As a blogger and YouTuber, one way I monetize my online work is by recommending various products that I’ve used throughout my time as a grad student, college instructor, and PhD candidate. By becoming an “affiliate” for the companies that sell these products, I receive a commission if someone buys the products using my affiliate links. Of course, you are not charged more when buying in this way.

Here are some companies and products that I’ve used and would recommend for anyone looking to solve certain problems that tend to crop up as an academic.

Disclaimer: Many of the links below are Rakuten Affiliate Network links, which means I receive a commission when you purchase a product using these hyperlinks. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see my disclosure policy, linked at the bottom of each page on this website.

Problem 1: I keep forgetting to put new tasks, events, meetings, etc. into my calendar app while I’m on-the-go.

Solution: Carry a small physical planner with you in your bag, purse, or suitcase. Get into the habit of always taking it out and writing in it when a new responsibility pops up while you’re out-and-about.

Brands I Recommend?

I love my Happy Planner, but it’s a really feminine, cutesy brand. The best part of their planners is the discbound system it uses, though, so here are options that aren’t so cutesy that offer this system or ones similar to it.

For a more professional look:


For a more colorful or sporty look:

Problem 2: At home, I tend to write down new tasks, meetings, and events on the nearest post-it note or random notebook, but I often misplace these notes before adding the information to my app or planner.

Solution: Get a desk calendar or wall calendar that’s big enough to catch your attention every time you’re in that room. [Put it in a room you go into often.] Use that calendar for all these random reminders, rather than little pieces of paper that are easy to lose.

Brands I Recommend?

Problem 3: I’m struggling to stay productive when I have so many responsibilities to handle at one time.

Solution: If turning to YouTube, Twitter, and Google Search isn’t working to help you get on track, consider investing in your productivity journey with this bundle of 73 different products designed specifically with productivity in mind. My bullet journal course is just one of the resources included in this collection.

Note: Many of these products are specifically designed for women, especially mothers trying to get it all done. The products range from quick win worksheets, to hours long courses that take weeks to implement fully.

Problem 4: My teaching, research, and service responsibilities are keeping me from getting an exercise routine going.

Solution: I thrive off of competing with others and getting data on my fitness routine. So, I use my Apple iWatch to track my exercise and compete with my family members who also have the watch. Of course, I know that these watches are really expensive, so here are other brands that are much less expensive and still highly reviewed.

Brands I Recommend?

Fitbit Inspire HR (I love Fitbit. I also recommend the Charge HR, but it’s more expensive.)

Lintelek Fitness Tracker (Very inexpensive, but still highly reviewed. I haven’t tried this one, though.)