Tag: tips

Toggl – Time tracking that works

Salam. I was browsing the web to see how freelance designers are charging for a website design project. So I found that some designers give package price and some applies hourly basis.

So, I wonder how does a designer track their time, I mean how long do their work? Finally I’ve landed into a design blog that share list of free web applications for designer. One of them is Toggl which attracts me to try it.

Its hard for me to describe about how it works. So, I will just share with you how I use Toggl.

1. Create an account
Its where your data is stored, including client, project, task and duration.

2. Download PC version
This apps will open the time tracking tool which is connected to internet.

3. Create a task and the time starts ticking!
As simple as that. That’s why I enjoy using Toggl. You can always press the button to start or stop the time.

This is the screenshot of my report for the March 2010.

What I can say from the graph is that I’m only work during my weekend and if the project is urgent, then I’ll have to work on weeknights as well. The picture below shows the duration for each task that I’ve done. It feels good to know how long does it takes for me to finish certain task such as converting from PSD to CSS or designing a mockup.

What are the benefit of using time tracking tools?

  1. Be honest in doing your work. (Amanah)
  2. Makes you more focus on your job.
  3. You can estimate how long it takes for certain type of task and projects.
  4. Understand and appreciate the value of time.

For the time being, I’m considering of using hourly basis for some jobs. Thanks to Toggl. Now I know how some freelancers charge for their jobs. Toggl is not just for freelance designers, you also can try it if you want to know how long have you spent on certain jobs.

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12 Tips on How to Become A Best Student

Salam. Life’s been hectic for the past weeks and I haven’t update my blog regularly. So, in this entry, I just want to share few tips on becoming a best student based on my experience after five year in IIUM.

Thanks to Along for asking me this question in the chatbox. Since the question is quite general, I’ll share few tips, which is applicable for active university students, especially for students from art and design school.

1. Get noticed!

Its about connecting you and your lecturer. My strategy is to be punctual for classes and ask question during the lecture. It is important because the lecturer will notice you and it can help them when giving marks for your assignment. Other way to get noticed is to sleep during the lecture but it’s not gonna be a good impression.

2. Breakfast

Lots of students used to skip breakfast. But I’ll try my best to eat at least Gardenia or Sweetie buns. You may read more about the benefits here. It works for me and I believe it works for you too.

3. Excel in coursework

It is important to get your course outline when semester begins. Study the percentage of coursework, quiz and exams. For design student, usually its a 10% attendance, 50-60% for all minor projects and 30-40% for final project. Next, understand the grade, A = 85-100%, A- = 75-84%. I guess you know how to score the subject. 8% attendance, 45% minor and 25% final and you will get 78% which is A-. Pretty easy huh? [Via]

4. Have a regular nap and sleeping hours

I used to have a nap either before or after Zohor prayer. This is important to make sure you can focus on evening classes. Don’t stay up late at night doing your work. If you really have to stay up, at least you should sleep at 2am and continue your work after Subuh prayer. Doing work or studying in the morning is good for memorization and focus!
Continue reading

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My Last Day as IIUM student

Salam. Today I want to share with you guys what happen on my last day as IIUM students. Its been an interesting five years, one year in Matric (now CFS) and another four years in Gombak main campus.

Lots of memories, good and bad, from friendship to relationship, from nobody to somebody, I really enjoy my day life as IIUM student. Most of the the interesting stuff that happen to me, I had blogged about it. It has always been a great life with my KAED friend, especially my studiomates in AAD. I also enjoy joining AKHI Club, because it was my stepping stone in knowing lots of students from other kulliyahs (faculties) and department. There’s nothing to lose if we know lots of people. More people, bigger network and InsyaAllah more bounties (rezeki).

Credit hour system

Enough of the brief introduction, so here’s the main thing. The real thing that happen on my last day as a student is doing the clearance. IIUM has different system compared to other public universities. Once a student has completed all credit hours, mine is 143, he or she can graduate from IIUM. Some students do it in three years (architecture), some 3.5 years (HS and ENMS) but a normal student usually finish it in four years. Basically ‘Clearance’ is a process where students have to make sure he/she has settle any debts, summon and fine.

