Be a Tech Savvy Student

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Daiki Yoshioka
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How much technology do you use for your academic studies? Organizing schedules, taking notes and tracking projects… there is a plethora of apps that we can use to better organize campus life. Here are three tips to effectively utilizing technology to support your academic pursuits.

Less technology sometimes works better

This might sound counter-intuitive. To be a tech-savvy student, we sometimes must take distance away from technology. For instance, I use Google Calendar to manage my appointments and class schedule. I also use OmniFocus to set notifications of assignment deadlines and manage projects. However, I use a paper planner to organize daily tasks. When I did it electronically, it didn’t work out well.

Study methodologies vary depending on people. Some students prefer electronics whereas some don’t. To effectively incorporate technology into your study methodologies, it is important to analyze what works best for you. Hence, the first tip: use technology only if it works better for you.

Use widgets

If you own a smartphone, you mostly can use “widgets” where you could use the apps without unlocking the phone. When I used the app, TimeLogger, to track my studying time, I managed my records on a widget.

I believe one of the hardest things about incorporating technology is consistency. Even though you downloaded an awesome app to manage your semester schedule, if you don’t use it on a regular basis, it loses its meaning. One great way to help you habitually use an app is to utilize its widget. You will save considerable time while establishing a habit.

Use technology to stay away from technology

This might sound counter-intuitive again. The more you use technology for your studies, the more likely you are to get distracted. For instance, while you are managing your schedule, you suddenly succumb to the temptation to check your Facebook feed. Before you know it, you’ve wasted 20 minutes. If this sounds relatable, use apps such as Forest or a pomodoro timer to stay focused!

Forest is a mobile application that helps you stay away from your phone for 25 minutes. Once you set the timer, you need to remain in the app. Every time you stay on the app for 25 minutes, you grow a tree. If you switch the app while the timer is set, you will kill a tree. Even if you use a computer, you can still apply the concept. Use this app to help you focus your full attention to your task! A pomodoro timer is an interval timer that lets you set a “task” time (usually 25 minutes) followed by a “break” time (usually 5 minutes) to help you stay productive. Pomodoro timers work well with Forest. Set the pomodoro timer first and then set Forest. You can quickly create 25 minutes of distraction-free study time.

College life sometimes gives you an exorbitant amount of tasks to manage. Technology helps you efficiently digest them! However, use technology only if it improves your productivity. Use a widget to better keep the habit of utilizing applications. Use apps to help you limit distractions from technology while purely focusing on assignments.


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