Japanese study routine evolution

Since I'm planning on taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N3 this year, I've been trying to stay serious about my daily studies. The tools and resources that I use often evolve (which keeps things fresh for me), and it's funny how I automatically start new things and stop others without even thinking about it. My current daily routine combines several tasks (some serious, others more for fun) which I try to stay consistent with, especially while my tutor Kumiko is gone for the summer!

Right now I think the most difficult thing I'm studying is grammar, since by the time you get to N3 the concepts get a little obscure. I can generally understand most sentences I read, but when it comes to choosing exact conjugation and syntax, that's a different story! I'm using the lessons in Nihongo So-matome, which is pretty well designed, although I think some of the test questions are too difficult (or I'm just way behind!). To supplement my grammar, I'm also reading through Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide (a section a day), since I always find new info in its concise descriptions each time I go over it.

I've switched my kanji study back to Kanji Box, mainly because it's the best app with a full iPad version, and I really love burning through a ton of questions every day and then checking out my statistics, which is so helpful. Surprisingly, kanji is really rubbing off on me more than ever before!

Even though it's not specifically JLPT related, I'm still enjoying Smart.fm as well, especially since I'm almost finished with the Japanese Core 2000 series. Although the vocabulary jumps all over the place (some words are new to me, others I've known for years), it's always a great review and fun to study. And speaking of fun, my last daily task is to practice singing a few Morning Musume songs (I have the Japanese lyrics included in iTunes so I can read them on my iPad), then taking the time to look up several words I don't recognize using Kotoba (which is still the most amazing dictionary, even though I'm desperate for a nice iPad version). Some days I don't make it through all of these study methods, but I do my best to hit as many as I can!