Time for Change!

Until now, I wanted to just maintain a single blog for both academic and planner posts. Especially as I am both an academic and a planner. However, I now feel that I will better cater to audiences if I focus my blog on more specific topics.

Stay here for planner related posts, and head to An Academic Journal for academic posts!

I’ll keep the academic posts here since I’ve linked them. These posts may become updated and reposted on An Academic Journal eventually.

Hope you find the changes to be beneficial!

Professor, Student

File Management System for School (Students or Teachers)

So many classes, so many years of school. How to manage all these files? Should we even bother?

When I was in high school, one of my teachers said it was a good idea to save the work we do. We may be able to reuse some of it in the future. While I did save everything, I realized over the years that it would be hard for me to find what I’m looking for a lot of the times.

I have also learned over the years that it is a good idea to keep revisions of the documents you work on. Many times, I liked to restart a problem or writing from scratch to avoid making mistakes I made earlier. But then I wonder, did I make the same mistakes I did earlier? Same thing can hold for other types of documents or work. Hence, keeping revisions of documents helps you be able to look back to keep useful work and make sure you’re not repeating the same mistakes.

Do people really needs tips on how to manage their files? Maybe everyone already has figured out their system and know how to manage their files. But in case my tips are helpful to anyone, I’ll share my system with things I’ve learned are helpful.

10 Tips to Manage Your Files for School (as Students or Teachers)

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Visualizing and Tracking PhD Tasks and Progress with a Gantt Chart

Gantt charts provide a visual method to view the overall length of a project, which tasks are dependent on each other, and track progress of the project. This explains why they are widely used in project management.

PhD students can use Gantt charts to visualize and track tasks and progress on their dissertation, as well as estimate when they may complete it. I have used this tool, and found it to be very helpful! Keep reading to see my charts, and some useful insights I’ve learned along the way.

Continue reading “Visualizing and Tracking PhD Tasks and Progress with a Gantt Chart”
Planner Accessories

SandraDDesignCo Planner Stickers Giveaway Wins

I won another giveaway! Actually, I won a few. But I have been writing and sharing the wins from shops, as a way to thank them for the opportunity!

I had the opportunity to win twice from an artist who makes not only planner stickers from her art, but also dashboards, die cuts, holiday tags and cards, and bags! The first time I won from SandraDDesignCo., she had decided to do a Random Act of Kindness (RAK) giveaway on Facebook because someone bought her cup of coffee. She then participated in a collaboration sales event and hosted a giveaway as part of the fun events before the sales event starts (again on Facebook).

SandraDDesignCo. makes very unique and creative planner stickers. What I appreciate most are how the washi strips she provides have unique shapes or sizes according to the kit! They’re not all the same! I have not yet seen another planner sticker shop do this!

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PhD, Professor

Project Management for Teacher Assistants and Instructors: Balancing Workload

Running a class requires lots of preparation, administrative and repetitive tasks, time management, and coordination if TAs and graders are also involved. Most PhD students in the US are TAs (Teacher Assistants) for one or two courses their advisors or other professors teach in order to earn their stipend. TAing a course as a PhD student with other PhD students and a professor that is active in the research community can be quite challenging! Besides the usual problems of only having limited time to run a specific course due to teaching multiple courses or other responsibilities, PhD students and their advisors may attend one or more conferences during the semester. Making them unavailable or have very limited availability during their travels and conferences.

Hence, using project management techniques to plan tasks needed to run the class can make the workload more manageable. Though the techniques I share in this post may apply to any instructors and TAs, I use these in the context of being a PhD student TAing a course with a very research-active advisor, 1 co-TA, and 2 graders. Hope you find these tips helpful!

11 Project Management Steps for TAs and Instructors to Balance their Workload

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Life + Wellness, Planners

Making Self-Improvement Plans with Quo Vadis’ Life Noted Planner

(Read on to the end for a giveaway opportunity!) Self-improvement can be a big project. Consider the many facets and responsibilities we have as humans. We have families, houses, belongings, our own bodies, minds, and souls. While each of these things need to be cared for, we may also want to improve our behavior and relationship with God. Or we may want to accomplish a goal for ourselves aside from these responsibilities (such as, starting a hobby or business).



How does one tackle such a big project? The answer is: one step at a time.

What tools can help you plan and execute your self-improvement or development goals? There are many. But today, I want to share Quo Vadis’ Life Noted Planner as a tool for planning and executing goals. The layout of the planner is really oriented to write down and focus on goals, and I’m very excited to use it!

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How to Apply for a PhD

So you want a PhD. Determining whether that is the right path for you or not is a discussion for another (maybe future) post. But now that you have decided you want a PhD, how do you apply into a PhD program? Though some of the steps are similar to college and graduate applications, many aspects and steps of the application process are also quite different! I’ll share the steps I took to get into a PhD program.

Image from: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1290226

Here’s a summary of the steps, with in-depth explanations soon after:

  1. Research departments and professors, and the type of research they do
  2. Contact departments/professors you are potentially interested in
  3. Volunteer to do research with the department/professor
  4. Check for universities’ and department-specific application requirements, and work on fulfilling them
  5. Apply! Seriously, just do it.
  6. Last but not least, surrender!

Feel free to share what steps you took, or your stories about getting into college or a PhD program in the comments!

Disclaimer: The process and steps I list here are ones I took to get accepted into a university in the U.S. Talking to PhD students from other countries, it seems that the process and steps may be somewhat similar for other countries as well, but there may be differences.

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