Welcome to my quick two-part series on productivity tools that may enhance your law school experience and legal career. Now, if you’re not too tech inclined, please don’t get nervous when I say productivity tools. This series will cover both tech tools and non-tech tools that can enhance productivity. Part 1 will focus on tech tools that can increase productivity for law students. Whereas Part 2 will focus on non-tech tools that can benefit legal professionals. So if you’re not so tech inclined, don’t check out just yet. This series is for everyone!
Part 1: Tech Tools for the Aspiring Techie Law Student
As a law student, I’m sure you’re no stranger to the quandary of how to stay on top of everything. Each day you probably wake up to a laundry list of items that you need to get done but more frequently than not you find that you’ve only completed at best one or two of these items. To make matters worse, weeks later you find yourself with the exact same list of things you set out to accomplish at the start of the month with only additional items compounded on an already lengthy list. You probably ask yourself “Where have these 24 hours gone?” “How have I not accomplished anything, when I’ve been at the library for 12 hours straight?” Well, to be honest, these 24 hours are right in the palm of your hand. But using these 24 hours efficiently lies within whether you’ve been deliberate about your productivity or instead just set out to complete daily tasks by chance with no game plan. If this is your problem, then you’re not alone! Being productive is extremely difficult for almost any human, but there are numerous tools out there to assist with productivity difficulties.
If you’re an aspiring techie, I’m sure you’re no stranger to the plethora of tech tools available. However, this post isn’t meant to overwhelm you with everything available on the market. Instead, I will pinpoint five tech tools that may be helpful with increasing the productivity of law students trying to stay afloat within stressful law school experiences.
1. When You Have a Million Things to Get Done and 15 Different To-Do Lists
Give Trello a try! Trello is a project management app that also works as a next level to-do list manager. If you’re anything like me, you probably keep 15 different to-do lists between that crumbled piece of paper in your backpack, a Notes app on your phone and your daily planner. Trello is an excellent productivity tool that gives you the option of putting all your to-do lists in one place. Having everything in one place increases your chance of actually getting everything done which then increases your productivity. Check out some exciting ways to use this app here.
2. When you have a Full Course Load and you Feel Overwhelmed
When you have a full course load it’s normal to feel overwhelmed because you have that crippling fear that you’re going to miss something. If you don’t have all your classes, exams and tasks organized, chances are you will miss something. But this never has to be your issue again if you give My Study Life a try. This is an app that gives you the option of tracking your classes, tasks, assignments and exams in one place. This app is essentially the ultimate student calendar that can actually remind you of upcoming tasks and pinpoint conflicts within your schedule. With this app there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed.
3. When you Need to Schedule a Study Group Meeting or Stay on Top of your Extracurricular E-board Activities
If you’re a 2L or a 3L, you’ve probably experienced firsthand the difficulties of planning a simple study group meeting or an E-board meeting because everyone is so busy! While it may be difficult for you to plan a meeting based on this limitation, apps such as Doodle allow you to overcome this difficulty by putting the ease back into planning. This app provides a meeting coordinator to see everyone’s availability all in one place, making it easier to plan around everyone’s schedules.
4. When you are Unable to Meet as a Group
Additionally, for those times that you’re unable to meet as a group, apps such as Slack helps to enhance the communication of group members, by allowing members to send direct messages and facilitate discussions that could be easily missed in an email. Because, let’s be real, who actually likes checking email in law school?
5. When you Feel like you may just about Lose it
When dealing with law school stresses, it’s very easy to forget the importance of mindfulness in enhancing productivity. Being stressed leads to being burned out and being burned out means that you’re ultimately not productive. Therefore, for all those times when you feel like you may just lose it, apps such as Headspace allows you to prioritize mindfulness during your day. Headspace is a meditation app that only requires about 3-5 minutes of your time to simply breathe and reflect on the importance of being calm. Taking the time to be mindful daily will increase your productivity by enhancing your focus and minimizing that stubborn law school angst. Incorporating this app into your day could make all the difference when your mind is all over the place.
I hope that these productivity tech tools will benefit you in law school. Now, if you’re a law student that prefers a traditional non-tech way to enhance productivity, please continue to Part 2 of this series. Although I will focus on non-tech tools for legal professionals, these tools can certainly be beneficial for your law school career.
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