Preparing for Next School Year + New “To-Do” App

Once the summer vacation starts, it’s so tough to think about school. I know I definitely don’t miss the times in high school when we got assignments for fall and they were hovering in my head like an enormous debt. What’s worse, putting that brain to work after a long vacation is no easy task. There are a few simple things I’ve been doing for the last couple of summers that really helped me stay toned for work and ready for school in the fall. The key is to do them throughout the summer vacation, not a week before school begins.

1. Wake Up Earlier

This will make waking up for school easier once it starts and will give you more time throughout the day to explore and be productive! I don’t know how early “early” is for you guys, but for me 10 a.m. is still pretty early in the day. If you think about it though, the average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep. So if you get yourself used to waking up slightly earlier than your normal ‘sleep-in time’, you’ll get yourself used to it for the upcoming school year.

2. Stay Organized

No need for a fancy planner or anything like that, since there are rarely any homework assignments (thank goodness). Instead, plan your days with an app in your phone and stay up to date with all appointments, work and trips. I recommend a great (and free!) one called TickTick, my recent discovery. It has a super clean, easy-to-use interface with one huge “+” button in the middle that will make it very easy to write down your reminders in one place. In addition to it being a great option for a calendar on-the-go, there is a way to print out all your tasks, attach photos and even share the lists with friends and family.

I’ve also been using TickTick for school lately and it’s been helping me fabulously in keeping up with all my homework assignments, tasks, appointments and even work shifts. There are amazing options for reminders, calendar view, and synchronization over multiple devices, so I’ll be sure to keep this app for my travels and the next school year. Because all versions, mobile and desktop, are very user-friendly, I just have them open on all devices so I can glance there every once in a while and check off what I’ve done. (I think I got my little sister hooked on it, too)

To get to the point, it’s good practice to keep that agenda handy and get yourself in the habit of writing down reminders and making to-do lists. Even if your summer isn’t too busy, it never hurts to stay organized.

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Find TickTick here: WebsiteiOS App, Android App, Chrome Extension, FireFox Extension

3. Read

This is kind of a obvious and cheezy one, doy. With the huge amounts of homework throughout the year I’ve barely found time to sit down and enjoy a good book. Reading will keep your eyes and brain sharp and ready to process information, as well as give something intelligent to do on besides sitting in front of a computer screen 24/7. I for one, am very excited to get to that (right after those exams…) and my current reading list is taped on the wall in front of me for months: Paris by Edward Rutherford, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert , reread Unmasking the Face by Paul Ekman and perhaps something else I will most likely dig up in a bookstore.

~Some personal news: I’ve been accepted to an Exchange program in the UK for next winter/spring, but haven’t reached my final decision yet. The commitment is huge in terms of finances, so there are still a million things to consider and calculate. Nevertheless I will be exploring the topic of study abroad in the next few weeks as I’m planning my own exchange, so do expect some posts on that topic!~

What are your plans for the summer and how do you keep yourself sharp for the next school year?

Chronodex planner

I’ve received quite a few messages asking about the Chronodex Planner system (designed by Patrick Ng), so I decided to write a few sentences about it. Basically, it’s a very compact and organized way to put all your daily tasks in one little circle, as well as a daily opportunity to color something (stay inside the lines!). All you do is get a Chronodex Template (I used this one), come up with a to-do list, color in specific sections on the calendar and go be productive. You can tweak the system according to your needs, of course. Here are some photos:



Chronodex templates can be found with a simple google search and printed out for your convenience.  For reference and a little inspiration, here are some helpful links:

  1. Home page for Chronodex Planners: although it looks a little outdated, the template is always the same and can be used any day
  2. Facebook Page
  3. Make it a stamp! 
  4. Stamp No. 2
  5. Chronodex Group on Flickr

What types of planners do you guys use? I’d love to know!
study hack just kat

Shopping for Planners Online


Trying to figure out the situation with planners right now, so here’s a list of some nice ones I’ve found online:

1. Whitney English Planner
Very minimalistic, elegant and practical. I’ve seen it being used at my university, and the reviews are wonderful!