Clearance ‘Explorace’ game

iium-anr-graduation-clearance-form.jpgMy last day as IIUM student is the first day of Semester 1 Session 2009/2010. There are lots of students in administrative offices but I manage to get my clearance done. I call this clearance thing as my final ‘explorace’ game in IIUM. There are five important checkpoint where I have to get approval before going to the next checkpoint. This is how Clearance form looks like. You can download it here.

The checkpoints are:
1. Legal Unit, Office of the Rector (3rd floor above HS cafe)
2. Finance Division
3. Library
4. Residential College (Mahallah)
5. IIUM Security

But first of all, I have to go to A&R Division to get the ‘explorace’ form. Well, I manage to get to all five checkpoints within one hour. Let me share some tips if you want to settle it quickly. Actually, I’ve Continue reading

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Communication skills talk by Fadzli Yusof

Salam. In the past two entries, I’ve mention about my last program with AKHI Club (as a student) in Cermas Agropark Camp. So, let me share few things especially from the motivational talk from Fadzli Yusof.

First of all, I’m quite surprised to know that he was an IIUM student and he was the SRC president in 2002 (not sure). He has degree in Laws but he enjoy talking and motivate others. That is basically how he become a trainer. For more info, you can check his website.

Since he was an IIUM student, he truly understand our environment and lifestyle. That’s make him so special and I really enjoy listening to his talk. He’s such a busy guy and he don’t really update his blog.

Among the topic that he shared with us is how to communicate efficiently. Please note that this is more about interpersonal communication. Communicate through blog is different. I’ll try to share it in the simplest word here.

Elements in Communication Skills

He said that there are three main elements in communication skills. Surprisingly, words are only 7% of our communication. The other two is 38% tonality and 55% body language.

Besides that, he shares his own scientific formula for the success of communication skills. It is look (eye contact) smile and greetings or salam. If he call it science, then I would like to call it as the art of communication. Em.. what’s the different though?

Teknik Sapaan 135

Finally, he shared with us ‘Teknik Sapaan 135’ which mean greeting technique within one, three or five minutes. This is the best way to get to know (taaruf) people that we used to come across in a short time. Imagine like you used to meet this guy/girl in college, cafe or class, but you never talk with him/her. Even though you always came across each other, you never know his/her name. So, he shared this one cool technique on how to get to know his/her name professionally. (Somehow, it sounds like a flirting technique).

1. Talk something general. What you see and what he/she sees. Don’t talk about personal stuff.
2. Finally you can ask for his/her name before ending the conversation.

I like the idea of this 135 greeting technique. If I knew about it earlier, I could have make more friends in UIA. However, the real challenge is to apply this technique in the real world out there, I mean the workforce.

How to become popular in the society?

In an article I’ve read few years back, one of the technique to become popular in the society (e.g. at faculty or campus) is Continue reading

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Langkawi Day 2 – Island Hopping and Dataran Lang

After having breakfast across the motel, we are ready for the island hopping activities. Basically, its one of the must do activity in Langkawi where you’ll have the opportunity to visit and explore surrounding islands in Langkawi. Note that there are 99 islands around Langkawi.

Traveller Tips: Usually it only cost about RM30 per pax. Its better to bargain otherwise they will charge you up to RM45.

About 10am, we arrived at Teluk Baru jetty. One boat for ten people. If you come in a smaller group, you have to share the boat with other groups. The first destination is The Island of Pregnant Maiden or locally known as Pulau Dayang Bunting.

Tasik Dayang Bunting

This is one of the largest natural lake that I’ve ever seen on an island. I used to swim in a river, sea and swimming pool but this is the first time I’m swimming in a lake! Since the lake is quite deep, you should know how to swim or float your body. Otherwise, you’ll drown inside the lake. But don’t worry because you can rent a life-jacket for RM5.
langkawi-day2-dayang bunting
Most of the guys just having fun diving and photo shoot. While the girls were riding a cycling boat around the lake. The most memorable thing that happen at the lake was that, when I want to jump into the lake, I slipped on the deck and I hurt my butt because it was wet and slippery. Ouch!

