Surely you know by now that smart phones are helpful, and laptops are useful. As college students, though, it’s vital that we use those iPhones and MacBooks to their fullest potential. Here are a few ways to use your phone/laptop you may not have considered…
1) Alarms and Reminders
Obvious, sure, but oh-so-helpful! Keep forgetting to take your medicine? Set a daily alarm! Too many errands to remember? Make a to-do list! Can’t get out of bed in time for New Testament? (Come on, surely it’s not just me…) Set FIVE alarms!
2) iStudiez Pro
This $5 app may be the best five dollars you’ll spend in the next four years. (Poor like me? Wait for an iTunes gift card this Christmas!) This app lets you organize your class schedule, professors, assignments, and more! It also has full calendar integration so you can see all of your events for the day in one place.
There’s also a version available in the Mac App Store, if you’re interested in syncing to multiple devices, which I highly recommend!
3) Messaging App
This one provides seamless transition in conversation from your iPhone before class to your laptop during that terribly mundane history lecture. Just be sure to turn on read receipts in your settings and you’re ready to go! Set up a study date without even leaving class.
4) Soothing Sounds
Whether you’re a client of Songza, LastFM, Pandora, or Spotify, you can get the most of your studying experience by breaking with a little jam session every so often, or mellowing your mind with that slow jazz station.
I highly recommend Songza, by the way. The free app/website acts as your own personal Music Concierge. You tell Songza what you’re up to, and it recommends a station you may like, including no-lyrics stations for studying!
5) Self Control
Don’t have any? That’s ok! Tap the Do Not Disturb on your iPhone and download the Self Control app for you Mac and viola! You’re all set to cram for that Christian Ministries test tomorrow morning! Self Control blocks the websites you know are distracting for the amount of time you choose. Just be sure you’re committed, because once you click that “Start” button, there’s no turning back…
If you’re like me, you never had to study in high school. (If you’re not like me, skip to #7.) I’ve found 2 extremely great ways to study:
#1: grab a study buddy! Talk through your notes together and ask questions about what you don’t understand in your extremely jumbled lecture notes from that day you’re pretty sure you dozed off.
#2 (here’s where the technology comes in): copy your notes from Evernote to Quizlet. Make online flashcards that you and your study buddy can go over, and you can flip through these tomorrow right before your exam. It saves paper, and Quizlet is available on your iPhone and laptop. Plus they just have a really cool story.
“Copy my notes from Evernote…?” you’re thinking. I know, I can hear you. If you don’t have Evernote, you need to download it immediately. It lets you take notes in the best way possible. Make to-do lists, collect pictures, quickly save an idea for that 12-page research paper, and clip web articles you need to read before Expos class on Friday. Evernote gives you unlimited storage for all of those articles, notes, and lists, and they’re just an all-around cool company.
8) Copy (or other cloud storage client)
If you’re like me (nevermind.) You should definitely store your files on the cloud, whether that be Copy (my current favorite), Dropbox, or any other server. This lets you access your files from anywhere as long as you have internet access – including the media center computer that connects to the only printers on campus. This pretty much eliminates the need for a flash drive. Not to mention, Copy gives you 15GB of storage just for signing up!
9) Kindle Textbooks
Consider buying the Kindle format of your textbooks. These are often cheaper, and definitely lighter in your backpack. Plus there is a Kindle app for both your iPhone and MacBook, so really you don’t even need to remember to take your Kindle to class. It’s super handy to have all of your textbooks in the palm of your hand!
Kindle also offers renting services for certain books, so be sure to look into that.
Bought the wrong textbook? Kindle returns are easy. I realized 2 weeks into the semester that I bought the books for a different section of the course, so I contact customer service and they gave me a refund. Amazon rocks!
Need to ask your mom a very important question face to face? Need to ask for your little sister’s opinion on your outfit for that bonfire this weekend? Just set up a quick FaceTime call! From either your phone or your laptop you can be in contact with pretty much anyone in the world who has another Apple device. Just be sure those pesky relatives aren’t calling you during that history lecture!
Hopefully these help! College is rough, as I’m learning, so it’s always nice to have some help along the way, either from study buddies, long-distance family members, or even your technology!
P.S. Don’t have an Apple device? I hear there’s a new iPhone out…
Oh, also, I wrote this blog post while studying… The epitome of self control.
Oh, and also! My relatives aren’t pesky. I love them all very much. (: