A new school year is about to start, but this time, it’s all online. Studying and home are not aren’t a match made in productivity heaven -- but here are a couple of things to help you get in the zone and stay focused amid the chaos in the outside world.
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If you’re a huge reader and are comfortable with intaking literature through a screen, then ditch the paperbacks and go for a subscription-based book depository. Scribd offers unlimited access books, audiobooks, magazines, and other reads for only $8.99 a month. With over one million audiobooks, comics, and books, Scribd can be accessed through Android and iOS devices. You can enjoy your favorite guilty pleasure novels and access materials for research. You can pay with a credit or debit card, or PayPal. You can also check the 14-day trial to see whether this subscription will work for you.
Studying at home can be a nightmare if you’ve got noisy family members or share a room with annoying siblings. Consider purchasing a pair of noise-canceling earbuds to help you concentrate and boost productivity. You can find a pair of wireless Xiaomi airdots for as low as P1,000 on Shopee or Lazada -- or go the boujee route with a pair of Airpods pro.
Just remember fit and comfort are the main considerations when buying wireless earbuds. Make sure you check on the ear tips and that they fit your ear properly with an effective seal. More expensive models will include pads and buttons and will allow you to issue voice commands, take phone calls, increase or decrease the volume and skip a track.
Be careful when choosing a noise-canceling feature because the circuit connections of these buds will drain your batteries fast.
If your home isn’t equipped with a decently-fast and reliable internet connection, then consider making an upgrade before the school year starts. That may mean increasing your bandwidth or opting for a more stable provider -- whichever you need. Slow internet speeds can hinder productivity and demotivate you from studying and may be detrimental to your attendance if your school requires you to attend zoom classes.
A dedicated workspace
If you don’t have a dedicated area for studying at home, then consider setting up a workspace with old or new furniture. Having a space specifically for work will keep distractions away and make you more productive. You can have furniture delivered to your doorstep.
If you think a dedicated table and chair for work or study is a waste of money, think again. That space will separate you from your usual home or kitchen ambiance allowing for more focus. A chair created to support long hours of sitting can save you from backache and any other discomfort while working. Office tables and chairs pricing start from Php1,000 only. The price increases depending on the size and features of the furniture. When buying online, make sure you check on delivery charges and reviews.
The online G-suite is so convenient that you can do without the offline version, but in case of brownouts or connection issues, then having the traditional Microsoft Office setup will be a lifesaver. You can purchase it through the site through a credit card. Alternatively, you can ask your school to see if they offer this software package for free. The Microsoft 365 Family plan is priced at $99.99 or around Php5,000 for one year while the personal plan is at $69.99 or around Php3,500 per year. If you’re working from home and earning much from creating documents or writing articles, then a Php300 charge monthly for a legit office package is a winning feat.
You might not need this if you’re using MacBook since Apple offers the Pages as an alternative word processor allowing you to customize fonts, add graphics, and personalize text styles.
A dedicated digital notetaking software will streamline your online schooling experience and make the organization so much easier. Goodnotes is available on Apple devices for only P399. That’s about the price of a semester’s worth of notebooks, but will last you for years! It lets you manage documents and allows you to import PDF, PowerPoint, or Word files.
Canva is a graphic design tool that lets you make designs and images. Perfect for those who don’t have artistic training, Canva’s free account will let you use up to 8,000 free templates, 100 design types, and access hundreds of free graphics and photos. You can opt for a pro account at $10 or Php500 per month. This pro account lets you create logos with fonts and colors included in a brand kit. You can also make use of 60 million premium images, photos, graphics, and videos with custom templates.
Canva is not a necessity but if you want enhanced projects or presentations, then you can opt to try for the free account then upgrade later should you want to level up your access.
Getting online is the newest trend that emerged from the pandemic. Whether you're into education, marketing, writing, or tutorial, there are tools you can rely on to improve not just your experience but also your output. Legit original subscriptions can be costly but are a great investment for those who want to be at par in a competitive digital market.