Top Apps for Student Productivity

As students we have all faced the prospect of sitting down and preparing oneself for a serious evening of productive revision, only to be led astray by a tweet, Facebook notification, text message or whatever. In this constantly connected world we are always plugged in to our digital feeds so much so that we don’t realise know it until we are forced to disconnect from it in some manner to get some actual work done.

I don’t know about you but I’ve long since given up on trying to disconnect, there is no way im able to turn my phone off. I just can’t! Instead I’ve leveraged useful tools on the digital platform to aid me in my productivity. Since It’s rather difficult for me to pry my hands away from by phone/tablet , I thought it would be good to turn this dependence on technology into a force for good which is why im sharing my favourite apps for productivity with you. Contrary to the title this isn’t just for students, however since I am a student myself I thought it would make sense to reach out to those in a similar position as myself. Without further ado here it is. 

Warning not every app is available on all the operating systems so don’t be mad at me ! : (

Top Apps for Student Productivity

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Any do

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Any do is a simple yet very effective task list app, it allows you to note down your tasks and assign a set time period that you  aim to complete them within. It categorises tasks using 4 simple headings ‘Today’ , ‘Tomorrow’ ,’Upcoming’ and ‘Someday’. When you’ve finished a task you simply swipe from left to right on the task and any do draws a rather realistic line across the task to mark it as completed. To undo it simply swipe from right to left. (note: the app has no way if knowing you’ve actually completed your tasks so you’ll have to be honest with yourself here….

It also features the ability to receive notifications when your task(s) are due for completion, I think this is great as It often reminds me of things that I’ve forgotten I’ve even noted down. 

Another feature of note is its seamless cloud sync between devices, so you can take any do with you on your smartphone, tablet and web browser (I”ve only used it with chrome apps)

It you use it properly then you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done through using this app.  

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Google keep

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Google keep is a note taking app that allows you to ‘keep’ whatever pops into your mind…… its really simple to use, you just note down whatever on you want in text form. It displays your notes in sticky note type fashion and it also allows you to add images and voice recordings to your notes to provide greater context to whatever your babbling on about.

Did I mention you can add colours to your notes….(yay colours) , if Google weren’t spoiling you enough , like everything else googly it syncs seamlessly across all your devices. Watcha waiting on?  get downloading!!!!!!

(Note: the iOS app is a fan made one only, so might have some bugs)

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Evernote

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Evernote has the same basic principle as most note taking apps,  however its superior to them all as no other app is as comprehensive as Evernote in terms of total features. I’ll pick out the ones most useful to me as a student. One of them is the ability to organise your notes into categories called ‘notebooks’.

This is very useful for me as I often categorise my notes for my different modules as a student into different modules , as a business student its ‘accounting & finance’ , economics, etc. In addition to this , it also allows you to record audio and take pictures.

I find this feature rather useful in lectures as I often pop my phone on the lecturer’s table and set it to record, the audio quality will depend on whether you have a mobile lecturer or not (geddit?….ha……no? okay, basically if your lecturer walks around a lot your screwed) and whether there is incessant coughing in the background, thankfully my course mates have long since recovered from the dreaded freshers flu so, generally the audio is very clear when played back.

This can again be organised into folders to accompany your notes on whatever subject your recording about.

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Cloud Storage apps (e.g. Dropbox, box, drive)

Dropbox

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In the words of my favourite lecturer at uni  “I AM ABSOLUTELY EVANGELICAL ABOUT ” Dropbox, or any cloud storage platform for that matter.

The number one reason why every student in the world with access to internet should use Dropbox (or any other cloud storage) is that fact that you will no longer suffer many perilous mini heart attacks when you realise you cannot find your USB.

For me Dropbox was the first  storage platform I came across so I’ve been a proper Dropbox aficionado since coming across it, ask my classmates I’ve signed up about 6 people so far ( and gained about 3gb extra storage space in doing so) for the purpose of group collaboration when doing group work.

The main feature I think that is particularly useful for students is the fact it allows ‘shared folders’ to be accessed by several parties, in other words your  mates can all access the shared folder to upload , download and edit work.

Its great if you cant meet up but have work to submit. and the best bit? NO MORE EMAILS WITH EXCLAMATION MARKS ABOUT HOW THIS VERSION OF THE GROUP ASSIGNMENT IS THE FINAL FINAL VERSION (3) !!!!!!! xxxx

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Quick Office

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Quick office is awesome for the following reasons:

* Its free, as a student it cant get any better than that

* It work a treat, offering the ability to create and edit word documents, presentations and excel spreadsheets

* Did I  mention its free?

