30 motivational notebooks that will inspire you

Do more of what makes you happy. Simplistic and specific objectives are much easier for your brain to process, clearing away the mental inhibitions that are often associated with larger and more vague goals.

Now that I’ve graduated and happily being an unemployed bum while waiting for my internship (YAAAAS), I’m self-learning coding with Swift. 🙌

Skipped passed objective c but meh, I believe I can handle it cos I’ve experience in HTML and CSS so it shouldn’t be too tough to pick up? :) the Stanford iTunes U course is so useful btw, I like how we just learn the fundamentals during a lecture, while building a project at the same time. Loving the hands-on approach.

if anyone has other great resources when it comes to learning Swift, lemme know as well! Coming from a non tech background btw.

What to do in a free period

It’s so important to use your free periods productively; here are a few ideas (not all of them study related) of what you could do in that time:

  • Catch up on any work that you have missed
  • Make a start on any homework/assignments that you have been given
  • Start writing up some notes
  • Make some flashcards
  • Complete some practise questions or past papers
  • Look through your class’ syllabus 
  • Go over and review some older notes
  • Sort through any emails you have
  • Look at some university prospectuses online
  • Write a to-do list for the day/the following day
  • Plan out the rest of your week
  • Work and study with someone else who is in your classes
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Get some fresh air, take a coffee break and talk to friends so you’re ready and refreshed for the next lesson
How to Create a Schedule

This will be aimed at university students but can be adapted for school - fill in school hours, put study sessions in any frees, and schedule homework and extra studying in your afternoons and weekends.

Start with a blank template of the hours you want to schedule for and choose the colours you’ll use for each subject:

Next, fill in all the non-negotiable appointments you have during the week - classes, society meetings, and work. I include lunch and dinner as non-negotiable because you’ve got to eat! And it’s nice to take a full hour off to have a bit of a break. Breakfast isn’t included as the schedule starts at 9am:

Then start filling in free time. I like to schedule mine during the evening because I can’t study after about 8pm. Don’t be stingy with free time but do leave enough room that you can get your work done each week:

Then start filling in study periods! My undergrad uni stated that each 20 credit course per semester should take up a total of 14 hours per week, so that you work roughly 40 hours a week. For the purpose of this schedule, all the subjects are planned as though they are worth 20 credits for that semester. One year at my undergrad uni required 120 credits so this is the advised workload for a semester.

I scheduled study sessions near contact time (lectures and seminars) because you’re already on campus for those so you can go to the library for resources and to avoid distractions.

I also liked to have an hour or two before seminars working on that subject so that I could make sure I was fully prepared and the material was fresh in my mind.

Because the example schedule here includes 10 hours a week of paid work, it understandably ends up needing work during the weekends and evenings because it’s not a simple 40 hour (i.e. full time work) week. For this reason, my undergrad uni recommended doing no more than 16 hours per week of paid work.

I don’t know how many students actually study for the full 14 hours per week per 20 credits but I thought I’d follow the recommendations!

You then end up with this schedule, which has no more than 8 hours worked per day. If the student in this example didn’t  do as much paid work or worked more in the evenings, they might be able to take a full day or two off. I based this on my own experience, where I worked about 9 hours a week.

This schedule can be adapted to how you work and how much you need to work.

Putting in the free time first makes sure that you don’t work too much on certain days and forces you to block out time just to chill - which is important!

I’d really recommend not studying more than 8 hours a day if you can - 8 hours a day over a semester is plenty of time. Unless you’re cramming or taking an exceedingly heavy course load, you shouldn’t need to anyway.

The past fifty years have seen massive gains in productivity, the invention of countless labor-saving devices, and the mass entry of women into the formal workforce. If we assume that there is, to a certain degree, a fixed amount of work necessary for society to function, how can we at once be more productive, have more workers, and yet still be working more hours? Something else must be going on.
5 Tips for Staying Productive

1. Get ahead on your work. There is always something you can be doing. A great way to stay productive is looking forward a few weeks in your schedule and seeing what’s coming up. This is especially handy when you know you’ll have a few tests in one week. Staying ahead of your work allows you the freedom to focus more on one or two subjects without getting behind in the rest. 

2. Take breaks. Short, frequent breaks can help you stay productive and not get tired as quickly. You don’t want to burn out on your assignment and then rush through the rest of it. Also, it’s a good idea to break up large amounts of reading over a few days, so you don’t have to do it all in one massive tiring chunk. But, it’s important to set a time limit on your breaks. If you leave it open-ended, you may never get back to work. 

3. Work hard all week, relax more on the weekends. Put in the extra hours during the school week, and you’ll be able to have a much more enjoyable weekend. Your friends will probably want to hang out over the weekend more than the school week anyway, so it’s great to actually be able to take a break and do things with them rather than staying home to catch up on all the work you neglected. 

4. Don’t do unnecessary work. Learn what works best for you and tailor your study style to the class. If you know you can make an A in a class without doing the readings, then DON’T DO THE READINGS. It’s important to delegate your time wisely, or you will constantly be stressed and overworked. Be careful though, sometimes this can backfire. Pick and chose your workloads with a lot of consideration. 

5. Be proud of all of your work. If you just look towards a bigger picture goal- such as graduation or getting an A in a class- you will feel much less accomplished throughout the semester, even if you’re doing a lot of work to achieve your goal. Make smaller goals and be proud that you achieve them. Focus on the work that gets you to the accomplishment, not the accomplishment itself. 


