25 May, Saturday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Productivity tools

Kirjoittanut: Kamil Wójcik - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

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Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.

In past years I have read quite a few personal development books. There is also a fair amount of videos online in which people share their wisdom. Videos just like books at first glance might be a revelation. I got to join 5 AM club, run every day, stay hydrated, speed read, invest in stocks, learn random skills, meal prep and whatnot. One could make a great cookbook on how to turn oneself from a human being into a human doing. In all seriousness, many of these initiatives, books and videos are great, but for certain people and at certain stages of their life. Not all will work for everyone. Unfortunately, we cannot have it all – I learned it the hard way.

Proakatemia (akatemia) offers an interesting study model where many of us will – often unintentionally – explore our own limits while attempting to have it all. What it means to have it all is very relevant. For me, it means fulfilling the duties assigned to my roles. Just to name a few roles in my life: a father of two, a husband, a friend, akatemia’s team member and an active community member, and a weekend athlete. To even begin with these, it’s good to eat well and get some sleep – at times these are challenges in themselves.

The list above is my own personal puzzle, I balance it daily, and I need to make choices. Although, here I would like to focus more on the professional aspect. I have been in a few different roles at akatemia: long-term JoRy member, first Business Leader, Sustainable Business team founder and head, and initiator of various projects. I like to think of myself as an active community as well as my own team member.

Below I wanted to show how very basic tools helped me with it, furthermore, these are the daily tools we all use at akatemia, and I’m still learning how to utilize them better. My favourite productivity tools are a notebook, a calendar, a to-do, and file storage. I must use these to stay organized, be in the right place at the right time, follow up on my own progress, write ideas, reflect, and keep it all somewhere.

The notebook – this can take many forms. In the paja I only use pen and paper, and in the meetings face to face as well. While during online meetings, it’s easier for me to open the text editor.

According to Universal Publishing, writing by hand helps kids learn. As I’m learning every day, I like to think it does help me too and maybe because I’m a little childish too. Other example benefits are improved remembering and comprehension.

Nevertheless, laptops and other electronics have their place too. It doesn’t matter which app we use, as long as we have control of the notes. I personally like to use Apple Notes, simply because it has always been there, it’s free and has all I need and nothing that I don’t. It’s also always in my pocket on my phone, as well as anytime I open my laptop.

The calendar – a mighty tool. Paperback or electronic, it’s your choice. Personally electronic is my own preference. In theory, everyone knows how to use their calendar, yet I occasionally get phone calls: What time and where did we agree to meet? Where I answer: I have sent you a calendar invitation <3.

I would like to highlight that calendar doesn’t only help me to plan and track my schedule, but it’s a really important tool for reevaluation and reflection. How much time did I really use for the task given? Was this meeting necessary or could it have been an email? Did I reach my goals for the week? It’s an essential tool in almost any time of work we do.

Our calendars are also a good reflection of our values. Where our precious time goes? I don’t mark my playtime with kids on the calendar, although I try to mark things that are not strictly work related but support my well-being. Simply to keep reminding myself of them.

To-do list – a calendar is one thing, but having a simple to-do list is a personal must. I’m so forgetful, I cannot imagine living without it. I can go to the grocery store to buy two things and I will call my wife to ask what the other one was. I don’t feel bad about it, I just have a system to deal with it. On the go, Siri is my personal assistant. I can simply ask Siri to remind me about calling my mom in the evening and it will be there. Zero effort. While for writing down tweek.so to-do list has served me well, it’s free, works great on the phone as well as the desktop. I simply keep it as my home page, therefore even when I don’t have the intention of seeing my to-do list it will pop up and remind me about undone errands and tasks.

File storage – I like to keep my files accessible. While studying at TAMK, we are offered a full package of tools. Office, Teams, Zoom and one of them is also OneDrive. It’s a great way to keep files in place, share and co-create. Therefore, the cloud has been always in use for me.

Secondly, I do search for a lot of information online, including articles, academic papers, book pdfs or videos. I used to just add them as a bookmark, but that’s messy. Zotero offers much more, for example, tags or a great ability to create citations by drag and drop. Still need to remember to follow TAMK’s guidelines, but it does save a lot of trouble.

I hope you find these useful. It’s worth keeping in mind that these work for me, but I like to think that starting with these most basic tool is easier and as needs come up upgrade.

Have a productive spring!

Universal Publishing Blog. ‘The Benefits of Writing by Hand: How Handwriting Helps Kids Learn’, 7 July 2018. https://upub.net/blog/benefits-of-writing-by-hand/.

‘Tweek Calendar — Minimal To Do List and Weekly Task Planner App’. Accessed 10 March 2023. https://tweek.so/.

‘Zotero | Your Personal Research Assistant’. Accessed 10 March 2023. https://www.zotero.org/.

Dynamic and entrepreneurial developer of new ideas. Focus on coaching and sustainable development.

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