Conquering Finals: 3 Tech Tools to Keep you Focused During Finals Week

 Strict Workflow

Strict Workflow operates of the idea of working for a period of time and then taking a break. With Strict Workflow you focus for 25 minutes, then reward yourself with a sanity-saving 5 minute break. You click on the tomato to start the timer, and it sits unobtrusively in the corner of your screen. You can also blacklist specific sites during your sessions.

Productivity Owl

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Productivity Owl is a Chrome extension that follows your internet tracks, and has the capability to run interference on your time-wasting. When you’re not being productive, Productivity Owl swoops in and closes your procrastination tabs. You can specify websites always allowed, block other websites, and schedule free time in your browser to do whatever you’d like. You can also save webpages for later.  Productivity Owl allows you a certain amount of time on sites so you’re forced to get the information you need quickly before it closes the tab.


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StayFocusd is a Google Chrome app that increases your productivity by limiting access to time-wasting websites. It allows users a certain amount of time on social media sites per day, and blocks the site after the time limit is reached. StayFocusd can block webpages, paths and images.

Conquering Finals:


It’s finals season and that means college students everywhere are preparing for exams, presentations, or writing papers!

If you’re one of the students working on a presentation or portfolio for finals you’re in luck. LMU offers access to a website called for all students, faculty and staff! You may have heard about through our Tech Training Tuesday or maybe you’ve used it in the past. If you’re unfamiliar, is a website with free tutorial videos.

So, for this finals season why not refresh your brain on how to make the most of the software you use for your final projects. You can get training on how to most efficiently use programs such as Prezi, powerpoint, or even video editing software like AVID, or the whole Adobe creative suite.

To all the LMU students, from ITS we wish you the best during finals. Study hard, work hard, then enjoy the summer!

Women in Technology: Roberta Williams


Roberta Williams is one of the most influential PC game designers of the 80’s & 90’s and has been credited with creating the graphic adventure genre. Sierra On-Line, later known as Sierra Entertainment was the name of the company Roberta & her husband Ken WIlliams  founded.

Williams’ games taught logic and problem-solving skills, but made it seem like an adventure the entire time, in much the same way that gamification transforms ordinary things like, location check-ins, into an exciting quest to collect digital badges.

You can see  Roberta’s ideas and concepts in other gaming genres, like fighting games that almost always include a “quest” mode where the fighter must battle his way through to seal his victory.

Women in Technology Website Spotlight:

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 575 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers.

NCWIT works to correct the imbalance of gender diversity in technology and computing because gender diversity positively correlates with a larger workforce, better innovation, and increased business performance. Increasing the number of women in technology and computing also has the potential to improve the design of products and services to better serve a more diverse population, and increase economic and social well-being by providing more women with stable and lucrative careers.

Learn more about NCWIT here.

Women in Technology: Susan Kare


Susan Kare was the designer who helped bring the Apple computer to life with her typography and iconic graphic design skills. She shaped many of the now-common interface elements of the Mac, like the command icon. She also created the Happy Mac icon, which greeted Apple users when they booted their machines, and the trash can icon. Susan’s efforts to make the computer feel more like a friend, and less like a machine.Kare’s design work didn’t stop with Apple, her designs can be seen in many of Facebook’s “digital gifts,” including the friendly rubber ducky.

Women in Technology Website Spotlight:

girls in tech la

Girls in Tech (GIT) is an non-profit organization founded in 2007 that was born out of a need to provide a place for women to cultivate ideas around their careers and business concepts involving technology.  GIT focuses on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology.

The Los Angeles Chapter of Girls in Tech, (GITLA) is 100% volunteer-run by collaborating with community partners and volunteers. They are committed to forging the next generation of technology leaders through their partner mentorship programs, that work with girls in middle school and high school, and with college women to educate and promote interest in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) disciplines.

GIT aims to offer a variety of resources including educational workshops and lectures, networking functions, round table discussions, conferences, social engagements, and recruitment events to supplement and further enhance women in their professional careers and aspirations in technology. Girls in Tech currently supports over 17,000 members spread between 37 active chapters worldwide.

Learn more by visiting the Girls In Tech website here.

Women in Technology: Barbara Askins


Barbara Askins was a NASA chemist at the famed Marshall Space Flight Center. There she was challeneged with the task of inventing a way to improve astronomical and geological photos taken from space. The current photos  were often fuzzy and lacked definition.

Barbara’s invention involved the use of radioactive materials to enhance negatives. It turned out that these radioactive materials could also be used to enhance images even after the pictures had been developed. Barbara received a patent for her invention in 1978 and her method was used by NASA with great success.

Her invention was also adopted outside of NASA for a variety of other uses, including improving the clarity of x-rays and restoring old photographs. Barbara was honored as the National Inventor of the Year in 1978.

Women in Technology Website Spotlight:

blk grl code

Black Girls CODE is an organization that is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. Black Girls CODE has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow.

By promoting classes and programs they hope to grow the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become the masters of their technological worlds.  The skills they acquire through the programs give these young women a chance at well-paying professions with prestigious companies, as well as the ability to enter into the field as an entrepreneurs and leaders of technology.

Their motto is “Imagine. Build. Create.”

Learn more about Black Girls CODE here.