I’m Daryn Lu, and this is how I work.
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.
• 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
• 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: Any.do, 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!
• 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!
• 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