University is getting closer, and you will want to make sure you’re ready. While you’re living on a tight budget, shopping for the best tools while at home is the best option. You have a little more disposable income and the Bank of Mum and Dad may be able to help.
Now is also a great time to get yourself organized. Make sure you have everything you’ll need to make your university life as easy as possible. Here are the five must-have tools for university students in 2015.
Choose one of them at least. You will definitely need one as a student. Laptops aren’t overly expensive, and can be justified with your student loan. On the other hand, they’re large and heavy. A tablet or notebook may be a better option.
Whatever you do, make sure you can put all the programs you’ll potentially need for your classes. As a computer science student, I needed a lot of tech software so a laptop was necessary. Now that I’m studying criminology through the Open University, I need something to write essays on, so a tablet is enough for my needs.
The last thing you want is to go into university or to the library every time you need to type up an essay.
Get Google Docs
This really is the best application for word documents and spreadsheets. The benefit is that you can access it all from anywhere, because your documents are stored in your online account.
Others can also be granted access to some of the documents. This is great for those who want have group projects and want everyone to have access to everything instantly.
The great news about Google Docs is that it’s one of the must-have tools for university students that’s free! Much better than having to afford Microsoft Office!
If you struggle with distractions, StudyRails is a great application to get on your computer. You can set up blocked sessions for studying, and get reminders so you’re organised for the day. On top of that, it can block access to your favourite sites during those study blocks. Just think how much easier it will be not having access to Facebook during those periods!
Now all you need to do is find a way to block the distractions elsewhere. Put a note on your room door and turn your phone off. It makes everyone aware that you’re not available to talk.
One of the great things about StudyRails is that you can colour-code everything. From a glance, you can see which module you’re studying for and whether you need anything special.
You will need to give citations in your university essays, which makes CiteMe perfect. Rather than going through all your notes to get the citations just right—the Harvard system isn’t hard once you’re used to it, but it’s getting used to it!—you can put in the details in the online tool and let it do it all automatically for you.
CiteMe works in all the different forms of citations, whether you need the Harvard referencing system or the APA one. It’s a Facebook application, too, making it free to use.
This can seem like an odd must-have tool, but hear me out. A blog is a great way to document your time at university, as well as a great way to put all your notes together in one place. There are plenty of free options around, and you can organise your blogs in categories and pages to help find something quickly and easily.
You’ll be surprised at how many others will look for a blog like yours. With that brings new friends and the chance to ask other people questions.
Once you’ve finished university, you’ll be able to use your blog as a way to look back over your memories. You can find out more about using a blog during university here.
The more prepared you are, the better it will be for your time at university. Make sure you get the above must-have student tools. They really will help to avoid procrastination and make working easier!