Staying Up To Date

For the actual and useful information, skip to the next headline. 

So there I was, one fateful day, pondering about my future classes at the University of Waterloo. How on Earth was I supposed to keep track of all of these courses and assignments and tests that are going to arise in the near future? Surely I wouldn’t be able to remember all of the dates and keep track of my progress without going crazy! As I sat pondering while petting my cat, Rollo, one of the greatest ideas that I have thought of (so far) came to my head. Why not just use the calendar app on my phone?

Alright, alright, I’m no genius. I admit. This isn’t a super cool new idea that I just made up. But that doesn’t stop it from being useful and convenient for new students like me and so many others just starting a new year of university. Just imagine the scenario: You get to your first class on your first day of school, all is going well. You love your class, meet some new people, hopefully don’t get any homework or assignments on the first day of school, and then class ends. First class, check! Where to now? Oh no! You gasp! You forgot your schedule already! So what do you do? What else, other than pull out your phone to quickly check your calendar app to see what class you have next and where you’re supposed to go!

First though, you need to get your schedule on your phone. Here’s how:

Preparing Ahead Using Your Calendar App

The process of putting your schedule on your phone may be different for all, but it basically has the same principles. Get your schedule, convert it to a readable format for your phone, and sync it with your phone. There are some apps to do this automatically for you, but here is a way that I have found useful when trying to put my class schedule AND orientation week schedule on my Z10 Blackberry. I do not guarantee that this is the process for all phones. If you have any questions regarding other phones, ask away! I would be glad to help you through the process in case you have a different phone. Note: This method uses Google to sync up the calendar to your phone. This will ensure that your calendar is backed up and so that you can choose different colours if you wish for the appointments on your phone to differentiate between your personal appointments and your schedule. Make sure to have a Google account first and WiFi to be able to sync your calendar to Google at least once!

  1. Access your schedule on Quest. This is as easy as it sounds. Log into Quest and under the Academics heading, click Enroll. There you will see your schedule for Fall 2013. Do not click anywhere else! Stay on the page.
  2. Use the Quest Schedule Exporter to export your calendar from Quest onto your desktop. Make sure to follow all the steps that are provided for you on the website. Make sure that your schedule is in List View! I can’t stress this enough. I have frustrated myself to no end when I automatically switched it to Calendar View and didn’t know why it wasn’t working.
  3. Make sure you can find the file you just exported. Obvious as it may be, you cannot do anything if you don’t know where you downloaded it to. Find it!
  4. Go to your Google Calendar and create a new calendar. First, you may want to Create a New Calendar, so you click on the arrow beside My Calendars and create a new calendar. You may want to call it something like “<Your Program Name> – 1A” so you can keep track of what it’s for.
  5. Import the file into the calendar you just created. In the same menu that had the Create a Calendar option, you go to Settings and click on Import Calendar in the settings page. Choose the file that you saved on your computer before, choose the calendar you just created, and voila! Your courses should now show up on Google!
  6. As a precaution, make sure you are syncing the right calendars with your mobile device. Just make sure that the right calendars are checked off that you wish to sync to your mobile device. Easy step here.
  7. Add your Google account to your phone in the settings. On your phone go to Settings -> Accounts and set up your email, checking off the option to sync the calendar too. You may also choose not to sync up your email if you don’t want to. Totally up to you.
  8. Turn on WiFi and wait for you phone and Google Calendar to sync up, and voila! You are finished, congrats.

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to know extra features or tips, let me know! Post a comment, email me, or contact me in some way so I get to hear your thoughts. I would also like to point out differences between syncing up the calendar between Blackberries vs. other devices, but considering that I do not have any other phones I would love to hear your input about how you would go about doing it!

For the record, by the way, the calendar on my phone has been such a huge help in keeping track of my time and knowing where/when my classes are quickly and easily. All I need to do is take out my phone, press one button, and I can easily see that I will have a class in 15 minutes in RCH 301 for example. Don’t underestimate the use of technology these days. Embrace it, learn it, love it. 

1A Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo