June 2, 2015 by Zuri
Hello! As most of you readers know by now, I’m starting USF’s Anthropology Program this fall, and just like I did in previous semesters, I’m taking the time to re-examine my studying and time management techniques to see if I can find an easier or at least more efficient way of accomplishing my goals.
I’ve been scouring the annals of the internet – including news sites, blogs, .edu archives, and youtube – looking for new and interesting ways to track my time, take notes, and study. I’ve found a few apps that will prove useful! I’ll share the apps I’m using this upcoming semester, including ones that I’ve used in the past. Here we go!
This app has been the most valuable thing I’ve downloaded onto my phone to date – and now it’s on my tablet too! When I get my syllabus fo the semester, I plug in all my homework assignments, tests, and important dates. There’s a widget that lists your upcoming assignments that I have sitting on my home screen, right below Sunrise calendar (more on that later). If not for this app I would have missed so many assignments! Available for Android in the Play Store.
I have had such a time with synching my calendar data between my phone, my tablet and my computer. PAIN I tell you! This week I made the switch to Sunrise Calendar. It can synch up multiple user accounts (for example, my google mail, and my USF mail, which is also google based…). As an added bonus, you can add in accounts from other apps, such as I’ve done with Todoist (see below). So far it seems to be working great. The only downside I can figure out is that I’m still getting alarms on my phone from my old calendar, and I can’t seem to make them stop. I’ll figure it out eventually. Available for Android at the Play Store.
Todoist is another new one for this semester. It came highly recommended on quite a few time management websites, so I decided to give it a try. It’s also one of Google Play’s Best of 2014. It’s a to do list that’s syncable between computer, phone and tablet, which is great. It has widgets listing upcoming notifications – and I loves me some widgets! It also syncs with Sunrise, so that your to do items that have upcoming deadlines will show up in your calendar and on your calendar widget as well. It seems super versatile, and I’m hoping to get some real use out of it. Available for Android in the Play Store.
This one is simple enough. The StudyTimer by Bumbling Solutions lets you enter how long you wish to study in total, how much time you’d like to study for, and how much of a break you’d like between each study session. Pretty self explanatory? I wish it had the option to save your settings, but sadly no. Still, if you’re looking for a barebones timer for your study sessions, this looks like a good one to try. Available for Android in the Play Store.
Just a quick one here, and my apologies for the lack of picture. I couldn’t get my phone or tablet to check more than one google account at a time (tried tons of tutorials, none worked, and were a major headache), and since my school email is google based, I had to find a solution for checking my school mail on the go. Enter MyMail. It’s your standard mail app, and it’s been working really well for keeping me on top of my school email. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve also downloaded Canvas, since that’s the online system the school uses to keep track of classes. I find it SO much more versatile than Blackboard, and the app is FREE (unlike Blackboard). There is also the USF specific app, MyUSF Mobile, which has the awesome benefit of tracking the school transit system, so you’ll know when the shuttles will be arriving via GPS.
I’ve also downloaded a free Excel Spreadsheet from Vertex42 – their “Weekly Schedule Template“. It also comes in PDF, OpenOffice and Google Sheets formats. The one I downloaded is the second one down, with the hours broken down into 15 minute increments. A lot of sites have suggested making a schedule of your study time versus your free time, so I’m going to give that a try with this spreadsheet. I’ve already got my school schedule plugged in, and study hours around and in between classes, now I just need to figure out the rest of the schedule!
Wow – that’s a pretty long post! I hope you fellow college students find this information useful. Take the time to research ways that you too can be a more efficient student. Catch you on the flipside!