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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 April 20, 2015 by

Learn Time Management Skills in your College; you will thank yourself

Education and time management concept - student showing clock

Education and time management concept – student showing clock. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Human beings are creatures who remain busy in doing nothing. Whether, it’s a weekday or a weekend, we remain busy. We are so busy, that one cannot take out time to meet other or have a word with each other.

We do talk to each other but that’s called a chat these days. Now a days, communication is made so easier that one need not to do an extra effort to approach others. Internet has made this world smaller while making us all a little busier. If not doing work, we must be busy in sleeping, busy in chatting, busy in stalking Facebook profiles or may be busy in just surfing the internet. (more…)

Posted March 06, 2015 by

College Leave: How to Turn an Absence into an Asset

Ryan Hickey

Ryan Hickey, Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge

You’ve just spent eight or 10 hours at your job, and now you’re planning on spending your evening studying or going to class. Coping with the pressure can be hard, but returning to college after spending time in the workforce doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Follow these tips to help you pave the way to furthering your education and getting the job you’ve always dreamed of. (more…)

Posted October 29, 2014 by

Struggle in an Effective Manner to Carry Out Successful Study Sessions

Student preparing for the exams. Isolated on white background

Student preparing for the exams. Isolated on white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Believe it or not a study session becomes a daunting task for students who don’t struggle in an effective manner. Whether you are preparing for class test or exams it is crucial for you to study in an effective manner in order to obtain good results. If you are longing to carry out an effective study session to get yourself prepared for exams then you must consider some crucial elements. Review the information provided below to obtain maximum grades in tests as well as in exams too. (more…)

Posted September 17, 2014 by

Recent College Graduates, Do You Need to Relocate for Your Dream Jobs? How You Can Do So on a Budget

For recent college graduates who need to relocate for their dream jobs, the following post can help you complete this task while on a budget.

You’ve just received an offer for what could be the job of a lifetime — but it’s in another city, far from everything you know. Or you’ve finally decided it’s time to make the next move in your career, but the bigger, better opportunities undeniably lie elsewhere. So then comes the

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Posted June 11, 2014 by

Recent Graduates, Do You Feel Overmatched on Your Entry Level Jobs? Work Smarter with These 6 Tips

At some point on their entry level jobs, recent graduates might feel overmatched.  In the following post, learn six tips that will help them be more effective at work.

On the one hand, junior professionals crave responsibility, and want all the experience they can get. On the other hand, as companies strive to do more with fewer resources, it is not uncommon to feel overworked, overwhelmed and under-appreciated. When you’re starting to feel overloaded, keep these tips in mind for managing projects, priorities

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Posted May 13, 2014 by

5 Simple Ways to Find 9 Hours of Job Search Time Per Week

Pointing to job search

Pointing to job search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Want more time to job search? Would you like to find 9 hours of job search time per week? Do you find yourself asking these questions?

“How am I supposed to look for a job, when I am employed?”

“Finding a job is a full-time job…and I already have a job. How am I supposed to do this?”

Sound familiar? It is a perplexing dilemma in today’s world of over scheduling, multitasking and uber-achievement. But there is help.  These strategies and tools have been time-tested to generate at least 9 hours per week in time that can be used towards a job search, when these tactics are employed consistently and diligently.

Are you up for the challenge? Here goes – 5 Ways to find more hours for your job search: (more…)

Posted May 01, 2014 by

One Networking Strategy to Improve Your Entry Level Job Search

If networking has not been your strength when searching for an entry level job, there is one strategy that just might work for you, according to the following post.

When you’re in the market for a new job, what’s the same piece of advice you hear over and over? NETWORK! YOU NEED TO NETWORK! And there’s good reason why people give you that advice. Experts estimate that anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of people find jobs through personal contacts. But what if you don’t have a network with which to,

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Posted February 25, 2014 by

Trying to Manage Time on Those Entry Level Jobs? 5 Tips to Grasp Your Career

At some point on their entry level jobs, employees might have trouble managing their time.  To get a firm grasp on their careers, they should try five tips found in the following post.

The truth is, if you can’t manage your time, you’ll find it hard to properly manage your career. In order to reach any level of career success – be it a raise, a promotion or a new job – you need to first know how to take control of your daily tasks and responsibilities rather than letting them control you.

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Posted October 02, 2013 by

Tips College Recruiters May Not Tell You About Maintaining a High GPA

For college students looking to maintain a high GPA, the following post has some tips that their college recruiters may not have told them about.

Featured: Featured After speaking at Georgia State, I got a few emails from students expressing how determined they were to keep their GPA high during their four years of college. I was so impressed by their determination and wanted to help them out with some tips on how to maintain a

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