How a YouTuber’s Productivity Inspired Me to Blog Consistently
I was originally inspired to blog by Chanel Titus sometime last year. I wanted to talk about my work on my application project so that I could have the impetus to finish it sooner. The app is still in the process of being completed but two very important things happened in the interim. I discovered that I really love writing and I came across Mariana’s Study Corner.
Although the focus of my blog has changed ever so slightly since the start, it has maintained its focus on technology. Initially, I was more determined to track the progress of my current (slow but deliberate) transition into a different career path. My blog tagline was “I’m at a crossroads right now, at a kind of a junction”, and hence Jola’s Junction (Junkshun). I thought I was being so clever, too clever; but although I’m literally still in the same place as when I started, I have progressed creatively.
Mariana’s Study Corner
I found a YouTube video discussing note taking with the iPad by Mariana last year some time. She used a normal 9.7 inch iPad with Apple Pencil on Goodnotes then but what really attracted me to her channel was how neat and tidy she was. Mariana’s Study Corner is a YouTube channel that focuses primarily on productivity at school or university. She has tested her methods whilst studying herself and is busy finishing her Master’s Degree in European/International Environmental Law.
Since her channel had been running for a few years before I found it, there was a lot of content that I could dive into. I love how she transitions between digital and paper methods to find the optimum productivity solution for a given situation. She uses bullet journals, files, color pens and dividers, sticky notes for some of her planning and studying, and switches seamlessly back and forth between these and her laptop, phone or tablet. She uses a productivity tool for a while, replaces it if it doesn’t work for her and then moves on. If the tool somehow becomes relevant again or she thinks she has made a mistake by ditching it, she will give it another go.
The difference to my approach was clear. I had this one-way approach on using technology. I felt that I had to use digital over paper to become a true advocate for it. I was after all, a technician. If I want others to become tech savvy, I should champion technology despite its shortcomings, I thought.
This was ludicrous of course, because technology is simply a tool and should be judged accordingly. We do not allow a hammer to stay in our tool cabinet if it is an ok screwdriver. It better be a good hammer too. All technology should serve a purpose and should be discarded if it doesn’t.
This came as a revelation to me, though it may seem obvious to many, and it prompted my renaming my tag line. “Making technology work for me”, is my new outlook on all things tech. If it doesn’t work discard it. Don’t keep it around just for the sake of it. If it does not serve a purpose in your life, it needs to go. Give it a review, good or bad if you need this for closure but please find some closure and move on. Declutter your digital world. Your phone, tablet or computer are amazing tools that want to serve you better. Tidy them up and take care of them like you do your other tools or appliances in your home.
Mariana has a website too. Looking at her website inspired me to clean up my own website. To take care of it and to help me relay these messages that I deem important to the world. Most Saturday mornings I will check YouTube for her latest videos. Because she used to release videos every Friday when I started watching her, I too released my blog post every Friday. Consistency, is very important. Just keep going at it and a habit is formed eventually. Once a habit is formed, it’s hard not to do it anymore.
I want to speak a lot more about how Mariana’s website and YouTube channel has transformed my life in future posts. My focus when reviewing these things will be on the technology, but I want it to be more than solely technology. Technology enables people to be their best selves. But we should never be too reliant on technology to become this.
The Title Photo is by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash. Crediting isn’t required on Unsplash but helps the artist get exposure. So I’m all in!
All the other photos are screenshots I took from Mariana’s sites, channels and Instagram account. I am using this without her permission in order to give people an idea of the great work she does. I will receive no monetary gain from this blog post but if asked to do so by Mariana or her team, will remove the pictures immediately.