It is nearly impossible to imagine how navigating life in the 21st century works without smartphones. Pretty much every student uses this tool out of necessity, but we all know that its utility transcends matters of use – it is an integral part of a modern lifestyle. As such, smartphones and other portable devices are double-edged swords. As tools for contact, organization, scheduling, and information, they are invaluable, and yet they can also present sources of endless distraction. If college students strive to use smartphones to their own advantage, they should become familiar with helpful apps that can improve their academic performance.
These days, your email is just as essential as your name. It is the first thing that you share among students and professors, so having access to your inbox at the tip of your fingers can be pretty convenient. According to statistics, 1.5 billion people around the world utilize Gmail and the average age of a typical user is 31. This means that a significant percentage of these users are students. Gmail App is free and essential for every freshman on the move. In fact, you should consider installing it on your portable device long before you’ve even set foot on the campus grounds.
One of the selling points of Dropbox is that you can have a modular ‘repository’ of books, article, and notes for free if 2GB is enough for you. As soon as the professor or a fellow student attaches a file to an email or a thread, you can immediately upload it to Dropbox and not be afraid of losing any coursework again. You can also upload photos of graphs and other visual information that accompanies lessons. Furthermore, you can share these files among fellow students and engage in a quid pro quo arrangement with them.
3. Distraction blockers
Procrastination is healthy only to an extent. As soon as we are required to put in some work – prepare for an exam or write a paper – our mind begins playing tricks and the minefields of distractions emerge as we commence our research online. This caused a true ‘renaissance’ of distraction-blocking apps. Many of them are free, at least one of them will work its magic, and you should definitely burn through several of them before you truly find the one that deters you from wasting time.
When you are a student, every dollar counts. The last thing you need is to lose a smartphone that connects you to all the files you require to pass exams. This is why every student should set up a dependable device searching app on their smartphone. In the case of a theft, which happens only too often to students, you can use another device (for example – your laptop) to lock the thieves out of personal data and keep track of the phone’s location. This is an invaluable aid to authorities and it speeds up the process of tracking the device down.
Chances are you will have Skype on your phone long before anything else mentioned on this list. It’s one of those essential apps that remain relevant throughout a lifetime. This begs the question then – why is it on this list? Apps for social networking such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and GroupMe are sound choices but there is something streamlined and duty-heavy about Skype because of its ubiquitous nature.
Pretty much everyone has it; it comes with a pre-existing cobweb of acquaintances (family and friends), and you can keep building this network in college. You can turn it into a precious ‘data window’, get updated, catch up with missed information, organize study groups, etc.
6. A dictionary
You can use the Chrome app to search a whole battery of dictionaries for the word of your choosing, but it would be more prudent to choose one reliable application – for example, Dictionary.com or Oxford Dictionary – that will keep you one tap away from the exact word-definition you needed. Find the dictionary app that offers the most exhaustive descriptions of meaning, accompanying pronunciations and the thesaurus.
EasyBib is a godsend for creating citations, especially if you are in a time crunch. As a matter of fact, assembling the list of references on one page can be more difficult than writing a twenty-page-long essay. The trappings come in the form of strict rules of formatting standardized by your university. Every singular quotation mark, dot, and colon need to be in the right place. Whether it is APA or MLA style, EasyBib will make the process of crafting citations a breeze and you will not be able to imagine doing papers without it.
A smartphone of a conscientious college student is a source of fun and work in equal measure. Of course, entertainment should not be neglected – vibrant social dynamics and leisure are the crucial part of the college experience and it can contribute to the development of intricate connections that may make their academic life easier (not to mention the future). There are dozens of applications and programs out there that can turn your portable device into a synergized mini-office for literally everything that involves your university activities.
|Caitlin Evans is a bookworm, photographer and dancer. She is also a medical student in love with science. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu and caffeine.|