Study Woes and Pretty Planners

Hey, 

Well I have to say that my studies have been a bit of a nightmare so far. I spent most of November really ill and in and out of hospital which has had a massive impact on my studies and I am seriously behind. 

My first TMA was due on the 30th November but I was granted an extension until 14th December. It’s now the 13th and I’m still not finished. My toddler was poorly and off nursery and very clingy so I’ve literally just started getting my mornings back. 

It’s a 1500 word assignment primarily on the doctrinal approach and the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. 

I have about 500 words so far on the strengths and I will type the rest up this morning. 

It has been a very interesting topic especially in using mental capacity to highlight the pitfalls of using such an approach. The next block which I am 2 weeks years behind on is regarding the historical approach to legal research, this also looks like an interesting block to do. 

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that we have the Christmas break off as it will give me a chance to catch up on everything as I will admit I am starting to feel overwhelmed by how far behind I am. I particularly like to read a lot around subjects and currently don’t feel like I have the option to do it much due to the amount I am behind. It’s a good job I love to study:)

On the plus side I have a beautiful new study planner which I will be using for 2018 and I plan to break things down better so I am always more aware of what’s coming up. I have another TMA due on the 1st Feb and I start Jury Service on 29th January so I must get it done before then as I really won’t have time otherwise. 

I am really looking forward to going into the new year. I feel like after this year things can only get better and I want to excel at what I’m doing. I haven’t even looked at my Fiction Writing course since October, that’s my problem with non deadline courses. I’m going to set myself deadlines for that one as well so it doesn’t get left behind especially as writing is important to me. 

Anyway that is enough rambling from me thanks for reading:) 

The Stationery Geekette x

P.S for those who are interested, the Galaxy 2018 planner is a Recollections branded planner from Michaels in the U.S. A beautiful soul (Francesca) brought one over for me on her visit to the U.K. The top planner is a Nayadori from Naya Paperie and it is a B6 travelers notebook in cinnamon stick colour

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Study Series: 10 Tips For Getting Started On Academic Tasks

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Hey Everyone and welcome to this weeks Study Series.

This week I will be sharing with you my top 10 tips for getting started on any academic task.

  1. Improve Your Study Environment. You do this by reducing noie, keeping the area tidy and if neccessary move location. (I often take myself out of the house to a cafe or somewhere as it improves my focus).
  2. Avoid Distractions. Keeping your phone on silent, disable email notifications and avoid busy places.
  3. Work In Short Bursts. Taking regular breaks can help keep your concentration at a maximum.
  4. Find A Way To Start. You could start with a small task, as long as you get started it will provide motivation to get started on that bigger task.
  5. Focus On The Positive. Are there aspects of doing the work you really enjoy such as research, experiements etc focus on those parts.
  6. Write Freely. Use bullet points, graphs, brain maps. Utilise word processing software and the ability to copy and paste to edit documents.
  7. Breakdown Tasks. Large tasks can often feel unmangable, breaking down tasks into smaller chunks can help.
  8. Work Alongside Others. Mutual encouragement can help motivate. Having others to discuss things can also help with understanding topic of problem areas.
  9. Ask For Help. Don’t be afraid to ask for any help if you need it.
  10. Try Not To Be A Perfectionist. Sometimes it is easy to get to caught up in how your work appears, whether or not it’s perfect to you. Trying your best is always a good thing but at times we push ourselves to a standard that is more than expected.

You can find the other posts in the series here.

Reading For A Purpose

Identifying and Extracting Information

Accurate and Clear Information

Thank you for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Study Tips Series: Identifying and Extracting Information

Hey Everyone and welcome to my study tips series.
Last week we discussed Reading For A Purpose and today we will look at Identifying And Extracting The Information You Need.

Once you have gathered all of your notes the next step is to go through them and extract and identify all the main points that you need.

Start by skim reading all of the information you have collected and list your findings in note form. Once this is complete you can check your lists against the original document/question to ensure all the important and relevant information is there.

