These days, everything has become “smart”. It all started with smartphones and media playing devices, only for us to find ourselves turning off the bedroom lights by speech input and using robots to keep our floors clean to the crisp. Even though it might seem kind of scary, we can’t argue against the fact that our life is simpler than people 50 years ago could have ever imagined. However, one thing we can argue about is whether or not our smart devices and computers are useful when it comes to studying. While some people think they might be extremely distractive, there are ways to make smart devices work like a charm for improving the way we study. Here are the 5 most essential apps you need to check this school year. You still have to put them to the work though.
1. Trello. Have you ever been overwhelmed with so much work that you don’t even remember the assignments you have to do in every course and when all the work is due? Sounds familiar? Well, let Trello work its magic. It is a list-making based app similar to a Kanaban board that you can carry anywhere. In simpler words, it allows you to create columns such as “To-Do”, “Doing”, “Done” where you can directly put your assignments in order to better manage your workflow. Furthermore, each assignment can be modified by attaching files, websites, setting due dates, and every other feature in the basket. It is available for both iOS and Android devices and can also be accessed online via their website.
2. Quizlet. I am sure you remember all the giant schemes and venn diagrams we used to make back in the days when reviewing for exams. Forget about them! That’s essentially what Quizlet does, but simpler and more efficiently. Through Quizlet you can create flashcards for different terms, dates, formulas, and what-not. Some features, such as creating diagrams by uploading pictures directly from your device, are not free. However, you will not need them more than likely. So, if you enjoy old-school flashcards, I suggest checking out Quizlet as soon as possible.
3. Symbolab + Desmos. Is putting 2 apps on the same entry in the list considered cheating? Oh, well! These apps are so intertwined together that it would be absolutely meaningless to give each of them their own entry. Symbolab is a math solver. It can solve logarithmic, combinatorics, algebraic, and almost any other type of problem to ever exist, while also showing you the step-by-step solutions. Desmos, on the other hand, has the same functionality as a graphing calculator. Input your function and it will calculate its graph. While these two apps are essential, we recommend using them only as a last resort. In other words, if it has been more than 1 hour and the only thing you have written is the question of the exercise, then you have our permission to use it.
4. Google Drive Suite. It would be unfair to include only one of the Google Drive Suite apps, so I am including all of them. Google Drive Suite offers you a word processor spreadsheet and presentation editor for free. Furthermore, your work is automatically saved in the Cloud, which allows you to access it anywhere and anytime through your smart device. Its feature to share your work with others in real-time comes in handy on group projects; group members can see, share, and comment on each other’s work.
5. EasyBib. So, you’ve finished writing your research paper. What’s next? Correctly writing down all your references. If your brain functions similarly to mine, you definitely hate writing your references, let alone checking them twice to make sure everything is written correctly. Thankfully, EasyBib can take care of it for you. This website helps you easily create your references by just searching for the name of the website, book, journal, or newspaper that you cited and it will automatically create a reference with all the relevant information for you. It is simple to use and makes your life so much easier, so what’s not to like?
Ergi is a freshman at University of New York of Tirana. At Insider, he is a journalist and designer for the 1st Managing Board.