As the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention nears, many SLPs and Audiologists are scrambling to create their schedules. There is a variety of ways to peruse the talks – the Leader insert, the on-line scheduler and/or picking up the convention book upon arrival. But many of us have the same problem – too many sessions we want to go to at the SAME time. And no one wants to eliminate all of the options, because often we end up in a boring or irrelevant session and need a second option. Taking all of this into consideration can make creating a schedule quite the headache! This year I decided to go “digital” with my schedule and use my Google Docs to create a schedule that is easy to manipulate and accessible from anywhere on the convention floor.
In case you are interested in giving it a try, here is how I have set-up my schedule:
First, I created a “Spreadsheet” in my Google Drive account. I named it #ASHA12 in reference to this year’s twitter hashtag for the conference.
The following are key aspects of how I set up the spreadsheet:
- A: I set up my time table from 7am – 10pm in half hour increments. I chose these hours to indicate when I expect to be getting up/grabbing breakfast (for any breakfast meet-ups I schedule) and when I *hope* to be in bed. I give myself time slots around the convention hours because of all the social events surrounding the convention itself.
- B: I like to give myself PLENTY of options for time slots. So I have given myself a few columns to line up the different talks that strike my fancy.
- C: In the final column I have put the exhibit hall hours – not only for my own reference, but also because I am planning to volunteer at the PediaStaff Social Media Learning Center Featuring the #SLPeeps – be sure to stop by!
- D: I then created a page for each day of my trip (from Wednesday when I fly in until Sunday when I fly out), copied and then pasted this template on each page. I was then ready to begin creating my schedule!
Here is an example of my Thursday schedule. I opted put the full name of each session I want to attend. I’ve learned in years past that abbreviations just frustrate me when I am part way through the day and can’t remember EXACTLY what the session is going to be about. Making the font smaller ensures that it doesn’t mess up my spacing/formatting too much. I also put the room number AND the session number. I put in the session number so that, when it comes time to submit my CEUs, I have them all in one place!
I hope this gives you some ideas when it comes to scheduling your time at ASHA, let me know if you use this idea or have another one! I’d love to hear about it!