Next you should start collating the information and bringing it together so that pieces all concerning the same topics are together, then re-list the information under common headings.

Now you can start drafting your first edit document from the notes collected.

Important things to check as you do this are;

  1. Accuracy – Always make a note of sources and reference where necessary
  2. Relevance – Does it have a point?
  3. Completeness – Has the aim been achieved? Have all points been covered?
  4. Grammatical correctness – Many schools, colleges and universities will know important marks off a piece of work if the grammar and spalling are incorret.
  5. Logical Order – Is the writing easy to follow?
  6. Length – Is the piece too long? too short? does more need adding? Most pieces will have a required word length to check against.

As we progress through this series you will find the posts become more in depth but for now I’m just running over some basics.

Thank you for reading and if there is anything you’d like me to include in this series please leave a comment below.

The Stationery Geekette x

Study Tips Series: Reading For A Purpose

Hey Everyone and welcome to my new blog series. This series will focus on studying and offer some tips and tricks for those undergoing educational courses at any level. This series will cover things such as reading tips, note-making, source checking, referencing and everything inbetween.

To start with the first post will be tips on How To Read For A Purpose.

Reading for a purpose is an entirely different thing to reading for leisure. The information you need to absorb isn’t part of telling a story and quite often you will need to make notes and disengage from your reading as you write.

When reading for a purpose it is an important factor to write down exactly what it is you are wanting to know, the aim and purpose of the reading.

After that it is best to look into which sources you will want to use and to check all the relevant information is up to date.

When looking at these sources do not forget to check who wrote them and to ensure the source is credible , sources such as wikipedia are often frowned upon as the information can be changed and altered by anyone.

Make a note of any relevant chapters, sections or page numbers which are specific to your needs. Don’t forget to check the index or keywords sections.

Scan or skim read the sections which you have note and highlight any relevant information that may be of importance, also note the page number and book details for your bibliography.

Once this is done you can now assess the selected information.

Firstly check whether it answers your questions and helps to prepare your document.

Secondly photocopy and relevant sections and highlight the neccessary parts.

Every so often so and go through and review what you have got. Reviewing will help you maintain focus and direction and then you can disguard anything that you have noted off track or irrelevant to your purpose.

Doing the basic things that are listed above will help to set the foundations for your projects and essays and make going forward with them much smoother.

Next week we will take a look at Identifying and Extracting information when doing your research.

If there is anything you would like to ask or see discussed in a future post please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below or contact me via email at thestationerygeekett@yahoo.com or alternatively message me via my Facebook page.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x 

 

 

My College Planner and Set-Up

As some of you may remember I posted about a month ago about how I was due to start college again in September and as struggling with what options were available.

Well now I have gone back and I have sorted my planner situation out.

Let’s have a look at what I opted for…

The Planner: Pause Large by Kikki-K

I received this planner in a swap and initially  had no idea what I was going to do with it. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it as my experience with Kikki-K planners has been a little hit and miss. My favourite is a Kikki-K but I have found most of there others planners are quite bulky without even adding the inserts.
However once I added all my bits and pieces to it, it turned out to be pretty perfect. It won’t fit much in there in the way of actual lesson work but I don’t intend on adding anythign like that other than Key Notes sheets. This is primarily as a diary and schedule keeper.

To compliment this I purchased a ARC disbound A5 notebook. This is perfect as they have both have the same colour scheme and I can add the A5 sheet into my planner if it is something that is important.

I really like this set up, it’s pretty, simple and effective.
Do you study? If so what are you using? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Life Update August + 5 Year Plan

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It’s that time of the month again where I discuss my successions and failures of the last month. In all honesty I can’t say there has been much going on in the way of successes. I managed to read 9 books this month which was a success I guess. I also am writing reviews for two more sites, one of which I now get paid for..yay!

The kids having summer holidays and my hospital trip have pretty much meant that I haven’t got half as much done that I would have liked. I did however have a nice summer with the children which is the most important thing.

My business launched at the beginning on August and is doing well, people have been incredibly generous in their reviews.

