How to Make Technology Help You: Academic Edition

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When you carry around a tiny computer in your pocket every day you’re bound to wonder how it can best aid you in your academic life. While most professors will ask (or imply) that using your phone during class is unappreciated, there are still ways that you can use your phone to boost your academic abilities. The following are just a few apps that I’ve found have aided me in my academic journey throughout the years.

A Countdown App

Counting down the days until your next school vacation (55 days until reading week as of today) can be a great way to not get too down when it seems like the onslaught of homework and assignments never ends. But that’s not how I primarily use this app. At the beginning of term I add a countdown for each reading, assignment, test, etc. and then as the term goes by I am able to easily see, and prioritize, what I need to do. For example, I will need to have Chapter 1 of two textbooks read this week, as well as part of an introduction. I can also tell you that at the time this is printed, it will be 14 days exactly until my first assignment is due, and 84 days until my last assignment of the term is due. The countdown app that I use (and recommend) is Holo Countdown. There is a free version available, but I opted to spend the few extra dollars on the paid version so that I could use the widget and add as many countdowns at a time as I like. Holo Countdown is exclusively available on Android phones in the Play Store.

A Scheduling App

Say what you want about Type A personalities, but they (myself included) really know how to keep a schedule. My personal schedule (or calendar, if you will) of choice is the Google Calendar as I can access it on any device that I might need to. What’s good about this app is that I can input my course times and locations at the beginning of term and know that I will never forget about a class. I may not attend all of them, but I certainly won’t forget about them. With the Google calendar you can set a default reminder time, which I use to ensure that I’ve got enough time to get to class, and you can even set separate calendars on your account. I use this to separate my work, school, and social calendars, and then all three show up in my schedule in different colours. This way I can tell at a glance what I’ll be doing everyday and never miss an appointment or double-book myself.

Textbook App

If cheaper textbooks are something that you’re a fan of, and you don’t mind reading things online, then you should definitely get yourself an app for downloading textbooks. The app that I’ve used previously is Chegg Textbooks & Study Help. While Chegg may not have every textbook that you’ll need, it’s certainly worth checking out as you will save a significant amount by renting e-book textbooks than you will buying hardcover ones. Another bonus to using Chegg is that you can access your textbooks at any time without actually carrying around a heavy book. This turns your time spent waiting for the bus into time studying. Chegg can be used on Android and Apple devices, as well as through their website