Student’s web app helps classmates get organized, stay organized

Screen shots of the assignments page on the Semester Planner website

Junior Marcell Purham designed a web app to help students organize notes and assignments.

 

From semester to semester, assignments get buried deeper in the back of our heads or onto the tattered pages of old planners.

A UIC student has created an easier way to organize, prioritize and save assignments and notes all in one place — the SemesterPlanner web application.

“SemesterPlanner is an online collaborative student planner that helps students keep track of their semester notes and assignments,” said Marcell Purham, a junior in computer science. “When you take notes online, you can look back at them whenever you’d like. If your notebook gets wet or lost, you lose your notes, as well.”

His project started as part of the Hackathon technology competition held at the University of Chicago in 2013.

 

Marcell Purham

“I wanted to create something to help me structure my documents and assignments and help others,” Purham says.

“Prior to that, I was taking notes on my laptop,” he said. “I realized there was nothing for me to manage my semester in one place so I wanted to create something to help me structure my documents and assignments and help others do the same.”

Purham has worked on the online tool for a year and continues to expand its features. Students can add two classes, five notes and five assignments to their planner for free; unlimited access costs $5 per month or $40 per year. The first 250 people to upgrade using the code “UICNews” can have unlimited access for a year.

“One of the key features is the share-a-note tool that allows you to share notes and collaborate with other students,” he said. “Having an ecosystem where everyone is contributing to one unified source gives students fresh insight.”

SemesterPlanner is accessible online from smartphones, tablets and computers but future plans call for creating a downloadable app, among other upgrades.

“One of the plans is to get it to recognize handwritten notes and transfer them into SemesterPlanner as text for future reference,” Purham said.

The site allows students to connect with others in their major and personalize their profiles.

“I’ve been using semester planner since the spring of 2013 and I have over 98 notes, over 200 assignments, and I’ve shared over 50 documents with peers,” Purham said. “Being a student myself, I know what students want in a website like this.”