For some of us, back-to-school season is an exciting time for new beginnings, old friends, and cooler weather. In the other camp are those who feel a prolonged version of the Sunday Scaries, worried about fitting in academic work with everything else. But we think that with a little bit of organization and a few helpful back-to-school essentials, we can all have a great season. No matter what type of student (or parent) you are.
And we’re here to help you make things stress-free.
3 Back-to-School Essentials You’ll Love This Year
Here are a few of our favorite back-to-school essentials. With their help, you can manage your time better, improve your focus, and achieve your goals this school year.
First up on our list of back-to-school essentials? Panda Planner.
The back-to-school season is a great time to reset and start building positive habits in all areas of your life. Panda Planner can help with that.
Despite its name, Panda Planner is not your average planner. Instead, it’s a productivity tool that uses science-backed exercises and structure to help you relieve stress, gain work-life balance, build happiness, and reach your goals.
Panda Planner includes monthly, weekly, and daily calendars with space to review your prior week and plan your next one. Way more than just a to-do list, the planner guides you to find your weekly focus, examine areas for improvement, and build habits that will increase your productivity.
In short, you’ll not only know where to be and what to do each day, but you’ll also be able to manage your overall time. By getting organized with Panda Planner, you can get motivated, build positive habits, and cultivate happiness for your best school year yet.
If you’re looking for a true visual breakdown of your projects and lists, Trello is for you. It’s a list-making and project management tool you can use online or on your phone to organize everything in your life.
With Trello, you can make cards that represent projects, plans, lists, time blocks, types of task, or anything else you choose. Then, you move the cards along into new columns as you make progress and complete them. In other words, it’s a fancier, customizable version of a Kanban board. Try it for work or school projects, to plan activities with your family, or keep track of recipes to try. And when you’re working on projects with others, you can all collaborate on the same cards.
Everything can be scheduled or given a deadline, and you can attach documents or pictures to each card. Trello also integrates with many other apps and sites, from Google Drive and Gmail to Slack, Dropbox, and OneDrive. The best part? Most of these features are free, which makes Trello one of the best back-to-school essentials in our opinion.
As the school year ramps up, it can be hard to stay focused on all of your new activities and tasks. Focus Booster can help.
Focus Booster makes our list of back-to-school essentials because it incorporates a top productivity strategy: the Pomodoro Technique. The website and desktop app provides a timer to help you break down your work into intervals and stay focused on your tasks. The traditional Pomodoro method uses 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes for your short breaks, but Focus Booster lets you customize both. So whether you have homework or a project at the office, Focus Booster can help you work more productively to get it done.
While you’re working during your focus times, Focus Booster can also record your activity on your computer, like checking email or working in Excel. You can set it to record automatically, or enter your time manually, which you can use for offline activities. Focus Booster uses this information to give you reports of how you spend your time.
Your turn: Which of these back-to-school essentials are you dying to try? Let us know in the comments!
For more productivity tools that help you hit your goals, check out these planners.
Author: Erica Hersh
Erica Hersh is a health writer, editor, and communications strategist based in Boston, MA. In 2014, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of being on Jeopardy. She did not, however, fulfill her dream of winning on Jeopardy.