“I have a lot of homework! so much to do”. “Didn’t remember there was quiz a today!!!”. “How am I going to survive this class? :(“. These are just some of the concerns a student has. Yes, I had them too in high school and college, and I was TIRED of them. That’s why I’ve always looked for the best tech tools for students, to make my life easier.
There’s a lot of energy drained from you by being worried about your pending things from different classes. In fact, a survey made in 2008 pointed out that 4 out of 10 college students feel stressed. That’s a 40% boom for you.
So, why keep wasting energy trying to have everything organized? What if I told you that you could leverage your load and be more productive with a set of tech tools? I’m not bluffing. I finished college & high school, and I want you to do the same. (This is intended for students, so any type of study you are doing is applicable).
Here’s a set of the best tech tools for students, that I think are a MUST to succeed nowadays. The most important thing is to be aware of the type of tool and use the service/app/gadget you feel more comfortable. In addition, I’ll be throwing my killer setup I had while in college. (IT WAS KILLER FOR REAL).
It may seem like something standard, but few students use a calendar for their studies. It’s not the same having your class schedule on a notebook than having a full semester calendar. Your appointments, classes, tests, projects and deliverables should be dominating your calendar.
I recommend you to use a different calendar just for your studies. That way, you can synchronize it along with your personal one and filter if necessary.
In addition, separating appointments for study can be a difference. Preparing for your different tests and projects, and sticking to your calendar can deeply affect your GPA in the end!
2. To-Do list
Do you remember all the things you need to do for next class? What if you have at least 4 or 5 for the same day?
Having to remember all the tasks pending by yourself can be exhausting. Plus, if you are going thru difficult times things can get worse than that. I encourage you to have a To-Do list app, so every time there’s an assignment in your class, you can set a task for it and remind you countless times to do it. (Do your homework, don’t falter).
Related post: Why You Should Use a To-Do List App.
The best part of it? Even if you forget it, your app won’t. It will haunt you until the day of the assignment, so you can’t excuse yourself that the dog made a move.
3. Cloud Storage
This has been one of the most revolutionary technology for students in the recent years. Seriously.
Working on a project at home and then following up at college without hassle? Priceless. Sharing an essay with a friend and working live with it? Shut up and take my money!
The best part? Most of the cloud apps nowadays are free to start, and the free tier is normally more than enough for any student need. If I were you, I would be creating my Google Drive/One Drive/Dropbox account now.
For this last part, my recommendation is to analyze the tools you normally use, so you can have a cloud service adjusted to them. Gmail user all day? get Google Drive. Office 365 suite partner? Go with One Drive. Still deciding? Get Dropbox. And so on.
4. External Drive
Cloud storage service don’t fail (we pay them expecting that), but your internet could, or you simply don’t have time to wait for sync. Or even more, you could get some value info for your project, a one-time opportunity, but it’s a 15 Gb folder!
For any case that may occur where cloud storage is not the best option, I use my preferred plan B: an external drive. This can be a USB drive or Hard Drive. (I personally prefer Hard Drives).
Hey, who can work full-throttle on a design or building a robot without some music in the background. In fact, science backs this and you can learn about it on my post 3 Awesome Gadgets To Boost Your Productivity.
Certainly, music is not the best thing when you need to focus on analytical thinking for example. But for different situations needing an energy boost, this is a must.
My recommendation is to use a global music service such as Spotify. That way, you can listen to the same playlists you like no matter if it’s at home, at a high school lab, or on a college space.
Now, I’ll show you my killer set up I had while in college that gave me an 8% boost on the overall score after I implemented it. One thing to note: I transitioned at the time from an Android ecosystem to iOS ecosystem, so most of the apps are iOS based.
My Killer Setup
Every time I surpassed a trimester, I had the same thinking: I have a lot of notebooks and I have to change them every time. Surprisingly, I saw a friend for a complete trimester taking notes on an iPad.
Do you know how easy it is to just have a Tablet in your backpack? Less space, more information, super comfortable. At the end of college, I had all my classes written/recorded on my iPad, and could easily look for any info needed from previous courses in just minutes. All I needed was to charge!
2. Wacom Stylus
Along with the iPad, I needed a great stylus to take notes the same way as if I had a regular notebook. After much research, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus was the best option for a budget expense.
The only thing needed was to change ball points every year or so, and they’re super cheap.
3. Notes Plus
For me, this is hands down THE BEST handwriting note taking app for students. The experience is amazing, the handwriting recognition is flawless, and the organization capabilities for all your classes and subjects are top-notch.
I had all my classes divided by subject, with all information available at hand. What’s better, you can integrate pictures into a note, so I could take pictures and integrate it to my hand notes on the same page.
In addition, you can export the notes in PDF, so if any colleague needed some support, it was as easy as sending it the last class with a couple of steps. Fancy huh?
4. iStudiez Pro
Although I was already using the calendar to keep track of my schedule, I always wanted to have more details about my classes on hand: classroom, teacher, type of class, etc.
This way, I could manage completely my classes and prepare for the future. Doing this manually on a calendar is a tremendous job, and can be tiring for sure. All of this, until I found iStudiez Pro.
THIS is the app for any student around the world. Period.
You introduce a class, and set up all the details about it: teachers, type of class, add a lab for that class, introduce assignments (yes, to do lists) for each class, calculate your GPA based on your grades, and much more.
The best part? the app integrates the calendar with your calendar. So when finish setting up all your classes, you have all the appointments and assignments in your native calendar. Majestic!
For me, this app meant having a to-do list app, a calendar info scheduling tool and organizer at the same time. All focused just on my classes.
More good news? At the time, this was an iOS-only app, but it is now on Android as well!
5. Google Drive
I’ve had Google accounts since day one, so this was a no-brainer.
Installed apps on every device I had and was always synchronizing. The most important thing is to create the habit of saving to your Drive folder, so you never miss a file.
6. Seagate Backup Plus 1TB External Hard Drive
I had to move constantly files and folders for projects with several Gigabytes, so I need something with lots of space, fast enough to not waste my time, and handy to be in my backpack. This guy made the job done.
Post data: I also took lots of opportunities to get some good games and movies from friends, so I was always prepared to “receive goodies”. You should do the same ;).
Overall, my grades were going down at the half of my degree since things were getting harder. I needed a boost on my productivity to maintain my performance and goals.
My performance since gathering all these tools was this:
What do you think about these tools? Are you using any of them right now? Which ones would you like to test and implement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below. Please like and share with others!