I’m not too fussy when it comes to studying. I can study in my bedroom or in the library or in a coffee shop without much difficulty. However, there are a few essential things that make every study session that little bit easier (and more fun)!
For so many years, I studied without noise-cancelling headphones and now looking back, I’m not sure how I did it! Whenever there’s an annoying background noise, like an air-conditioner or someone typing really loudly, I can put on my headphones and the noise is effectively gone. It makes me feel like I’m in my own little bubble and so I find it infinitely easier to stay focused on the work in front of me.
If you want to get your own pair, I’ve linked the ones I use here.
Study playlist or white noise
There’s a huge debate about whether or not you should study with music. Personally, I find that studying without music makes me much more likely to get distracted and the whole session is much less enjoyable. I almost always study with music, although music with lyrics or that I know well is a no-go for me! I’ve created my own playlists, which consist of movie scores and dramatic classical music, that I now associate with studying and whenever I play one of them, I instantly feel more productive. If you want to listen to my main study playlist, you can click here!
Focus Timer App
Unlike most people in the studygram community, I don’t use Forest. I’ve tried using it before and although I liked it a lot, I didn’t find that it made me any more productive than without it. I don’t like the idea of having to decide beforehand how long I will be able to stay focused for, especially as I find that some topics are more difficult and I find these more difficult to concentrate on for long periods of time. With Focus Timer App, the idea is to track the amount of time you are focused. Turning your phone face down instantly starts the focus timer and lifting it back up causes it to stop. This allows me to accurately gauge how long I have been working – sometimes I feel like I’ve been working for hours and it’s only been 10 minutes (or vice versa!). The app is paid, but for me this is 100% worth it as I use it every single time I want to study! Here is the link for it!
Having a large desk is not essential, but my is definitely part of my ideal study space! Since moving to university I’ve had to get used to using smaller desks as neither my dorm room or the room I have in our rented house now is big enough to fit a large desk. It means that I have to be a lot more creative in the way I lay out my things and can often be very restrictive, but it is definitely possible. This is one of the main reasons why I prefer studying in the library – we have massive desks and endless space to spread out!
IPad Pro + Apps
Similarly to my Bose headphones, I studied without an iPad for the majority of my life and it was completely fine! However, since getting my iPad last year, it’s become absolutely essential in my study routine. I love the fact that I always have all my notes with me and how easy it is to make nice, neat notes (who doesn’t love the undo button!). The main apps I use are Goodnotes 5, ANKI, Notion and Procreate.
I’m in the process of writing a blog post about why I think everyone should go paperless at university, so be sure to follow my blog to be updated when I post that! If you want to get the same iPad I have, you can get it here. Of course, I use it with the Apple Pencil, which you can get here.
- Bose Headphones
- Study playlist
- Focus Timer App
- Large desk
- IPad Pro + Apps (link to post about favourite iPad apps)
What are your study essentials?