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Help a man persue education
August 27, 2007 3:54 PM   Subscribe

I need a very specific type of self help...

I need suggestions for time management/motivational systems. I'm thinking along the lines of a bastard child of GTD and Seven Secrets...

-I'm looking for GTD tweaks for use as a political philosophy post grad.

-Time management systems, prefreable realistic but still with integration with MicroSoft Office (or convincing alternative software)

-Task management system, likewise.

-A general student note taking system. I'm familiar with mind mapping and curious to know whether it is feasible in a mature environment.

-It has been 5 years since I have sat in seminars and lectures, how has technology changed the way things are done? For example, I imagine I could use my PDA to record lectures -- mp3 recordings of lectures must have completely changed the way studying is done, how does this impact on successful studying?

-Most importantly, tips on keeping oneself motivated to achieve targets and goals. I've spent too long being cynical about the motivational writing that gets published to bother reading it. Surely by now there must be some genuinely interesting ideas that have filtered through the chaff. I have been impressed with GTD, but often find I just cant be arsed. September represents a new leaf hence quest for new a perspective.

Normally I'm wary of this sort of personal dogma, but for the next few months I'm prepared to strap myself in for one of them, so hive mind help me not waste the rest of the year! Thanks. Your attention is appreciated.
posted by verisimilitude to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just read a great take on GTD for writers today. If your focus is on writing articles for publication, this method seems much more practical than the usual GTD prescription.
posted by ourobouros at 4:03 PM on August 27, 2007

I'm a current graduate student at a technical university. I don't know anybody who takes notes on a PDA (via stylus or mini-qwerty), or who records lectures to some digital format for later listening.

This might be different in philosophy, since in CS, there are always lecture notes in PPT, even if the teacher lectures without them. If you had a need to follow a particular argument, perhaps a recording would be useful. But in general not -- you'll have to listen, and listen hard, to the lecture at some point. So why not do it at the class, since you're already there.

We all take laptops to class for notes. In some classes the number of students who take notes on paper are outnumbered. But in general it's 50/50 or so. I prefer notes on paper, since I like to write them out... But I never (or almost never) refer to them. It's the experience of notetaking that helps me to remember things.

Besides, taking notes on a computer suxxxxxxors. You can't easily make arrows. Side notes. Things to look up, etc. You'll spend more time formatting word than taking notes. And, for me, I like the visual cues that I create while I write things out. If all of my notes were in word, I'd have no "landmarks" to tell me where things were on the page and in the notebook.

I'll let others chime in on GTD. I like a GTD-lite book I picked up called "Order from Chaos" by Liz Davenport. I like it better than GTD even, which I've seen/used/read.
posted by zpousman at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2007

20 Tools to keep your life organized.
posted by ambrosia at 4:13 PM on August 27, 2007

It would probably be useful for you to check 43 Folders, lots of fantastic advice there especially regarding email management which would hit your point about technology. Plus, Merlin's pretty funny.
posted by mattholomew at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2007

Daily Todo number 1: Check my to-do lists

Without this one, I never remember what I'm supposed to be getting done. Strangely enough, I've found that those things I can't remember right away aren't really that important (Well, with the exception of dates).

So, whatever you pick, you'd best like it and use it religiously or it'll just become another annoying thing to deal with when it becomes a giant mess from neglect.
posted by IronLizard at 12:08 AM on August 28, 2007

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