The blog fell a little by the wayside due to everything going on and I admittedly have struggled with content, however I have renewed vigour now and determination to get things back on top and better. I will be creating a blog topic schedule which will make things easier as I have been posting a little randomly with content.

I have felt like I have been stuck in a bit of a rut, I mentioned in a previous post my planners don’t seem to be helping much lately, I am not using them as I was which means they are sitting redundantly on my shelf while I figure things out. Once the Ballerina comes though that will easily pick back up. I start college next week which I am really excited about too.

So my new blog schedule will be:

Monday (fortnightly): Confessions of …

Tuesday: Planner / Stationery related

Wednesday: Book Review and TSG Website post

Thursday: Draft, Edit and Admin work

Friday:  TSG Website post

Saturday: Life Update Posts and Book Review

Sunday: My Week/Plan with Me and Picks of the Month

I have also been thinking long and hard about my career and where I want it to go. Thanks to Michelle over at UglyBugDoes I have been inspired to create a 5-year plan.

Where Were You 5 Years Ago?

5 years ago I was living in Guisborough, unemployed and working for Victim Support as a volunteer hoping to gain entry to paid employment within the same sector.

Where Will You Be Living in 5 Years?

In an ideal world I would be living in Canada in a log cabin. Somewhere the kids would love to be. I love the idea of living close to the wilderness, somewhere cold and full of culture. I have wanted to live in Canada for as long as I can remember and for me this would be the ultimate place. However, I know realistically speaking that won’t happen for at least 10 years.

In 5 years I would like to think that I have purchased my own home and am at least part way saving to immigrate. Staying in my local town of Guisborough.

What Job Will You Be Doing?

By then I would have liked to have completed education in Business, Accounting and Copyediting and Proofreading. I would like to hope that my brand is still going and is really strong. I would also like to hope that I am reviewing books for a living, preferably copyediting and proofreading for an income.

What 5 Things are most important to you right now?

  • Family – Getting Alexis sorted into a better routine and getting her settled.
  • Finances – Find employment and to get my business generating an income
  • Career – To complete the Business course I am due to start
  • Finances – To clear debts as soon as possible
  • Health – To lose weight and get fitter

Top 5 Business and Career Goals?

  • Promote TSG Bookclub and increase revenue
  • Learn about analytics and SEO for the blogs
  • Learn How to Proofread and Copyedit
  • Work for a successful publisher reviewing, proof-reading and editing
  • Own my own successful brand and business.

Top 5 Family Goals?

  • Get Alexis settled into a sleep routine again
  • Spend more quality time with Adam and Chloe individually
  • Get a larger house
  • Get a Pet
  • Have a happy household

Top 5 Personal Goals?

  • To be happy in what I do
  • To have more free time
  • To lose at least 3 stone
  • To start running
  • To eat better

Now that it’s all written down I have no excuse not to see things through. I shall as always drop in with updates and if you are interested in following Michelle’s progress then please pop along to www.uglybugdoes.me .

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

G.T.D for Studying Including Free Planner Checklist

Hey!
Everyone who has read my blog knows I am a huge fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I have previously discussed this topic many times before.

However now I am due to start studying again I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how GTD will work with my studies to maximise efficiency and productivity.

There are many aspects that are completely irrelevant from the original GTD premise however there are still many helpful tips that can be taken on your educational journey.

I have included a checklist that can be printed. It is available in A4 and A5. It is the first time I have ever attempted to attach a file so if there are any errors please let me know and I will attempt to fix them:)

So before I link the checklists I will explain the way I will be implementing and adapting the techniques I have learnt.

These are the Categories: Inboxes, Calendar, Reviewing, Projects, File, Next Actions, Vision board/Future Log. I will also breakdown the assignment projects method to.

Inboxes. By this I don’t just mean your email inbox, what this refers to is anywhere you have incoming information. This could be your email or during a lesson from a teacher. You will find that these are the places that items will get stored until properly processed. When you are processing your inbox make sure you first of all ascertain whether the item requires any action, if so what? Note down at least the first 3 actions required and add them to your calendar. If not, discard or file the information.

