So you find something useful when you go looking.

Almost 1,127 dedicated study hours in, if asked how to make a study session productive, I’d reply with something about mindset and intentions rather than technology or environment*.

To be clear, the following points refer to sessions covering new material, not exam prep/revision.

What mindset seems most helpful?

I don’t think this is a difficult question at all, though I’m open to hearing others’ answers if they disagree.

Mine would be:

  • low ego and unafraid of consequences from self or others

What’s an easy way to adopt this mindset?

Post-it reminders of useful thoughts, stuck to your desk, is a simple method that works.

For example:

The second in a series in which I discover others’ learning secrets.

Welcome to part two of this series of interviews with interesting people who do a lot of active learning.

This time, my questions have been kindly answered by Brendan Schlagel, who is more focused on group/social learning and teaching than I am. But what is human knowledge if not shared? The following answers have given me much to think about.

For example, what is the role of fun in learning? What can we learn from participating in a group? How much do structure and routine really matter?

Read on for the thoughts and experiences of someone very involved in work…

See updates from your community and set your study schedule.

Set Your Study Schedule

Reminders are an important part of building a new habit, so we now have the Study Schedule feature for planning study times and getting reminders.

Click the calendar icon at the top of your Study Plan to find this feature.

See Updates From Your Community

If you like to know what others are up to, you’re in luck: you’ll now see the study activity of those you follow in your weekly summary email.

If you opted out of this email and want to try it out again, you can enable it in your Account Settings.

Lifelong learner but not yet signed up? If you want to join a community of learners and start a study habit, check out Curriculum. Thoughts or comments? Send them my way.

The first in a series in which I discover others’ learning secrets.

If, like me, you’re still very curious to figure out your potential despite being a grown adult, you may also want to know what others are discovering as they grapple with similar questions.

It’s not easy to fit deliberate learning and ambitious projects into a life that may now include a job, and/or family, and/or other responsibilities.

Fortunately, there’s great value to be found in the idea of “learning smart”: learning how to learn efficiently, saving time and energy.

So I am delighted to begin sharing this series of short interviews, in which some thoughtful and productive people share what…

As promised, new features are being released faster now.

New User Onboarding

Thanks to insightful feedback from some friends, I prioritised an interactive tutorial feature for new users this sprint.

Onboarding 1.0 is out now, ready for testing. I’ll also be roping more friends into feedback sessions. (If you have feedback, too, just give me a shout.)

In-App Study View

A “Couch to 5K” programme for your learning goals?

It’s currently the summer of 2020, which means (for any future readers) that everyone’s routines have been messed up by a recent lockdown.

However, when one routine is disrupted, and any associated anguish has passed, a better routine can be devised to take its place.

For me, no longer commuting to the office, this meant working through a “Couch to 5K” running programme, changing job, learning how to apply eyeliner, studying to prep for my next term at uni and putting extra time into side projects. …

It’s the summer of 2020 and Curriculum 2.0 has (somehow) landed.

The Updated Dashboard

You’ll notice visual updates to the Dashboard. This is an outward sign of major changes to the underlying codebase.

We’re now using modern components and patterns that will speed up the release of new features.

Reminder: I don’t have QA testers, just an automated test suite that is doing its best. If a bug appears, send me a tweet or email and I’ll fix it asap.

The StudyCoins Button

November 2019’s updates to Curriculum, an app for creating a study plan, choosing the best learning resources & tracking your progress through them.

This month’s updates are pretty exciting. Get ready!

Discover new learning resources

(This is the update I’m most pleased with.)

You can now browse for new learning resources by subject or type (book, article, online course, etc). The top-rated resources will show first.

There is some UI and performance roughness that I’ll be polishing up next, but I wanted to get this feature out for everyone to try ASAP.

It’s such useful and interesting information to browse through!

Discover some new learning resources now ➡️

Follow your friends

If you know someone who has a public Curriculum profile, you can now follow them to see some of…

900 hours in.

I passed 900 hours of tracked study time recently.

A screenshot of a profile on that includes the text “901 hours and 47 minutes”
A screenshot of a profile on that includes the text “901 hours and 47 minutes”
My Curriculum profile

What have I learned along the way?

My best lessons about learning are documented in earlier posts in the series you’re reading right now. (Browse them all here.)

This post is really just a statement of progress, and a mini-celebration. And maybe some motivation for someone else?

A while ago, I wondered whether a regular person like me could learn and accomplish things that I feared, deep-down, were reserved for people on a special path since childhood.

And now here we are! …

You can’t have too many resources.

Every time I sit down to study, I look over at the textbook that I bought and think, “What a great-looking textbook. So reassuringly large and heavy and blue. A whale of a textbook!”

I know it contains many adorably brief explanations and small examples of key topics in my mathematics course.

Topics that I’m currently learning about.

But not from that textbook.

My god.

No way.

That textbook “explains” a new concept with a two-line intro and one or two examples. That’s it.

What about the other three hundred and forty one examples that I need to work through…

Louise Swift

Software developer. Mathematics student. Working on, too.

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