I don’t know how many people can relate to this, but I go through phases where I’ll be super motivated to work and study one week then have absolutely zero energy and motivation the next. Going through IB, this comes with ups and downs. Some weeks, you REALLY can’t afford not to work and give your all and other times, you’ll see the rewards that comes as a result of your hard work. However, recently
(in the past few months or so), I think I’ve finally gotten a hang of this whole thing and have mastered the act of staying (at least somewhat) motivated for longer periods of time. Sooo, here’s the first post in this series (if that’s what this is) on how I get through hell, also known as IB. Here’s what works for me. Hopefully it helps you a bit too.
One thing that COMPLETELY changes the game for me is staying organized. It’s almost pathetic how excited I get over to do lists and pretty agenda’s. Because of this, I am so motivated to get my work done for the satisfaction of checking that beautifully color coded assignment off my to do list. Even getting new assignments is fun when you get to add it to your calendar. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but still – it’s much better than dreading assignments and having them pile up etc etc. Here’s how I stay organized;
In my school, all of the work is actually done on google drive, which is convenient because it doesn’t take up any space on my laptop’s hard drive and can be shared with teachers and classmates super easily. It’s also nice that lots of people can access the same document or presentation at the same time for group work.
Looking at the picture it may look a little unorganized, however, the way it’s set up is; all of the documents at the bottom are things that I am using at the moment and would need to access everyday. When I’m done with that document (usually when we finish the topic in class) I drag the document into the ’11/12′ folder into the appropriate subject so that I can access it later on. The folders at the top, like ‘Sarah TOK’ for example are the same, once I’m done with that unit, they’ll go into the OG folder, under the right category in ’11/12′.
My desktop is another thing that I like to keep very organized. Because my work is all on drive, my desktop is just for spare pdf’s of textbooks and/or data and stuff collected for science experiments. It makes such a difference to me whether my desktop is cluttered or not so I like to keep it super clean and aesthetically pleasing hahah.
The notes on the sides are just for random ideas and reminders and the folders are pretty self explanatory. The book pdf and IOP folder will go into the ‘SCHOOL’ folder as soon as I am done with them. (yes I have a folder of memes)
Because everything is done on drive, it also means that a lot of the time, I can’t access my work when I don’t have access to internet. This is admittedly quite annoying sometimes, but isn’t too much of a problem if you have an alternate software to use offline which you can later copy and paste your work from. Evernote is a super cool software that is designed specifically for note taking that allows you to create notebooks with your specific ‘note pages’ inside. I only discovered this recently and because of google drive (and because all of my notes are already in there), I don’t actually use this for note taking, but rather for blog posts and assignments that I had to work on without internet. This was especially helpful while I was in Papua New Guinea and had to make do without internet.
This one probably excites me the most hahaha (dork alert). I had been using this chrome extension called Momento for over a year when I found ‘Lanes’, another chrome extension which is very similar but slightly more intricate and nicer looking in my opinion. This program lets you create separate to-do lists based on different categories which you can color code. Mine are divided into the categories of;
‘Assignments’ (blue) where I put all of the things I need to finish by a certain date
‘Study’ (yellow) where I put all of the school related things that I probably should get around doing eventually but aren’t necessarily as urgent. For example, rereading a section of a history textbook or reviewing biology terms
‘Blog’ (green) where I pretty much put all of the posts that I want to do/need to finish, ordered by date
‘Other’ (red) where I basically put all of the random tasks that don’t fall into the other categories. i.e. practice guitar or clean room
I put all of my biggest assignments and events in the calendar. I just use the calendar app that came with the laptop because I really like the way it looks, how simple it is, and the fact that I can access it from my phone. It also reminds me of big things coming up before hand and hence helps me prepare. It’s also good because it lets me have a broader outlook on what is coming up and when things are due.
I was super into using a paper agenda at the beginning of the school year and while I still love it, I’ve diverted to using a lot more electronic methods instead. However, I still carry one around with me to class and still like to use it for everyday homework (pretty much the same way I use Lanes), I also like using sticky notes and different coloured pens to stay organized with it (dork alert #2).
Those are the ways that I stay organized with school work and pretty much keep my life together hahah. I understand that these methods are pretty high maintenance and ‘extra’ for a lot of people but can hopefully help in someway. Let me know if you’re doing the IB (or something similar) and want more posts like this 🙂