your assignments will also be lost, so be careful about that. Click OK, and now the class schedule has been added.

Now, the class schedule button - when you click it and the Class and the Term Schedule's window opens, you can change to a different term here. It's important to note that depending on the term you have selected here, that term's classes will appear in the scheduler. When you have created additional terms, they will appear in this pull-down menu. When you change the term from one term to the next, the other terms will be hidden. So if you are using StudyMinder and you can't find the classes you added for the term, you may have changed the term here. Just come back and change it to the term that you were working on. When you have set just click Change the Term and you'll be back.

So we've created the term now and next we will add an assignment for one of our classes that we created. We'll do that in the next tutorial. 

Categories: Video Tutorials