How to Easily Create Your Semester Schedule in Google Calendar
My students often say that it’s difficult to stay on track with their semester schedules. Similarly, procrastination is a common issue I hear about often. We have addressed the most effective approaches to overcoming procrastination in our previous post.
In this blog post, I’m going to show you how you can import all your important semester events into Google Calendar from an Excel spreadsheet. Once you create an Excel file following our instructions below, it will only take about 5 minutes to set up your Google Calendar for the semester.
In the beginning of a semester, you get a syllabus for each class you’re taking. As the semester progresses, students try to make time for studying, reading, and doing homework assignments. At the very least, they try to stay on top of their schedules without letting the due dates slip through their fingers.
The pile of tasks on the to-do list is growing exponentially as the semester unfolds. By the time the first midterms are here, the stress level is high and it’s not clear anymore whether we are swimming or drowning in that pile.
How do we get to this point of being overwhelmed and out of control? Remember the familiar problems with “not enough time” and “waiting until the last minute?” Of course, there are many more reasons for not finishing a semester successfully.
In terms of staying on top of your schedule, the solution is obvious. You need more time! Well, let’s get it.
In this video, I will show you how to import a list of events into Google Calendar from a simple Excel spreadsheet.
For those of you who may prefer to keep all your study-related information separate from the rest of your life, read our guide on how to organize your calendar in My Study Life. It’s a stand-alone online planner and an app for organizing information related to studying. Because it doesn’t sync with Google Calendar, your school-related events won’t mix with everything else.
1. Create a New Calendar for the Current Semester
- Open Google Calendar.
- In the top right corner, you can see the “Create”, “Mini Calendar”, and “My Calendars” buttons.
- Let’s create a new calendar. Click on drop down button and select “Create new calendar”.
- Type in the calendar’s name and its description.
- When you are creating your calendar for the semester, allocate time for all your lectures, assignments, and study time. Often, assignments and homeworks get on our to-do list without time allocation. They show up there only as a reminder that the assignment is due, say, at 11:59pm on Sunday. It creates a skewed image of the total required study time.
- Adding estimated study time on your calendar and blocking that time will help you plan other activities better. You will be able to see the entire schedule in front of you and make better time-management decisions. As a result, you will feel more relaxed knowing that you are on top of it.
- Here is another trick that you may find helpful. You don’t have to follow the schedule exactly. Once a time slot is created, it’s easy to move it from one time to another. You can be flexible within the structure of your calendar.
- Also, I recommend creating a separate calendar for each semester because it’s easy to delete just that one calendar after the semester is over and start a new one.
2. Prepare an Excel Template Using Your Syllabi
The next step is to prepare an Excel file with all the important events and planned activities for this semester. Keep in mind that Google Calendar has a specific format for an Excel file with the events you would like to add to your Google calendar. Once you put your list of events in an Excel template (click on the link above to download the Excel template), you are almost done.
In short, the file must be saved in Excel as a comma-separated values (.csv) format and must contain specific columns.
Let’s take a look at my template.
- Column A is called “Subject”, and it contains the name of every event I want to add. I added various events here to provide variety.
- Columns B and C are called “Start Date” and “Start Time”.
- Columns D and E are “End Date” and “End Time”.
When an event’s ‘Start Date’ and ‘End Date’ are the same (which means that the event occurs on the same day), simply leave column D empty.
- Column F is called “All Day Event”. It can take the values of TRUE or FALSE. Enter TRUE only for all-day events.
- Columns G and H are “Description” and “Location”. They provide additional details for an event.
- Column I is called “Private”, and it can take the values of TRUE or FALSE as well. I set my calendar to public. Therefore, all values in my column ‘Private’ are set to FALSE.
Do not delete any columns. Each column is important to properly import the data into Google Calendar.
When you are done, save the document as a comma-separated values document (.csv).
3. Import the Created Template with Multiple Events
- Hover your mouse over the drop-down menu next to “My Calendar”.
- Select “Settings”.
- In the new window, scroll down, and click on “Import Calendar”.
- In the new pop-up window, you will see an option to choose the file that contains all events. That is our template. After selecting the file, you can choose the calendar from the drop-down menu of available calendars. All events will be imported from the Excel file into the calendar you choose.
- Click on “Import”.
- A new window will pop up with the confirmation stating the number of imported events. We got 37 events.
- Close the notification window and return to the calendar.
Let’s look at the events in our calendar using different viewing options in the top right corner.
- Month view. It’s really convenient to rearrange the tasks in this view. Based on other activities, just dragging and dropping an event is much easier than creating a new one.
- Agenda view. It shows your events as a list. It’s convenient to use this view to check whether there are any important events soon, expand all events for a quick edit, and collapse them back. Click on “Today” in the top left corner to come back to the original date. Agenda view can be helpful because it is easy to print out upcoming events. To do that, hover your mouse over the “More” button in the top right corner to select “Print” or “Refresh” options.
Now you know how to create a new calendar and import a list of events from an Excel spreadsheet. As you can see, it saves tons of time on manually entering events that are similar into Google calendar. Of course, it doesn’t mean you can’t add more events later, but most of the work is done when you prepared your Excel spreadsheet.
Now it’s time to get it done! Download our Excel template, add your events to it, and follow the instructions in my video to import them into your Google Calendar. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter! We send out useful college-related information.
Thank you for reading!