Cutting distractions, staying focused

screenshot_2016-11-03-12-25-21For all the technology we have around us, it’s sometimes hard to stay on task. With emails, texts, and other notifications sounding off every few minutes, how can you concentrate on the paper, lesson, or project you’re putting together? What’s more, it’s easier to check Twitter than to get started on writing a new story, article, or presentation. That’s where Forest can help you grow!

Forest is a slick app that gives you a fun, visual way to stay focused. You set a timer (for as many minutes as you’d like) and pick a tree, then click “Plant” to begin the timer. If you can stay on task (not checking your phone), then your tree will grow to full size when you reach the time you set. After days and weeks of growing, you’ll have a forest of productivity and hopefully some great resulting work, too!

Download Forest for Apple, Android, or Windows phone. You can also get browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, in which you can set up a blacklist of distracting sites (like email or social media) that you can’t visit while you’re growing/working.

Missing Moodle emails? Check Clutter!

Several reports of missing Moodle emails have been reported. The most common issue is emails are ending up in the Clutter folder in webmail. The Clutter feature is designed to identify email that is “cluttering” your inbox and pull it out so you can focus on the important stuff, but your course information and announcements are very important, so while we try to fix Clutter, you can take the following steps.

1. Turn Clutter off.
2. Check your Clutter folder regularly.
3. Check your course News Forums regularly. This forum is located at the top of every Moodle course, unless your instructor hides it because they’re not using it, then you won’t need to check it anyway!

From the desk of User Services…

In case you missed this important announcement in your email, here’s all the details regarding PaperCut, a new campus initiative to raise awareness on waste and improve environmental footprint.

IITS would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new sustainability initiative being deployed across campus.

After a year of careful review and consideration and with a cooperative spirit with the Green Initiative, we have identified a software based solution that will help support our campus goals for sustainability and good stewardship of resources.

PaperCut is a product designed to heighten your awareness of your printing habits on campus. It is designed to save paper, save budgets, and save the environment all at the same time. Read more…

Download the Fall 2016 Registrar Calendar

IITS Logo with title redOn behalf of IITS, we want to offer you this download of the Fall 2016 semester calendar. It’s in .ics format, so you can import it into your Office 365 calendar, Outlook client calendar, Google calendar or any other service you use. It covers all the dates found on the Registrar’s page, but in a format that will travel with you! Note: Details for some events will be in emails, so check often. This is our small gift to you as you begin the new school year. We hope it makes your scheduling a bit easier.

Read more…

Can’t find emails? Maybe it’s a display setting

If you’re losing emails because they’re being sorted by subject and collapsed together, you may be plagued by the default “Conversations” display setting in email. Inspired by the revolutionary difference Gmail made to email organization, Microsoft followed suit to make something really great, if you’re used to it.

If you’re not used to it and you want your newest emails on top, sorted chronologically, like you always loved, then go here to find out how to change your display settings and put that conversation to bed!