Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Sorry…

September 12, 2006

Sorry about the lack of posting recently. I’ve been having some family issues which have left me preoccupied and unable to think of things to write. It’s nothing too serious but it’s something that is hard to ignore which makes it hard to sit down and write a coherent blog post. Expect me back sometime late this week or early next week.

Study… aragh! And a question for the readers.

September 11, 2006

My exam timetable was released this morning and logging on I see that I’ve got what amounts to a pretty rotten one. I’ve got one exam on the Wednesday in the first week of the exam period, another on the Thursday and then my last one is two weeks after that! Horrible! Having all three in the first week would be worse but it doesn’t seem right to have two close together then ages and ages before the third. Anyway, this means I have to start studying. For my law subjects I’ve got open-book exams. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I’m horrible at exams and a curse because it means they expect a much greater standard of work.

Over the next few weeks I’ll make an effort to post a blog about organising notes for exams – whether they be open or closed-book but in the meantime I’d love some suggestions about how to go about studying. Any ideas?

So, my question for the day: how do you study and revise for exams?

Comments

September 9, 2006

Hi, I just wanted to make a quick post about comments. It’s great to see people getting involved on this site because me rambling on about what works for me isn’t any where near as interesting as a whole bunch of people talking about what works for them. I read all comments which are posted on this site and I’ll make an effort to reply to those which ask a question but I can’t promise to personally respond to each comment. I will reply to e-mails, however ( thepotentialblog@gmail.com ). If you post a comment on this site then assume I read it and think “thanks very much” because it’s pointless for me to respond to each comment with another comment thanking the commentor for their comment. I just wanted to let readers know that I do read and very much appreciate the comments – keep them coming!

Howdy!

September 8, 2006

A big hello to all those who’ve stopped by from lifehacker. Almost had a heart attack when I checked the stats page and realised that over 4,000 people read what I wrote!! Hope at least a few of you find the site useful and stick around to read more.

Inbox Thoughts

September 3, 2006

I posted earlier this week about a new GTD program called Inbox (link). I’ve had a play with it and here are some of my thoughts on what is a very promising program.

When I first opened Inbox what jumped out at me was the clear and uncluttered display. The second thing was that it is very obviously beta. The third was that it’s a very, very useful application. It’s a bit like a big notebook with spots for saving information, spots for keeping current projects and spots for keeping track of the why – why are you doing this. It’s also got space to record the goals of projects which is a very good way of focusing when starting a project.

I had a quick play on it but it’s really too beta to use as an organisational tool for the moment but it’s certainly shown me the potentials of the GTD system  and illustrated what simple software is capable of. I’m hoping the final release will be freeware but I’m not so sure it will be. If it is, however, I’ll be sure to download it and it might even be the first productivity software which has kept me interested for more than fifteen minutes.

My System

September 2, 2006

I’ve said before that I find it much easier to look at the organisational systems of others and adapt them to my own life than I do to read about various theories. This is a brief outline of my own personal system in the hope it helps someone.

There are three main tools I use to organise my life. Number one is my hipster PDA. This was a tool “invented” by Merlin Mann of 43Folders and isn’t very complex but is very useful. Basically a hPDA is a stack of index cards held together with a bulldog clip. I also punch holes in the top corners of mine to hold it together with a ring-clip. The second is a pack of post-it notes and the third is a notebook.

The hPDA I use to write useful information which I will need later – reference numbers for books, lists of dates I need to remember (birthdays, assignment due dates and the like).

The post-it notes are used like the hPDA but for stuff which will later be put into my notebook. I started off using the hPDA for this but discovered that having bits of cardboard scattered through my notebook was annoying. Post-it’s a good for writing on in class because there’re small and easily accessable.

The notebook I use is a square-lined A5 book from Kikki-K (in Australia). Each day I write a list of things I need to do in that day (or just in general) and cross them off as I go (original, huh?). There’s also a monthly calendar for dates and random information I need to know as well as lists of books to read, information for this blog and generally my paper life.

Between these three tools I have all the stuff I need to keep my life in order. Hope this helps!

The big picture

September 1, 2006

I’ve been hearing a lot about goals recently – finding one, keeping one, making it workable and working towards it – but I’ve never really been that interested. I’m only 20 and since I don’t want to be a member of parliament, Prime Minister, partner in a law firm by the time I’m 35 or nobel prize-winner I figured that I was happy to go along with my life as it happens. This doesn’t mean that every now and then it’s not good to get an idea of the “big picture”. Yesterday was one such example. I’ve been bogged down in study recently and I found myself in the city with nothing to do for an afternoon and so decided to head on into the County Court. This is the second tier of the court system in Australia and is where most interesting cases are heard. I spent an afternoon sitting on on court room five hearing a work-cover claim which wasn’t particularly relevant to what I’m studying but just sitting there (in my jeans feeling very under-dressed) and listening to the lawyers give their closing arguments was so useful and inspiring. All those men and women had spend years doing what I’m training to do at the moment. They’ve all struggled through contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, evidence… And it was great to see what the point of everything is.

The point of this blog post is to encourage all of you to go out and spend a day or an afternoon doing what you want to do when you leave uni. Spend a day in a big office, a school or a hospital. Obviously it’s easy for me because the court is open to anyone who can get through the metal detector but what I gained from the experience is immeasurable and I’m planning on going back next time I need to get an idea of the big picture.