6 free apps to help you master time management!

As 2018 begins, you’re probably full of well-intended New Year’s resolutions… many of which may fall by the wayside within a few weeks. But hey, the intention was there, right?

Well, if one of your resolutions was to get better at time management, why not cheat a little and get some help. From an app. Below we’ve listed a bunch of super helpful apps you can use to help with your time management. Plus, by being so devoted as to install and use a time management app, you’re totally adhering to that resolution, right? One tick right there.

Focus@Will

By: Dulcetta
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Does your mind wander more than Will Byers? Reduce distractions and increase your productivity with scientifically optimised music to get you in focus faster and longer.

RescueTime

By: RescueTime Team
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play and online
Ever wonder where your day went? (Hint: memes). RescueTime is an automatic time and attention tracker that helps you identify where you spend your online time. It tracks your mobile apps and phone calls, and even more, so no more escaping the fact that you spent seven friggin’ hours on Facebook yesterday. We mean, really man?

30/30

By: Binary Hammer
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Do you struggle to get the motivation to do tasks? What if we told you that you only had to devote 30 minutes to it? Does that increase your motivation? 30/30 helps you get stuff done! You set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. Increase your productivity in small bursts of efficiency!

Evernote

By: Evernote
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Always forgetting what was on your mind? That really important thing you had to do? Evernote lets you create to-do lists and take notes quickly and easily.

Trello

By: Trello, Inc
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Organise and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Trello lets you create ‘boards’ to organise anything you’re working on, create checklists, share your ‘boards’ with others to collaborate, assign tasks to others, comment, add attachments, and more.  You can get your information at a glance, and dive into further details as needed.

Wunderlist

By: 6 Wunderkinder
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Capture your ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a housemate, working on a project, or planning a vacation (I know, wishful thinking on a student budget, but we can dream, right?), Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life.


Brush up on your study skills

How’s your trimester going?

With the end of year break just around the corner, now’s the time to run away and never come back brush up on your study skills!

Have you checked out our Study Smart tutorial yet?

We have a range of self-help materials to help you totally nail your studies!

If you’re new to uni, you can get an online orientation to the library! Then go on to learn about critical thinking, time management, reading effectively and effective note taking.

Now – become a pro at uni assessment, following our tutorials for preparing for your assignment, writing your assignment, referencing (trust us, it’s super important to be on top of this – and not nearly as daunting as it seems!) and exam prep.

We’ve even got info to help you brush up your social media skills. We know, you’re Millennials, what can we teach you? But take a squiz, you might actually learn something – like how to use social media to help land a job!


Master time management

How’s uni going? Are you loving adulting, or cursing your eight-year-old self who couldn’t wait to grow up (don’t do it!!!)?

A key skillset you’ll need in your adult life is time management. At the moment, you’ll probably be trying to balance a part-time job, uni, social life, Netflix (it deserves a category of it’s own) and any other extra-curricular activities (such as a propensity to pet every dog – that counts, right?). In the future, this may include managing competing priorities at work, and even balancing a family.

But let’s start with the now. Here are four simple steps you can take to organise your time:

1. Understand the ‘big picture’

A yearly planner helps you understand the ‘big picture’. Alternatively, you could use your online calendar. Mark down the busiest times in your year – these may include holidays, work commitments, family celebrations or sporting competitions. And let’s not forget university assessment periods. For example, you may be incredibly busy with exams towards the end of each trimester. If you block this time out, you won’t accidently schedule a camping trip during finals week (try the week after, to celebrate!).

2. Schedule assessment tasks

At the beginning of each trimester, you are given all your assessment details. From assignments and class presentations to mid-semester exams and projects, all the key dates can be found in your course outline. Add these assessment deadlines to your planner! You might also like to schedule in deadlines for drafts, and time to spend editing/revising.

3. Schedule your week

OK, so your schedule may be crammed with activities at this point. But you aren’t done planning yet. It’s time to get a weekly planner, or utilise your online calendar, to block in:

  • All your classes – e.g. lectures and tutorials
  • Periods of study at your high-energy times
  • Assessment tasks
  • Some fun! Reward yourself for putting in the hard work.

4. Plan for the day

Write a ‘to do’ list each day. It can be satisfying crossing things off your list. This can also help you stop procrastinating. Just pick a task and get on with it! Do you have a moment’s spare time? Complete one of the smaller tasks on your list. Make sure you set goals that are challenging but achievable and study regularly for short periods of time, rather than tire yourself out.

For further resources and help, check out our study smart webpage.


Improve your time management

Being able to organise your time effectively ensures you have a balance between your study, family and leisure commitments.

There is no single time management plan for everyone. Your time management plan will be based on your personality, goals, workload and other commitments.

Here are four simple steps you can take to organise your time:

Understand the ‘big picture’

A yearly planner helps you understand the ‘big picture’. You can pick a yearly wall planner up from the university book shop or you can find a free one online.

Mark down the busiest times in your year. These may include holidays, work commitments, family celebrations, or sporting competitions. And let’s not forget university assessment periods.

For example, you may be incredibly busy with exams towards the end of each trimester. If you block this time out on your yearly wall planner, you won’t accidently schedule a camping trip during finals week.

Schedule assessment tasks

At the beginning of each trimester, you are given all your assessment details.

