User Spotlight Special Edition: Tips for Back-to-School!

It’s Back-to-School season, so in addition to our Back-to-School challenge and all our usual features, we thought you’d bring you some inspiration in the form of testimonials from users who’ve already figured out how to use Habitica to help them meet their school-related goals.

Illustration by RoseMonkey

First, Maybe Steve Rogers (who runs the huge guild for academic Habiticans of all stripes, The Scholars) tells us about her simple method for keeping on top of work during her third year at university:

My biggest problem with studying is just getting started, so my plan is very simple: I have one Daily, active 6 days a week, that’s just “study for 1 hour”. Linked to that, I have one all-positive Habit: I get to tick it once for every extra 30 minutes of focused studying I do. That’s it. That’s enough to keep me on track, and the Habit counter resets weekly, so I can really keep an eye on how good I’ve been. For bigger projects, I find a number of the challenges in the Scholars guild are perfectly suited to join and leave when necessary.

This system is simple, but it helps keep me afloat when I am otherwise definitely the kind of person who shirks deadlines until I’m drowning in them.

Moderator shanaqui has been using Habitica for their dissertation:

For my dissertation, I had to do a ton of pretty technical reading, and I also had to make sure it was up to date by the time I finished writing the thing. And then on top of that there was actually completing the assignments and the writing part. So I had a daily set for Tuesdays and Thursdays for searching for literature, a daily set for Fridays to actually sit down and read the stuff I found, and to-dos set with the deadlines of the interim assignments. Then I’d add to-dos as I went along with self-imposed deadlines. That way I could see all my deadlines and I was also being forced to make constant progress on doing the research.

Meanwhile, NoilyPrat has suggestions from how she’s using Habitica with her daughter, NessaGrace, for homeschooling:

We have had Habitica for 1.5 years, and starting a new year with it next Monday (August 20th). As a teacher, I find my worst habits were to delay grading critical papers for constructive feedback. To list each lab that needed grading under each module does take time, but seeing it on Habitica gives me a fresh POKE to do it. Plus it’s so much fun to check off to “kill” the latest monster with all my hard sweat and tears. I’m getting better, because I’m trying to do them before the to-do turns red. Right now I’m in the process of typing up a syllabus for next year on our system, and at the same time I’m typing up on Habitica what I’ll need to grade in this first quarter. I do them in quarters to keep the to-dos from turning red.

My daughter has each of her subjects on dailies, which she must complete before checking them off. This helps cut down on the nagging, “Did you get your schoolwork done?” Plus, any damage done the next day I’m asking which of her subjects she missed. (In a perfect world. Most of the time I don’t ask!) When everything is checked off, her day is finished. Occasionally Daddy asks to see her Habitica to check up on her. I think she likes that.

And here’s vtrnnhlinh’s souped-up Habitica set-up for school season:

First, I format all. And I have some rules for the formatting like: bold for dates, limits and something needs seriously notice; italics for nouns like names; both bold and italics for the properties. Ex:

And I copy the emoji to make the task more interesting with: Emoji Cheat Sheet

Secondly, I organized tags. Because I use Habitica for all. So I created: Healthy, Learn, Study, Relax, Chores, Work and Creativity.

I use Learn for school work, Study for my MOOCs, learn programming or anything I teach myself. For school work, I use each task for a subject.

Finally, I create routine with Habits. I’ll create a habit that at that time, I’ll learn or study or do something creativity without effort – don’t need inspired or motivated video.

If I focus to learn in a Pomodoro session, I’ll check + and if not, I’ll check -. If I did it but not in the time period I set and don’t have an acceptable reason, I also check -. Just make sure to create the habits. Create habits help you learn easier.

And if I do pretty good in a week, I’ll watch a movie and get a snack as the rewards.

If you have more Back to School needs, you should totally check out Guilds like The Scholars, the Graduate Student Guild and The Homeschool Guild. There are always Habiticans ready to share their experiences and cheer you on!

Plus, for even more of a motivation boost, check out our Back-to-School Preparation Challenge! The tasks will hopefully help you get ready for the school year, plus there are gem and subscription prizes. It runs until September 30.

