It feels so good to finish from the university. Although I miss my friends and professors, I do not miss the endless assignments, papers and all-nighters I had to pull off just to study for exams. Don’t get me wrong – the school work helped a lot but I do not miss the stress that it sometimes comes with.
Now I’m thinking that you’re probably here because you feel the same and you’re curious to how can you actually cope with it or make it at least better? Other than my suggestion of self-care (which is always a must), I recall a few applications and tools I used that really helped me work smarter as a student. Even up to this day, I still use some of them as they keep my life organized – or so I think.
I’m a nerd for time management and productivity apps so I’ve gone and tried a lot of them already. The list I’ll be sharing with you today contains apps I personally use and recommend so let’s begin:
5 TOOLS YOU NEED TO GET ORGANIZED
At first, it looks intimidating and unnecessary, but trust me, this will become your favorite app in no time! Streak is the number app on my list since I use email a lot. They track emails and tell you when a person already opens your email. This is so good if you want to know if your professor got your last minute schedule for consultation or whether your groupmate got the file.
This application lets you know when they opened your email, where they opened it (desktop, laptop or mobile) and their location – you can turn that last feature off though! The best part? You can use this to schedule emails. I usually don’t like emailing people out of working/class hours so if I write my email at 10pm, I schedule it to be sent at 8am, the next day. Instead of worrying and logging on to my computer exactly 8am to send the email I prepared the night before, I can now just sit back and let Streak do its magic. It works like a charm.
PS. It’s totally free and all you have to do is just download the google chrome extension and sign in your email – easy!
Either for inspiration or simply editing, almost everyone I know is on Canva. The beauty of this application is that it is very easy to use. It’s a simple “drag and drop” online website you can use to design literally anything. They have plenty of templates ranging from reports, social media graphics and posters (for assignments), infographics and etc.
It costs nothing and you can sign up for a free account. They have stock photos, icons, and backgrounds too. Although I’m an avid Photoshop user since I was in high school, for the easy things, I use Canva to edit them. I also take inspiration from their color combination, fonts and sometimes layout for materials.
Those who have zero experience using editing software can try their hand at designing using Canva. Be careful though in using the templates, since a lot of people are on Canva already, chances are you might be using the same template as other people are. Always try modifying and making it your own. Design has no rules after all! For those who want to take it a step further, you may opt to go through their online design classes.
Next on the list is a gift from the productivity gods and goddesses! Slack is an online collaboration tool that can be used for group work and teams. If you’re working on a long-term or semester project with the same people, I highly suggest you use Slack. It keeps you free from distractions and it’s easy to use. You can create channels within teams for different topics and you can even integrate your google drive when sending files.
“Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the right people together with all the right information and tools to get work done. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest-growing business application in history. Millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, Slack helps people communicate better.”
Again, Slack is completely free and you can download the application on your mobile and laptop. I know some universities have their undergraduate research in groups so you might want to check this out! #createthedreamteam
I know I’m not the only one who has horrific experiences of sending emails with typo errors to professors or important people. I mean, it happens to the best of us, right? Well, Grammarly can help you avoid the embarrassment!
I personally used to diss those live-editing text tools. I thought it was a lazy way of proofreading work since it was too easy to have it installed and then just go. But it really did turn out to be one of the most useful tools for writing.
“Grammarly helps you write mistake-free on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else you write on the web. It even scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes, spanning everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement. Grammarly isn’t just a safety net. You’ll get detailed explanations for all your mistakes and weekly progress reports to keep you on the ball.”
I don’t think I need to explain further but you must have this – and ASAP!
Last on the list might feel something you don’t really need – but as early as now, I will tell you, YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THIS. As a university student, you have to understand that there is life beyond the classroom and things you need to learn outside. You might be a communications student (like me) and maybe your curriculum offers classes for design and production, but the only way to get better is by investing your time and effort on it even outside. The classroom cannot teach you everything so you have to do that job of teaching yourself!
Luckily, at this age and time, we have Skillshare! In Skillshare, you can choose from 20,000+ classes on various topics and fields. You can either up your game by learning more about things that will help you as a student or things you’re simply interested in.
Take it from me – I only took Skillshare classes after graduation. In between the freelancing and job hunting, I wanted to have more skills that would make me “employable” to clients and of course, future employers. At the same time, it was really fun. I got to manage my schedule and take the classes at my own pace. They also provided helpful resources and community activities. I took random classes ranging from learning about copywriting, UX design, and even storytelling! It’s interesting and you should definitely check this out. *Invest in yourself!*
As a gift, I’m sharing 2 free months of Skillshare Premium with you! I’m on to my 4th month of Skillshare Premium already. Now, I won’t earn anything but a free month (which means I won’t be charged for that month) when you join and complete your first full payment (3rd month). You can cancel anytime or you can continue your classes! Of course, I’d recommend the latter.
But if you’re unsure, then try it for 2 months. It’s absolutely free but I can’t guarantee you will cancel… it’s that good! 🙂
So, if you’re interested (and you won’t get 2 free months of Skillshare Premium from anyone else btw), just click on the link here!
All these tools and applications have helped me as a student and even right now as a graduate(?) However, you should know that these tools will only work if you put in the effort. I mean, the essays won’t write themselves, right?
Just a few tips – keep your priorities intact, compartmentalize your tasks (meaning, break down the work), plan ahead (cause really there’s nothing better than planning ahead), AND of course, have fun! You’re in the university! 🙂
Always cheering for you,
Got any applications or study tips for college students? What helped you survive the university? I wanna know all about it in the comments below!