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Posted April 16, 2016 by

6 apps for college students

Long gone are the days of card catalogs, Trapper Keepers, and other broken systems our parents had to wrestle with in order to do A-grade productive work. We are a generation of cyborgs forever enhanced by technology such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the apps these machines enable.

LD prod/Shutterstock.com

LD prod/Shutterstock.com

Okay, so maybe calling us a generation of cyborgs is a bit of a stretch, but to be successful a system is necessary. Thankfully many of us are lucky enough to take advantage of a plethora of great applications that make having a system a little simpler which makes being a student a little more manageable and a little less stressful.

Task Management is basically what life boils down to once you’re on your own and you don’t have mom and dad forcing study habits on you and trying to instill within you the virtues of priority. This is why it is imperative that you replace your parents with a task management app. My personal choice is Todoist. Todoist is a minimalist to-do-list app with all the features needed to keep tabs on what needs to get done and when. The app features natural language dictation, which basically means that instead of having to click through various tabs and settings to create a task, just type, “Algebra homework Thursday at five pm” and Todoist will create a task titled, “Algebra Homework” and remind you to do it at five-o’clock Thursday night. Todoist is available on almost any platform for free and is easily the most intuitively designed to-do application there is. There are, however, many other options like Wunderlist or Anydo if Todoist isn’t right for you.

A Calendar App like a to-do app is there to help you prioritize what you need to be doing and when and where you need to be doing it. However, instead of making lists of each individual task, a good calendar app allows you to quickly block out sections of time to plan out your day and easily view that day so it can be kept up with. The app I use is called Fantastical which also has natural language dictation like Todoist. Fantastical also syncs seamlessly with your Google Calendar, your iCloud Calendar, and any other calendar you might be tied into.

However, in spite of Fantastical’s inclusion in my productivity system, it is not the calendar I would recommend. Instead consider Sunrise Calendar. Sunrise Calendar has basically all of the same functionality as Fantastical, but it’s free and available cross-platform whereas Fantastical has a hefty price tag of $4.99 and is available on both IOS and in the Mac App Store.

Note Taking apps are a no-brainer. Try as you might, you are not going to do well in any lecture based class if you can’t take notes. App developers know this, and that is why there are too many note taking apps to count. Fortunately one sticks out above the rest, and that is Evernote. Evernote is the note taking app for any project really. The app finds use well out of college to collect recipes, shopping receipts, bank statements and some even use it as a word processor. Evernote takes any kind of note from text notes to audio recordings. Once a note is taken you can organize them all by notebooks or by tags or by ways I haven’t even tried yet. Evernote is free to use, very powerful, and accessible on just about any device. If you don’t like Evernote, you can try Microsoft’s OneNote which ties in nicely with the Microsoft ecosystem if that’s your thing. You could also just use Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but Evernote is a cut above the rest in my opinion.

File Storage apps for the most part go unnoticed and just sit there on your computer screen or tucked away into a folder on your phone, but they are far more useful than we give them credit for. Day one at college you are going to receive about a thousand syllabi. Do yourself a favor;  tuck all the hard copies away into a folder where you can find them later for back up. Then ask your professors to send you the syllabi digitally and save them all to an app like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Onedrive. This way you will always be able to access them and tweak them to accommodate snow days or when your professor moves a test around. It doesn’t really matter which of these apps you decide to use; just pick whichever one offers the most free storage possible.

Finally, in a category all their own are Miscellaneous apps. These are the apps that don’t really fit in any of the other categories but are still hugely helpful. First is Flux. Flux is actually a piece of software you can download onto your computer that will change the type of light your computer emits throughout different times of the day. At night Flux adjusts your computer screen to stop using blue light which can mess with your sleep patterns and switches to a less disruptive red light. The change on the screen is subtle, but when you have to pull an all-nighter and need to get a few hours of sleep, you’ll be happy to start the day feeling a little more refreshed than you otherwise would have.

Next is an app I use almost every day called Pocket. Pocket is a digital “pocket” where you can tuck things into to be viewed later. Reading an interesting article but have class in ten minutes? Save it to Pocket. Your roommate sent you a funny fail compilation, but you have a paper to write? Save it to Pocket. Pocket also has an article view function that takes the articles you save and converts them to plain text while removing advertisements and page-fluff. Finally an app that automates your life! If This Then That or IFTTT for short lets you create little recipes that help eliminate pesky tasks. One example is If I tag an article in Pocket “#research” Then save it to my research paper notebook in Evernote. I could go on and on, but for the sake of article length just download these apps, give them a whirl, and thank me later.

