When it comes to revision, computers can be a disaster. If a committee spent ten years trying to devise a way to distract the general population, waste hours of their lives and cause mass procrastination, they could not have devised anything nearly as effective as the internet.
I love digital tools, but revising with my laptop open is an invitation to check email, Twitter, forums, RSS feeds and anything else that pops into my head. Naturally it doesn’t help that I spend all day at work resisting the same urges so, by the time I get home, I have an unstoppable craving to read the latest blog post about how mung beans are the new miracle weight-loss cure.
With this in mind, I tend to shy away from using digital tools whenever I’m feeling vulnerable to procrastination. However, sometimes I need to refer to digital documents – textbooks, syllabuses and past papers – and being able to quickly search and find the content that I’m looking for is exceptionally useful.
I’ve taken to saving copies of these documents as PDF files and putting them on my Kindle. In retrospect it’s an obvious idea, but it took weeks for it to occur to me. There’s now no reason to have my laptop open just to check the syllabus and it is definitely helping to keep me focused.
There’s also no reason why you can’t save any digital notes that you make as PDFs and keep them on your kindle for revision on the move. FreeMind, the MindMapping software, even allows you to export Mind Maps as PDF files. Now that’s helpful.
The mung beans can wait.