Time management for online classes can be a challenge for students new to virtual courses. Without an in-person professor giving lessons and instructions, it can be confusing for students adjusting to online classes.

MSU student, Kaylynn Caruthers said the hardest part of taking classes online is “mustering up the motivation to get the work done instead of procrastinating.”

Caruthers said she has taken four online courses in the two semesters she has been at MSU. 

“I try to make a note of assignments in my calendar to plan accordingly,” Caruthers said. “Using a planner can be really helpful.”

Caruthers said she does better in her online classes than her in-person classes. 

“Switching from in-person to online has been hard for the classes I had in person,” Caruthers said. “Those classes have easier instruction when in person, so it's been more difficult switching to go online.” 

Caruthers said she has struggled to stay on her course schedule. 

When falling behind, Caruthers said, what helps her catch up and get back on track is sitting down and working on her courser work until she’s back on track.

Comparing online classes to in-person classes, Caruthers said there hasn’t necessarily been any classes that are easier online or in person. 

“My world music class, which has always been online, has been fairly simple and enjoyable,” Caruthers said.

Caruthers said the benefit of taking online classes is the  freedom to schedule other things in her life around the work she does for her classes. 

MSU student Jasmine Collins has taken online courses in high school and in college. 

“For both in-person and online classes, as soon as I have a syllabus, I use apps like myHomework to input all my due dates and set reminders so I can keep up with assignments,” Collins said. 

Collins said online and in-person class difficulty depends on the teacher. 

“My first online class at Missouri State had a teacher that set up similar to in person classes where we had assignments due twice a week,” Collins said. “This semester I have a teacher that has every assignment open up all the time so you can do the work at your own pace.” 

Collins said she has fallen behind in online courses due to time management and mental health struggles. 

“If I fall behind in my in-person classes I’ll usually prioritize catching up in those classes,” Collin said. “If I am in a bad place with my mental health then all my classes suffer until I’m back in a good place.”

Collins said the easiest part of taking online classes is that she doesn’t have to leave her room.

There are free apps on the GooglePlay Store on Android devices that help track time management and motivate their users. Forest: Stay Focused is an app that allows you to plant seeds of trees that grow by putting your phone down. 

The app allows you to set times for when users want to focus on activities like schoolwork or spending time with family to encourage users to not use their phones. The trees will wither if users use their phones during the times they’ve set.

They offer rewards to unlock new tree species for their users. There is also an unlocked pro-version of the app that can be purchased. The app plants up to five real trees per user. 

Remember The Milk is another time management app available on the GooglePlayStore and the Apple App Store.

This app allows users to create To-Do lists and create reminders. It lets users put in due dates, lists and tags that help them get tasks done and remember things to buy. 

There is a pro-subscription version of Remember The Milk that opens aspects like subtasks, color coding tasks and it syncs with Microsoft Outlook to better remind users of their daily tasks.