How I Work: Nicole Schoenberger
November 9, 2017
Nicole Schoenberger is a MLIS student in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University.
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Current Gig: I’m currently in my last term of my MLIS and applying to jobs. I’m also working part-time with OCUL’s Ask virtual reference service.
One word that best describes how you work: Organized
Current mobile device: Samsung S4
Current computer: HP ProBook 4520s
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
On my laptop I use the “Sticky Notes” widget to keep track of my To Dos, or to make some quick notes in cases when I don’t want to create a new Word document which I usually use. I find it especially helpful when I want to keep track of multiple lists – right now I have different notes for school To Dos, job search notes, and quotes I like.
I don’t have data on my phone so I don’t use a lot of apps there, but I recently found “I Love Hue” (puzzles where you re-order coloured tiles into spectrums). Its super relaxing and I’d definitely recommend it.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I try to have all the things I need to work on schoolwork on or at my desk. Other than my laptop, I also have a big 4-month wall calendar on the wall and a monthly calendar on my desk with all my assignments and appointments on it. Other than that, I don’t really have a lot of stuff as my desk.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Nothing too fancy, but I like to keep the links I use most often (email, course websites, Ask virtual reference login page etc) bookmarked to show up along the top of my browser.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I mainly use paper To Do lists (there’s something every satisfying about crossing things off) but also Sticky Notes on my laptop for cases when I’m on the go.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My tablet (Samsung Galaxy 4) has been one of my best purchases. It’s very handy to take to classes to take notes on or even to watch videos on.
Do you find yourself always working on something? Or when you finish a project, do you take time to let your mind wander without concern for what’s next?
I’m usually working on something. Often times I’m working on assignments for school at once so it’s more a case of figuring out how to best juggle several things at once. After a big project I do like to take a little bit of time as a break before diving back into things, just to give myself some time to recharge.
What do you listen to while you work?
It really depends on the day. Sometimes I’ll watch something on the side while I’m taking notes, but I do like to listen to music while I’m working, especially ‘trailer music’ which works really well as background music without being distracting.
What are you currently reading?
Beyond the readings for my courses and my individual study this term, I’ve been reading a lot of crime novels. Most recently, I started reading The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg.
How do you recharge?
During the week I use sleep to recharge, especially during times when I have a lot to do. Like I mentioned above, I also try to take breaks between assignments to make sure that I don’t get burned out. Even just taking an afternoon off from working on things can really help me get re-focused. I also use weekends as “me time” when I try to focus on spending time with my family and partner – he’s also finishing up school so we use this time as a break from usual commitments.
What’s your sleep routine like?
Pretty consistent but something I’m working on. I need sleep to function well so I always make sure that I get sleep, but as a student I’m also working on making sure to get to bed early.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Something I try to do when I’m preparing for an interview, assignment, or presentation is to “over prepare and then go with the flow”. This has always served me well and I’d highly recommend it, especially for things that you might not feel very confident with. Another piece of advice that I’ve found very helpful is asking whether “this will matter in 5 years” when I’m faced with something stressful or concerning.