How to Study!

The Spring semester has just started, and this is the best time to start setting up study habits for success! These are tips and practices I learned …

How to Study!
Planning Skills, Student

How I Stayed Organized for College Success

Check out this post on my Academic blog of how I stayed organized for college! These tips are very applicable even during these unprecedented times! Organizing will help you be more successful!

I’d love to hear more about how you stay or stayed organized for college/school!

An Academic Journal

During these times (COVID-19), you may either be preparing to go to campus or staying home to join school remotely. Either way, having tools to be organized will be very important to succeed. As a matter of fact, I would think it’s even more important if you’ll be staying home and joining school remotely.

There are many ways to stay organized for college. Everyone will have their own way. I’ll share my method here to provide one more organization method. You might find a part of what I did helpful to add to your own ideas.

Digital Calendar

I set up my schedule on digital calendars that sync across my laptop, smart phone, and tablet. The alerts are very helpful to make sure I get to my classes and meetings on time – especially when I am in a conversation with someone (alerts serve as a good distractor and reminder…

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Life + Wellness

7 Reasons I did not accomplish my goals in 2019

I was all set to accomplish goals last year (actually, 2 years if not longer…). I had set up SMART goals, had a plan, set up the plan in a planner, etc. It was all there. But I still didn’t manage to actually achieve any of my goals.

This was a hard post for me to write, but I want to share the reasons I did not accomplish my goals so that others don’t feel alone, to make them aware of possible inhibitors, and hopefully someday to share how I was able to overcome them!

These were the 7 reasons I didn’t accomplish my goals:

  1. Lack in Discipline
  2. Excuses
  3. Fear of Success and/or Failure
  4. Choosing Instant Gratification over Long-Term Goal (with uncertainty)
  5. Feeling Overwhelmed of Things to Improve and Do
  6. Setbacks in life -> Depression
  7. What’s the Point

For more details, keep reading! Good luck to everyone for accomplishing your goals, meeting resolutions, etc. in 2020!!

Continue reading “7 Reasons I did not accomplish my goals in 2019”
Life + Wellness

16 Things I Wish I did Differently in College

I shared things I wish I would have done during college on my other blog. I wanted to share on this blog, since many of these things are characteristics and habits I wish I made for a healthier, happier life. Hope they might help someone!

An Academic Journal

Now that college freshman have experienced a semester of college life, it’s a good time to reflect and try to work on improving yourselves. Though I did try to improve myself in college, there are things I didn’t understand or value enough. To help other young adults, here’s a list of things I wish I did differently in college:

  1. I wish I understood health and ate healthier.
  2. I wish I drank more water and always carried a bottle with me.
  3. I wish I learned to be and love myself versus changing.
  4. I wish I spent time learning things on my own.
  5. I wish I learned to say no.
  6. I wish I had tried to explain my needs and set boundaries with my friends and roommates.
  7. I wish I learned that I don’t have to prove myself right or seek approval.
  8. I wish I learned to let things go when their…

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How to Use Multiple Planners?

I really like this planner layout, should I buy it? This planner is on sale, should I buy it? I already have a planner, how will I use additional ones?

Whether you should use 1, a few, or multiple planners really depends on you! How you think, how you stay organized, your preferences, etc. If you like having everything in one place, then you might just want 1 planner. If you have very specific needs that won’t fit in your main planner or you would prefer to categorize things to track them separately, then you may want to use multiple planners.

I reviewed lots of posts on Facebook and blogs on how people use multiple planners to provide as thorough of a list as possible. Of course, someone out there may always come up with another great idea! Share how you use multiple planners in the comments!

Continue reading “How to Use Multiple Planners?”
Academic Posts

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!

Continue reading “SandraDDesignCo Planner Stickers Giveaway Wins”
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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