This is my Trello set up. I don’t use it now because I have a new system but TRELLO IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS OUT THERE !!!

I probably won’t be making a guide on the basics of using Trello because Trello does a great job of that already.  

* I will be making another post on how I got my board to look so pretty *_*

What is Trello? A collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. Take the Trello tour!

Trello terms:

  • Board - A collection of lists. 
  • Lists -  Lists have cards. 
  • Cards - Cards are organised into lists and hold more detailed info. 
  • Labels - Acts as ‘tags’ 
  • Archive - Cards and lists cannot be completely delete, they are ‘archived’

Okay, now that you know the terminology, let’s look at my first list. 

1. Overview

My labels are divided into 4 sections. I like to have them here for easy reference. (I used to have four separate boards for the different areas in my life but it was really inconvenient) 

  • School: I have labels for each class I take
  • Life & Health: I use it for small tasks, usually, there would also be a ‘gym’ label or ‘basketball’ if I played basketball. 
  • Internet: Ahem. Self-explanatory :p 
  • Time: The time taken to complete these tasks. The ‘waiting’ label is for things I have no control over currently and need to depend on the response of someone else to proceed.

Okumaya devam et

studying game

here’s a fun little game for productivity!

  • make a list of 11 activities and number them from 2-12 (you cannot roll a 1 with dice). The majority should consist of things you must do for productivity such as studying a certain topic or cleaning, but throw in a couple fun ones as well that don’t have to get done!
  • roll dice (if you don’t have any, use a generator online!)
  • the number you get is the number of the activity you must complete for 15 minutes (though you can change the time to what works best for you, and alter the times for different activities. ie: 15 minutes on a productive activity but if it’s a fun one, you only do it for 10)
How to get the most out of your SCHOOL YEAR - study hacks

As I am currently waiting for the new school year to start and totally freaking out because I am not only starting IB but moving by myself to another country I figured it would be a great time to write down some study hacks that I learned throughout my 10 years of school career. (Also, this post is a continuation of my previous summer post : How to get the most out of your summer)

1. Instead of general guidelines like “don’t procrastinate” I will actually give you some tips on how not to do that. First of which is: Start a bullet journal ! I cannot tell you how much setting one up actually helped me with tackling both my schoolwork and my IB preparation during this year. The thing with this method that far outweighs any store-bought calendar is that it gives you so much freedom. You can have as much room for writing down your to do lists as you want. Making different sorts of lists and schedules is also a lot easier as you can just write them down in your bullet journal and not worry about losing them. I will have a post on setting one up but for now you might want to check these out : Bullet journals on yt

2. Try planning out your day hour by hour. As sick as that sounds it actually makes setting realistic goals for the day a lot easier. You don’t have to do it everyday. Try doing it on Saturdays and Sundays first to get the most out of your weekend and avoid that “I have so much to do but I don’t know where to start so I’m gonna lie down and watch another season of Modern Family”. Planning your days like that helps you with learning time management skills and lowers your stress levels.

3. Try multitasking! I know it’s risky and not done probably could do more harm than good but it’s worth the try especially if you lack in the time department. Something that works for me is indoor bicycling and studying/reading my textbook or going for a run and listening to some productivity podcasts (The College Info Geek Podcast). Watching CrashCourse and eating breakfast/lunch/dinner is also a great combo. Small things like that. Try to match an automatic activity (like exercise) with a mental one (listening, watching). NEVER combine both. It’s just not efficient.

4. Read your textbook chapter before it’s tackled in class. I cannot stress this enough! Actually knowing what lies ahead and having a general idea of the topic is so beneficial ! During the lecture instead of understanding the general idea you focus on details and mechanisms because you are already familiar with the topic and know what to look for. Your understanding of it improves just by participating in class and you end up studying less, but more efficiently that way.

5.  Stay healthy. 5 key steps to a good body and mind to start with, for me at least, are:

- plenty of water (your urine should be transparent)

- good food, that means lots of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains. Try cutting off all animal products from your diet. I know I sound like an insane person but they are not beneficial in any way. You are reading this right now, so chances are that you are a studyblr. If so, you do not ignore knowledge when you stumble upon it. Whatever that knowledge might be. That’s why you should  check out this comprehensive tumblr post on veganism and why our bodies are not meant to eat animal-derived products.

- sort your thoughts and/or sweat the stress out. Both are crucial for your mental health. Whichever approach you prefer, they are both equally effective. Meditation, yoga and stretching is perfect for peaceful dealing with bad emotions/ thoughts in general. And going for a run/bike ride or even kickboxing is perfect for letting the stress out by exercising.

- sleep enough. Whatever that means to you. If you feel fine with just 6 hours of sleep, that’s ok. If you NEED 9 hours, that’s ok too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Going to sleep early doesn’t mean you are boring. It means that you are actually mature enough to take care of your body and mind the way you want to. If anyone is giving you a hard time with it (especially if you are in a dormitory), ignore them. You do you!

- try to avoid people who are not supportive/with whom you are not yourself. It’s ok to have many acquaintances. You do not have to trust them completely. But try picking people in your inner circle carefully. You should feel comfortable with them. Laugh uncontrollably and make weird faces. Not think about everything you say and do to feel accepted.

So yes, that’s a wrap. If you want to see more posts like this one let me know. Also, I think about starting a series of updates about my life as an international IB student in England. If you would like to see them, also let me know :D