Now that it’s finally summer, my annual let’s-get-productive-and-create-a-schedule-and-study-habits effort is in full swing. To celebrate this almost always failing effort (but not this year! hopefully…) I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite productivity blogs. All of these blogs I read/use on a frequent basis, and of course some are more helpful than others, but I find each of them to be reliable and valuable tools when trying to deal with pretty much anything school related. There are actually a lot more blogs/YouTube channels I follow (cause I’m obsessed with these kind of productivity/student help websites - why I started this blog in the first place) but I’ve pared them down to the ones I find most helpful most frequently.
This blog is literally my home. My home, I tell you. I cannot tell you how much it helps and is such an invaluable resource and how much I subscribe to the opinions and POVs this entire website offers. For those of you who don’t know about PrepScholar, it’s a pretty much everything site related to students in school, whether it be high school or college or even before and after. It has tips on test taking, college applications, colleges, writing resumes, writing essays, financial aid - it is the ultimate resource.
It was started by Allen Cheng, a Harvard grad who was in Harvard Med School pursuing an MD/PhD when he left to start this company. (Funny story, one of the reasons I like the blog so much is because he went into college with practically the same goals as me “I knew in high school that I wanted to go into the medical sciences, either as a physician or as a scientist. I was also really into studying the brain.**”) Now PrepScholar is mainly focused as an SAT/ACT Prep company that offers a paid online service to improve your test scores. To get to the actual blog, it’s actually blog.prepscholar.com.
The blog has a huge team of writers, posting on everything you could ever want to know about. If I ever have a question, I usually add “prepscholar” to my google search just to see if they have any post on it, cause I know it will have useful information. I highly recommend checking it out but beware: you will find yourself stuck down a rabbit hole of hundreds of articles that is incredibly hard to get out of.
**From his article on PrepScholar: My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement).
2. College Info Geek
This is another amazing blog - that also has a YouTube channel - that focuses on productivity and time management and is an amazing resource for all types of learners. It is much smaller than PrepScholar and was started more recently, but it is incredibly helpful not just for tips and tricks, but for discovering new methods and technology for learning. The blog has hundreds of articles on things ranging from studying tips, note taking methods, and how to earn better grades. The YouTube channel is actually not @collegeinfogeek, but @ThomasFrank, the founder of the company.
Tomfrankly (his Twitter handle) was an Information Systems Major in college and started the website as a way to help students succeed in college. If focuses mostly on productivity methods, and places an extra emphasis on technology and apps you can use to help with life in general. (In fact, almost all the apps in my phone’s Studying folder are because Tom introduced me to them.) His videos are extremely easy to follow (I actually watch him more than I read on CIG) and he has many other resources on his website like podcasts, helpful tech tools, and his “Impossible List”. (I also have stuff in common with him that made me more interested in him - mostly centered on how he wants to become fluent in Spanish and Japanese.)
He actually also wrote a book “10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades” - it’s free, I recommend reading it - which is your classic (but not really classic because it’s Tom) student self-help book. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a huge reader of self-help books, mostly because they make me feel productive and successful without actually having to do anything, but this is one book that is short and sweet and to the point that anyone (even if you hate self-help/informational books) can learn from. In fact, I have some of the strategies he presents in the book taped on my wall so I can remind myself when I’m not being productive and figure out a way to stop my laziness.
To sum it all up, Tom and CIG are amazing, totally check them out - he will make you want to get off your butt and be productive, something no one else has managed to get me to do.
3. Med School Insiders
This is another blog/channel I mostly access through YouTube. It has great productivity and studying tips, and as you can see from the title, focuses on med school/premed related topics. Of course, he has a good amount of general stuff too, which I would recommend checking out regardless if you want to go into the medical field or not. But for those who are interested in medicine, this is a great resource for MCAT tips, motivational videos, and general medical school application information.
The blog/website was founded by Jay, who is currently a plastic surgery resident wanting to share his journey through medicine. He is the one that makes almost all (if not all) of the MSI YouTube videos and writes most of the blog posts. This one is not as extensive as the first two, cause I believe it is the youngest, but it has legitimately good content, especially if you’re looking for a pick me up in terms of motivation.
This a blog similar to PrepScholar, but with less of a formal feel to it. It has articles on a range of topics, geared towards the college admissions process and how to shape your high school life into one for your college apps. The majority of the time I go to this website is when I’ve already consulted PrepScholar and want a different POV on a certain topic, or if I want a more in-depth review of the application process for a certain college.
The entire company of CollegeVine is not primarily a blog, but a college admissions helper service. For a fee, you can have a consultant look at your application and shape it to help you become more successful. (Note, I am way against these money-for-college/testprep-services, mostly cause they are trying to majorly rip you off and they create a divide between those who can and can’t afford it, but the blog is still good, so whatever.) Because they focus so heavily on the college admissions process, a large portion of their blog/website is focused on laying out the nuances of the supplemental applications for each college - why I think this site is especially helpful.
Definitely check out this blog, even if you find it can’t help you now, it is definitely a usable tool closer to the college admissions process.
So, this isn’t really a blog, but I use it too much not to include. This is a great YouTube channel that one of my friends introduced me to in the beginning of this year - thanks for that btw :) - and it is an awesome and relatable resource for any type of student. It is primarily productivity and stationary related, but has videos on other useful topics too. I mainly watch these videos when I’m looking for tips related to scheduling, organization, or note-taking. The videos are nice and short and to the point, and I am high key jealous of her organizational supplies and skills.
The channel was created by Sareena, currently a high school senior (!!!), and you can see the amount of time and effort she puts into creating these videos. (And yes, it is studyign, not studying.) Because she’s a high school student herself, she’s a lot more relatable and often times more helpful than other resources or websites. She has a tumblr, which serves as her blog, and she posts other short helpful tips on it.
Go watch her videos, they are very helpful - especially if you are interested in/want to start bullet journaling.
Honorable Mention: Medical School HQ
This one is getting an honorable mention because although I think it’s a great resource, I only recently found it, so I don’t think it’s quite there in my top 5 yet.
The best part of this blog/website is definitely the podcasts. Most of their info is conveyed via podcasts and they are very thorough and comprehensive. On the podcasts and blog posts, you can find information relating to life in medical school, med school admissions, and premed tips. Of course, this is more for people who want to go into medicine, and quite honestly doesn’t have anything except for advice relating to medicine, but if you are into that, it has some great info.
If you know any other blogs that helped you out, make sure to leave it in the comments for others to explore.
And as always, thanks for reading!