Skip to content

Quarterly planning

The full quarter plan allows you to see everything that needs to be done over the entire quarter all at once. It also helps you track important dates and deadlines. With a full quarter plan, you can prepare for overwhelming weeks so that you don’t fall behind. This will help you meet deadlines and improve your grades.

Signs you need a full quarter plan

All students benefit from having a full quarter plan but for some students it is absolutely essential to succeeding at a university. Some signs that you need a full quarter plan include:

  • On busy weeks of the quarter, you don’t have enough time to complete all your assignments and/or study adequately for tests.
  • You are able to stay on top of your work until mid-terms start and then you fall behind.
  • You do not plan ahead for busy weeks in the quarter.
  • You do not regularly look at your planner or use a planner.
  • You can stay on top of your academic work but regularly forget important dates such as DRS deadlines, course registration, doctor’s appointments, etc.


There’s no one size fits all when it comes to planning so we’ve listed a few strategies for creating a good full quarter plan below.

DRS quarter calendar

We often make a quarterly calendar at the beginning of every quarter. You can pick it up at the Seattle DRS office.  We recommend calling ahead to make sure one is available before you come.

The DRS quarter calendar shows all the weeks in the quarter on one page. It also has all the DRS deadlines listed, making it easy to track everything in the same place.

We highly recommend picking one up at the start of the quarter and immediately writing down the due dates for all your assignments and exams. Some students like to color code these dates (ie. red for exam, blue for paper, etc.) for faster visual referencing.

You can also take the calendar to a copy center and have it blown up and laminated. A larger version makes it easier to read and gives you more white space to write notes. Laminating it allows you to use it like a white board. You can more easily make changes and move things around as the quarter progresses.

Hang this calendar in a highly visible place in your work station. You will want to be able to glance at it daily.

Pinch points worksheet

Knowing ahead of time what weeks of the quarter you have a lot due all at once is critical to staying on top of your work. This worksheet will help you identify those weeks so you can quickly visualize weeks when you are likely to become overwhelmed. Many students find that this worksheet works best when used in conjunction with a digital calendar, planner, DRS quarter calendar, or other planning system that helps them track important dates outside of coursework such as doctor’s appointments, DRS deadlines, extracurriculars, and social events.

How to use this tool

First, start by filling out the Pinch Points worksheet. You’ll want to enter every assignment for every class. Yes, this will take a bit of time.  However, doing this now will set you up to succeed and will save you time down the road. Once you have entered all your assignments, highlight the weeks where you have three or more things due. You can look at what the assignments are in those weeks to determine how far ahead you’ll need to plan for them. For example, a week where you have three small homework assignments due may not need extra planning. But a week where you have two large projects and an exam will require advance planning. If you have two busy weeks in a row, you will need to extend how much you plan ahead even further.

an example of pinch points worksheets

Success in 77 days

A quarter goes by quickly. It can be challenging to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. Our Success in 77 days calendar provides general information about what you need to do each week of the quarter. While this won’t be enough to manage your specific deadlines on its own, many students find that it’s a helpful to-do list to reference weekly. Hang it next to your workstation so you will remember to look at it frequently.