StudyMinder Video Tutorial 7: Options

by StudyMinder 24. September 2011 20:38

The StudyMinder Homework System student planner has a number of options that you can use to customize the way the program works. This tutorials demonstrates options for showing and hiding the ribbon bar, customizing the names and colors of activities, and much more.

(If you are not using the StudyMinder homework planner yet, download the free trial and follow along with the tutorial.)


Transcript of Video Tutorial 7

This is tutorial number seven in a series of tutorials about the StudyMinder Homework System school planner. In this tutorial we’ll look at some of the options and features that we haven't touched on in earlier tutorials.

Let's start with the help button at the top right. If you click this button, you can show and hide tips. When tips are showing, just move the mouse over a button or control and you can get additional information about that button. To turn it off, just click the help button again.

Next to the help button there is a small arrow that points up. When you click it, you can hide the ribbon bar. Click again to show the ribbon bar. When the ribbon bar is hidden, you can still use the controls. The File and the Tools tab are still visible. If you click on File you can see the ribbon bar appears. Click on Scheduler and the ribbon bar disappears. Click File again. The ribbon bar reappears and you can click on a different control. To show the ribbon bar again, just click the down arrow.

The default screen that appears when you first launch StudyMinder is the Activities Today. All of the activities that you have scheduled, including assignments, tasks, study time, everything will appear here in this list. If you double click on any of these rows, you can open that particular item. The default is for Today and Tomorrow. If you change the menu at the right side of the grid, you can change the date range. You can change it to this Week or This Month, or just back to Today and Tomorrow.

On the left side of the StudyMinder window is a series of tabs with different features. At the bottom is Quote of the Day. There are about a hundred quotes that come with StudyMinder homework planner, and these change every day.  The buttons underneath the quote can be used to advance forward or back, so you can always go back to your favorite quotes. To hide the quotes, just click the button on that tab.

Just above the quotes is the study timer. This is intended for timing yourself while you do your study so you can see exactly how long you really spend. Just click the start button and the timer will begin. You can always pause the time by clicking pause. Start will continue it again. Next to the number display is a small button. If you click that button you can hide the seconds. Click again to show the seconds. To reset, just click pause and then reset, and you can start over.

In the tools menu there are a number of options here which you can use to customize StudyMinder school planner. You can customize all the colors and names that are used in different events and assignments. Let’s create an event first and you can see exactly how this works. So click on the scheduler. We’ll make a new event. And let's make this event a “Family” event. We can put “family vacation”. Also we can set the status for this activity. Let's call it “important”, so we’ve set the status “Important”, the label is “Family,” now we click Save and Close. So, here is the item in the scheduler. Notice that it’s green, and on the very left edge there's this red bar. This shows the status which we set as important. If we open it again, we can change the status to “Needs preparation.” This is purple. Click Save and Close. Now you can see it has a purple bar. The names and the colors are customizable, so if we go back to Tools, click Colors and Names. Let's change the Family label to Vacation, since this was for a vacation. And let’s change one of the statuses we were using, Needs Preparation, let's change it to Travel Plans. Click OK. So now when we go back to this item, you can see it now says, “Vacation” and it says “Travel Plans” for the status. We also change the colors, so that for a vacation we can change that to a brown color and we can change travel plans to a black color. So now you can see Vacation is a really dark green and it has a status of black.

Next to Colors and Name is the Options. There are several options which you can use to change the calendar. The default is Sunday as the start day of the week. When it’s set to Sunday you can see that Sunday is on the left, the dates run Monday through Friday, and Saturday is the last day of the week. But in the Options we can change it to Monday or any other day. If you set it to Monday as the start day of the week, then Saturday and Sunday are now at the end of the week.

You can also set the spell checker so that it automatically checks your spelling when you enter notes for an assignment. Here we have it checked. Let's look at what happens. If we create an assignment, and this is also true for events or classes, if we type in, “This is an assignment,” let’s misspell “assignment”, notice that it has a red underline because it’s misspelled. If we're right click it, we get a list of optional replacement words. Let's choose “assignment”. Now it’s correctly spelled. So we won’t save changes. We’ll close it and continue.

Next is the Calculate GPA feature. Let’s go back and look at our assignments. If we click on the homework list you can see we have six assignments that we've created for our different classes, but we have not added any grades yet. Let’s add grades to our Science classes. If we open up Science, here's our first Science assignment. Let's say that this assignment has a total possible score of one hundred and we got ninety five. When you enter the numbers, your grade and your percentage correct are listed here in the last two boxes. Notice that you cannot enter directly into the Percent or the Grade boxes. Just enter your final score and the total possible, and the grade and percent are calculated for you. Let's click Save and Close. The grade appears here in the list view. There's another assignment here for science. Let's open that one. Let's mark it as Done. Let's say that in this one we got fifty-five and the total was seventy five. So on this one we only got a “C”. Save and close. OK, now when we go back to the Tools and click on Calculate GPA we can see our total GPA for all of our classes and also a breakdown for the other classes. We haven't added any grades yet for the other classes but we have for Science, so let's click Science and you can see we now have an average score of eighty six percent on our assignments. We’ve done two assignments so far, we have two hours of study time total for Science and we have currently a “B” grade. So make sure that as you finish you assignments, go back and enter your grades and then you can click on the Calculate GPA and see exactly how you stand.

You can print your list view or your scheduler by clicking on the Print or Export button. We are now looking at the homework grid view. Let’s close this. Notice we’re looking at the grid view. If you click on print, we get the print grid screen. If we were looking at the scheduler, click on Scheduler, select a number of days, so now we have four days selected. Go back to Tools, click on Print, now we will see the scheduler. We have four days and all four days are listed here in the scheduler to be printed out. Let's go back and look at the grid view again. Go back to Tools, click on Print. One of the options available in the Print Preview window is export. If you click on the Export button there's a list of export file types which you can use to export this information from the grid view to another file. You can save it as a text file or also as an “xls” file, which is Microsoft's Excel file format. So you could open this up in a spreadsheet if you wanted to. Or, you can just go ahead and click the Print Options button and then print it to your printer.

The last feature to talk about is probably the most fun to use. This is the Skins Gallery. StudyMinder school planner comes with thirty eight different skins and all you need to do to change the complete look of your scheduler is click on any of these buttons and it will change. You can scroll through them or you can open up the window by clicking this bottom arrow here and they will all appear. You can choose from a number of different styles. There are eight different Microsoft Office styles. Here's Microsoft Office 2007 Black Style, or you can use Microsoft Office 2010 Silver Style, a little bit more elegant. And there are some fun styles you can use too, even ones to change seasonally. Click on the Pumpkin to get an autumn Halloween look for your scheduler. Click on Springtime, or now it's summer, so we can click on the Summer Style and get a beach scene with the scheduler.

This concludes tutorial number seven on the options and special features in StudyMinder.

Categories: Video Tutorials