How to become a straight-A student by Cal Newport

Becoming a straight-A student is a book written by Cal Newport that outlines strategies for basic studying skills, preparing for exams, and writing papers.  It’s a book intended for college students but can be applied to high school to graduate students for keeping track of time and study materials.

For this blog post, we are only going to cover the time management part of the section Study Basics as it pertains to management systems that we think is very helpful to students.  There are three parts to study the basics: time management, procrastination, and study settings.  Below is the summary map of the Study Basics.

The time management part calls for a to-do list and calendar.  The idea is to spend 5 minutes every morning to plan out the day’s schedule. And during the day, cross out accomplished tasks while jotting down new to-dos and deadlines. The calendar becomes the master schedule where all the deadlines and to-dos are recorded.  And the to-do list becomes a daily schedule.  Below is the map of the master calendar and daily to-dos entries using MindMapper instead of a typical calendar and a sheet of paper.


This simple process can be further enhanced by using the planner feature of MindMapper.  Deadlines or important dates can be assigned All Day and all tasks can be written down in the Memos section.  Each morning, simply move items from the Memos section to the Appointment section to assign time. Or you keep a master calendar map and assign time from the map and view it in the planner after linking it.


Another method is to assign time straight from the master calendar.


The key to good time management is flexibility and realistic time assignment for each task.  You do not have to finish all of the tasks on a given day.  Undone tasks can be reassigned to different days.  It is this flexibility and convenience of recording and implementing schedules using the MindMapper mind map and planner that will help students become more productive and do well in school.

Best wishes to future straight-A students. Happy mind mapping!





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