5 Apps to Make You More Productive

College life can be overwhelming as you try to manage your classes, extracurricular obligations and social life. During this busy time, technology can make your life more manageable. These apps that will help you organize your time and increase your productivity.

5 Apps to Improve Productivity

1. Evernote

Not only is Evernote free, it is on the list of The New York Times “Top 10 Must-Have Apps.” With this app, you can write notes, capture photos, keep to-do lists and record voice reminders. You can sync Evernote with all your devices and search for specific notes. You can organize notes into specific “notebooks” or with tags and email them to others via Twitter or Facebook. College students can use this app to snap photos of PowerPoint slides and textbooks, take and organize class notes for studying later and even to upload their favorite recipes and grocery lists.

2. Dropbox / Google Drive

As a student, you may do work on multiple computers, even working on your smartphone when you’re out. Dropbox eliminates the need to email documents from one computer to another. It also eliminates the need for a flash drive. By installing the free app on your computer, phone or tablet, you can save any file to a Dropbox folder that you can access from anywhere. You can even create folders that you can share with other people.

An alternative to Dropbox is Google Drive. You get up to 15 GB of free space with your Google account. Not only does Drive come with the free space, you can also use it to access Google’s free software like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

3. Trello

Trello is one of the best organizational and collaborative tools available. It’s the perfect place to organize projects and tasks. Trello is like a digital whiteboard filled with lists of sticky notes. You can do more than move the notes around. You can upload files, make checklists, add links, labels, and due dates to all of those notes! Unlike a whiteboard, Trello is available online and on smartphones.

4. gFlash + Flashcards & Test

Another great freebie, gFlash + Flashcards & Test lets you create and edit an unlimited number of flashcards for studying, with the option of adding images and sounds. You can also download existing cards from the gWhiz collection. Cards can have up to nine sides, and as you quiz yourself, you have the ability to track your progress. Because it’s free, there are some ads, but they don’t get in the way of your studies.

5. Zapier

For those seeking the ultimate productivity app, Zapier is the easiest way to automate your apps and programs. The possibilities with this app are endless. Set it up to automatically convert calendar events to Trello tasks, save email attachments to your Google Drive, or backup your Evernote notes to Dropbox.

Being Productive While Commuting

The average college student spends roughly 30 minutes each day just walking on campus. Double that for students who live off-campus and have to walk, ride, or drive a greater distance.

Just because that time is short, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything with it

Being Productive While Commuting

  1. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts and class recordings – It has been proven that listening can significantly improve your knowledge base. It helps you discover the things you might have missed before.
  2. Practice with flashcards – Flash cards are easy to read and it doesn’t even take 30 minutes to cover everything. If you don’t want to carry flashcards with you, you can download an app for your phone.
  3. Prioritize your day– Whether you use a paper planner or your phone’s calendar app, take a few minutes of your commute to organize your day.
  4. Proofread your papers – You can scan your papers and check for grammatical, spelling and sentence construction errors.
  5. Scan class notes – Reading while you are on the move is a big no-no, so scan the highlights or even listen to lectures you have recorded on your phone.
  6. Return calls, texts, and emails – If you’re like the rest of us, you’re probably awful at returning messages from people. Make it a daily priority during your commute to actually connect with people.

Your commute is also a good opportunity to focus on your personal growth. Use this time to practice breathing techniques and meditation as well!


Benefits of Trade School

There was a time where people looked down on trade school, which is why most 20-somethings are saddled with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Fortunately, times and skills are changing. You can learn a trade and get a well-paying job in half the time of traditional college. Whether you choose the tech industry, the medical field, or learn a hands-on skill like welding; there’s a trade for everyone’s interests.

Benefits of Trade School

There are a lot of reasons why trade schools are a viable option. The current skilled workers are  aging out of their trades. Because college was pushed so hard to the millennial generation, few of us know these trades. There is a huge demand for many physical and technical skills, so the likelihood of finding a job is much higher.

Instead of focusing on a broad range of academics, with a focus in one area, trade schools teach you one specific trade. Examples include accounting, cooking, dental assistance, medical billing, paralegal, HVAC, etc. Once you graduate from a radiology program, for example, you will be able to enter the workforce as a radiologist. If your trade needs a certification, the schools will arrange and prepare you for the test.

Trade school programs often have smaller classrooms, which gives you more one-on-one time with the professor. Your peers are also taking the same classes so you can easily form study groups. This can also help you build meaningful contacts to help your career.

Studies have also shown that employers show a preference for students with tech school diplomas because they already have the know-how and hands-on learning.

The best benefit of all, it’s quicker and cheaper. Graduating from college takes 4 years, on average, while trade school is much quicker. Some programs are only 6-10 weeks and some take 2-3 years. Either way, your overall expenses, including tuition and fees is much less than they would be if you went to a four-year university.