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5 Ways To Create Better Study Habits With Tech

5 Ways To Create Better Study Habits With Tech

Studying and technology are quickly becoming synonymous. If you’re looking for something to help you with your classes there’s a fair chance that there’s a website, tool, programme or app somewhere to help you. Joel Lee’s recent article has some particular tools that can help you study, from productivity to research:

It’s been a while since I’ve been in school, but I know a few friends who are still studying their way towards graduation. It amazes me how many tools currently exist out there to aid in the study process – tools that I would’ve loved to make use of back before I earned my degree. Unfortunately, my time for improved study habits is over, but you can still benefit!

Technology is wonderful like that. If there’s a lack, then someone will find a way to create technology that works to help alleviate some of that lack. Can’t focus or concentrate? There’s a tool for that. Can’t seem to keep your due dates organized? No problem, technology can help. Distracted by the Internet? Yup, technology can save the day there, too. All it takes is a little bit of know-how and a little bit of setup and your study productivity will skyrocket in no time.

1) Keep Mental Clarity With Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique: An Overview

    I once heard that it’s better to study in small bursts with short breaks in between because it helps your mind retain information. The theory behind it had something to do with the fact that you’re more likely to remember the beginnings and ends of an event while the middle can get a bit fuzzy. Whether or not that’s true, my personal experience does say that short study bursts are more effective than long cramming sessions.

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    That’s where the Pomodoro Technique steps in. The basic gist of the technique is that you set a timer for 20 minutes and work (or study) as hard as you can for that time length. When the timer ends, you’ll get a 10 minute break. You alternate between study and breaks throughout the day and you should see an improvement in your study habits.

    We’ve covered plenty of Pomodoro Technique apps and programs that were designed to help you stay on track. I’ve been using this technique for years and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s amazing. Give it try and see how it works for you.

    2) Conquer Tasks With To-Do Lists

    I feel like I’m tooting an ancient horn every time I mention to-do lists in the same breath as productivity, but there’s a reason why to-do lists are so popular: they work! Perhaps it has something to do with the psychological satisfaction of clearing a list one by one until you have nothing left. It’s wildly cathartic.

    A lot of people use to-do lists to help them remember what they need to buy from the grocery store or something along those lines, but to-do lists can be helpful for studying. The key is to break down big projects into smaller and smaller tasks until each task can’t be broken down any further. Then, one by one, you go through and complete them, all the while ticking them off of the list. One huge benefit is that those huge projects seem less daunting when you’ve broken them down.

    For example, maybe you need to “study for the final” that you have next week. Break that down: you actually have to “study chapters 3, 6, 8, 9, and 10″ and “review lab reports.” Well, those can be broken down even further: “read pages 90 to 100, 100 to 120, review lab report 3, review lab report 4,” and so on and so forth. This way, studying is more methodical, even seems doable now.

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    My recommendations for to-do lists include Do It (Tomorrow)Any.DO, and Todo.txt.

    tomorrow-main

      3) Look Up Strange Terms With OneLook.com

      Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 3.00.05 PM

        For those of you involved in high-level studies with words or concepts that are difficult to parse, OneLook might be the site for you. In layman’s terms, OneLook is a dictionary, but it’s an advanced dictionary like none you’ve ever seen. I thought I’d seen everything the Internet currently has to offer, but OneLook definitely took me by surprise.

        The basic lookup involves a search query for a word or phrase, then OneLook will spit back a definition. If you want to include or exclude specific dictionaries, you can do that. There is also the option to search translations instead of dictionaries. But coolest part, if you ask me, is the reverse dictionary, which takes a described concept and returns potential words that encapsulate that concept.

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        Another great feature of OneLook is its advanced searching. You aren’t just limited to looking up specific words like in other online dictionaries. Instead, you can search with wildcards, placeholders, search for words with similar meanings, words with similar concepts, phrases that fit an acronym, and more. Once you learn the intricacies, you’ll have a powerful tool in your hands.

        4) Temporarily Block Websites

        Temporarily Block Websites

          It’s funny how some of our greatest distractions today are technology, which was meant to make life easier and more efficient. Smartphones, computers, and the Internet can put up a roadblock when you need to study. Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue and protects you against technology: timed programs that temporarily block some, or all, websites so you are forced to study.

          The one I recommend most is a Windows desktop program called FocalFilter. With it, you can manage a list of sites to block. All you have to do is type in a bunch of websites, set a block duration, then click the button. This tool will block access to these websites for the duration on all major browsers: IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Sorry, Opera users. Highly recommended.

          For browser-specific alternatives, you can check out LeechBlock for Firefox and StayFocusd for Chrome.

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          5) Use Nag Reminders to Remember to Study

          Another big problem when I used to have when I was a student was that I’d take a short break and get completely side-tracked by whatever I ended up doing on break. “Just a quick glance at a website” turned into three hours of browsing and an aching back. “One more game” turned into five more games and suddenly all of my study time was gone.

          If you run something like the Pomodoro Technique above, then the frequent alarm buzzes will minimize this risk and keep you on track. However, if you don’t like Pomodoro, then what can you use? Fortunately, there are a number of “nag reminder” tools out there that will periodically remind you to do whatever it is you set as the reminder.

          A good one that I like is PesterMe, which happens to be really old (last updated in 2006) but still works well for me (at least on Windows 7). It sits in the background and displays a popup when the reminder duration runs out. For alternatives, you can check out these three reminder tools which are meant to remind you to take breaks, but you can flip them around and use them to remind you to stop breaking.

          Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 4.35.46 PM

            Conclusion

            The general consensus, at least in my circles, is that technology is a big hindrance to study. Websites, email, instant messengers, and video games might as well be flashing neon signs that point you away from work. However, hopefully the tools above will not only convince you that technology can help reduce distractions, but maybe they’ll actually help you with your studies.

            What do you use to help you study? How do you fight distractions and keep focused? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

            5 Ways Tech Can Help You Foster Better Study Habits | Make Use Of

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            Siobhan Harmer

            Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

            Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

            As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

            In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

            Projects and Tasks Management

            1. Monday dot com

              Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

              The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

              The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

              The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

              Check out the software here!

              2. Asana

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                The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                Check out the software here!

                3. Trello

                  Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                  Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                  Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  4. Jira

                    The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                    The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                    The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                    Check out the software here!

                    5. Evernote Business

                      Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                      The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                      Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Communication

                      6. Slack

                        Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                        Check out the software here!

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                        7. Spike

                          Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                          Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                          Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                          Check out the software here!

                          Creation

                          8. Office 365

                            Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                            Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                            You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                            Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                            Check out the software here!

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                            9. Grammarly

                              Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                              Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                              Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                              Check out the software here!

                              Team Analytics

                              10. ActivTrak

                                ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                Check out the software here!

                                The Bottom Line

                                Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                More Productivity Tools

                                Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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