Tag Archives: student

Student/User Profile: @MattMurphyMSWym: Inspirational Blogging Jokester

Matt Murphy was always one of our strong advocates, so we decided to interview him, to learn more of how he used and continues to use our services. Matt is an inspirational youth worker by day, and a super blogger/jokester by night! But ah- that didn’t stop him from obtaining his MSW from Adelphi University and a M.Div. from Denver Seminary.

How did Matt do all this?!? Haha, of course with Producteev!

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Pre-Producteev

Before using Producteev, Matt used a combination good old-fashioned pen and paper, and iCal- which worked quite well for him with small projects. As the responsibilities starting piling on, he came to realize that he needed something that would help him organize and make timelines. 

Prior to joining, there were several incidents that took place, which led Matt to realize that he needed to spice things up with his task management. He wrote us, “Once I didn’t realize, but the system had an error and asked me where do I want to sync my tasks and calendar from. I clicked the wrong button and poof!  Right before the busiest time of the season I lost all of my tasks (assignments) that were due in all of my classes then and there. Missed the due date on one assignment, scrambled and had to spend all that time re-entering all my data again.”

Syncing data across platforms and new computers proved to be challenging as time went on, and Matt decided to look for Productivity software on his iPhone. One of his buddies heard of this, and was quick to enthusiastically suggest Producteev. Matt has been hooked since then.

The Awakening
Matt was quick to learn how to maneuver Producteev, and is a fan of each update that is rolled out which is “making it better, not more complicated.” He also appreciated the fact that he could create a workspace for each aspect of his life, “It gives me the ability to see them all or just focus on one task. Additionally, being able to tag and prioritize tasks helped me either do a particular urgency of a task first or find the one that I needed to get done.”
He soon noticed a difference in his execution of tasks, especially those outside of school. He loved that he could set guidelines and timetables to assist him with completion. Matt found that he was able to multitask better across jobs and classes in his seminary. When it came to schoolwork, Matt would “organize using the tags to group by class and then look at everything by date. By noting which ones were bigger (by giving them a higher priority) I knew if I needed to focus on a task later in the calendar first, rather than a task in the immediate future.” As less tasks were falling through the cracks, Matts level of confidence was increasing.
Happy Ending
Matt continues to use Producteev with great success, and recommended it to several people. He even blogged about his love for it! Matt clearly made great use out of what Producteev has to offer through many phases of his life, and it helped shape him to become the inspiration that he is today. That’s right Matt- you keep on #winning!
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Student profile: @aaronrcouch highly effective & soon-to-be vet tech

Aaron Couch is so good at time management that his skills get him dates! ;) More seriously, though, he is a passionate Veterinary Techonology student, and he recently shared a video of a Horseback Rider Delivering Medicine in a Hurricane. If you watch it, it may remind you of a scene from True Grit.

Like many Producteev students, he applies proven methodologies to tackle his to-do list. The following post covers several aspects of Aaron’s busy life, all conveniently managed on Producteev.

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As a college student, Producteev has really changed the way I manage my tasks and has greatly improved my time management skills. The thing I like the most about it is I can have all my tasks in one place, instead of Post-It notes and scattered loose sheets of paper with lists on them covering my desk—the list or task might start there, but it always ends up in Producteev.  

Staying in Sync with Google
Having a planner in class is nice, but adding it to Producteev is awesome. I usually already have Google Docs open and typing notes, so my second tab is the Producteev web app. When the instructor says “Next week we are having a quiz over chapters 4 and 5,” I am immediately ready to type it in my tasks since my hands are already at the keyboard. Each night I then go through my planner and add any additional tasks into Producteev that I wasn’t able to during that day.

Workspaces in Producteev is a college student’s dream organization tool. It’s like completely changing your desk in your dorm with one turn (or click in this case).  As editor of my school’s newspaper, Parliamentarian of Student Senate, school event photographer, Veterinary Technology student and of course CEO of my life, I have a ton of tasks in some very different areas. I have found Workspaces really helps with this.

With each of my different responsibilities come tasks and, of course, with tasks, comes a schedule (otherwise you won’t get anything done on time). Producteev does have a calendar to see when your tasks are, but the most robust calendar client online is Google Calendar—I use it for everything! The best part is Producteev can sync with Gcal so you never need to add a task twice. Thought that was the best part? Wrong. Each Workspace gets their own calendar so you can really stay organized.

A fellow student once told me after class, “Aaron, I wish I was as organized as you are. You have everything so organized online with your class notes and schedule!” I realized then that I really wish more students would use these tools because it helps so much to stay on top of things and get them done on time!

Applying Stephen R. Covey’s Methods
I’m currently using tags (labels) along with one of the principles from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I highly recommend the book to everyone: parent, teacher, employee, employer and especially students. It will not only change the way you manage your time or treat others, but it will completely redirect your life in the utmost positive direction.

A core concept is Time Management, in which Covey describes our “to-dos” in four quadrants. They are “Urgent and Important”, “Not Urgent, but Important”, “Not Important, but Urgent” and “Not Important or Urgent”.  I’m not going to describe each one, but you can read them in the picture. So what do these have to do with tags? I recently redeveloped all my tags and thought I’d make them simple—starting with these four. I also have workspace-based tags (labels) like “Personal”, “School”, “Work”, and so on, but these four are the foundation.

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Tagging, like Workspaces, is one of the fascinating features of Producteev. I love how you can adapt them to what best works for you. Some other great useful features are the filters and starring. They’re very useful if you take the time to organize them to your liking. Staring helps to prioritize your tasks from 1 to 5, five being the most urgent (and important). The “Hot!” filter is especially… hot! ;)  With labels, filters, and starring combined, you can really take hold of “producteevity”. OK enough of the puns, but really, it’s amazing how a flexible task manager with powerful Google integration, coupled with a sound productivity method, enables me to get *everything* done!

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If you’re a student looking to collaborate with friends and manage tasks for free, please visit Producteev for Education

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Student profile: @silversteelwolf MD/PhD candidate who gets things done

Michael Castello makes home-made pizza, does DIY projects around the house, camps in the great outdoors *and* is saving the world as an MD/PhD student. But don’t get too excited, ladies ;) This man’s taken – happily married to a beautiful wife and living the life in SoCal.

Lucky for us, Michael makes GTD and Producteev work for him. This post is about how he manages tasks in grad school as a med student.

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For me, digital task management began with Microsoft Outlook somewhere in my “tween” years. By the time middle school came around, I was syncing it with a Windows Mobile PDA, awkwardly carrying it around wherever I could. Today, I find myself using Producteev to try and wrangle the myriad of to-do items that come with being a married MD/PhD student who has too many hobbies.

Producteev Everywhere
I use a number of different devices, so I interact with Producteev in just all about of its forms in the course of my day. On my desktop PC, I use the web interface and try to process anything I woke up remembering that I needed to accomplish. At school or in the lab, I use a MacBook Pro, and have recently fallen in love with the desktop app. It allows me to break Producteev out of the browser, sorting it to its own space and minimizing the ability of the rest of the internet to distract me while I am processing my tasks. Finally, on the go I use my smartphone, running the superior Android OS. Until there is a native Android app for Producteev, I sync with Astrid – which is actually how I discovered Producteev in the first place.

Overcoming Smartphone Challenges
One of the many things I like about Producteev is how easy it is to assign all of the relevant meta-information to a task as you are creating it. While my fingers are still on the keyboard, I can set priority, due date, workspace, and tags, so as soon as I press enter, the task is formatted exactly how it needs to be, no further processing required.

I’ve found, however, that adding that extra information is more than a little cumbersome on a soft keyboard smartphone, simply because the symbols take extra effort to access. When I’m on my phone I’m usually in the middle of doing something else and don’t have the time to carefully format a task. I deal with this by having Astrid set to put all new tasks into the brain dump workspace. If I think of something while mobile, I enter it as quickly as possible, saving the categorization and cleanup for when I have time at a full-size computer, such as at the beginning or end of the day.

Other Integrations & Experiments
I’ve been playing around a bit with integrating Evernote with Producteev. If I take meeting notes in Evernote, I can not only search through them later, I can also email the entire note to Producteev as a task, with all the surrounding information attached. Be aware that if the note has a lot of images and other content (such as a clipped web page), it can generate a good deal of garbage notes as well.

For processing email-based tasks, I generally either still forward the email to Producteev with the appropriate syntax in the subject line or switch to the app and enter the task myself.

I’m hoping in the future to make more use of the shared workspaces, both at home between myself and my wife and between the members of my lab. I see this as being helpful for identifying tasks that require cooperation to complete and for sending others to-do items that they can prioritize as they see fit.

