With a New Year here, it’s the perfect time to ditch any bad habits and make 2018 an even more productive year. So, whilst attending all of your lectures is great, how productive is it if you sit through them without taking any notes and leave the lecture empty handed? Can you really remember all of the important information off the top of your head? Or what if you spend hours and days writing an assignment and then your computer breaks? That’s a lot of wasted time and effort, that you’ll have to redo all over again.
Although not everything can be prevented and you will likely come across set-backs and times of misfortune where hours are lost and you’ve not got done things done as well or as quickly as you’d like, but there are some tools you can use that will certainly help to make your life at university more organised and productive this year.
A class presentation, two assignments, research questions to answer, recommended reading and writing up your lecture notes are just some of the things you’ve got to do!
Keeping track of all of your tasks and to-dos can be tough, especially when more get added to the list before you’ve even had chance to cross off the current ones. With so many things to do running through your mind, it’s no wonder you forgot to buy the milk on your way home from uni.
So, to help you remember everything, why not use a task manager or to-do list app? It’ll allow you to get all tasks out of your head and in a place where you can clearly see them all together. Many apps such as Todoist, Any.Do, Remember The Milk, Asana and Trello allow you to prioritise tasks, set due dates, reminders and add notes. And when you’re done, there’s no greater satisfaction than checking off a task as complete!
It’s always good to know what’s on the horizon so you can plan your workload and be sure not to double book yourself! From exam dates and assignment deadlines, to family visits and party nights, having them all in a calendar will mean you never miss a thing!
And in this day and age, keeping track of your social and academic life couldn’t be easier with calendar apps pre-installed on your smartphones and a whole range of other calendar apps available to download. You’ll be able to set reminders and add additional information to calendar events, so they’ll be no excuses for missed deadlines!
Attending lectures is great, but sometimes if you sit there without taking notes you may as well have not been there, as you probably won’t remember what you’ve been told or shown.
It’s important for your own reference and revision that any key information, dates, facts or figures, and useful websites or resources are jotted down so you can refer to them at a later note. And while good old pen and paper is fine for taking note, if you’ve got a mobile, iPad or laptop with you, why not use an electronic note taking tool such as Evernote or OneNote to type in notes during the lecture?
It’ll save you typing up any notes later, and you won’t have to try and decode any rushed or messy handwriting, as it’ll all be clearly typed up. You can easily edit your notes, and you can even add links, images and attach documents to them. An electronic tool allows you to save your notes to the cloud, so they’ll be no misplaced sheets of paper, and being online, you can easily access them and share with others too.
Having your work backed up is a must as a student. If your computer breaks or it gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to have to rewrite those essays all over again. One of the best ways to keep your work safe is to use a cloud based app such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
Working online and saving files online will allow you to access your work whenever you like, wherever you are. So even if your computer breaks, you can login to your online account from another computer and your work will still be there – phew!!
Working on a group project with your classmates? Make the way you communicate with each other even easier by setting up a group chat. Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to invite members to the same group, where you can all chat together in one place.
Having a group chat will save time as you won’t have to send separate messages to each team member, it will save repeated conversations and help to avoid any misunderstandings. Everyone will be on the same page and will be kept in the loop with what’s going on.
We hope that some of the tools and methods mentioned will help make your life easier at university this year!
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