• Rachana Kadikar

(Over) Organizing My Life - Resources (part 2)

A couple years ago, I posted a post giving tips on how to more easily manage your time (https://www.theplanetuniverse.com/post/time-management-in-high-school-part-1

, https://www.theplanetuniverse.com/post/time-management-part-2). I wanted to expand on those posts by describing how I effectively use my time, minimize stress and maximize my well-being all at the same time. This is a series of blog posts and you can find the other parts of this series in the related posts below.


Disclaimer - What works for me won't work for everyone, so I suggest you ONLY take my methods as a source of inspiration.


In the past, I've experimented with all sorts of organizational tools, but often ended up using a plethora of resources to organize all my thoughts and notes. This method of organization was very inefficient and often just led to me feeling more stressed out and trying to keep everything in my head.


In part 1, I described three of my favorite organizational/productivity products: Notion, a bullet journal, and Google Calendar/Calendar/Woven. You can find part 1 in the related posts below.


Today I will be describing a couple more products I use for time-management and notes, including Flora and the Rocketbook, as well as a few other useful tools I've come across.


Flora

I love using the Pomodoro technique to get assignments done, especially when I'm having trouble focusing on the assignment in front of me. The Pomodoro method is outlined well in the picture below.



The Pomodoro technique is great because twenty-five minute intervals aren't too intimidating to take on, and once you start, it's much easier to continue working. Flora is a great mobile tool to ensure you don't get distracted during those twenty-five minutes: you start by planting a tree in the app, and set a time to work. If you go off the app for even one second during your timer, your tree will die.


Although the Pomodoro Technique works for most people, I personally prefer working for 45 minutes and taking 15 minute breaks as I often feel like I don't get tired of working until 45 minutes, and that 5 minute breaks are too short to do anything. However, this is just a personal preference, and you should try anything that you think would work best.


Forest is another mobile app very similar to Flora in which you can grow plants in exchange for not interacting with your phone. For my MacBook, I use an app called Flow that places the timer on the top of my screen to see at all times, and blocks a list of apps during my working time.

Rocketbook

My dad bought me a Rocketbook almost three years ago, and I still use it on a daily basis to this day, and it's still in brand new condition. The Rocketbook is an erasable notebook, giving you an erasable pen with the notebook. Not only is it sustainable, lightweight, and very simple to use, it also allows you to directly upload your notes to the cloud by simply scanning the page on the app, and marking the destination that you wish to send it to.


Although I don't mind writing notes online, I often find myself needing to solve math problems, draw things out, or draw out graphs on paper. The Rocketbook is very sustainable and acts like a whiteboard in notebook form, but unlike a whiteboard, is easily transportable, and can be neatly scanned for future use.


I personally use the Rocketbook Everlast (now known as the Rocketbook Core). https://getrocketbook.com/collections/notebooks. Although I don't like promoting products, I think that this is a very valuable investment to make as it will likely last a very long time, and will ultimately save you time, money, and an unnecessary waste of paper.


Honorable Mentions


The Dangerous Writing Prompt App

https://www.squibler.io/dangerous-writing-prompt-app/write?limit=5&type=minutes

I often find that writing can often be a daunting and difficult task to begin. I recently discovered this website in which you set a timer (I usually go with five minutes) or a word count to reach, and you begin writing. If you stop typing for more than five seconds, all your work that you had already written will disappear, and you have to start over. Although risky, using this app really helps with writers block, and forces you to write whatever you can pull out of the back of your mind.


Google Classroom/Canvas To-Do List

Although not really an outside resource and also somewhat obvious, if you aren't already taking advantage of these generated to-do lists, you should definitely look at them more often. With the majority of my assignments for school being online for virtual school, I first resort to there when I forget what assignments I have to do. Not only is it a great resources to see everything you have to turn in and when, I personally find it motivating to finish off as many tasks as I can and watch the list become smaller and smaller.


Alfred

This app is somewhat miscellaneous, and isn't really a productivity tool, but it's too cool to pass up talking about. Alfred is an app for MacBooks (and there are Windows alternatives as well) that allows you to quickly switch between windows with just a quick shortcut (option+space, begin typing the name of the window and when you see the name of it at the top of the list, press enter). This ultimately saves me so much time in the long-run and for the lazy person I am, it's a lot less of a headache to switch between different windows.

Sources:

https://www.fractuslearning.com/tomato-students-stay-on-task/