More free time: Tech gadgets and time management tools to help students get more done

Time managementLast summer I told you about several tech gadgets that you should definitely consider adding to your arsenal of tools. Now I want to let you in on some exciting new tech gadgets, time management tools, and helpful apps for college students that will help make you more efficient and give you more free time.

Tech time management tools

If there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day, then it’s time to get serious about time management. Calendars and to-do lists are a great way to start and there are plenty of tech solutions to help you.

  • Google Calendar: Google’s free online calendar can help you stay on top of all of your deadlines. Working on a group project? You can share your schedule and see the schedules of others. Access the Google Calendar from anywhere (both online and off) and sync it to your phone or tablet. You can even program it to send you email reminders.
  • Pocket: Now you can master information overload by bookmarking items so that you can read and view them later. Formerly known as ReadItLater, this free service allows you to save articles, videos, or anything else from within your browser or from apps like Twitter or Pulse. Find out more and sign up at getpocket.com.
  • Astrid: This award-winning, free list-making tool allows you to organize your tasks from anywhere and sync them across your mobile devices. Use its collaboration tools to connect with others on projects. Want to get reminded to buy milk when you walk by the grocery store? Get the Locale add-on. To add even more functionality, add the Power Pack at astrid.com.

Productivity tools

You don’t have trouble finding time, just being productive while you work? Try out these apps for keeping you on task.

  • White Noise: This Chrome app plays, you guessed it, white noise to help you block out distractions, focus, and relax. Sounds also come in Gray Noise, Brown Noise and more.
  • Strict Workflow: Also available from Chrome, this app was listed by Sarah Ang in her June 13, 2013 post for Mashable titled, “7 Productivity-Boosting Tools to Fight Procrastination.” You activate the app by clicking on small tomato in the corner of your screen. “Strict Workflow employs the Pomodoro technique: Focus for 25 minutes, then reward yourself with a sanity-saving five minute break,” Ang explained.
  • RescueTime: While discussing the dangers of abandoning pencil and paper for digital tracking tools, Sue Shellenbarger described a tracking program that might be the answer for students who are prone to spending too much time hanging out on social media. In her January 29, 2013 article for the Wall Street Journal titled, “How Productivity Tools Can Waste Your Time,” Shellenbarger described how one busy executive benefits from the program. “. . . called RescueTime; it posts an alert on his computer screen if he spends too much work time on Facebook or running blogs. If he strays a second time, RescueTime locks him out of nonwork programs and apps.”

Productivity tools for students

In his January 9, 2013 post for Bubblews titled, “21 Brilliant Productivity Tools Every College Student Must Use,” Norman Lasecki described the benefits of a diverse group of tools that can be of help to students. One such tool is the research site, Questia.

“Questia is an excellent online research tool which features a huge web based library of magazines, books, journals, papers, articles and much more. They claim that it is the largest online collection of complete books and journals, all of which is searchable word by word,” Laseki said.

Other tools on Laseki’s list include:

  • Instacalc: This calculator can convert from one unit to another, say, inches to centimeters. You can also enter complex equations and get the results.
  • Bookfinder: Shopping for affordable books is a snap with Bookfinder’s search engine, which will scour more than 150 million books for sale.
  • Writer: This free program will save your notes as you type them so you’ll never lose your work when you close your window or open a new document. Run Writer in Chrome or Firefox. The site will save your work to your computer by inserting a cookie and you can access it any time, send it to your blog or save it to your usb or hard drive as a text file or pdf.

Find out more about education tools to help you do your research for term papers and projects at Questia.com.

What apps or gadgets do you recommend to your time-management challenged friends?

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