* When you sign up with your Google drive account it gives you a whopping 15 GB of FREE storage

*Its FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

* You can access you files on Google drive ,

That’s all I can muster up the effort to say at this stage , if you haven’t downloaded it by now I’m SMH (Shaking my head) as we speak

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Airdroid

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For those of you android users well jell of ios users seamless ability to send and receive texts using their Macs, behold the best you can hope for at this stage. I present unto thee Airdroid, its a really cool wireless device manager that lets you do a number of cool things including managing music, files and apps, locating your phone and texting using the on-line interface.

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Swiftkey

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Swiftkey is by far the best keyboard on the Play store , its the fastest most comprehensive keyboard you’ll ever come across. It learns how you type using an algorithm that none of us normal folk can understand to deliver personalised text predictions as you type.

It also includes ‘flow’ the continuous input feature enabling you to swipe from letter to letter and write a sentence without your finger leaving your grubby screen. Perfect for snap-chatting your friends in lectures ! …err I mean getting down those notes

p.s right now im using the beta version as it has some neat features not quite ready for full release yet, if you want in on it use the swiftkey beta

If the idea of something secret like a beta test scares you then be prepared to shell out the almighty sum of £1.50 , hefty? call it an investment

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Cloud Print

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Pressed for time ? every student decided to go to the library at the same time as you ? no computer? need to print ? no problem.

Google cloud print has got you covered, with this neat app you can print of your mobile device very easily. it requires a little setting up via chrome , once you add your printer to your account your all set. you’ll be able to send your files to a cloud printer near you using the app.

Print job done ! Now guffaw as you watch final year students engaging in the student computer ‘hunger games’.

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Sony Xperia Z1Mini-Review

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It was the opinion of the verge that the Sony Xperia Z1 the Sony best smartphone to date. As an avid admirer of Sony’s smartphones (a sony Xperia s being my first), I expected a lot….. and after reading what I call many reviews and YouTube videos. I consider myself infored as such to post a super mini review as I’m way to lazy to do a proper one.

I must say I certainly agree with the Verge (disclaimer: I agree with everything they say as I’d like to work for them in the future)…..

This thing is awesome. It packs a punch despite being a relatively small smartphone (small for android that is).

It has an excellent 720p ips display, tons of neat features and as always an amazing camera,in addition to some nice beef under the hood including a 2300mAh battery.

Bigger than the1,800mAh, 1,900mAh 2,070mAh batteries found inside the HTC One Mini, S4 Mini and Motorola Moto G. Me Gusta !!!!!!

Did I mention it runs android 4.3 ? (I obviously did not and that is a stupid question nevertheless) I’m confident this will fly of stockists shelves and Sony really have outdone themselves here. People are calling this an iPhone 5 competitor…it’s safe to say me likey… : p

It’ll retail at £450, rather hefty which is the one downer I can be bothered to think of, however call it a clean £400 Sony and I’ll throw in unpaid internship work and we have a deal.

Peep the video above by my long time imaginary girlfriend and tech crush Erica Griffin for more : ) xoxo

Adios,

Should I switch to Windows Phone? We jumped from Android and iOS to find out – Pocket-lint

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/125340-should-i-switch-to-windows-phone-we-jumped-from-android-and-ios-to-find-out

Always been fond of Windows phone, more apps are on the horizon now that Microsoft owns it legit. Making WP a genuine contender for a bigger slice of the 2014 smartphone market. I’d certainly like a 1020 for Christmas

My Top Apps

By now you’ve probably worked out that this is a pretty amateur blog…….well it is but that’s not going to deter me. I’m still going to write an amateur list of my top apps for android ( warning i am not a genius or something, just a dude with an opinion and an android) Well here it goes, it’s not a top ten or anything just my personal favorite apps listed by category

Productivity

Any.do:

Any do is a simple yet effective list making app, its core function is to create lists that help the user to remember and complete all the tasks they want to do. It has a simple and intuitive ( I’ve been dying to use that word) user interface and offers features including Alerts, seamless cloud sync, sub tasks , notes and amazing widgets. I’ve been using this app an awful lot these days and can’t hide the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I have completed all my tasks of the day, I’m not really a tasky person but I’ve always longed for a way to keep organised on a day-to-day basis, for me this is the solution. Get it on Google play here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anydo&feature=nav_result# t=W251bGwsMSwxLDMsImNvbS5hbnlkbyJd

