Archive for the ‘Time Management’


Even though I’m a programmer, I can’t say I’m the master of technology when it comes to school stuff. I didn’t have a cellphone permanently attached to me back in high school like so many of my younger classmates might have. I grew up during a time when Motorola brick phones were the hip toy. My father bought one when it first came out for something like five thousand dollars, and even though it costed the equivalent of a fancy dinner for a family of five, he would often call us when he’s less than a block away from home, because he’s ridiculous that way.

What I’m trying to say is, I’ve never used my own laptop in class. The fanciest technology that I’ve used in class was a Livescribe pen, which is just a pen that records your writing and the audio playing. It was nice, I didn’t use the audio recording part very often, but when I did need it, it was such a blessing. Asking the teachers to repeat themselves was something I dreaded, so it was nice to be able to leave certain spots blank that I missed and come back to it later.

Having and using a laptop is a requirement for law school. I’m sure if it’s perfectly okay if I wanted to stick with my Livescribe pen, but I’m a faster typist than writer so I’ve been investigating note-taking software. Still, I wanted something that functions like my pen because having the audio recording did come in handy. I found a short list of software that did what I wanted, out of the list I found two that I am currently using and testing: Onenote and Evernote.

After playing around with them for a few days, I found Onenote to better suited for class note taking, if only for the fact that the interface feels like the love-child of a multi-subject notebook and Word. I create these “Notebooks” and it’s saved to Microsoft Skydrive, the beauty of this is: If my laptop is feeling a little suicidal, I don’t have to live in fear of losing my notes.


It’s beautiful. The fact that if I have recorded audio from class, and I click the little play button next a line that I’ve typed, it’ll play audio from that moment, is exactly what I wanted.

I’ve setup Onenote on both my desktop and laptop, and the “Notebooks” sync beautifully on each. When I am home, I prefer to work with the bigger desktop monitor, so it’s helpful that I don’t have to copy files back and forth.

It is now two weeks minus one day till law school starts. Obviously, this means I’m buried in homework. Files after files are sent to all entering class to ensure they will not get enjoy another sunny day, at least not without feeling guilty about procrastinating. All my homework files are nicely filed into my OneNote notebooks, both word and pdf. The sweet thing is, even though one of the pdf file was a grainy scan, OneNote still recognized all the texts in it, so the file is still searchable.

I’m pretty sure Evernote does pretty much everything I’ve described with the added bonus of being free and working on Macs, but I really prefer the interface of OneNote. For now I plan on using both of them: OneNote for school, Evernote for work research.

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Learning Time Management07.28.11

I started this blog with the intention of encouraging myself to write more in preparation for law school. I was writing often enough to justify having this blog for a few months and then July came along and it all fell apart.

I could not bring myself to write. I thought I was suffering from writer’s block or perhaps some pathetic meaning of life crisis. Then I realized what happened, I went from having a very structured schedule to no schedule aside from work. I was a victim of suddenly having too much free time.

Before you roll your eyes at me, I know, people complaining about having too much free time needs to be served a big mug of shut-the-fuck-up with no pretty foamy leaf drawing on top. I deserve it.

Since the beginning of this year, I had two big lofty goals: study for LSAT and training to climb a big mountain. My scheduled time was split between studying for LSAT, taking LSAT course, training to carry half my body weight up a mountain, and work. The little bit of non-scheduled time I have, I would write my blogs, and work on side projects for work. I made good use of whatever free time I had. At the end of June, all that was done. LSAT was taken, multiple mountains climbed.

I had so much free time that every time something came up that needed to be done, I figured I could do it tomorrow, because I had plenty of time the next day to do it. That was not good for me. I got fed up, bought a planner, and found a time management system for me that works. I’ve read Getting Things Done a while back and while I liked the idea of it, my schedule is not busy enough to warrant such a heavy duty system. Plus, I got impatient with all the planning and I just wanted to get to the doing.

I’m currently using the Agile System. It’s simple and the book is free online. I like that I just focus on three things at a time, so I don’t get overwhelmed by my to-do list in my month of being lazy. My favorite part is reflecting at the end of each work week on what’s working and what needs improving. Also, the irony of needing a day planner when I have too much time on hand is not lost with me.

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