You’d think with all this “free time” during quarantine I’d find the time to write a few blog posts here and there, but no. I’ve been studying for finals, taking finals, and preparing myself for my summer internship. I’ve done a lot in the past few weeks.
Finals are finished – I’m officially a 2L! Everything got moved online, and classes went pass fail. Most universities did the same. And it’s not like there’s a protocol or a how-to book on running a place of higher education. I think everyone is doing their best, only what “their best” looks like during this time is drastically different from what it was in 2019.
I’m excited to begin my internship sometime this month (or next, depending on how quarantine goes). Once I actually start, and receive permission to tell the internet what my position is and with whom, I’ll make a post about it.
If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you’ve probably noticed that I used to be all about studying tips and school. I’ve since expanded into more of a lifestyle blog, but I love to drop a quick post about productivity here and there.
I’ve been using some of the same apps off and on since my freshman year of college to help me keep track of how hard I’m working, my goals, and to keep my study space distraction free. Here are my top three favorites:
Flipd is an app for smartphones (available on the App store and in Google Play) that helps keep you distraction free. Flipd it technically a digital wellness company, so it’s meant to be used for things other than studying, but I typically use the app to force me to stay off my phone.
I set a timer for five minutes each morning when I get up. This keeps me from scrolling through social media while I’m still under the covers. I honestly think that’s one of my day’s biggest time sucks! I can stay curled up under a pile of blankets liking Instagrams for hours without realizing it – and then my whole day is gone! So I try to set a five minute timer and put my phone down when I first wake up. I started doing this mid-September once I realized that most of my morning was being devoted to other people’s lives rather than preparing myself for my own. I haven’t been late to class since! And I can honestly say my brain feels fresher when I step out of my house each morning, even if it is 8am.
For studying, I tend to set the timer for 20-30 minute increments. This is what the Pomodoro method recommends. Being focused for thirty minutes, then allowing yourself a five minute break, leads to the most productive stretches of time. The way the app works is that you’ll get a countdown for whatever time you set. If you leave the app, your timer dies. You can have the app shut off all your notifications if you need the extra push to stop looking at your phone, but I usually just set the timer and leave it alone. If you forget that you’ve set a timer and leave the app, or open your phone, you’ll get a notification saying that you’ll lose your session if you don’t head back to the app.
The app challenges you to get 180 minutes of distraction free time a day. Their Instagram has monthly challenges to see who can rack up the most Flipd minutes, or be the most productive. They partnered with Passion Planner for 2019 and do productivity giveaways most months.
While I don’t use this feature, you can categorize how you spend your time. I don’t tag my Flipd minutes, but if you’re using the app for different things, like exercising or sleep, then this is a good way to track your progress.
You can also study with groups on the app. Just search using a group name or a group code to find your friends. Mine is called Bailey’s Study Group, and the group code is #xkKGWk
Forest is another app that can be found in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. While Flipd is a free app, Forest does cost money. I downloaded the app way back when it was free, but now it costs $2 to download. I use the app every day so I think the cost is worth it, but if you’re looking for only one productivity app and don’t want to spend the money, you’re better off using Flipd.
Personally, I like Forest over Flipd because Forest gives me a visual representation of what my time looks like. The app grows a tree, or a shrub depending on how long you set your timer for, while you study. If you end your session, your tree dies. For each tree planted, you get coins. You can use those coins to purchase different types of trees on the app, or donate your coins so that the company can plant a real tree out in the wild.
You can up the stakes in Forest by studying with a group. Any person that leaves the app before time’s up makes everyone’s trees wither.
You can also unlock achievements along the way by spending more time off your phone, growing more trees, and having a variety of plants in your garden.
As a visual learner, I appreciate that Forest gives me a visual representation of what spending time away from my phone looks like. I can go back and view all of the months I’ve been using this app and see the forests I’ve created. The more trees, the more time away from my phone.
Those are the two apps I use for productivity, but I also have a Google Chrome add on called Momentum that I use daily for to-do lists.
Momentum is very popular on the Studygram and Studyblr communities, so you’ve probably seen it before if you follow any Instagram accounts that are about the studying ~aesthetic~