Adapting GTD
I’m not a strict follower of Getting Things Done (GTD), but I am enamored with the idea of organizing and breaking down tasks into items with clear contexts and end points. Heavily inspired by this article, I set up a number of different context-related workspaces. Each one contains tasks that I must complete or remember in that specific context: Home, Lab, School, Errands, Computer, and Communication. I also have a workspace for projects, and a brain dump. Keep in mind that each new workspace will need to be separately configured to integrate with Google Calendar and other services.

With this many workspaces, the overview pane becomes quite valuable – I can quickly get an idea of what has be accomplished over the next few days regardless of context. I can also switch to a specific workspace to keep other types of tasks from looming and overwhelming me. I’ve found that this has helped me focus a great deal – I can concentrate on lab tasks while at lab, even as I think of and add things I’ll need to do later at home.

Projects
I’ve found that having a separate workspace for projects and other “some day” items is helpful. This is where tags come in especially handy: A project often has a number of steps, which I try to break down into individual tasks. Tagging all of these with a project helps keep them together, and priorities can be used to assign them a kind of hierarchy so it’s obvious which one has to be tackled first.

Final Thoughts
At this point I’ve been actively using Producteev for about nine months and it’s been extremely useful for helping me organize and remember everything I need to accomplish. It’s always a struggle to not get overwhelmed and to take decisive action to complete a task, but anything that helps lower the activation energy required is a boon – and Producteev makes for a wonderful catalyst. 

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With the help of Michael and other college/higher education evangelists, Producteev is proud to announce free premium accounts for anyone with a .edu address. Sign up at Producteev for Education.

For more on Producteev-Evernote integration see a guest post by Dan Gold.
Browse our student tag for articles being built around task management in a school setting.

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#ProducteevEdu: Organize. Collaborate. Get more done. Enjoy college!

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Awesome news: starting with the new school year today, we’re launching Producteev for Education and giving away our Premium plan to anyone with a .edu address.

Students are one of the most common demographics on Producteev. They use it for everything from managing their homework to keeping a simple shopping list. But, with Producteev’s freemium model, it’s been pricey for students to collaborate with others. Now it’s free!

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With ProducteevEdu, you can now easily manage tasks for yourself or with your group, classmates, professors, and more – the possibilities are literally endless. And using our web, native, and mobile apps, you can take your tasks to go and manage them from anywhere!

Remember Producteev integrates with students’ favorite tools too, so you can sync with Google Calendar and email in a task! With our newest crowdsourcing feature, you can even keep a workspace completely private but get help on a specific task by sharing it on twitter, facebook, or over email in one click!

Producteev for Education is already being embraced by superusers and newbies. After doing a private demo at Columbia University (two team members’ Alma mater), student governments, developer groups, and labs on campus have contacted us about getting it implemented in their environment.

We’re really excited about how students will use Producteev! We hope you’re excited too, so don’t put off productivity a minute longer – sign up today!

Bonus: Anyone can use their unique sign up URL to refer peeps and have a chance to win a Kindle, iPod, or even access to the awesome Producteev3 beta! =)

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Producteev for Students: Breeze Through that To-Do List!

Producteev (the ultimate to-do list application) makes it easy for you to schedule not only your coursework, but also a life outside of it!
 
What comes to mind at the mention of the word ‘school,’ or ‘college’? Ok, besides the parties! ;) It’s all the things you have to do, right? This is where the syllabus is your guide! Use it to get things scheduled and out of sight, out of mind. That way, you can enjoy other things (pssst, where’s the party Friday night?)How Producteev can help you lead an active social life ;)

  • Plan your complete syllabus. That’s right, plan ahead to have more time later.
    With each syllabus, scan through assignments, plot titles and due dates accordingly, on any Producteev application (web, mobile, desktop). Tip: set
    reminders to give yourself a little nudge. These are available via e-mail, IM.
  • Label to-dos. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. ;) Assign a ‘label’ to each class. This helps you file them and provides a good visual, in addition to our calendar view.
  • Add notes to anything. Now don’t get carried away, though you’re probably suspect for getting note-happy!  The caveat is to make notes action-oriented so that you’re actually helping yourself move forward, instead of just collecting useless information. Tip: click on the number of notes (to the right of a task title) in your task list to expand the note window.
  • Free & collaborative. Study buddies? No problem! Sign up below for the completely free version for groups and individual students!
  • Procrastination just got easier! ;) Well, more like, you can move deadlines around with ease. Adjust dates, as your schedule sees fit. You can either change due dates in the SCHEDULE pop up, or from the Calendar View.

