News + Issues

I’m so techie, you already know


I’m Daryn Lu, and this is how I work.

Position: Vice-President
School: University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
Year: 4th year dental student
Computer: MacBook Air 11”
 Mobile Device: Android Nexus 5

I am a self-professed tech-geek at heart. I love tinkering, I love updating and I love learning. My phone is attached to my hip (yes, I’m one of those). I’m the type to tweak my LinkedIn profile for fun (yes, it’s that bad).

While technology is not always a replacement, it can certainly be used as an adjunct to help enhance productivity! I want to share with you some of my favorite apps and tech that I enjoy using on a daily basis.

On Studying:
ClearFocus (Android):
With the freedom from lecture halls, quizzes, exams, oh my, I recently had to relearn how to study with NBDE II looming around the corner. The pomodoro technique (breaking work down into short, timed intervals separated by short breaks) is one that I found works for me. ClearFocus (or similar apps) helps me concentrate my efforts in 25 min intervals with 5 min short breaks. After 4 study intervals, I’m awarded a 15 min long break! The intervals are all customizable too. The best part of the app is during your study time – your mobile data is shut off which means no distracting notifications!

SelfControl (Mac):
Oh, Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed – what would my grades look like with your existence? SelfControl is a great program that lets you list and block specific websites for a set duration. And no, turning your computer off and on does not reset the program! Windows alternative: Cold Turkey


On Organization:
Wunderlist (iPhone/Android)/Google Keep (Android)
Organization and preparation is key to surviving dental school. While nothing beats a traditional pen/paper combo, I have enjoyed using both Wunderlist and Google Keep to help modernize my to-do list. With real time syncing and easy access through both my computer and cell phone, my to-do list follows me wherever I go! See also:, Todoist

Google Voice (iPhone/Android)
This service allows users to create their own Google Voice number with multiple features including: call routing, call screening, free text messaging, custom voicemails, and the funniest voice transcriptions I’ve ever read. Having a Google Voice number keeps my personal phone number private but allows me to still retain that direct and personal touch. Rumor has it that this service will soon be updated/integrated into Google Hangouts so be on the lookout!


On Recreation:
Feedly (iPhone/Android)
I love staying informed with my favorite website articles whether it’s about tech, dental news or my favorite blog – Mouthing Off!! For those of you who may recall, Google Reader did a great job of collecting RSS feeds and allowing users to catch up on their favorite articles throughout the day. Feedly does exactly that! At the end of a long clinic day, you can find me on my phone/tablet/computer catching up with my favorite online content!

Pocket Reader (iPhone/Android)
I love using Pocket Reader in conjunction with Feedly! If there’s a post that has caught my interest, Pocket Reader allows me to tag, organize, and save these articles for future offline use!


On Tech:
Travel Power Strip (Amazon)
I’m an avid coffee shop/tea room fanatic. Whether it’s Starbucks or a local coffee spot, there’s just something about its atmosphere that puts me in the zone for knowledge. Oh, the caffeine doesn’t hurt either. Whether you’re traveling or studying, fighting for power outlets doesn’t have to be yet another stressful step. Whipping out a travel power strip instantly helps you share the electric love!

Lg Tone+ HBS-730 Bluetooth Headset (Amazon)
These headphones rank super high on my list of favorite gadgets for several reasons: 1) the sound quality is surprisingly good!, 2) hands down (or hands free), it is the best Bluetooth headset that I have ever used, 3) its flexibility is unparalleled – whether I need some beats to get me through a run or I need to make a phone call as I set up my clinic chair, these headphones can be discreetly tucked underneath a collar. They’re so lightweight you’ll forget you’re even wearing them!

What are your favorite apps and tech to recommend? I’d love to hear what you use at your school — leave a comment below!

~Daryn Lu, Oklahoma ’15, vice president

Daryn Lu

A 2015 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, Daryn’s passion for his profession shows through his journey within organized dentistry. From an eager predental member of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) to a passionate local, district and national volunteer leader — the depth of his experiences has shaped him as a dental professional and lifelong learner. He serves the boards of the Oklahoma County Dental Society and the Academy of General Dentistry Oklahoma chapter, and is a guest writer for the ADA New Dentist Now and igniteDDS blog. In his spare time, Daryn is an avid traveler, self-proclaimed foodie, and social media junkie. He lives to travel, travels to eat and shares foodie pictures on your newsfeed. He now practices as a Heartland Dental-supported general dentist in Shawnee, Okla.

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  1. These apps are really helpful actually, I am always looking for better ways to improve my productivity so this is great. I am also very techie so these apps are right up my ally! One of my favorite apps is the Todoist, it separates me daily tasks so when I get my work done during the day, I am able to check it off (most of my tasks are recurring) so I don’t have to set them everyday. Its very handy!

    1. I haven’t used Todoist myself but I’ve heard great things. I’ve recently been playing with Any.Do and I love its “moments” feature which reminds me to actually check my todo list once a day! I’ll have to spend some more time with Todoist! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Helen Y says:

    I enjoyed reading this very much!!!!! I love Any.Do too (they’ve given me 3 free Amazon mp3 downloads so far)! I personally use FocusDots the app for followers of the Pomodoro method.

    Also, check out Momentum, a Chrome extension. Makes for a great homepage

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