AGILE My Inbox

AGILE My Inbox logo

Note: The following email was sent to USM students, but contains useful resources that instructors should also know about.

text that reads: AGILE My Inbox. Tips to Study, Plan, and Learn Effectivly!
to-do list illustration

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

Paul J. Meyer

What is USM’s AGILE My Inbox?

AGILE My Inbox is a weekly newsletter brought to you by the USM’s Learning Support team. Every learner can become more AGILE, which stands for Academic Gains through Improved Learning Effectiveness. We want to help you avoid common learning challenges, while increasing your memory, understanding, academic performance, and enjoyment of learning. To help you along this path, each week we will bring you some inspiration, tips, and strategies that will help you maximize your success, all right from the comfort of your inbox! 

Your Weekly Study Crunch

“Your Weekly Study Crunch” features timely, bite-sized academic tips and strategies.

Scheduling enough time for your academics is essential. However, many students don’t put together a realistic plan or establish a routine that will enable them to achieve their academic goals. There are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a semester. And if you don’t pay attention, that exam, paper, or assignment due date will arrive before you know it – catching you by surprise. To maximize your academic success, you must carefully manage your study time on a semester, weekly, and daily basis. This week, we are highlighting three planning tools that every USM student has access to!

  • The Course Syllabus: The syllabus is a tremendous resource for planning and time management. To fully benefit from the course syllabus, it is important for you to read it, understand it, and keep it easily accessible (as you should be referring to it regularly throughout the duration of your course). Try to think of your syllabus as a map that gives you directions on how to arrive at the end of the semester successfully. For guidance on navigating your syllabus effectively, check out our how-to video featured below!
  • USM’s Semester-at-a-Glance: After reviewing your syllabi, consider using our USM Semester-at-a-Glance and Month-at-a-Glance to map out your due dates (to edit linked resources, select File > Make a copy). Additional guidance is available in our How to Complete a Semester-at-a-Glance YouTube video. We also have a Weekly To-Do List and a Weekly Study Plan template available to plan out the daily details.
  • USM’s PLAN Tool: Your Personal Learning Achievement Network (PLAN) is a network of people that you will interact with in your learning environments and in your learning tasks. A well-designed PLAN will help you generate knowledge, sharpen your understanding, and maximize your success, all more efficiently and effectively than learning alone. The PLAN Tool was designed to assist you with identifying the people, strategies, and resources that can support your success (in each of your courses)! It is action-oriented, accompanied by a reflection component, and includes direct links to request academic support. You can access USM’s PLAN Tool here!

For additional information on academic support resources and strategies, please visit us at

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

*Woof* Have you visited USM’s Student Services and Policies Hub yet? This online Hub, located in the MyUSM portal (top yellow banner), was designed to make it easier to find key resources for supporting your academic success and helping you make the most of your USM experience. The resources have been grouped into seven “buckets” based on shared characteristics. Each semester, it will be important to revisit these areas, as your needs may change from one semester to another based upon your courses and what’s going on in your life at that time. Be sure to check it out!

Service Spotlight

Text that reads: Fall semester peer academic support at USM's Learning Commons begins on Tuesday September 5! For more information, visit us at

Peer Academic Support Appointments

Fall semester peer academic support at the Learning Commons is up and running, with appointments offered in Gorham, Portland, and live online via Zoom (from any location)! A reminder that students can use our self-service online calendars to easily view available appointments and schedule a time with a Subject-Based Tutor or Writing Assistant. The Tutoring: Subject-Based Assistance and Tutoring: Writing Assistance links can be found in the MyUSM Portal under the USM Quick Links tab (screenshot here). For step-by-step guidance on how to schedule an appointment, please refer to the following resources:

“Start strong” this semester by making an appointment with a trained peer to discuss course concepts, learn effective academic strategies, or for assistance with the academic writing process. More information on each of our individual peer academic support roles will be shared in the coming weeks!

For assistance with scheduling:

Attend an Upcoming AGILE Workshop!

Click here to learn more about upcoming AGILE workshops.

What’s Coming Up?

“What’s Coming Up” features updates and reminders as needed
throughout the semester to keep you best informed!

  • Tech Tip! After reviewing your syllabi, we encourage you to use Google Calendar to map out your academic tasks and due dates. Watch our Using Google Calendar video for an effective step-by-step approach! 
  • Have you booked your start of the semester peer academic support appointments yet? For assistance with scheduling, call us at (207)780-4228 or email
  • “Start Strong” academic workshops will be offered on September 11, 12, and 15. For more information and to RSVP, visit our workshop page!
  • Is this your first time viewing AGILE My Inbox? If so, visit our archives here!
  • We want to hear from YOU!!! Have feedback you’d like to share? Is there a topic you would like to see featured in AGILE My Inbox? Please let us know by clicking on the feedback button below. Those who participate will be entered to win an AGILE swag pack!

Copyright © 2023 University of Southern Maine Learning Commons. All rights reserved.