5 Steps to Effective Note Taking & Acing Your Next Exam

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Study Tips | 9 comments

5 Steps to Effective Note Taking and Acing Your Next ExamNote taking is one of the most important skills to master if you wish to be successful in high school and college. When you are sitting all day in class, it is easy for your mind to start to wander, but if you are taking notes, you are forced to concentrate on the teacher’s words and think through the concepts he or she is discussing. Even better, the notes you jot down provide a written record of the most important information covered in class, making life much easier when it is time to study for the final exam.

In today’s post, I share five important steps that have helped me supercharge my note taking and use those notes most effectively when studying for exams.

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4 Essential Books on Writing for Every Writer’s Toolbox

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Books, Writing | 6 comments

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The seventeenth century writer Ben Johnson once observed, “For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries. To read the best authors, observe the best speakers: and much exercise of his own style.”

Johnson’s words emphasize that if we want to learn to write well, we must study the rules of grammar and the techniques of great authors. Before we can construct a palace with our own words, we need a foundation with which to build. In today’s post, I’m sharing four books that have served as several of my best writing teachers. They’ve helped me strengthen my knowledge of grammar and develop my stylistic technique. I hope they will also help you on your way to mastering the craft of writing.

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Inspiring Writing Workspace

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Creativity, Productivity, Writing | 8 comments

writingworkspaceMy parents recently surprised me with a wonderful gift: a beautiful leather office chair. Though I do all of my writing on my laptop (it’s easy to carry around so I can create a workspace nearly anywhere), I have found that I am much more productive when working in my room at my desk. Naturally, this new chair was the perfect addition to my little writing office.

Every writer needs a tranquil, comfortable place where he or she can retreat to, a private laboratory to experiment with new ideas and plan out new projects. The other day I was looking through the photos of the workplaces of a number of famous authors. They were all unique; some were large and sprawling while others were cramped and disorderly. But all of them shared five important characteristics that seemed essential when creating an inspiring workspace. Read on to discover these five important traits and how you too can create your own writing laboratory.

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5 Daily Habits to Feed Your Creativity

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Creativity | 14 comments

5 daily habitsI have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with to-do lists. Writing up a list of everything I need to accomplish for the day makes me feel organized and in control. And, of course, it helps me meet deadlines and finish important projects. But sometimes I become so overwhelmed by all of the things that I need to accomplish that I forget to take time to recharge my creativity.

That’s when I thought to myself: why not add several activities to my list that will help re-inspire me after completing the other slightly more mundane tasks? By making sure to check them off my to-do list each day, they will quickly become daily habits. Without further ado, here’s a little peek at the most important section of my to-do list: five daily habits that feed my creativity. Add these five activities to your to-do list, and you’ll soon be leveling up your creativity too.

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How to Accomplish Any Goal: The SMART Guide to Making Your Dreams a Reality

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Foreign Language, Productivity, Study Tips, Time Management | 10 comments

The SMART method is a fantastic fail-safe five step approach to accomplishing your goals.

The SMART method is a fantastic fail-safe five step approach to accomplishing your goals.

It’s easy to set goals. Sometimes it’s even easy taking those initial steps towards achieving them. Maybe we want to learn to play an instrument so we buy a guitar and sign up for lessons. The first few days are fun, but somehow life gets in the way, and it becomes more and more difficult to find time to practice. Or maybe we want to learn a foreign language. We buy several books that promise we will be fluent in a matter of months, but after memorizing a few phrases, our interest wanes and our goal is abandoned. What are we doing wrong? How do we maintain that original interest and energy that motivated us during those initial stages? In today’s post, I’ll share a fantastic fail-safe five-step approach called the S.M.A.R.T. method that has helped me transform my goals from dreams into reality.

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