Bottom line for newbies:
 

Ridiculously easy interface. Not a tech-whiz? No problem! Just one look at the interface, and you will see that it is very basic and user-friendly. There are also video tutorials to help you get started, as well as additional videos to help you get moreso into the nitty-gritty.

It’s never too late, but why wait? Sign up to begin using Producteev for Education now! Doing everything you’re expected to do as a student is now a piece of cake!

Recommended article:
20 Ways to Plan for Student Success with Producteev

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20 Ways to Plan for Student Success with Producteev feat. @cmspearman @meglish

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“As an undergraduate student at Penn State, using Producteev on my android phone (Astrid sync) along with the webapp and google calendar sync really keeps me productive. Also, using labels and the new smartsearch feature allows me to categorize my tasks, which kept me on track as I successfully applied and was accepted to medical school” – Chris Spearman, Penn State. 

“I use Producteev to manage all of my course assignments, whether as whole project due dates or as individual tasks – whichever I might happen to need. I don’t know what I would do without the multicolored labels, and I love that I can make them match the tabs and folders I use for hard copies of work. I also use it to keep track of the courses I TA for, so I can better remember to get grades back to students and review their online content at a consistent rate. Being able to post notes to items is perfect – otherwise I end up with scribbles on scrap paper that I lose or toss. As much as I’d love to go fully digital, it’s not always an option, and Producteev is adaptive enough to meet my needs as each semester brings new requirements and challenges” - Meghan Dornbrock, Syracuse University.

Like Chris and Meghan, you can plan for student success with Producteev by:
keeping a calendar

  • Record all major assignments and their due dates
  • Add tests, quizzes & projects
  • Label to-dos by class, example: ECON101 or Economics
  • Sync with gcal, reminders available on your mobile device
  • Set notifications and never miss a deadline

outlining tasks

  • Create smaller tasks for big projects 
  • Use the starring system to prioritize your list
  • Keep track of tasks that repeat regularly

storing important documents

  • Email yourself class syllabi and other important documents
  • Scan and store graded assignments
  • Preview attachments in a single click
  • Download or print if needed

managing files

  • Back up everything (or most everything)
  • Save drafts & final versions
  • Search for and locate exactly what you need

organizing at the push of a button

  • Stay connected and in sync with one of our many smartphone applications (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)
  • Be organized 24/7

keeping up with contacts

  • Maintain an address book with emails and phone numbers – whether classmates or instructors

collaborating

  • Share Producteev with fellow students and learn more about educational discounts
  • Invite classmates to your workspace and get things done as a group

How do you use Producteev to be awesome in school?

Related post from Pierre-Simon Ntiruhungwa, ESCP Europe

Photo credit: Lawrence

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Q & A: How Producteev is “pretty awesome” for committed college student

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Pierre-Simon Ntiruhungwa is a business student at ESCP Europe, in Paris. Like most over-achieving college students, Pierre-Simon is both a juggler and a hustler. He uses Producteev to get a hold of his academic projects, student job, and internship.

Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev.
Pierre-Simon: Producteev really helps me organize the enormous amount of work I commit to doing. One of my favorite features is [GCal sync] the possibility of setting deadlines to tasks and then seeing them in my google calendar.

This is really helpful because I have an overview of all the things I need to do and when I have to do them. Producteev helps me balance my workload everyday. Above all, it helps me actually remember to do things, thanks to the reminders I am able to set.

Also, I just discovered natural language processing (NLP) on Producteev to help me set deadlines more quickly, and this is great! In addition, I like responding to Producteev emails once tasks are created. This is also great! I haven’t tried the other NLP capabilities, but it’sproven to be pretty awesome.

Q: How do you use Producteev?
Pierre-Simon: I’m currently at the end of my first year so I’m doing a three-month internship at an internet start up in Paris. At the same time I am working for a professional union called Junior Enterprise. I will resume school in a few days, and I look forward to using Producteev for my business school assignments!

Before I used to put assignments on paper without being able to keep track of their deadlines. I can’t imagine how any student, especially ones in universities as challenging and demanding as mine, can accomplish all of their assignments without a tool like Producteev.

Even at our age, it is good to practice organization and task management. Everyday, I have friends telling me how they forgot to do something. And the more I do group work, the more I will encourage my fellow students to use Producteev so that we can mutually benefit….

All this, is of course, aimed at one thing: getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to spend more time having fun. Because we’re still young!

Thanks @psntir! If you’re looking for help with the parts of your life that you juggle, give Producteev task management that works the way you do, a try.

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