2. Filofax
A great little system that allows you to keep everything you need in one place. A bit on the higher end, however, but people use it for years. You can refill with whatever sheets you need (monthly/weekly/daily/to-do’s/meals, notes, etc.), use a ton of sticky notes, stickers, etc. The whole website is magical.
Check out also: Filofaxomania, Filofax, Filofax & Planners on Pinterest

3. Moleskin
A planner and notebook classic. Would love to get one at one point. Moleskine is also used in the Bullet Journal system

4. Papyrus
Gorgeous vintage-style planners and paper supplies. Awesome quality and also available in stores!

5. Amy Ruth Designs
Very pretty planners, notebooks, phone cases etc.

6. Erin Condren’s Life Planners
Great planners! Customizable, also on the higher end, but come with tons of accessories filofax-style.


Comment below and tell me about your planner!

How to Make a Study Plan


*My fall quarter starts on September 24th. Professors started posting textbook information, test information, syllabus, etc. on the course websites a couple days, so I thought it would be a good idea to prepare for each class before it starts *

Once you have your textbooks, a little bit of information on the website, and the syllabus, start preparing your study plan for the quarter.

1. Read the course syllabus. Professors know exactly what they will be teaching, how big the workload will be, exam schedules, reading material, etc. Once you read the syllabus, you are already mentally prepared for the class, and it won’t seem as overwhelming on the first day.

** Important information to take away from the syllabus:
– Homework load
– Class schedule, test information
– Retake and make up policy
– Any class- specific information

2. Look up your professor on RateMyProfessorsBy reading other students’ reviews, you can get a preview into what your classes will be like. It’s important not to believe every word you read there, simply because every student has a different (or no) relationship with his professor.

** Info to take away from Ratemyprofessors:
STUDY TIPS. A lot of students write what they’ve done to be successful in the class
– How to professor teaches the class. What materials to use
– Homework/ work load

3. Write down your goals for the course. Whether it’s a specific grade you want to earn or the information you’d like to learn, it’s good to have something to motivate you.

** More info:
– Create a Work Document, a poster or just some random sheet and write down your goals on it
– Hang in somewhere where you’ll see it as a reminder and motivator

4. Note exam dates, reading schedule, etc. Look over the syllabus or a schedule chart, if one is available, and assign yourself pages to read a few weeks ahead. You can always modify this list as the quarter progresses

5. Attend the first few Lectures. Probably the most important thing you could do to prepare for the future classes.

** Info to take away:
– Professor’s teaching style
– Plan a note-taking technique
– What you’ll actually need to read/ do to succeed.
Talk to the professor, ask for tips on how to study for his/her class!!

How I plan to Study

My freshman year of college didn’t go too well for several reasons.

One, I had no idea what I was getting into: how the classes go, how to prepare for them, how to set a schedule, etc.

Two, I didn’t know how to study. I tried so many different things, different techniques, took notes in various ways, made flashcards.

But it turned out that jumping around like that only made it worse. Without having a steady, set way to prepare for each class, I couldn’t remember the information very well and ended up not doing too hot on the tests.

So now I want to actually set some goals for myself. Maybe these will be helpful to you guys too!

1) In class:

  • Always take notes, using 1 method: Cornell, Mapping, or Outline (on paper or on an iPad)
  • Listen actively, connect new information to something I’ve already heard or know
  • No mindless writing: take notes in my own words. This keeps your mind working during the lecture.

2) At home:

  • ALWAYS read textbook material before class. That way I’m already familiar to what’s being said in the lecture and could get some clarifications on what I didn’t understand.
  • Follow a study/reading schedule
  • Work when I’m most awake. Usually during the day and go to sleep early (here’s why)

I’ll be in Russia visiting family until September, but I’ll check for messages often!

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Quality: HD
Title : Kong: Skull Island
Director : Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Release : 2017-03-08
Language : English.
Runtime : 118 min.
Genre : Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
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