Being a student is harder than it used to be. There are so many distractions pulling your attention this way and that… it’s genuinely difficult to stay current with your assignments and all the other studying requirements too.
One good thing about technology and apps especially is that while some can be a distraction – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – others can benefit a student in some interesting ways. A few are designed expressly for students; others are useful for different people, including those enrolled in educational programs.
Here are some top apps to help you become a better student and stay focused for longer.
When you’re looking for a stay focused app that keeps your head in the game, then it’s necessary to find one that blocks distractions well. So, even when you just want to put down the textbook and look up what your friends have been up to over on Twitter, it will say uh-huh.. sorry, no can do!
If you’re using a Droid device, then the BlockSite Android app is going to be perfect for this. It will allow you to block those apps that cause you the most distraction to ensure your blocks of study time don’t get needlessly interrupted.
StudyBlue is a clever app that uses crowdsourcing to deliver a meaningful result for students.
The idea behind the app is that the users create digital flashcards with useful pieces of information relating to their current assignment or the subject matter as a whole. These can be shared with fellow students whenever is needed, and they can share their flashcards with you too.
For mature students, this is reminiscent of index cards. It works the same way and is just as effective to remind you about key points or to help you memorize pieces of information in case you’re quizzed by a lecturer the following week.
If you need to write a paper and things keep getting in the way, then you may need to get a bit… radical!
In which case, consider being open to using FlowState. It’s an app that takes it to the next level.
In its most basic form, it’s a text editor to allow you to type your paper out. The difference here is that you set a time limit for how long you’ll write without stopping to do anything else. The trick to this app is that if you even take a bathroom break, what you’ve written gets wiped from the screen after 5 seconds of inactivity. Yes, you read correctly!
While the app may seem tough to use, it’s particularly good for short focused periods of typing. This could be a 30-minute paper or even a 15-minute quick piece that you keep avoiding getting to. For longer writing stints, it’s probably less useful though.
Brain.fm is designed to put a cool soundtrack in your ears.
Not only will it block out people coming nearby to interrupt you in the library or other areas on the student campus, but it also makes the day more enjoyable too.
The tracks are designed to help you hit the books successfully and retain the information covered. It works better than music with vocals because the words blur with what’s being read at the time.
As an alternative, it’s possible to listen to Binaural soundtracks on YouTube for free.
When you have a habit of keeping notes for study projects in loose-leaf binders, notepads, Post-It notes, and a host of other places, then you’re more disorganized than you realize. This is slowing you down when needing to find research materials to progress through an assignment.
It’s far better to use Evernote. It’s a digital notepad that runs on tablets, smartphones, and in the browser too. Take your study notes wherever you go, categorize them into subjects, add clippings from the web, bookmark research materials, and even manage a basic To-Do list there too.
All the entries sync up nicely to keep your life in check, wherever you are, with whatever device you have with you at the time.
To Do – which was bought by Microsoft a few years ago (formally Wunderlist) – is a neat task organizer that keeps it simple but is sophisticated under the hood.
The software giant continues to evolve and improve the app by adding new features based on user feedback.
The app allows you to create individual project lists, add tasks to it, and then sub-tasks, which they call Steps. This allows a level of granular control which other organizer apps may do but in a more complex way. Instead, Microsoft To Do keeps it simple in execution but has plenty of power to help any student stay organized. It’s cross-platform and has a web app too.
Many apps can make a student’s life easier. It’s only a matter of picking the ones that work for you.