Ah, the back-to-school season. There's no other time of the year that simultaneously strikes fear, dread, and excitement into the hearts of students and parents across the country.
On the fear and dread side, part of the problem is staying organized while getting used to a brand new schedule, new schools, new teachers...new everything.
Just as the year gets into full swing, now is a good time to remind you about two great tools baked into Google.com that can help keep everything in order.
To use these tools you'll need to be signed in to your Google account on your PC.
When you need to create a new Google Calendar appointment on the fly, it's relatively easy to do by entering the right "search" terms into Google.com, the Chrome omnibar, or pretty much anything that can carry out a Google search.
Let's say you're already panicking about an essay topic for History 241 and you've got an appointment with your T.A. on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Just enter something like create event History 241 meeting Thursday at 3 pm at History Hall. At the top of your search results you should see a box like the one above. Just click Create event and you've got your appointment set with your default reminder time--usually a pop-up 10 minutes before the appointment.
After you've created the appointment, an "Edit event" link appears in the event box that will let you refine the appointment if you need to.
The key for getting Google to automate calendar entries for you is to use the keywords "create event" although in my tests "set appointment" worked as well.
Similar to setting calendar appointments, you can also set reminders that are stored in Google Now. Once they're set, you can get your reminders on Android, iOS, PC, Google Glass, and Android Wear.
If you need to remember to pay your child's school fees on Thursday morning, for example, enter something like remind me to pay Jeff's school fees on Thursday morning into Google search.
Again, you'll see a box like the one above. Adjust it as you need, click Remind me on Google Now and your reminder will be set.
As with the Google Calendar trick, reminders require the keywords "remind me" to do its magic.
The fall can be a tough time of the year as everyone's life kicks into a higher gear, but you can remain a little more organized with these handy Google tools.