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: 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: 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: Hedy Lamarr


Hedy Lamarr played a key role in the invention of spread-spectrum technology. She conceptualizing the idea of frequency hopping, which is sending radio signals from different frequency channels.

Lamarr and her co-inventor, George Antheil, developed the technology to help the Navy remotely control torpedoes. The randomized channel switching made of frequency hopping made it difficult for outside agents to understand what was being communicated.

Her work on spread-spectrum has played a part in many modern wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and led to her being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

Women in Technology: Dr. Grace Hopper


Dr. Gace Hopper was a U.S. Navy Admiral that helped invent some the the early programming languages. She is most famously associated with the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), which was based on the FLOW-MATIC language that she designed back in 1958. Hopper was convinced that if programming were produced in a form that anyone could read, then there would be more programmers. It turns out that she was right.

She is also known for being the firdt to use the term “debugging” for fixing computer problems/glitches.

LMU Faculty and Staff: Have You Checked Out Box?


Box is a secure, cloud-based document management, collaboration, and storage service. After meeting with focus groups this spring, ITS selected Box as an ideal way for faculty and staff to store and share their personal work and departmental files.

Check out some FAQs and the video below:

Who gets Box?
All current LMU faculty and staff.

What is Box?
Box is a secure file sharing and storage service that enables you to store your work documents and files in the cloud, and access those documents anywhere you can connect to the Internet. You can also share your documents with colleagues, students, external vendors, and more.

How do I get a Box account?
As of December 1, 2014, your Box account will be created as soon as you login to using your LMU credentials. You can access your Box account as long as you are an active LMU faculty or staff member.

How do I log in to Box?
Just go to, click the “Continue” button, and then enter your MYLMU username and password on the LMU Authentication page and click the “Login” button.

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How much storage space do I get?
LMU Box users get 150GB of storage, which is 15 times more storage than on the network (F:\ and G:\) drives.

I have over 150GB of files, can I get a larger quota?
Although Box can technically support larger quotas, its primary purpose is to support smaller collections of “active” files. In most cases, users with over 50GB of files are actually looking to archive files, or they have a few very large files that won’t perform well in Box. Please contact the Help Desk to arrange a discussion of your needs – often we find other solutions are more appropriate than a larger Box quota.

Why Box?
After a thorough evaluation of 10 different products, Box was selected as the appropriate tool to address LMU’s need for cloud based file storage. Box provides larger quotas, data security (with complete data encryption) and has an easy-to-use interface. You can also view, upload, and share documents from any location or device, as long as you have an Internet connection.

Any restrictions on what I can/should keep in Box?
Departmental and individual files (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, Microsoft Outlook data files (.pst), that relate to your work should be kept in Box.

• For storage of departmental video and audio, use Kaltura via MYLMU Connect.
• To store your course-specific documents, use MYLMU Connect.
• Keep your short-term communications and attachments in your email. Though, once you get started with Box, it will be very easy to share a link to a file you’d typically attach to an email, and have all of the people on the email be able to access it, anywhere on any device.