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Cheap study aids!

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Cheap study aids!

Postby Wakannai » Wed 03.19.2008 9:24 pm

This thread isn't about the usual study aids, but more McGuyver style aids. You don't need duct tape and string. But whatever you propose should be cheap and something that people usually wouldn't think of when they think "Study aids."

I'll try to update stuff to the op anything others submit that fit the bill.

1. Post-it notes.
usage: Tear off all but the tacky part and stick it under the sentence you are copying from your textbook. For study I mainly write out my dialogs and such. But when I do it's really easy to lose my place every time I look away from the page. I'm continually wasting time re-finding my place or picking up in the wrong place and only realizing it when my sentences don't make any sense. These post-its stop that problem cold.

2. Wire book holder.
These things are great. They keep the page from turning while I thumb through my dictionary or write out what I see. The wire ones conform to just about any book size and don't over stretch the binding the way the solid music-stands do.

3. 原稿用紙. Credit to fielle.
I made myself a 漢字練習 sheet for . . . practicing kanji. I can just print out a page (or copy a blank one) any time I need one, and it keeps me in line without feeling that I have to squish my writing into regular lined paper. I've uploaded it here if anyone else wants to use it.
Reserved ---I will post a link to my favorite genkou youshi when I get home and can look it up.

4. Erasable board. Credit to treyebrow
Good for remembering vocabulary/kanji because you can write so big and colorfully. it also saves you from going through hundreds of notebooks and journals... (a good thing to take note of: be sure not to use rubbing alchohol/ paint thinner/ acetone to remove a stubborn mark... that will just eat away the smooth finish of the whiteboard
Last edited by Wakannai on Sat 03.22.2008 7:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby richvh » Wed 03.19.2008 10:33 pm

Wire book holder? I just use the telephone I keep on the stand next to my computer table as a weight to hold the book open.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby Wakannai » Wed 03.19.2008 10:50 pm

richvh wrote:Wire book holder? I just use the telephone I keep on the stand next to my computer table as a weight to hold the book open.


The cool thing about the wire book holder is it doesn't cover up any of the text and it frees up desk space by proping the book up at an angle. I can push the book back and plop my dictionary infront of it, and then put my gokouyoushi infront of me. Also, unlike a paperweight. It doesn't hold the book completely flat. A flat hardback is generally ok, but flattening a paperback breaks the binding. Also, a large paperweight, like a phone, if you put it on the edge of the page so as to not to cover any text, you are using up even more deskspace that might be unavailable, or better used for something else. And lastly, if the book is flat and lying at any distance, it is harder to read the text at the top of the page without moving the book because of the angle. If it is proped up , this isn't an issue and I don't have to move the book every time I refer to it.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby yukamina » Thu 03.20.2008 12:22 am

Wire book holder? Sounds pretty awesome. I always have trouble juggling books, and I'm also more or less too lazy to hold up books :lol:

I don't have any suggestions. My study materials consist of cheap note pads and the computer. And a pencil.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby fielle » Thu 03.20.2008 11:03 am

I made myself a 漢字練習 sheet for . . . practicing kanji. I can just print out a page (or copy a blank one) any time I need one, and it keeps me in line without feeling that I have to squish my writing into regular lined paper. I've uploaded it here if anyone else wants to use it.

I think one of my favorite study aids is the copy machine. I will copy pages out of books I own, and scribble all over them as needed, highlight unknown words and the like. Maybe other people can write directly in books, but it's not something that I can do. Then I will take them on the bus with me, fold them up to take up less room, etc. etc.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby yukamina » Thu 03.20.2008 12:49 pm

I take things out from the library a lot, then I can read and study from a variety of books without spending money. I write down any info I want to keep, and that in itself helps me remember it.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby treyebrow » Sat 03.22.2008 6:06 pm

i actually bought a 2 by 3 foot whiteboard, a few pens and an erasor for i think about 20 or 30 bucks... wow way awesome. good for remembering vocabulary/kanji because you can write so big and colorfully. i definately recommend buying a whiteboard... it also saves you from going through hundreds of notebooks and journals... (a good thing to take note of: be sure not to use rubbing alchohol/ paint thinner/ acetone to remove a stubborn mark... that will just eat away the smooth finish of the whiteboard :D )
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby Wakannai » Sat 03.22.2008 7:29 pm

Ok definitely adding that one. There are actually cheaper erasable boards too. I have a small 8x11 erasable board. And I've seen some about the size of a 3x5 card too. Pretty handy. My board is metallic not white though :)

I take things out from the library a lot, then I can read and study from a variety of books without spending money. I write down any info I want to keep, and that in itself helps me remember it.


Sorry yukamina, but this doesn't qualify under the "something that people usually wouldn't think of when they think 'Study aids'" rule

I made myself a 漢字練習 sheet for . . . practicing kanji. I can just print out a page (or copy a blank one) any time I need one, and it keeps me in line without feeling that I have to squish my writing into regular lined paper. I've uploaded it here if anyone else wants to use it.


That's a good idea too Fielle. I'll put that up right now, and add my own with it so people can use whichever they prefer.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby yukamina » Sat 03.22.2008 9:14 pm

Books =/= study "aids", I know. But it's a cheap alternative to spending $20-60+shipping and handling for books, it could be useful to someone else...

On a side note, graph paper might be cheaper than print outs in the long run.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby Wakannai » Sat 03.22.2008 10:32 pm

yukamina wrote:Books =/= study "aids", I know. But it's a cheap alternative to spending $20-60+shipping and handling for books, it could be useful to someone else...

On a side note, graph paper might be cheaper than print outs in the long run.


I'm not saying your idea isn't a study aid, I'm saying that most everyone already knows about libraries and how they are free. And the point of the thread was study aids most people wouldn't even think of.

Depends on where you get your printouts. But more importantly, graph paper is just too small. Using 4 boxes to write one letter on graph paper is not aesthetically pleasing at all; writing in one square is too small and does not promote good writing habits. While a completed genkou youshi is very satisfying. I used graph paper when I first started out. Believe me, Genkou youshi are far better. They are worth the minimal extra expense.

Besides, the point of this thread isn't how to save money. It's material ways to improve study that are cheap.
In other words, EXTRA supplies to spend money on that are inexpensive, not ways to save on supplies most people would get anyway. Like flash cards or pencils. Although, I'm sure if you or someone else made such a thread, I'm sure there would be many contributers.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby getsutora » Sun 05.17.2009 4:30 pm

You can use a 4-square on a graph paper depending on the size of the squares as a way to keep each quadrant of the kanji in line with how it should look.

I can't upload a PDF to a forum post, but I have a pdf copy of a genkou yoshi if you want to upload it here....
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby monkeykoder » Mon 05.18.2009 11:01 pm

Wakannai wrote:(a good thing to take note of: be sure not to use rubbing alchohol/ paint thinner/ acetone to remove a stubborn mark... that will just eat away the smooth finish of the whiteboard


Interesting note... The best way I've found to remove stubborn stains is actually to just write over them and erase.
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Re: Cheap study aids!

Postby Miaow » Fri 05.29.2009 11:00 pm

I use my graph paper notebook for practice writing kanji.

Like another poster, I just can't bring myself to write in my textbooks, so I use these cool "annotation bookmarks"from http://www.levenger.com. (just search for "annotation bookmarks).They have a slit in them so you can attach them to a page, so they don't all fly out. I suppose one can make their own from regular index cards, too. The Levenger cards are colour-coded, which I like.
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