Being a college student requires you to juggle many different things. You have to keep track of your class schedule and homework assignments. You’ve just gotten a credit card and you need to manage your finances. At test time, it would be really handy to have a way to study effectively, and when the next paper’s due, you’ll need a way to find research and keep track of information, not to mention actually get the paper itself finished on time. And of course, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and other online distractions, it can be a hassle to get your work done.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools and gadgets that can help you organize your life, improve your productivity and study habits, and even give you a hand at test time. Below we review some great tools that will give your studies a boost!
The Neo Smartpen is a stylus that allows you to write using a “pen” on special paper. Sensors within the tip of the pen digitize whatever you write and translate the writing into plain text, and saves your drawings as images. You can sync your notes with Evernote.
As a student, your digital files are critical to your life, and it’s a good idea to save important data and papers in multiple places. To help with this, the Kingston DataTraveler Micro 3.1 is a tiny metal flash/thumbdrive that you can hang on your keychain so you always have it with you. It comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage sizes.
Today we all have multiple devices: phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops. Wouldn’t it be great if you had one keyboard that could work with all of them? The Kensington KP400 Switchable Keyboard does exactly that. Connecting with bluetooth, the Kensington KP400 offers a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad, bringing together the best worlds of functionality and comfort. Adding to its convenience, it can be powered by batteries or a USB port.
Apps for Time Management & Study Skills
Keep track of how much time you’re spending on productive projects—and how much time you spend on social media—with this desktop app. It also provides a timer to make sure you take regular breaks. (Mac OS, Windows)
Get organized with an online schedule planner that keeps track of all of your classes and assignments. Once you have iStudiezPro you won’t ever forget you have an upcoming quiz or paper! (iOS, Android, Mac OS)
Flashcards have never been easier (really!). With StudyBlue you can browse thousands of uploaded flashcard decks in every conceivable subject and you can also make your own. Whether you’re trying to memorize vocabulary, equations, or the periodic table, StudyBlue has you covered. (iOS, Android, web)
You’re a busy student and the last thing you want to do is spend extra time dealing with your bills and bank statements. Never fear, the free app from Mint.com allows you to connect all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and bills so you can manage your money and keep track of your balance. (iOS, Android, web)
Scholly makes the process of researching and applying for scholarships easier than ever before. With the Scholly app you can find scholarships you qualify for, and then track deadlines and applications. Scholly will even lend a hand when it comes time to write those pesky scholarship application essays. (iOS, Android)
Papers & Homework
There are notes apps, and then there’s Evernote. You can take notes on your computer, phone or tablet and everything syncs flawlessly. You can clip articles or snippets from the internet from your computer or send a link from the Facebook app directly to your Evernote folders. Organizing notes is super easy with a folder system, and global search makes finding things a snap. (iOS, Android, desktop, web)
Write papers faster by dictation! Dragon Anywhere allows you to use your phone or tablet to “write” your rough drafts by speaking into your phone’s microphone. While you will still have to edit the work afterwards, it can help you avoid the blank page paralysis! Combine it with Evernote and you can automatically sync your new creations to your computer. (iOS, Android)
Wolfram Alpha is a scientific search engine that does your thinking for you. A great place to search for data or calculations, it also provides academic apps for students. Check out their Course Assistant apps in subjects such as Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Statistics and more—all designed to help you ace your next class! (iOS, Android)
Use EasyBib on your computer or mobile device to grab citations for research. They have billions of citations and you can simply type in a book title or scan book barcodes with your phone’s camera. You can choose from a variety of citation formats, including APA, MLA, Chicago style, and many others. (iOS, Android)
Studying a foreign language? Then you won’t want to miss out on Duolingo, a free app to help you master your language and begin speaking it in no time. Duolingo allows you to level up as you progress, turning an often difficult process into a game, and makes it fun to learn and share your new skills with your friends. (iOS, Android, Windows phone)