Evernote:

This is a simple note tasking application which allows you to take notes to your heart’s content, you can sort them under different headings , sync them effortlessly with your other mobile devices, it also has a nifty chrome extension.  Not only can it record text but also pictures, voice reminders , webpages, to-do lists and more and its all completely search able in case you get swamped in your vast array of note taking. It’s definately kept my homework desk clean. Clean up yours too for free here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote&feature=search_result# t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5ldmVybm90ZSJd

Games

Wreck It Ralph:

When I first downloaded the app I was simply intrigued as to what all the hype about this game was, after watching the movie I  became severely obsessed with this game obsessively attempting  to break king candies records. I tell a lie…..wreck it Ralph is not a game, ITS 5 MINI GAME JAM PACKED INTO ONE AWESOME APP. No matter what game you play you’ll be thoroughly entertained. One sticking point though,   it costs a hefty 65p , that’ll put a hole in your wallets……..:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.disney.wreckitralph&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5kaXNuZXkud3JlY2tpdHJhbHBoIl0.

Agent dash:

I came across this app on holiday in Atlanta, Agent dash has similar characteristics to games like temple run and subway surf ,but despite the similarities  at the core essence  of the game play it impresses me as its graphics and well built levels diversify it from other explosive running games on android and ios. Its defo a time killer, and can be quite engrossing…Only yesterday I yelped nooooooo on the train as nearby passengers looked at me as if I were ill. LOL JK get it here :

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fullfat.android.agentdash&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5mdWxsZmF0LmFuZHJvaWQuYWdlbnRkYXNoIl0.

Cloud based:

Play music:

When I first came across Google play I was impressed by the concept but not the design but after a few tweaks I can safely say that Google have cracked it, the UI is clean uncluttered, immerse , intuitive, responsive, all encompassing ( I have superlatives for days………), in  short its really good. The audio quality is one of the best you’ll get on a streaming service. As a standalone app it serves little purpose than to complement your existing player, its USP is that it uploads your music to your personal cloud which means that android users looking to free up space can pretty much delete all the songs of their phone or SD Card (HOLD UP),………………….. you need an internet connect of course (THERES ALWAYS A CATCH) but if your always near wi-fi or have unlimited internet then this app’s a real winner. In addition its offering a Spotify like music/radio streaming service which is competitively priced , it doesn’t have the same scale of content but its definitely catching up.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.music&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDNd

Dropbox:

DropBox is my favorite cloud storage platform, to be honest as far as cloud platforms go it does not WOW me, but at the same time cloud storage platforms aren’t meant to WOW, their meant to WORK and it does VERY WELL.  . I’m extra chuffed because as a Samsung Galaxy user I gained a capacity upgrade to 50GB , very tasty indeed.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dropbox.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5kcm9wYm94LmFuZHJvaWQiXQ..

News and reading

The verge:

For you technology enthusiasts out there this is the definitive source for technology news, reviews, and up-to-the-minute scoops. Get all the breaking news coverage and in-depth reporting in the world of consumer technology ( I cant lie i stole that from GP but its the best way to but it succintly….)

Alongside BGR its the only technology news app for me personally worth downloading.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.verge.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS52ZXJnZS5hbmRyb2lkIl0.

FlipBoard:

What more can I say about FlipBoard, it basically lets users do away with every other news app on their device it brings everything you love together in a magazine style format with social integration. Easily one of the best apps to ever exist and one of my personal favs.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=flipboard.app&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImZsaXBib2FyZC5hcHAiXQ..

Social

Twitter:

As a self diagnosed tweet-a-holic , I should probably be staying away from Twitter ,but like all tweet-a-holics I can’t resist just one more tweet……

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twitter.android

Tumblr:

Tumblr is not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. Yeah it’s another social network but for me and a lot of people it offers an escape as you often discover things that you won’t find anywhere else.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tumblr

Utilities

PowerAmp:

Poweramp is an audio player that adds another dimension to your music listening experience , it has advanced tweaks and settings to get the most out of your music. When I used to own a Sony Xperia s it really increased the audio quality and it has done the same for my S3. Don’t just take my word for it though. Trial it and have a look at the reviews.

Trial: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.maxmpz.audioplayer

Full version unlocker: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.maxmpz.audioplayer.unlock

London travel:

This app has become my personal travel companion, in essence it shows you live travel updates for your journey and can do things including planning your journey. It’s a really useful all in one London travel app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.javed.londontravel

ANDREWADEGA

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