From assignments and class presentations to mid-semester exams and projects, all the key dates can be found in your course outline. Add these assessment deadlines to your wall planner.

Now, break down each assessment item into tasks, and estimate the time needed to complete it.

For example, how much time are you going to need to research, write, revise and edit each assignment. Add these task deadlines to your wall planner.

Schedule your week

Okay, so your yearly planner may be crammed with activities at this point. But you aren’t done planning yet. It’s time to get a weekly planner to block in:

  • All your classes e.g. lectures and tutorials
  • Periods of study at your high-energy times
  • Lower priority activities (housework, watching TV) at your lower energy times
  • Assessment tasks (see your yearly wall planner)
  • Some fun! Reward yourself for putting in the hard work

Here’s a handy Time Management Calculator to assist you in your weekly planning.

Plan for the day

Write a ‘To Do’ list each day. It can be satisfying crossing things off your list.

This can also help you stop procrastinating. Just pick a task and get on with it! Do you have a moment’s spare time? Complete one of the smaller tasks on your list.

Make sure you set goals that are challenging but achievable and study regularly for short periods of time, rather than tire yourself out.

— Extract from Study Smart —


Tips to improve your time management

What do Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Sigmund Freud have in common? Well, apart from being dead… They’re all great at time management.

Time management is a key factor to a balanced life – and, academic success.

For example, if you start your assignment the night before, chances are (a) you’re not gonna get a HD, and (b) you’re not great at time management. And, I’ll guess you probably spent the week beforehand stressing about the assignment a little? (#notfun) 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of time management tips to help you stay on top of things and avoid turning into a stress-head.

Plan things early
Have an assignment due in three weeks, or an exam coming up? Start two to three weeks beforehand. By working incrementally on the assignment, you’ll feel better knowing it’s started, and will surprise yourself with the progress you make! Stick the dates in your calendar, and maybe even include deadlines for progress.

Write a to-do list
Get your task list out of your brain and onto a piece of paper. But make sure it’s attainable. You’re not going to finish 10 separate readings and write the introduction, methodology, and discussion of an assignment piece all in one day. Be realistic, and space it out. This will help you achieve goals and stay on track, plus ticking off an item always feels good.

Prioritise your work
Complete the most pressing tasks first. Yes, you may need to buy a Fathers Day present eventually, but it can probably wait until after you’ve finished your class readings for the week.

Take a break
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (it’s a proverb, look it up). Don’t spend all your time studying, you’ll go mad. Take a break, got outside. Sunlight’s always good. Or check out our post on movies to take a break to. But don’t start watching 13 Reasons Why in your break, because trust us, you won’t stop.


How to improve your study skills

Photo of study station

Study skills are essential to academic success.

But there are oh so many facets: critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, effective note taking, assignment preparation, assignment writing, referencing, exam preparation…

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide to all this? With strategies and resources designed to help you succeed in your studies?

Oh, lucky – there is!

The library’s study skills page is full of self-help resources to help you achieve academic success.

To start off, you can take an interactive tutorial on preparing for university, and learn to maximise your study time through tips on critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, and effective note taking.

Now we’re getting to the gritty end of the trimester, you might find our tutorials on preparing for your assignment and writing your assignment super handy. Trust us, good preparation and planning will make writing your assignment so much easier (give it a shot!).

We’ve also got tips to help you become a referencing guru. Almost all assessment pieces have dedicated marks for referencing, so it’s worth taking the time to get good at referencing.

And with the exam block looming, we recommend you take a look at our information on exam preparation to help you ace exams.

There are even tips on improving your social media skills. I know, you’re a millennial, what can we teach you that you don’t already know, right? But check it out, you might learn a thing a two. Like how to use social media to help land a job.


This Week in the Library – Week 2

this-week-in-the-library

Library and Learning Services workshops are FREE and available to all students, HDR candidates and staff.

To view the entire workshop timetable, please visit the Workshops and Training web page.

Booking is required for all computing and library workshops due to a limited number of places available in the training rooms.

Academic Skills

All sessions are one hour in length unless specified. Booking is optional for Academic Skills Workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 10.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (G10_2.25) Gold Coast
Mon 7/3 1.00 Reading and note taking strategies Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Tue 8/3 11.00 Academic writing Library (M13_2.09) Mt Gravatt
Wed 9/3 10.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (M13_2.09) Mt Gravatt
Wed 9/3 12.00 Academic writing Library (LO3_3.29) Logan
Wed 9/3 4.00 Setting up your own topic or research question *(PG) Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Thu 10/3 12.00 Academic writing Library (S03_2.25F) South Bank
Fri 11/3 10.00 Time management Library (N53_1.51) Nathan

Computing Skills

Bookings are required for all computing workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 9.30 Long Documents Made Easy (3 hours) Library (N53_1.50) Nathan
Mon 7/3 12.30 Excel: Formulas and Organising Data (3 hours) Library (G10_2.04) Gold Coast
Thu 10/3 9.30 Excel: Formulas and Organising Data (3 hours) Library (N53_1.50) Nathan

Library Skills

Bookings are required for all library workshops. All sessions are one hour in length with an optional 30 minute extension for activities and questions.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast
Mon 7/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Tues 8/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (S03_2.25F) South Bank
Wed 9/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Thurs 10/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast
Thurs 10/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (M13_2.09) Mount Gravatt