Lesson 01 – always be determined with what you are doing. Don’t have doubts. Just do it. Jump and dive!

About 1230pm, we left Pulau Dayang Bunting and we are heading for the eagle feeding activities near Pulau Singa Besar. Its one of a unique sighting as you can see lots of eagles flying near you. Our boat captain threw some chicken’s fat into the sea. Then all of the eagles will fly and grab their meals.

Lesson 02 – bring your zoom lens if you want to take a cool pictures of the eagle.

Pulau Beras Basah

It was a hot sunny day at Pulau Beras Basah. I’ll translate it as The Island of Wet Rice. A lot of tourist was sunbathing and there are also paragliding activities going on. We have some snack before going to the beach.
Suddenly, one of my friends had lost her purse. She said that she left it at a toilet in Pulau Dayang Bunting. Some of us accompanied her back to the island and hoped that she will found back her purse. But to no avail, she lost it. I still remember she just withdraw some cash earlier today.

Lesson 03 – don’t bring wallet or valuable items while island hopping. Its hard to hop back to the other island.

While we were having fun at the beach, one of my friend got injured due to some thorns got stuck on his foot. Ouch! I can say that there were more than 10 thorns and it really painful. Poor him. Actually, I was just about to go into the sea but when seeing him got injured, I guess I’ll have to wait.

Lesson 04 – be careful when you are swimming in the sea! Danger may lies between your legs.

Stone Skipping (Skimming)

So, since I’m not going into the sea, I just spend the time at Pulau Beras Basah, trying to stone skipping. I’m not really good at it. I only manage to get three skipping while my friend got seven! You really need to have a good throwing technique. You may need to check this website if you want to become a better stone skipper!

About 2pm, we went back to the jetty at Teluk Baru. So, that’s the end of our island hopping activities. After that, we have our lunch at Restoran Aroma, just opposite of Underwater World. Its a tiring day and all of us were fast asleep once we arrived our lovely motel.

Dataran Lang – the largest eagle statue in the world

Langkawi has been associated with the eagles because Lang derived from the word Helang which means eagle. While ‘kawi’ derived from a Sanskrit term for brown. So Langkawi is a brown eagle or scientifically known as Brahmini Kite. That’s what is written on the signage at Dataran Lang.
Well, do you realize it or not? The eagle statue can be considered as the largest animal statue in Malaysia. Suddenly I was thinking about idols or worship. Photo shoot is the main activity in Dataran Lang. However, the star shaped platform has limited the position to take a good shot. Personally, I love perspective angles instead of the front and side view of the eagle. I’d like to propose for an expansion project so that visitors may appreciate and have a better picture with the eagle.

I still remember how the Merlion in Singapore is moved to another spot and give the opportunity for visitors to take better pictures. This is one of the best jumping picture taken by one of my friends.

Jetty Point, Kuah

Since it was raining, we rush to the Jetty Point to look for shelter. Jetty Point has gone some renovation and its not the same as 9 years ago. But, there’s nothing much to offer. So we just waste our time there with shopping and loitering. But there is an arcade for us to play some game. I’m not really into these kind of things but then, there’s one game that really caught my attention.
It was Crazy Taxi 2 arcade version. I’ve been playing this game on my PC since my high school. This is the first time I’ve found the arcade machine in Malaysia. Even though it’s the same game, but the control is quite different compared with PC.

Bamboo Beach Restaurant

Finally, we have our dinner at Bamboo Beach Restaurant. My friend told me to give poor remarks about this restaurant. So guys, don’t come to this restaurant. Eventhough the food is just fine, but the service is poor. Who want’s to wait for the meal and sit on a shaky chair and table?
Finally, we went back to the motel and have a good rest for tomorrow.

Image credit to Uzair Asri, Nik Eiddy Karma, Sadeed.

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