It’s not all about partying, student discounts, and sport socials – university also requires a certain amount of studying too. Now, reading those textbooks and writing those notes don’t have to be as much of a chore as you might first think. There are plenty of ways to get motivated and stay productive, and maybe even make it a little fun.
Using apps and tools can really help to rid the soul-destroying nature of preparing that literature review. Let’s get your read on with the following apps that may just save you doing a re-sit.
With your numerous projects and essays due, it’s no surprise you get a little flustered with the amount of files and papers you have to keep up with. This is where the Documents app comes in. Whether your files live in Dropbox, Google Drive, or even up in the cloud, Documents works with all of them to show and store your files all in one place.
The app allows you to edit your documents, annotate PDF files, look through photos and videos, and even read ebooks.
There’s nothing more soul-destroying than finishing your work and realising you’ve left all your referencing until last. No more worrying about the correct use of the Harvard style – it’s time to start worrying whether or not you have the RefMe app.
The app uses your phone’s camera to scan a book’s barcode and generate the reference for you. It doesn’t matter if your university uses an obscure referencing style, because you can choose your style of reference before you get started. Our top tip is to reference as you go.
To keep your production levels high, you have to give your brain some food power. Now, we know it’s not easy to be a Nigella or a Ramsay in the kitchen, but you could try your hand at being an Ainsley (no disrespect, Mr Harriott). BigOven is a smart recipe app that lists all the ingredients you’re going to need and then creates your shopping trolley for you, so that you don’t buy unnecessary items and waste money (we know it’s hard when in the middle aisle of Aldi).
The key feature to this app is its ‘leftover’ trick. The app will generate recipes you can make with all the leftover items in your cupboard or fridge. Oh, be warned: the app is known to throw out some very American-style dishes, but we should all know how to make a corndog, right?
How many social media apps do you have open right now? Probably about three, right? We all know how distracting social media can be. We’ll just have a little scroll through Instagram, and next thing you know we’re on our best friend’s brother’s old housemate’s profile looking at pictures of their gap year.
SelfControl allows you to block certain sites from distracting you while you’re trying to do your work, with the block working for a set amount of time. We’re all allowed a few distractions and setbacks, but with SelfControl you can’t access the blocked sites until the set-time is up. Oh, and even if you restart your laptop, it doesn’t reset the timer – SelfControl already thought of that.
It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen, and one moment or another, you will have to sit an exam or revise for a piece of coursework or presentation. We’re sorry to be the bearers of this bad news, BUT, we have a solution to help you: StudyBlue.
No matter what your preferred learning style is, whether it’s through quizzes, flashcards, or even audio revision, StudyBlue provides you with it all. Looks like this app really wants you to pass that exam – it allows you to customise your very own digital revision materials. This way, no matter where you are, whether it’s waiting for the bus or in the queue for the bar, you can use the app to run through your revision. What’s better, too, is that you can share your revision materials with your coursemates and vice-versa, so you can all work, revise, and pass together.
Thanks to these apps and tools, we’re hoping there will be some ‘appy students in their lecture rooms now. Let us know how the apps help you and your studies, and remember: if you find any other useful apps to give us a tweet @dwellstudent.