By Varun Amin
As we head into the end of trimester exam block, we asked our publications team what some of their favourite apps were for productivity and studying. Here are some of our favourite apps to stay on track and organised.
Forest/Flora are great ways to eliminate distractions from your phone. If you want to start a period of concentrated work, you can open the app and ‘plant a seed’. As you ignore your phone and continue working the seed grows into a tree. If you leave the app and tree dies. The app is able to track your completion over time and ‘build a forest’.
If you’re like me and lack self-control at times, then this app is perfect for you. SelfControl is a free application for macOS that lets you block your access to distracting websites. All you have to do is set a time, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start". Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.
Focus Keeper - Pomodoro Timer
Focus Keeper is a Pomodoro timer, with many functional alternatives also available. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
The technique has six steps:
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Start the Pomodoro timer (usually twenty-five minutes).
- Work on the task.
- End work when the timer rings and take a three to five-minute break.
- Repeat steps one-four and after three-four occurrences, take a longer break of twenty-thirty minutes.
Google Calendar is a great way to help plan out your days. With the ability to integrate your UNSW timetable into Google calendar, Google Calendar can help create a clear structure and set of actionable items for each day.
Todoist is a great way to capture and organize actionable items. Todoist is great as you can set deadlines, reminders and due dates so that you never forget another assignment deadline. Furthermore, Todoist also allows you to prioritize your tasks to ensure you’re allocating your time efficiently. Finally, Ttodoist allows you to integrate tools such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Slack, Amazon Alexa and more.
Anki is a free flashcard program that utilizes spaced repetition, to help memorize key concepts. Anki allows you to modify card priority and show flashcards in order of their urgency. You can utilise premade decks or build your own. Anki is particularly helpful in actively recalling information after you’ve learnt and understood it in class.
Music is also a great way to make studying more enjoyable. Check out this selection curated by Publications Director Kiara Warner, https://www.unswbsoc.com/study-playlists.