A new study gadget

Mr Husband gave me a Samsung Tab A 8″ (2019) as a gift for our 10th wedding anniversary last week. I thought it was perfect. In fact, I had an eye for the item for quite some time before this. I was watching a few reviews on the Samsung S6 lite on Youtube and had no idea that this budget tab existed. Mine comes with a 32GB memory which I am told, can be upgraded later. Using a memory card?

Currently, I am arming it with apps that would enhance my studies and ahem my social media presence. I have already envisioned a few things I could do on my tab. I could read my pdf modules better on it. I can make blog drafts or notes on the go. I can read e-books on it before going to bed at night. I can also edit videos or photos on it in the comfort of my bed that is easy to my eyes.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Some of the apps I downloaded on my tab are;

  • Docquity & MIMS Malaysia – this is important for my continuous medical education. I am aiming to complete at least 2 online CMEs per week on both platforms. I am still a medical doc first and a psychology student after.
  • Canon Connect – I can transfer my photos or videos here instead of to my phone. Perhaps I can edit it better on my video editing app
  • A video editing app (forgot the name but nothing fancy) – I am still game on the idea of building up my Youtube channel. My inspirations are those like haagrendal and jihyun. Both not showing their faces but producing interesting videos all the same. Shooting clips like haagrendal would nevertheless require more skills and experience which I will learn from time to time.
  • WordPress – for my blogging needs
  • Pinterest – it relaxes me to see pretty pictures of other peoples boards
  • One Note – this seems to be quite popular among tab users. I can see the appeal of creating these virtual notebooks with chapters in each of them. I like that the notes can be constructed with style and versatility. I can type or handwritten my notes. I can insert images or attach documents to my notes. The hashtag function seems great. I’m going to use this for brain dumping.

These apps should be enough for now. What’s more important is to make sure that the OUM learning portal is accessible. By the way, I am only going to use this tab with WIFI connection. Not with a sim card.

Kokuyo Campus Planner – a short review

I was attracted to buy the Kokuyo Campus Planner Weekly Layout because I wanted to emulate those K-studygrams where they record how much time they put in into their lessons and assignments. It was thrilling to use at first but later I discovered that it doesn’t fit my study pattern.

I am a part time student. I work from 8 – 5 from Monday to Friday. Although I try to study within the designated hours at night and during weekends, I do find that a bulk of my independent study periods are done during opportunistic minutes and hours of the day. This means in between patients on a less busy day, lunch hours, before clinic starts, in the car (rarely) etc. Hence, it does look a little blank, perhaps too sporadic if I highlight the mins/hours in the tracker slots.

I ended up using the Kokuyo Weekly Campus Planner for only 7 weeks. I am thinking of repurposing it to plan my children’s homeschooling syllabus. Have yet to find one.

Never the less, the paper quality and layout is good – just that it doesn’t fit into my study lifestyle (gitteww). Perhaps full time students can benefit more from it including students who don’t have other study planners at hand. On second thought, maybe it is because I was already fully utilizing my hobonichi megaweeks resulting in this Kokuyo planner being redundant.

Hobonichi Techo for 2021

If you’re a visual person, you can watch the brief unboxing video on my IGTV @hobominci. Otherwise, you can read about my purchase choice below.

This is my 4th year using Hobonichi. I have used the A6 English planner, A5 Cousin Avec and the MegaWeeks. Out of the 3, I personally love the MegaWeeks because you have just enough space to write down your To-do’s and still have room for a bit of creative journaling. It seems befitting for my busy schedule. Furthermore, it is small enough for me to carry it with me everywhere.

However

What I wasn’t expecting for the Year 2020 was the fact that I enrolled in a part time degree programme of which I found that using the MegaWeeks was not suitable. I needed something that I could journal in my most intimate feelings, thoughts and activities whilst at the same time being able to plan my day and tick things off a checklist.

I ended up buying a 5 year Hobonichi Techo and a mini weekly planner, said to be the companion to the A6 planner. If only I could have the Cousin Avec Monthly and Weekly layout but without the daily pages. Is there such a planner?? That would be useful I think for students. Or I could use the Kokuyo loose leafs instead. Surely they have a monthly and weekly template?

I am extremely excited to see if I could be consistent in my 5 year Hobonichi entry. It will probably be filled with the most mundane things in life although when you reminisce on these moments, they are quite interesting actually. It is so common yet so special. Cause regardless of what one thinks, that one moment never repeats itself the exact way it happens for the first time.

