DoIT: Tech tips, tricks, freebies and reminders to send you into summer

Whether you’re drowning in finals, looking forward to graduation or wondering what you’re going to do with all your summer free time, we’ve got some helpful technology tips for you.

First things first: tackle those finals!

Pick a distraction-free location. Check out this interactive map of campus library locations, with links to their hours, websites, phone numbers and other useful information.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself. We’ve all been sucked into a YouTube rabbit hole… only to resurface hours later with horrifying regret. Use a tool like RescueTime to track your website activity and temporarily block or limit distracting sites.

Too many things to memorize? Try mnemonics, fun devices to help you remember — like using the sentence “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos” to help your remember your planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. (RIP Pluto.) Can’t think of any? This website thinks of them for you!

Sharing is caring. Try StudyBlue, an online study tool founded by two UW-Madison students, where students can make and share content such as notes and flashcards. See content specific to UW-Madison courses.

Tame your to-do list. If your to-do list tasks are growing at a terrifying rate, try Google Keep, a synchronized notepad app supporting text, voice, photo notes and checklists. Keep integrates with Google Drive, so your notes are available from mobile and desktop devices alike.

Use your technology for good. There are a ton of apps and websites available to help you manage your goals and create study plans.

  • Achieve your study goals with this planner made specifically for students.
  • This app is the ultimate taskmaster that helps you focus on 30 minutes of your life at a time.
  • Set a goal and stick to it. This website allows you to set stakes and enlist a “referee” to make sure you stay on track.

Treat yo’ self. Make sure your study plan includes goals, breaks and rewards to keep your motivation high. Study for an hour, then take a quick break to snack, relax, or move around. After you accomplish bigger goals, treat yourself to Wisconsin Union Penny Promotions or play with some puppies around campus.

Graduating?

Don’t lose your files! Any files stored on OneDrive will be lost after you leave, so be sure to save them to your computer’s hard drive. If you want to keep using OneDrive, along with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access after graduation, you can purchase Office 365 University. You’ll get a four-year subscription to the desktop apps and 1 TB of online storage at the special rate of $1.65/month ($78.99 for the four-year subscription).

Make your last tech purchases. Your eligibility to buy from the Wisconsin Integrated Software Catalog and from the DoIT Tech Store ends during the summer after you graduate from UW-Madison, so stock up while you can.

Set up a new email. Your wisc.edu email service will end, so be sure to transfer email and contacts to another email provider. Options include free email from the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Here’s how to forward your @wisc.edu email address to your new email provider.

Over the summer…

Keep learning. Have you always wanted to learn cool programs like Excel, iMovie, InDesign or Java, but have never quite gotten around to it? This summer, take advantage of your down time and take a free online software course. You can also take courses covering broader topics like marketing, education or IT.

Say goodbye to the old MyUW. As of Tuesday, May 24, you will no longer be able to access the old version of MyUW. DoIT always welcomes additional suggestions through the feedback form.