Toolkit for writing and productivity Toolkit for writing and productivity

Remember the Milk

Not just for your shopping: great for managing academic tasks too! Remember the Milk is a free, simple to-do list manager that syncs across all your devices. Set deadlines and reminders for yourself, colour-code and prioritise your tasks. Separate tabs for 'personal' and 'work' let you see at a glance what needs to be done.

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Pomodoro Technique

Be more productive at anything with this 'timeboxing' technique. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Continue working for another 25 minutes, then have another 5-minute break. The work intervals are called “pomodoros” (Italian for tomato, and based on the tomato-shaped timer used by the inventor of the technique). Every four pomodoros you take a longer break (15–20 minutes).

Focussing for short periods of time interspersed with breaks can keep you more alert mentally and help you to be more productive than trying to make yourself work for hours all in one go.

This technique only needs a timer - which could be your phone or the oven timer! If you like, however, you can buy tomato-shaped timers and a book about the method.

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A literary 'project management studio', Scrivener gives you powerful visual tools for structuring, writing and editing long documents. It can be used for writing essays, research papers, dissertations, textbooks, and even planning whole courses. It enables you to:

  • refer to information from online journals, PDF documents or media files as you write
  • arrange and rearrange your thesis
  • check word, character, and page counts
  • create footnotes, endnotes and annotations as you write
  • choose from several common essay format templates such as APA and MLA to help format your work for submission.

The cost for an education license is approximately £25, but you can get a free 30-day trial available.

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Trello boards are web pages containing lists laid out horizontally on the page so you can get a bird's eye view of your project. Items within the lists  can be dragged and dropped to reorder them or to move them into other lists. Trello is a great to-do list and task manager, both for personal projects and collaborative work.

Free basic plan - £ for premium features

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