A guest post by Francesco D’Alessio.
Firstly, I just wanted to thank Alice for having me on this blog. It’s been an honor to read Alice’s blog posts on the Geeky Burrow over the last few weeks, I’ve especially liked her features on Bullet Journaling and book recommendations – if you haven’t read them, do check them out.
Over the last 3 years, I have been a student down in South west of the UK, in Plymouth. I’m a pretty average student when it comes to grades and results so there’s something special there, but I do have a handy app that helps me manage the work I do, the YouTube channel I run and also the university work (I should be doing).
That handy app is Todoist. Now you may have heard of Todoist before, it is one of the top to do list applications out there. On first glance it looks like a basic to do list application, and you would be right, but after using this wonderful tool for the last 3-4 years I’ve discovered a host of benefits from using it.
So, here’s how I use Todoist as a student.
If I open up my Todoist, the first thing you’ll see is a well-coordinated timeline of tasks. I normally organise all of my tasks 4-5 days in advance so I have some clarity on what I need to do each day.
Start organizing your tasks/to do list based on time, so you have this running list of things you need to do across your day. You’ll work much smarter and much harder across your day when you know what you’re doing. For students, make sure to breakdown each task down so it doesn’t look so daunting. There’s nothing worse than seeing “Write 3,000-word report” in your tasks… Why not chunk it down to “Write 300 words for report” – you’ll spread the task out easily. Unless you are on assignment deadline day, avoid this tactic.
Organise all of your project based on your module/topic. This is important for busy students. If you look at your Todoist – as you can see on mine I’ve done this for more areas of my life as I haven’t started the year yet, it’s a great tactic – once you have your timeline working – your tasks will have project names next to them and everything will make sense at a glance. Add emojis to your projects too – it’s a great way to make things interesting.
We all have targets. As a student, you might have some grade based targets or they might be society/club based targets. It’s important you have these front and center.
Create a project called GOALS. Add a list of your targets and goals. Set a recurring task daily to check in on those goals – it’ll help you keep on course and focused. See the photos I’ve attached above and you’ll see what I mean. Perfect for starting the day right!
BONUS TIP: DUE DATES
I see this a lot with students, when they use a task manager/to do list app, they add a due date to a task for example:
FINISH ENT300 REPORT – due: 18th October
They set this for then. The issue here is there are no milestones for them to complete the tasks. I’ve seen it with some students who do this and then forget they have even got the piece of work until the date it is due… Spread the work. It’ll help…
Some final advice:
Todoist and some other applications like Evernote and Trello will open up your time. It’ll help you organise, de-stress and plan everything. Now, you may be thinking that you can now sit back and relax. My advice would be not too. Todoist and these tools aim to free up your time or even help you focus on what is important. Use the time you create. I’ve done quite I lot outside of university thanks to good organization, and I’m only now starting to see the value in this effort I put in year 1 & 2. It pays off, so advice is to use the time you create.
- Organise your to do list based on time across your day (see image)
- Break down tasks into bitesize chunks (300 words for…, Research 2 articles…)
- Create project folders for each module of university work
- Add emoji to project folders to help organise by icons (see image)
- Add GOALS to a checklist so you can review them every morning
- Set milestones not due dates – it’ll save you panic
Download Todoist: www.todoist.com
It’s free – there is a premium – only recommended for using
I want to thank Francesco for writing this incredibly useful guest post here on The Geeky Burrow. Whether you’re a student or not, I think you’ll find his advice useful, give Todoist a try and feel free to let us know what you think about it!