For many, college is the first time you’ve lived away from home. No one is going to chase you to wake up, do your chores, make sure you’re on time for class, make sure that you’ve done your assignment, etc. You’ll be expected to be extremely self-disciplined, and with all of the exciting new distractions around, on top of general social media distractions, this can be extremely tricky. Fortunately, there are some amazing pieces of software out there to make things easier and to help you focus better – helping you make the most of your time.
If you don’t know about Google Docs, you’re probably living under a rock. This is a great piece of software for university and you will likely use it well into the workforce. It allows you to create and edit documents in a variety of styles and formats, which you can then edit alone, or as a group - making it excellent for group tasks and project collaborations. One of the best features is that through google docs, you can access your work from any device anywhere in the world with your login details, making it one of the most convenient tools out there.
So why do we mention? In college, many of your projects will be collaborative and the google suite of products will let you work in teams efficiently on everything from that slide deck for a presentation in Freshman English to putting together notes with friends for an organic chemistry class. Google Keep is great for to do lists. Google calendar is useful for scheduling and often integrates with apps like Zoom.
When you get to college, you might find that there are a million and two apps that you need for your classes and to be a proper, functioning member of your course. This can be really frustrating, especially when certain apps and programs are not optimized for your device of choice and can only be accessed while on campus using campus devices. The good news is that many universities have centralized their support for students with one platform to access apps (also saving money as students do not have to pay for them on their own). Many schools have already moved to use appsanywhere.com so their students have access to all of their university software in one place, on the device of choice for each student, accessible anywhere including when studying abroad. This makes things super convenient and less stressful.
ColdTurkey is one of the top free online productivity tools and allows you to turn your procrastination station into productivity central. It does so by blocking certain websites, apps, games, and even Google searches unrelated to the task at hand. If going completely “cold turkey” seems like a bit too much, you can whitelist certain sites and set time limits for your browsing.
This means that you can still enjoy watching a bit of YouTube during your study breaks, but it’ll be timed so that a study break doesn’t turn into a binge-watching party of one. It even comes complete with motivational quotes to keep you going and to remind you to stay focused. If you find yourself constantly jumping screens and unable to focus on your school work, this may be the app for you.
For many, studying is overwhelming. This becomes even more true when you’re studying for a final exam. Cram offers thousands of flashcards that relate to a variety of different subjects, making it easy to memorize information. If it doesn’t have information relevant to you and what you need to study, you can even make your own flashcards. You can keep these to yourself, share them with your friends or make them public to everyone who uses Cram. If you have a study group, you can split up the work as well. It is available on all sorts of different devices including PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, and Windows which means that it is mobile-friendly, which is great. That’s not all though.
Anxiety is one of the leading causes of procrastination. If you’re looking for something to help you relax and to be more productive, Noisli has you covered. Simply click and start listening to the sounds. Enjoy the relaxing crackling of a fire or the peaceful chirping of crickets. Too quiet for you? Well then why not listen to the buzzing of a busy café, with dishes clinking and people talking. These are only a few of the many, many options you have to choose between. You can sample the sounds before joining. It’s about more than sound though. Certain colors elicit certain responses in the brain. Noisli provides chromotherapy by providing color-changing backgrounds that will help you stay tuned in and concentrate.
Your college experience probably hasn’t been anything like you expected it to be. You, like so many others, might be finding that it is a little bit harder than people led you to initially believe. But these apps will make things a little bit easier.