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.

Ergonomic Tips For Laptop Users

While laptops give us convenience in many ways, they also place us at risk for injuries. Because the laptop and screen are attached, it can cause both neck and wrist pain.

Ergonomic Risks from Laptops

  • Awkward wrist position
  • Pressure on the carpal tunnel
  • Flexed neck
  • Rounded shoulder

Ergonomic Tips for Laptop Users

  • Work on a table that is appropriate for your height
  • Sit close to the table on a comfortable chair
  • Bend your head as little as possible
  • Make sure your ears are directly above your shoulders
  • If you intend to use your laptop for long periods of time, it is best to get separate monitor, mouse and keyboard to decrease the risk for injuries
  • Have a laptop stand or alternatively use books underneath the laptop
  • Do not rest for your hands on the laptop surface while typing and make use of a 3-ring binder under the laptop. This decreases the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Make sure your elbows are not bent more than 90 degrees and this is best achieved by getting a high-enough chair
  • Reduce strain on your back by making sure you have footrest if your chair is high.

There will never be a true ergonomic position when using laptops thus it is still important to take a break and change position often.

Online Storage

One of the most useful tools in college is an online storage space where you can keep your school files. Some colleges provide cloud storage within your student email account, but this is usually very limited and difficult to use. There are a ton of other options out there for cloud storage, ranging from 2 GB to 50 GB of free space with an account.

Here’s a list of the best online storage tools available. All of these are free to use.

Free Online Storage Providers

  • Google Drive With each Gmail account, Google provides up to 15 GB of storage space in the Google Drive. Google Drive integrates seamlessly with the full range of Google tools, like your email, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and so on. You can share single documents or entire folders if you need to collaborate on a project.
  • OneDrive is a free storage option available to anyone with a Microsoft account. You get up to 5 GB of storage space. If you upgrade your Microsoft account to include the suite of Microsoft products, you can get up to 5 TB of storage.
  • Amazon Drive is for Amazon Prime users. You can store up to 5 GB of files, including pictures, videos, and more.
  • Dropbox only provides 2 GB of storage, but it can sync across all your devices. This is especially useful for those who forgot to email their papers in on time. You can use your phone to access Dropbox and attach files to your email.
  • Sync is a super-secure storage provider. Free accounts get 5 GB of end-to-end encrypted storage.

MEGA users can get up to a whopping 50 GB of free storage when they sign up with a free account and download the app.