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Using Habitica for Schoolwork

StudyingHard2x
Illustration by OuttaMyMind

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

Happy August, Habiticans! This month, on our ongoing tour of some of the most helpful articles the Habitica Wiki has to offer, we’ll take a look at some advice the Wiki Scribes have to offer about using Habitica to help manage your studies!

School can be tiring and stressful, but with Habitica, a player can easily beat procrastination and manage schoolwork! By simply using Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Rewards to motivate themselves, they can lower stress and improve grades.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

Prepare to Vanquish the School Year!

BackToSchoolWithMelior

The school year is upon us once more… eek! Luckily, there are some great Habitica guilds that are full of resources and encouragement as you tackle this fearsome foe. Join them to set yourself up for success!

Scholars: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/82fe50b1-4fa5-4e94-8114-aa66516c0d9d

For the stressed high schoolers, the college students who always pull off all-nighters, or for any person who just wants to learn. This is one of the most popular Guilds on Habitica!

Graduate Students: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/160234e0-7a3b-46e6-8b9f-3245ac6f1678

A guild for graduate students or prospective graduate students. Get encouraged to complete that thesis, dissertation, or other big foreboding project, or just to get support and advice on graduate student hardships. They even have their own wiki!

Early to Bed, Early to Rise: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/9ddbb860-67ff-4e7b-81aa-23f81de910b3

For many of us, the the toughest part of the school year is waking up early. Here’s a whole Guild of people fighting that same battle, full of tips, tricks, and Challenges!

Short-Term Accountability Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/59f699a3-9d22-4d6d-b34a-8fcdf2ad1dac

Need an extra push to accomplish your schoolwork today, this week, or this month? Here you can announce your goal, report your results, and be cheered on by others (or be motivated by the thought of having to admit failure). No goal is too small to mention here if you need accountability to help you get it done.

Now it’s time to hit the books as you focus on using Habitica for school. Good luck!

Studying, Self-Discipline, and More: September Challenge Spotlight!

Every month, we will be featuring a few user-created Challenges! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.  

Happy September!

September Studying Challenge” by shanaqui

Ends: September 20th

Prize: 5 gems

Goal: Stay on track with studying and learning goals during September!

This Challenge only runs for  a short period of time, so it’s great if you want a focused experience. The tasks help you set daily priorities and identify weak spots in your learning. Plus, it’s flexible enough to fit many different types of studying!

Achieve, Accomplish, Aspire (September)” by keyes

Ends: October 1st

Prize: 2 gems

Goal: Celebrate your successes and share what you hope to achieve next

This Challenge and its related Guild add a new twist to setting goals. As you list your priorities, you also reflect on your accomplishments. Striving for achievement can be discouraging, so it’s nice to celebrate yourself, too. You deserve it!

clipart-rosemonkeyct-reading
Fall 2015 School Habit Challenge ” by White Rose Duelist

Ends: December

Prize: 3 gems

Goal: Study diligently all semester

Similar to the September Studying Challenge, this is designed for students – but it lasts all semester long, and has more specific milestones. Don’t forget that you can add checklists to each of the To-dos to break them down into easy steps!

Self Discipline 2.0” by Elo

Ends: N/A

Prize: 1 gem

Goal: Motivate yourself to do things that you don’t want to do

This is a great Challenge for those of us who find that our motivation is still stuck on vacation. The tasks focus on doing those necessary things that are unpleasant, annoying, or just plain boring. Once you finish, there’s a custom reward for taking a well-deserved break!

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Back to School Advice Challenge” by Lemoness 

Ends: September 27th

Prize: 30 gems each for all 10 winners

Goal: post your best back-to-school Habitica tips on social media

Last but not least, it would be silly not to mention the Official Back to School Advice Challenge.  Since it’s run by the Habitica Staff Team, there’s a much higher gem prize than usual. Competition is stiff, but there’s only one To-Do, so it’s pretty easy to enter. Plus, the random draw means that you have a chance at winning even if you don’t have a million followers. It’s definitely worth checking out!

How to Use Habitica for School

For many people, it’s time to head back to school — and back to stress. Luckily, there are some easy ways that Habitica can make the school year much less daunting: tagging, due dates, and start dates!

