Student life is overwhelming. Here are 6 apps to let you take back control and simplify your life, so you can get on with what matters – getting an education.
When you start out in college there is a lot to keep track of. Not only do you have to make sure you’re in class on time and that you do your homework, but suddenly there are the added obligations of taking care of everything from rent to food. That can be quite overwhelming when you first start out – especially seeing as our attention spans are shrinking by the year.
Fortunately, there are a lot of tools out there to make the transition and college overall a lot easier (ignoring the fact that modern technology might in part be responsible for those shorter attention spans). However, as there is so much choice, it can be difficult to figure out what to go for – often leading people to not choose any for fear of choosing the wrong one. This is known as the tyranny of choice.
One of the easiest ways to solve that problem is to give a more limited list of best choices. So that’s what we’re going to do right here.
With so much stuff to keep track of, it helps to use tools to do the tracking for you. For your classes, your assignments and your tests use Studious. This is a great program that will remind you of important dates and will let you keep careful track of when you need to start working on projects in order to get them in on time.
Sounds pretty good, right? Don’t trust on your memory to get your work done. Instead, trust on the memory of your smartphone. It never forgets anything – provided you keep it charged off course.
You read a lot of interesting stuff online – some of it may even be directly useful for an essay you’ll write somewhere soon. Sure, you’ll have to find a better reference, but they can still offer up inspiring ideas and insights that you’re free to use.
Of course, you can only use those articles if you can find them back. That’s what Evernote is for. This great piece of software will allow you to save whatever you find online in one central location, which you can then synch across different tools – in this way if you find something on your smartphone, you can read it later on your laptop.
What’s more, you can easily categorize, organize, label, edit and search the content. Thereby making it not just a tool to keep your information, but also to take notes and prepare for essay. You can even link internally!
One of the most important things in college has to be writing. So often your grade depends on being able to translate thoughts into words clearly, intelligently and without mistakes. Fortunately, that’s become a lot easier in this day and age than it used to be.
There are heaps of tools out there that you can use to make your writing better, but one of the best ones has to be grammarly. It spots more errors than Microsoft word and also loads straight into your browser, so that you don’t just check your essays but all of your writing (no more grammar mistakes on your Facebook feed!).
The great news is that if these mistakes are pointed out to you often enough, you’ll start to internalize the lessons and your text will have less mistakes and become easier to read. Heck, you might even start writing faster, so that you don’t have to look at top writing website page and can instead write your own essays.
The basic version is free, while there is also a paid for version that looks at advances issues. In my opinion, if people would just use the basic versions, that would already be a great start.
We all want to be more productive and more efficient with our time. The thing is, the first step towards recognizing why we’re inefficient is to understand where we’re wasting time. Rescue Time helps you with that. It points out on what you’re spending your time and then gives you advice on how to boost your productivity.
In this way, you can get your work done in no time flat and instead of spending all night on your essays, you’ll be able to actually get a good night’s sleep so that you can do some last-minute editing in the morning bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Of course, knowing what your problem is is only half the battle. After all, we all know we shouldn’t eat so much sugar and yet that’s not enough for most of us to eat any less. Instead, we need some help to enforce our new discipline. Cold Turkey is that tool for the internet. With it, you can block certain websites, like Facebook, Netflix and anything else you choose, for certain periods during certain hours of the day.
Then, instead of having to waste your willpower on resisting the lure of checking what your friends are having for lunch on Instagram, you can get on with what you’re supposed to be doing. The best part is that at the end of the day, when you still want to be able to relax and actually go to those websites, that’s still completely possible. That’s having your cake and eating it too, that is.
Don’t get me wrong, Google is a great search engine for casual searches and when you’re looking for information. In some areas is could do better, though. For example, it’s pretty terrible if you’re trying to find certain statistics.
That’s where Wolfram Alpha comes in. This is a great tool that doesn’t just let you do searches, but actually takes action with that data. So, you can ask it to divide two numbers, compare populations or do a whole bunch of other things. Then it gives you back the statistics that you’re looking for and will often even give you useful graphs to show the relationships of those numbers over time.
That’s a great tool indeed if you’ve got to look up a lot of numbers in the courses you’re taking, as it will hugely speed up your research process.
Is that the only good ones out there? Hardly, there are a huge number of great apps out there. This is a pretty good place to start, though, as all these apps really are quite excellent. What’s more, once you’ve incorporated these into your routine, you’ll have a much better idea of what can be automated and you’ll be able to figure out where you’ll want to look next.
That will save you from the tyranny of choice and let you get on with hacking the rest of your college experience. And that sounds like a pretty good way forward, does it not?
Norman Arvidsson is an experienced blogger and guest contributor from Sweden. He is fond of traveling, writing, blogging and exploring everything unknown. Follow @NormanArvidsson on Twitter.