Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sample CF Article: Take Control of Your Time With Just Flash Cards and a Notebook


Where did the time go?! It’s late Thursday evening and you are practically pulling your hair out trying to decide if you should work on your paper that’s due tomorrow or study for your test which is also, unfortunately, tomorrow. You did study a little bit yesterday for your test but you didn’t do as much as you should have. And you thought about ideas for your paper but you never got around to it writing them down let alone your paper. Yet here you are Thursday evening with realistically only enough time to do one.

This sound familiar? Are you tired of having time slip away and assignments creep up on you? Then hopefully this tip will help you out.

A Tip on How to Use Your Time:

Try carrying around work that you can do when waiting in line or sitting down for fifteen minutes before another class, such as making flash cards or writing down topics or sentences for your paper.
This can make the difference in an entire day and sometimes an entire week.

Take the sad scene above but rewind it to Monday. On Monday you are waiting to meet your English professor and discuss your thesis on a paper that is due on Saturday. You know you had a Japanese language test on Friday. While you wait you make flash cards by using index cards. In your meeting with your professor you write down supporting ideas for your thesis in a little notebook. Later you are bored in line for food and you take out and shuffle through your cards realizing that there are some vocab words that you don’t know but a lot that you do know. During those brief moments you have between classes on Tuesday and Wednesday you keep going through your cards with all of your words and grammar tips; also any sentence that sounds good for your paper you write down immediately in your little notebook. Thursday comes and Shock-Shock-Surprise-Surprise you realize that the paper is due on Friday not Saturday - gaaaah! You already have a little bit done but you also have that HUGE Japanese test - double gaaaah! The paper for English is worth more than your Japanese test but you don’t want to sacrifice one grade in one class for another. But *sigh of slight relief* because you prepared ahead of time during those random bursts of time you only need to devote a couple of hours to Japanese just for basic reviewing. You already made your study materials and realized what you need to work on and what you understand. You can spend the majority of your available time on that paper. Also, you know what you are going to write your paper about and you have kept all of your brilliant ideas you came up with throughout the week handy. So no last minute idea creating for you. All you have to do is organize your thoughts and write.

What to use:
Managing all of those study cards can be easy. To avoid having a sea of flashcards at the bottom of your purse (trust me - it's not pretty or fun to clean up and reorganize) try finding an index card case to keep them all in.

Or you can buy index cards that come with rings and you can flip through them like a book.

You can even make your own flash card book. All you need are index cards, a hole puncher, and a book ring. Slip the punched cards on the ring and you have flash cards on the go!

At my school they sell the boxes and ringed flashcards in many different colors and they fit right in my purse and I take them out when I have a spare moment. You can also find these things whether you want to buy them whole or make them yourself at Office Max, Staples or online at

Pack A Portable Pensieve:
For jotting down ideas, essentially you need a place that you can consistently store your thoughts and access them again later. This can be a mini composition notebook, a special notepad, or a piece of paper. I’m a huge Harry Potter fangirl so I have a little Death Eater’s notebook that I carry around in my bag. It’s always there if I ever need to write down an idea I had during flash of genius, even if five hours later I go back to read it and realize that my flash of genius wasn’t really all that bright.

What do you think?

Do you have any tips of how to manage flash cards or your thoughts? Do you have quick tips for studying on the go? Comment and let me know!

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