Billy Stidham, guest writer

Billy Stidham, guest writer

I coasted through high school and was never a productive student. I put all my homework off until the last minute if I even did it at all. However, during my senior year, I started to take my grades and the idea of college seriously. Once I got to college I lacked basic study habits. I had no system, but now these apps have turned me – a super procrastinator – into a cyborg of proficiency.

Billy Stidham is a writer and blogger. Hoping to earn a living by writing, Billy is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. You can follow Billy on Twitter @I_R_Beast  and on Linkedin.

Posted September 09, 2014 by

New Grads, Interviewing for Entry Level Jobs? Don’t Make These 12 Mistakes

Once they have landed interviews for entry level jobs, new graduates should avoid making these 12 mistakes in the following post.

So much work just to get the job interview, let alone the job. The research, the resume writing, the applications, the networking, the follow-up… And then some job seekers throw it all away by making these common, and completely avoidable, mistakes…

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Posted July 23, 2014 by

Job Prospects Of A Cell Phone Technician Related With Visually Impaired Smartphone

Cell phone technician at recycling plant working on mobile phones

Cell phone technician at recycling plant working on mobile phones. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are some special options, which you are bound to get hold of, when the main area of concern is associated with mobile phone developments. Building some of the best software and tools for the visually impaired can be defined as the right way of helping them communicate with others, without even feeling dependent all the time. With the advent of modern technology, there are some prospective career options, for you to try and get hold of, and one such can be defined as a cell phone technician. The main aim of this group is to offer a proper fault diagnosis, which can help in improving the quality of the phone. (more…)

Posted June 09, 2014 by

Are Recruiters Interviewing You by Skype? Remember These Tips

Before interviewing with any recruiters by Skype, the following post has some tips to help you prepare.

Featured: Featured Several of our Campus Ambassadors are graduating and in the middle of the job hunt, and many of them have told us about the use of Skype for interviews. I spoke with our former ambassador, Caitlin Beck, who just graduated from Fordham about her experience and tips for other young grads doing Skype interviews:1. Treat it

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Posted April 11, 2014 by

Internship Finder, Do You Have a Phone Interview Coming Up? Things You Need to Remember

If you are an internship finder with a phone interview coming up, the following post has some things for you to keep in mind for success.

Featured: Featured Internship season is in high gear and I know a lot of you are dealing with phone interviews; especially those of you who plan on going to another state or country for a summer internship. Here are some of my top tips to rock the phone interview: 1. Show the employee you can carry the

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Posted January 02, 2014 by

Don’t Put Your Recent Graduate Jobs at Risk. 10 Annoying Habits to Your Boss

Workers with recent graduate jobs should be careful about how they behave.  Otherwise, they could put their jobs at risk.  Learn 10 annoying habits to your boss in the following post.

Whether you just landed a new gig or have worked at the same company for a while, you’d like to keep your job, right? Being a hardworking and competent employee is the first step to holding onto your job, but staying on your boss’s good side won’t hurt

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Posted January 10, 2013 by

6 Worst Interview Mistakes Job Seekers Make

Rosemary Haefner of Careerbuilder

Rosemary Haefner of Careerbuilder

One-in-four workers (25 percent) reported they plan to change jobs in 2013 or 2014. While outrageous actions by candidates in job interviews can result in lost opportunities, so can other behaviors that are seen more frequently. When asked to identify the top detrimental mistakes in job interviews, hiring managers reported: (more…)

Posted April 27, 2012 by

4 Job Hunting Tips for Recent College Grads

· You may have more experience than you realize – While recent college grads are likely to highlight internships and part-time jobs on their resumes, they may not know that many employers will consider volunteer work (53 percent), class work (33 percent), managing activities for sororities or fraternities (26 percent) and sports (20 percent) as relevant experience. One-in-ten employers (12 percent) would also consider social media (personal or school-related blogs, social networking pages) to qualify as relevant experience.

· Expand your network of contacts online and offline – The number one way employers recruit recent college grads is through employee referrals (49 percent) followed by postings on online job sites (42 percent). (more…)