BackToSchoolWithMelior

Breaking It Down: Tag for School Subjects

Most students have to juggle tons of different subjects, but it can be hard to keep track of tasks when they’re all jumbled together. That’s where Tags can come in handy! Think of them as a school divider for your computer screen.

Create a separate Tag for each subject. Keep the Tag selected while you add new tasks to automatically sort them into that Tag! Working from a specific Tag can keep you focused. Plus, if you have separate Habits and Dailies for each subject, you can easily see if you’re neglecting a class.

screenshottags2
A tag for every subject! Even the obscure ones.

Turning It In: Try Due Dates

It’s a sad truth about school: at some point or another, assignments are due. Luckily, you can stay ahead of the game with Due Dates for To-Dos.

It’s easy to add Due Dates to To-Dos by editing them on the website. When you get your syllabus, be sure to add all the important dates so that you don’t lose track of them! If you want to automatically see them sorted in order by Due Date, just press the “Dated” tab and voila! A straightforward list that tells you what you have to do and when you have to do it.

This essay is due on September 23rd. (To-Dos > Edit > Due Date)
This essay is due on September 23rd. (To-Dos > Edit > Due Date)

Working Ahead: Use Start Dates

But what if you don’t want to study for your December Final Exam when its only September? That’s where Start Dates come in handy.

When you create a Daily on the website, you can add a Start Date, and it will not be active until then! This can be very useful.

Imagine you check your syllabus and see that your final exam is on December 20th. You decide to start studying one month in advance, so you create a Daily with a Start Date of November 20th. It’s still September, so your “Study for final” Daily isn’t due, and it won’t hurt your avatar. But when November 20th rolls around, that “Study for Final” Daily will pop up in your list, reminding you to open those books and get cracking!

I don't have to start studying until November! (Dailies > Edit > Advanced Options > Start Date)
I don’t have to start studying yet!
(Dailies > Edit > Advanced Options > Start Date)

And more!

Tags, Due Dates, and Start Dates are only three of the features on Habitica that can help your academic aspirations. You can learn many more by checking out some of our helpful Guilds and user-generated Challenges, where a vibrant community of students is working to support each other.

Until next time… stay productive, and have fun!
— Leslie and the Habitica Team

Communities to Help You with Back to School Season

School is starting up again, and that means a whole new set of obligations. When you’re leaving the lazy days of summer and feeling the pressure to be productive, it can help to have a community to cheer you on.

As you face this fearsome foe, consider joining these Guilds to stay motivated!

Pixel art + friendly people = productivity!
Pixel art + friendly people = productivity!

The Scholars Guild
“For the stressed high schoolers, the college students who always pull off all-nighters, or any person who just wants to learn.”
There’s a reason that the Scholars Guild is the most popular Guild in Habitica. It has an active chat for students of all ages, where people frequently compare their Most Important Tasks for the day (MITs) and lend each other helpful advice. It also features tons of useful Challenges to help you sharpen your quills and get to work.

The Graduate Student Guild
“A guild for graduate students or prospective graduate students. Use Habit to complete that thesis, dissertation, or other big foreboding project.”

Here there be grad students! In this guild focused on higher education, you’ll find students posting their research goals and commiserating about their dissertations. Heavy workloads are lightened by fun challenges such as “Hit the scrolls” to motivate you to keep up with all your work!

Teacher’s Union
“A guild for all the teachers out there. Whether you teach kindergarten, university, or anything between. Tutors welcome as well. Come here to learn new methods, share resources, or just complain about unruly students.”
It isn’t only the students who are heading back to school. Now that the summer is over, this community for teachers is filling with faculty members. Come swap teaching tips and stay accountable for your lesson plans.

And more!

Even for Habiticans who have long since graduated, there are plenty of ways to learn a thing or two. Keep your mind sharp with guilds based around other learning platforms, such as Coursera Conscripts, a Guild for Habiticans taking free online courses through Coursera, or the Duolinguists of Habitica, who encourage each other to learn new languages via Duolingo.

So don’t waste time! Head over to the site and check out these stellar scholarly communities.