Study Planner

I have been a fan of planners and diaries since secondary school. Each student received this ‘school diary’ that you can use anyway you liked. Some students ditch it into The Unknown somewhere upon receiving it, others use it for note taking. I used it diligently to write diary entries and simple plans like ‘going out for an outing’ or ‘parents coming’ etc.

As time passes by, I still write in diaries but they were separate from my planners. I keep these diaries in my memory box. I began broadcasting my feelings and thoughts online through blogging in my second year of 2nd year of medical school. It took a while before I settled down here on WordPress. I think I love it for its clean features.

It was only later that I learned about the existence of a planner community and adult-like planners. I was spoilt with choices. This is my 3rd year using Hobonichi and I am contemplating on whether to continue with it next year. I had thought the Hobonichi Mega Weeks was my ideal planner until I enrolled myself in my current degree program. I needed something more practical and wholesome. I liked the Cousin Avec Weekly layout but it would be a hassle to carry it around especially when you have private journal entries at other areas of the book. I am looking out for the A6 companion weekly planner. I hope it will still be around in 2021. That would definitely go into my cart.

I am currently eye-ing the Kokuyo and Jibun Techo. To a certain extent, the TN planner. I will be using the Kokuyo Weekly Campus Study Planner for Semester 3. I am not quite sure if it will work well for part time students but we will see.

Using Kindle in Malaysia – I wish I knew earlier

Let me just make it clear. I have no regrets at all buying Kindle. It does has an added value to my life. I only wish to caution potential buyers of things to look out if you decide to invest in a Kindle.

Black Tablet

Owning a Kindle in Malaysia needs a bit of work and digital literacy if I could put it that way. I for one am not super awesome when it comes to technology. So, I was a bit dumbstruck when I got my Kindle. This is what happens when you do not do enough research and proceed with an impulse purchase. It should have triggered a thought in my little brain when we have people establishing websites like Kindle Malaysia. It is not just a support group or a Kindle fan club – it is actually more than that. But of course, I was oblivious to that fact.  Naive.

When I came across Kindle and saw the lovely blogger Audrey of fourfeetnine.com using it some time ago, I had thought that it will be as easy as buying a book from Google Play/Amazon and reading it on the ebook reader. I was mistaken.

I bought my Kindle from Shopee seller [x3838] The after-sales service is commendable. Defo getting a 5 star rating from me. My e-Reader is the 10th Gen (black) glare Free with WIFI and built in audible. It comes with a USB2.0 charging cable (only). Kena beli the kepala. Price is RM480. Shipping costs was another RM4.77 and since I bought it during a promo period, shipping cost was almost free cause I got RM4 off. HA HA HA.

Back to what I was saying about being naive. Turns out to buy books off Amazon, you need to have a US-based account. You need an address, a credit card and what not. There are a few articles that wrote about hacking it but I fear if it would be illegal to do that. Or maybe super smart for being able to work around a loophole. But fret not because the seller I bought this Kindle from, sent me a special guide on how to enjoy Kindle despite not having a US based Amazon account. Legal, FREE ebooks are everywhere.

Person Using E-book Reader While Drinking Coffee

The guide and bonus E books came through after a week. Prior to that, I was using my Kindle to read my existing pdf documents and ebooks which I procured for free at various legal sites. I also bought some off Shopee. There are a handful of local ebook sellers that offer to find academic book titles for a fee. I also find it easier to find a bookseller’s top list on these platforms. I later learnt that the best ebook format to read on Kindle is the .mobi or the .kd8. The fonts are easier to enlarge sort of thing.

COVID-19 has pretty much affected the way I choose to learn. At the beginning of my semester, I had hoped to utilize the library at OUM and have physical books shipped to my learning center since they have these services. But the idea of going through a roadblock just to collect my books seem like a nuisance. Furthermore, 21st-century learning skills are pretty much online. I just need to dig into this method slowly to sow its benefits. I just need to find a proper e-bookstore and get my textbooks from there.

The Kindle is not a white elephant so far. I am using it to its near best potential. Since I put in on Airplane Mode, the battery usage is very minimal and I read on a blog somewhere that it could last up to a week or more depending on your reading habits. I was a bit annoyed at the refresh page screen appearance but I have learned to accept it as it is. It’s a tolerable disadvantage. Forget about downloading from Google PlayBook Store because I find the browser really really slow. Or is it because I have not got the hang of it yet. The easiest way to get the ebook to your Kindle is to transfer it with the cable provided from your PC/laptop. Damn fast.

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We hope to be a reading nation by 2030. I have just created an account on GoodReads with hopes that it will spur my reading stamina. Feel free to recommend me good accounts, articles or groups.