How to Stay Productive On Your Commute

Many students spend most of their time on commute – whether it is for going to school or university, going back home, or to work, or traveling to elsewhere.

Most of us spend this time day dreaming, listening to music, or playing games on your phone… and many of us would find this commute time to be very frustrating, boring, and a waste.

But have you ever wondered how you can make use of this time productively?

Have you ever thought about how you can turn this frustrating period of time into a productive one and set your day ahead?

In this article, I am going to give you:

  • A list of things you can do on your commute
  • A list of apps that I use on my commute time

Get Organized by Checking Your Calendar and To-do List

I always love to spend around 15 minutes on planning what I need to do that day, and the time of me going to my internship or university is the perfect time for this! I can easily check my calendar (to see if I have got any special appointments or deadlines for that day), and my to-do list to arrange my schedule of the day.

The calendar app I am using now is


Get Inspired

Another thing I love doing during the commute time is to take in new information. I am all about personal development and improvement, so reading and listening to new things is always a good idea.

Reading Books

For reading books, I love using Scribd. While many people would say that having a paper book feels more real and makes the reading experience better (which I totally agree!), the cost of it may be very huge. A reading platform like Scribd gives me an opportunity to read from a wide range of books without having to buy all of them. And the best thing is – you won’t feel guilty if you end up not liking a book after reading the first chapter!

Another advantage of using a digital reading app is that you don’t have to carry your books around, which is a very important to me since I have enough got enough books to carry to class!

If you are interested in reading on digital device, here is a two-month Scribd free trial for you (which is longer than the usual one-month trial)!

Listening to Audiobooks

I am always listening to something, and I especially love listening to audiobooks. I recently just listened to the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg on Scribd, and I definitely felt inspired by it. On top of Scribd, there are also many other good audiobook platforms, and I would highly recommend you to check them out!

Listening to Podcasts

If listening to audiobooks sounds too heavy to you, what about listening to some podcasts? They are usually lighter, more conversational, and very diverse in their kinds.

If you are into business and blogging, for example, you can have access to a ton of blogging- or small business- related podcasts that are going to tell you tips on how to grow your business. Alternatively, if you are a student looking for tips in excelling academically, there are also some great study tips podcasts for you!

Here are a list of podcasts that I listen to every morning:

Listening to the News

There are also many widely known news and magazines that offer podcasts – many of them are extremely informative and noteworthy. Here are a few suggestions that you can take a look at:


Learn Something New

If you are an active learner like me, why not take this time to learn something new?

Listening to educational podcasts or lectures

Do you know that you can have access to many interesting lectures on iTunes? That’s right, you can incorporate learning into your commute time! Here are some of my favorites:

Learning different languages or strengthening your language skills

What’s better to do in this short period amount of time than to improve your language skills? Nowadays, there are so many apps and podcasts that offer short and interesting language lessons that can allow you to learn languages on the go!

Podcasts you can look for:

Language Learning Platforms:

Take an online course

I actually have some online course platform’s apps on my phone – so in case I have access to wifi I can take those lessons on the go.

Record All Your Brilliant Ideas

Remember when you always have some amazingly good ideas while you are commuting? Why not write them down or record them! You can always do that on your journal or notebook, but, just in case if it’s not convenient to use a notebook when you are on commute:

  • Use the record app on your phone: this is a great option if you drive! Just think out loud and record your great ideas!
  • The notes app from my phone is the brain dump for me – I basically put all my ideas for blogging in it!
  • Alternatively, you can use note-taking apps like Evernote and OneNote (which I use for taking class notes and reviewing my lecture notes!)



I put this the last because, while studying is very important, I believe we all do a lot of that at home already. However, I do get a lot of questions asking me that how they can find time to study because they are taking up some part-time jobs or they have a lot of commitments. And the answer I give to them always include making use of your commute time to study.

There are so many ways you can do so, and currently the way I do it is:

  • I read on the Documents 5 app: this is an awesome app that allows you to annotate on your pdfs. Around a few weeks into the semester, I feel the absolute need to find time to read them when I commute with the intensive amount of readings. Having the Document 5 app is definitely a lifesaver for me. I can’t recall how many readings I have finished when I am commuting!
  • Sometimes, I read my notes on OneNote: I take many of my notes on OneNote (as you can see in my note-taking system). I can always review them when I am on the way to school.
  • I study using my notecards: I personally am not a huge fan of digital notecards – just because I like the freedom I have on paper notecards to add drawings, annotations, extra points etc. If I am taking a public transit, I can take those cards out and quickly quiz myself.
  • Sometimes, I may go as far as taking out my notebook and read them – but that’s probably because I need to take a test really soon!

If you are wondering what digital notecard apps you can use, here are some recommendations for you:

What great resources or apps did I miss? Let me know in the comments!



  • Anonymous
    Awsome! : )
  • By the way, I've been trying to find a good scheduling/task app. I tried Splendo. I didn't like Habitica. I'm using Google Keep for simple tasks: groceries, reminders. I put everyday reminders in Google Calendar. But with school, I'm stuck in old-fashioned paper. I read a how-to on Asana on your site. Is that good for mobile? And can I dump Google Keep & use Asana as a simple task list as well as my organizer? Thanks!
    • I wouldn't recommend Asana if you are looking for a simple and personal tool. Asana is a great team project manager, but it can be a bit complicated to use. If you are looking for a simple to-do app, todoist, trello and are awesome alternatives.
      • Thanks! After looking at all 3 of those, I'm giving Trello a try!

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