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My Semester Prep Master Task List

My semester prep master task list

I realized recently that I do the same things at the start of every semester. So, instead of trying to remember what needs to be done at the beginning of the semester by scrolling back in my calendar and looking at what I booked in back then, I decided to develop a master task list in Evernote for the beginning of every semester.

I’m sharing my list here, in case it aligns with what you do or in case you find it useful! Note that I would of course need to do more things for any new course that I’m teaching in a given semester.

Per class

  • prepare syllabus
  • prepare exams and solutions
  • put everything ready in D2L


  • reflect on previous semester: time spent – do I need to change weekly template?
  • reflect on previous semester: evaluation of goals
  • plan next semester: go through calendar for upcoming milestones and travel
  • breakdown of time on weekly basis
  • goals
  • task list
  • see which new teaching is coming up that requires extra prep time
  • see kid activities, time and commuting time to activities
  • weekly template

Clearing the decks

  • organize office
  • planning on whiteboard
  • inbox zero


  • post weekly template
  • post semester goals
  • evaluation of goals of previous semester
  • how I spent my time in the previous semester

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