It’s got to be simple to prepare for online classes. Just turn on your laptop or phone and sit there right? How hard can it be?

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that—but preparing for online learning can still be easy if you know what to do. Here’s how to get yourself ready to make the most out of your online classes. 


We’re gonna start with some tough love here. From the very start, train yourself to treat online classes like face-to-face classes. You’ve paid to get here, and you’re here to learn something. If you spend the time keeping your lecturer in the background while you scroll TikTok, you’re gonna lose out in the end.

How do you get yourself in the right mindset? Set goals and keep yourself honest. At the end of the week, check if you’ve managed to accomplish what you wanted. If you fall behind, that’s fine—just ask your lecturer or classmate for help. It’s better than panicking at the end of the semester.


Organising can seem like a lot of work, but it actually helps you keep track of what you need to do. First off, look out for your major assignments and put them in your calendar. It will help if you also jot down other commitments that might disturb your schedule (vaccination appointments, maybe?)

Some people work better under a strict schedule, where they set aside certain hours for assignments, revision or reviewing lectures. Some don’t, and that’s fine too. But a basic schedule will help you finish your work on time, regardless of what time of the day you want to do it.

There are loads of tools you can use to maximise your productivity when preparing for online classes. To-do list apps like Any.do, Todoist and TickTick help you keep track of all the tasks you need to accomplish—education-related or not. Clockify helps you set a timer for the tasks that you need to focus on (and it makes you guilty when you see how much time you waste). Check out this list for more apps that will be your online class bestie.


Every king or queen has a castle. Every eagle has a mountain. To prepare for online classes, you need the right study space. Create one for yourself with a good table and a comfortable chair that won’t break your back after two hours.

Surround your study castle/mountain with your study weapons—they could be notebooks, colourful pens, highlighters or even snacks. You need to make it a space that you’re happy to return to; not a place of doom and sadness. Just make sure you clean up the snacks. Oh, and if you can, try to find a window with sunlight. It will keep you fresh and alert.

An example of too many snacks on your table. (Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash)


In addition to laptops, desktop computers or phones, you might need some additional tools for online learning. To ensure that you have enough storage, familiarise yourself with Google Drive and keep some pen-drives handy.

Earphones/headphones, extension plugs and proper lighting around your study space will also be helpful during video conferences or presentations.


Ever notice that everything on YouTube seems super interesting when you’re doing work? You’re not alone. Avoiding distraction isn’t easy when you’re preparing for online learning and it requires practice.


Despite the heading above, we’re not telling you to smash your phone. Just turn it off for a while, or keep it somewhere out of reach (and earshot). Get away from the TV, and for those morning classes, GET OUT OF BED. In fact, be as far away from your bed as possible.

There are apps for everything nowadays, and there are apps that you can use to block time-wasting sites. Cold Turkey, Freedom, and Offtime are all options to track and control your time online.

Need more life hacks? Check them out here. Happy learning!


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