My Calendars — Part 2

If you haven’t read about how I use Google calendar in nursing school, check out My Calendars — Part 1.

The other two calendars I use are paper calendars, and I place them in the front and black slots of my binder. The one at the front of my binder is my syllabus calendar, and it is a very detailed version of the calendar I keep on my Google calendar.

The syllabus calendar goes in the front slot of my binder.

The syllabus calendar goes in the front slot of my binder.

Absolutely everything related to nursing school is on this calendar. I use the syllabus my instructors hand out at the beginning of the semester and delete all of the information that does not apply to me, such as the clinical dates for the other clinical groups.

Date, time, lecture topic, clinical information, exam information (I highlight exam dates), service learning, group project meetings, and all of the other stuff they pile on us goes on this calendar. I just rotate the pages as the semester progresses.


The calendar on the back of my binder holds only the important dates, such as assignment due dates and exam dates. I can look at it quickly and know if something important is going on this month.


I cross off the days as I go so that I can quickly see the next major event. The events I include are clinical dates, service learning dates and locations, exam dates, assignment due dates, and I throw holidays in there, too. (I can’t wait for Christmas!)


These three calendars (Google, syllabus, and important dates) keep me from pulling my hair out every single day. My mind can rest from some of the stress of not knowing whether I’ve missed a deadline or a meeting because I always know where I need to be. Give it a shot. And if you have a calendar system that works for you, let me and the other readers know because we need to help each other out!


My Calendars — Part 1

I use three methods to keeping my schedule organized. I was planning on sharing all of them with you in this post, but it was getting kind of long, and long posts are boring. So stay tuned to learn about my other two calendars:  the syllabus calendar and the important dates calendar.

There are a lot of organizational options out there for nursing students (planners up the wazoo, desk calendars, white board calendars, phone apps). My favorite combo is a Google calendar, a syllabus calendar, and an important dates calendar. Each one serves it’s own purpose, and I never have that dreaded feeling of missing anything.

The first calendar I will share with you is the Google calendar. If you already have a Google account, you are off to a great start (if not, Google how to create one…lol). Find the calendar button in the top right corner of any Google page (you must be logged in to see it). Click on it! 🙂

Google Calendar (Google Homepage)

Within your Google calendar, you have the opportunity to make multiple calendars that can be displayed at the same time or hidden when you want to focus on just one aspect of your life (e.g., nursing school).

Google Calendar (All calendars)

On the left side of the screen, you can see that I have three calendars that I control (Amy Determan, Nursing School, and Tasks). I also am able to see three calendars under Other Calendars (these are calendars that have been shared with me).

My Amy Determan (blue) calendar is for all of my personal appointments, parties, concerts, etc. My Nursing School (green) calendar is for my classes, clinicals, simulation activities, etc. And I can’t tell you how nice it is to have Grant using Google calendar, too! We don’t run into scheduling conflicts because we can easily pull up each others’ calendars in an instant (using our smart phones).

You can see in the picture below how each of my calendars can be viewed separately if needed. If you click on the calendar names on the left side of the screen, you can hide them or display them. I usually keep all of the calendars up, because how else am I going to know what’s going on outside of my nursing school bubble!?

Google Calendar (Only Nursing)

A view of my nursing school calendar without all of my other calendars.

If you would like step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own Google calendar, Anson Alexander has a great YouTube tutorial series that will get your started! You will be amazed at how many cool features Google calendar has to offer. And it’s FREE.

Question for y’all:  Do you prefer paper calendars or electronic calendars?

Also, is anyone else experiencing something like this today? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.


Flashcards for Common Labs

One of my instructors gave us a friendly reminder about the fact that there will be lab values on the NCLEX! What?! Don’t worry, this isn’t a surprise to me. Definitely a wake-up call though.

So what did I do about it? I made some flashcards using the lab values provided at the University of Minnesota Medical Student Website.


It took me about 30 minutes to create these cards. I wrote the lab name on the front, and the back has the normal value and the category of the lab (e.g., ABGs, coagulation).

How are you using your extra hour?

Daylight savings time ended today, and that means we have an extra hour in our day! I need it!


I spent the last four days in Chicago visiting one of my friends and attending a conference with the hubster. We listened to amazing speakers who shared what makes their stories special like Glennon Melton Doyle and her story of vulnerability and truth-telling, Donald Miller and his passion for showing others how to live a good story, Joshua Becker and his simplicity in possessions and life, and Bob Goff and his radical love-doing. Needless to say, it was inspirational, and it made me want to live out a story of great meaning with purpose.

I did not study much while I was in Chicago, so I will be using my extra hour trying to distinguish between left and right heart failure for my exam tomorrow! I better get back to the books before I use up my hour on my blog. Eeeek!

How will you be using your extra hour today? Tell me all about it in the comment section! 🙂