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Sync NI's top apps for studying and productivity

  • For anyone that has January exams pending, or who perhaps just wants to introduce a little more organisation into their lives, Sync NI has a list of the best productivity-enhancing apps just for this.

    To begin with, it’s important to clear you mind and avoid any temptations of procrastination when trying to focus on a task. Some might just turn their social media notifications off on their phone settings, but an even more efficient app is Cold Turkey. It blocks any social media apps from interfering with your thoughts, and is very aptly named!

    Now that you can concentrate, get yourself onto Google Drive (if you haven’t already). We personally find it to be the best form of tech storage (and there are loads). Ensure you back up any of your work to Google Drive so that you can access it from any device in case your computer gets lost, stolen or broken.

    Google Calendar is another good resource for planning, and you can sync it to your smartphone so that you always have your itinerary on hand. There’s Google Photos too, which has unlimited storage space. So if your phone or cloud storage is nearly full, use it to free up some of the load!

    Want to help save the environment? Lots of people are going paper-free, whether it’s ditching a newspaper for online media or getting rid of your paper bank statements. Did you know you can also now do this with your post-it notes and mind maps?

    The Sticky Notes + Widget app can help with this and works on both your desktop and mobile device. The app is password protected if you have any confidential to-do lists in there, and you can organise any notes into subfolders. You can also even stick handwritten notes in too for added authenticity!

    Then there’s Coggle. It’s a collaborative mind-mapping and flow charting tool, which is especially handy for any group projects. Unfortunately it’s only available for iPhones and iPads, and there is a subscription fee for more of the advanced settings. However one user said that “even without the paid subscriptions the design choices really help with visualisation”. Thus if info graphics and images help you with problem-solving, Coggle could be really beneficial.

    Sticky Notes + Widget App

    Another handy organisation tool for groups is Trello. A lot of workplaces use it within their teams, as it allows everyone to see exactly who is working on what. This is great for reminding yourself of what needs done, and stops anyone duplicating work. It’s also satisfying to add a piece of work into a ‘Completed’ folder afterwards – and it’s completely free!

    When looking for some good study resources online, StuDocu is a popular crowd-sourced app, which offers study material from over six million students round the world. This includes study guides, past papers, and lecture notes, all of which you can organise into your own person ‘Studylist’. It’s also interactive so you can ask fellow students and course experts for help in Course Groups.

    Then, if you fancy testing out your knowledge you can check out Quizlet. It’s a mobile and web application that contains flashcards and quizzes on a variety of topics. The Quizlet website claims that over 90% of students who have used their services reported receiving higher marks (worth trying!)

    One final app worth looking into is RefMe, which helps you create, edit and manage citations for your essay reference sources; usually a modern pain for every student and even teacher alike to do manually. There’s also Grammarly for spellchecking and grammar, and OverDrive or CampusBooks, both of which help you find textbooks with more ease.

    Hopefully these apps and sites can help ease the pain of revision and organisation, or even just help you become more efficient in your day-to-day life. Feel free to let us know if you have any more helpful additions that you’ve found useful!

    Most of these apps are available to download on both Apple and Android devices.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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