My tips for ending procrastination inspired me to search for innovative electronic ways to organize my daily and weekly activities, as well as take more efficient, legible notes.

The Ultimate Notebook

While sitting in my Japanese Religion class and fidgeting in my desk, my eyes wandered to a classmate’s laptop, where I witnessed her vigorously typing notes onto Microsoft Word. What kept me interested in her seemingly ordinary task of typing notes? The page layout that appeared on her MacBook screen was a notebook!

Screen shot of Microsoft Word's Notebook Layout

How many times have I sat through lecture, typing notes on an ordinary layout, only to look at them later and feel confused by my scattered, sloppy and unorganized notes, never referencing them again for future studying because it is too painful to read such chaos?

  • Word’s notebook layout creates instant clarity and organization. I can create titles for each subject and break up my notes into sections.
  • I am actually excited to take notes in class because of Word’s notebook feature, and it will definitely be easier for me to comprehend my notes when referencing them later.
  • I showed a couple of my friends this layout and they exclaimed, “Wow! The digital Notebook would make my class notes so much more easier to read. How do you get that?” Simply click on ‘View’ and select ‘Notebook Layout’.

Turns out, my curious nature and wandering attention span is sometimes beneficial.

The Ultimate Planner

In my article on procrastination, I advised using a planner to jot down upcoming assignments, due dates, to do lists and activities; however, most of the time, I loathe having to carry more in my school bag than necessary. The less books and journals weighing you down, the better. (I even download electronic textbooks into my virtually weightless Amazon Kindle so that I can read multiple subjects on-the-go just to avoid the burden of carrying a heavy load). My schoolbag consists of a laptop, charger, Kindle and a planner. I wanted to figure out a way to eliminate the planner, but still be able to view my to do lists and appointments in an organized, concise fashion.

I Googled ‘planner widgets’ for my MacBook, and came across the Assignment Planner application! This is a must-have download for college students, which will elicit fascinated expressions from all of your intelligent friends on campus (and we can all agree, that includes most, if not all, of the student body attending UNC-CH! Go Heels!) Aside from impressing your friends, the Assignment Planner will enable you to organize your weekly assignments with ease.

To download this application, simply copy and paste the following into your browser:

Once on the site, register for the application by paying a one time $8 fee. You can justify this fee because you would pay just as much for a paper planner, which can only be used one time, and therefore must be purchased annually.

Screen Shot of the Mac Planner

The screen shot above shows the Assignment Planner.

  • You simply add an assignment and enter the Due Date, Name of Assignment and Course.
  • Then you select a priority level 1-5.
  • A convenient feature of Assignment Planner is that the assignment is colored red when past the due date, orange when close to the due date, yellow when you have some time left and black when the due date it is very far from approaching.
  • Each assignment gives you the option to write notes.
  • You have the ability to switch views from weekly to monthly, but still click on the assignment and see the information on the sidebar, while viewing a weekly or monthly calendar beside the info on the side.
  • If you click on the Courses and Textbooks button, you have the option of entering in your professors’ office hours and contact information, which may come in handy if you’re ever in need of extra clarification about a topic covered in class.

I hope that these two digital organization features make your day most productive!

– Kristen Cubero