Calendar. This is where you will note any time sensitive assignments, essays, exams, events etc.

Reviewing. This should be done on a daily, weekly and term basis.

Daily reviewing should be a time to review items in the inboxes, review date sensitive tasks and run through and edit next actions.

Weekly reviewing should be when you process all outstanding items, review and edit the week ahead next actions, review project lists, add any new weekly tasks from your project list and file items no longer required.

Term Reviewing should be where you reflect, upon the previous term and the upcoming term. Assess what is needed for the immediate future and plan ahead for the next term. It should also be a time to assess educational goals and file away previous modules work.

Projects. This covers Assignments, Research and Exam prep.

File. This is the place for key notes, module information, support material and research and old assignments

Next Actions. This is where you write down a list of all the tasks which need to be completed as a priority. Usually start with the one which requires the most urgent response. It is best daily to remove the completed ones and add new ones.

Vision Board/Future Log. This is where your ultimate goal is. What do you want to achieve, how do you get to where you want to be, what steps are needed to be taken. It is helpful to have this to look back to so you don’t lose you way or get overwhelmed.This helps to maintain focus and motivation. It also serves as a reminder of how far you have already come.

Assignment project list breakdown. I find it best to breakdown my assignments into steps. I think this helps motivate and prevent overwhelm. It allows you to easily check progress and have a solid plan which means less procrastination later. First I brainstorm ideas surrounding the assignment, then I look at what keywords I need to focus on and what my research aims are, for this I usually break down the question into smaller parts. I then organise what I have and assign deadlines to each part so I know what to move onto when. I then gather all the information I need and start my first draft. Once I have finished this step I go through my work and edit for a final draft.

So there we have it. I really hope that this works, the true test will be once I actually start but if i find anything else that does or does not work I will edit the post accordingly.

A5 GTD for Studying Checklist

A4 GTD Checklist for Studying

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

 

 

Going Back To College… Planner Consideration! 

Hey Everyone 🙂

So as the title suggests today I want to discuss planners for college.

I am retraining into Business in September since Criminology is extremely difficult to work in right now and I have been thinking about my planner options.

I have a Kikki-K Black spotted Pause in large which I plan on using however I’m uncertain what to use it for exactly.

I have no doubt I won’t fit a years worth of studying into it which I didn’t think about initially as I was just going to pop in my academic diary and then dividers for each of my 7 modules.

Upon this realisation I seem to be at a bit of a loss.

I could just pop each module into a different planner when it’s complete and keep a key notes list for that specific module instead, I could just use notebooks and not my planner, I could have multiple planners per module.

I’m honestly not sure. Aside from a diary and module stuff I’m not sure if there is anything else I may also need.

I have studied from home loads but the requirements are always different. I haven’t studied properly though for about 7 years.

So my question to my reader’s today is this. If you study, what do you use a planner for? What am I forgetting?  What are your tips to maximise productivity while staying pretty?

I’d really appreciate the advice of my readers is this matter.

Hopefully next week I will have remedied my issues and have my College Planner Set-Up to show you:)

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x 

Paperchase Nordic Planner Review

Last year when Paperchase brought out there Nordic range I absolutely fell in love. At the time though I couldn’t afford the beautiful new planner. When I received the Paperchase sale email last week I thought I’d have a browse and see what there was.

Low and behold was my beautiful planner and it was reduced to £8.
So what did I do? I bought it of course. I’d have been daft not to when I’ve wanted it for so long.

It arrived on Tuesday and it lived up to all my expectations.
It is so soft and well designed. The inserts are incredibly pretty, even of most wont be used right now.

It also lays flat when open which is fantastic.
I have decided to use it to track my studies as I am hoping to go back to college in September and prior to that do some research for a Legal Secretary course.

Anyway I think that’s enough babbling from me, now for the photo’s 🙂

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Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x