Forget New Year Resolutions – The 1st of February is the time to set your plans for the new year.

The first of January is always a bad time to start anything new. Everything conspires to ensure that resolutions are forgotten within weeks, or even days, of the bells being rung.

Why not, then use the first of February as the date to examine your goals for the coming year.

The new year always inspires us to make changes and set goals to better ourselves and be more productive. Bad habits built up over the years can make you sluggish on the job. In order to flip the switch and make this coming year your most productive yet, you need to change your environment, eliminate your temptations, and adjust your mindset to turn bad habits into good habits. It only takes about 30 days of a new activity to create a new habit, so get started with these tips and by February, you’ll be your

Source: Make 2017 Your Most Productive Year Yet – Microsoft Partner Network

11 Note-Taking Tips For The Digital Classroom – Edudemic

English: Empty Waldorf classroom.
English: Empty Waldorf classroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With less books, paper, and pencils and more laptops, smartphones, and tablets gracing our classrooms these days, it would be logical to say that the nature of note-taking in class has changed, too. Especially with digital tools such as Evernote, writing things down on paper seems less likely to be the #1 way of taking notes.

That said, does taking notes really help? Does the physical act of writing something down help you to remember it? What is the most effective way to take notes? How does all of this play into a more digitally based classroom? The handy infographic below takes a look at these questions and more – keep reading to find out some of the answers!

via 11 Note-Taking Tips For The Digital Classroom – Edudemic.

A Student’s Guide to Using the Kindle for Research

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon

The Kindle is great for reading the occasional book, but you might not know that it’s also a fantastic tool for students. When used correctly, it can essentially operate as a portable tool to keep all your books, notes, and research in one place. Here’s how to turn a Kindle into your new best friend for school.

via A Student’s Guide to Using the Kindle for Research.

How to Use The Now Habit to End Student Procrastination #yam

English: A Diagram of procrastination cycle. T...
English: A Diagram of procrastination cycle. Task features, internal factors, irrational beliefs, behavior and consequences are shown. used for a university assessment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Now Habit is a book written by Neil Fiore, Ph.D., who is a licensed psychologist, author, and former president of the Northern California Society of Clinical Hypnosis, which explores in depth a topic that teachers are far too familiar with: procrastination. In the book, the author goes into methods that professionals and students alike can use to increase their productivity, stop putting things off, and (the cherry on top) enjoy more guilt-free leisure time.

This article goes into five ways teachers can help their students reduce stress by using the methods learned from The Now Habit to remove procrastination from their vernacular. Show your students how to combine these methods with awesome goal setting skills (the Reverse Engineering Method is a good one) to create the consummate student.

via How to Use The Now Habit to End Student Procrastination | Edudemic.

The 15 Best Free Social Media Dashboards and Tools – SumAll #yam

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...
English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If social media marketing is all about creating powerful, cost-effective method for connecting your brand or company with your customers, why are so many social media analytics platforms and tools so expensive? The price tags for some professional-level social media dashboard systems alone can add hundreds of dollars a month to even the most humble marketing campaigns. What gives?

The reality is that most individuals, small businesses and mid-size brands don’t need the high-powered, enterprise-level tools the big guys use. In fact, many of the best tools and platforms are available for free.

Take a look at the 15 best free social media dashboards and tools that can be used for free, and you just might become top banana in social media marketing.

via The 15 Best Free Social Media Dashboards and Tools – SumAll.

To-Do Lists Don’t Work – Daniel Markovitz – Harvard Business Review

Stop making to-do lists. They’re simply setting you up for failure and frustration. Consider the to-do lists you’re currently managing: how many items have been languishing since Michelle Bachman was leading the field for the Republican nomination? How often do you scan your list just so that you can pick off the ones you can finish in two minutes? How many items aren’t really to-dos at all, but rather serious projects that require significant planning?

There are five fundamental problems with to-do lists that render them ineffective.

via To-Do Lists Don’t Work – Daniel Markovitz – Harvard Business Review.

You Don’t Need Complex Charts to Tell Powerful Stories | Blog

whatyoutweet (Photo credit: Kim Tairi)

One common misconception about creating infographics is that more is better. The more data, the better! The more eye-popping design, the better! Make those charts as complex as can be, turn that bar chart into a circle to make it more interesting… or just come up with a whole new type of chart that no one understands.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If your data tells a good story, sometimes all you need is a simple chart – one single chart – to tell it. No need to add more facts and figures, simply to expand on the argument — or to garnish everything with flashy images and eye-popping illustrations.

via You Don’t Need Complex Charts to Tell Powerful Stories | Blog.

You Only Live Up to the Standards You Set

Personal Development Seminar (13)
Personal Development Seminar (Photo credit: TijsB)

While I’m not one to advocate many personal development hacks, there is one “hack” that I think everyone should use: have high standards for yourself. Having high personal standards will almost immediately force personal growth, and will help you live up to your potential day after day. It’s also really simple to execute.

via You Only Live Up to the Standards You Set.

David Allen Explains How to Master Your To-Do List

Cover of "Getting Things Done: The Art of...
Cover via Amazon

David Allen, the creator of the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity method, explains in this short video how you can get control over your to-do list by clarifying your actions and the results you want. If you’re not keeping a to-do list because it’s never helped you, his tips may help you start one that works for you.

via David Allen Explains How to Master Your To-Do List.