Posts From Julie

Invest in yourself | Update your skills

When someone decides to enter a swimming carnival or a marathon or any other competition, they don’t just turn up on the day. They prepare,  they start training, they may even have a medical check, and they buy the right shoes and equipment. However, this doesn’t always apply when people decide to go back to school or start university. If it has been a while since studying, you may notice a few changes. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Computers and Laptops

Computers/laptops are not optional; they’re essential in higher education and most workplaces. You may not have a laptop at home, most colleges and universities have computer labs where you can use a computer, but you do need to know how to use at least ‘Word’ and ‘PowerPoint’, or the Mac equivalent Pages and Keynote.

The Library

The library has a wealth of resources, and many of these are available online. No longer do you have to go into the library. You can find articles and download them onto your computer. 

Referencing software

When you download the items, there’s no need to print them out. Use referencing software to store the documents you have downloaded. There is a selection to choose from, such as Mendeley, EndNote, and Zotero. I use Mendeley and EndNote. Mendeley is free and works across all platforms and very easy to use, but it doesn’t work Mac’s Pages. Endnote is similar, many colleges and universities provide free access to their students; however, if you are not a student or your education provider does not pay for it you will need to pay for this. I have not used Zotero, so I can’t comment on it. Here are some of the benefits of EndNote and Mendeley:

  1. You can store all your materials and find them quickly again.
  2. You can highlight, add notes, and save them.
  3. Citing your sources within a report, essay, or other written document is a simple process.
  4. Producing your bibliography or list of references is simple, and it is an easy task to change referencing styles.
  5. You can store all your materials and find them quickly again.
  6. You can highlight, add notes, and save them.
  7. Citing your sources within a report, essay, or other written document is a simple process.
  8. Producing your bibliography or list of references is simple, and it is an easy task to change referencing styles.

Note-taking

Handwritten or electronic notes? That is the question. It’s a personal choice. There are pros and cons for each method. Good note-taking skills make studying a lot easier. If you’re considering electronic notes, Evernote and OneNote are both excellent solutions.

Organisation Skills

  • Set up your bag and pencil case; make sure that you have a basic kit of supplies including pens, pencils, highlighters, a rule, eraser, coloured pens or textas, a USB, a folder, notepad, post-it notes. You can also add paper clips, a hole punch, stapler, and bulldog clips. All of these can be purchased from dollar shops, and stationery suppliers – shop around for bargains.
  • Make sure you use a diary; again, paper or electronic diaries are suitable. It is essential to learn how to manage your time.
  • Use folders on your computer to ensure your computer is organised and that you can find your notes and study guides easily.
  • If you don’t have an office space to work in, have a designated bag where you can keep all your study supplies, and if you work predominantly in a library, and have to travel there, try to purchase a bag on wheels. Don’t forget to add some earplugs, a travel mug, and some snacks.

Storage

It is still useful to have a USB; however, cloud storage such as Dropbox is very convenient because you can access your files from anywhere. Additionally, if you lose or break your computer, you haven’t lost all your work.

Basic Version 2 GB Free
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I will be adding many new videos to my YouTube channel to assist you in developing these skills, as well as a variety of downloadable printables and ebooks. To stay up-to-date, subscribe to my newsletter and YouTube channel, and please follow me on social media.

2 Responses

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