With September and back-to-school season in full swing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the new items on your plate. During this time of year, many students can find themselves stressed and worried about the upcoming semesters, pending assignments, and incoming workload. But, the beginning of the school year doesn’t have to feel as daunting as it might seem, especially not when you have the right tools to manage it.
One of the most popular ways to stay on top of school-related to-do’s is by using online applications, which many use to replace traditional, time-consuming methods like bullet journalling. With these faster, more efficient organizational tools, you can cut down your planning time to have more study time, or even free up some extra space in your schedule for self-care.
Here’s a collection of free smartphone/laptop apps that can help you maximize your productivity and minimize your stress levels this school year:
For better, more productive notes:
During the school semesters, a key skill that boosts learning is knowing how to take efficient notes in class, which can sometimes feel extremely tiring and tedious. Enter great platforms like Notion, Obsidian and EverNote that help you take clear, organized notes for every lecture and class! No more worries about losing your notes or running out of paper, these paperless digital options allow you to create graphs, spreadsheets and diagrams in your notes, and even allow you to scan paper documents and upload them online.
You can download them for free, here:
For setting achievable, timely goals and to-dos:
With so much on the brain, especially at the start of the semester, students often struggle with wrapping their minds around a hectic schedule, deadlines and due dates all at the same time. To keep on track, it’s key to plan ahead and jot down all upcoming projects and deadlines early on, helping you manage heavy workloads and reduce any (avoidable) cramming sessions. Some great options for getting all of your deadlines and commitments together include Trello, TickTick and Todoist. On all of these apps, you can make to-do lists, set short-term and long-term goals, and set up daily schedules to promote step by step progress, all for free.
Find their download links here:
For getting prepared for exams:
While we’re not quite ready to start thinking about exams just yet, tests and quizzes throughout the semester can sometimes be just as time-consuming and stressful, requiring some good, thorough notes. But, when notes just aren’t enough, apps like Quizlet and Socrative can help you create study guides, find flashcards, and read up on effective study tips to help you be the most prepared that you can be for any assessment. Not only can it save you from just reading tediously through pages of writing, but it can make studying more productive, interactive and fun! You heard us right… don’t knock these stellar study apps ‘till you’ve tried them out! You can download them on your laptop or smartphone here:
We hope that these tips and recommendations can help you stay at the top of your game this year and manage your stress levels as you navigate another semester.
Remember: mental health always comes before studies, so be sure you’re taking breaks, getting outside, spending time with family and friends, and prioritizing self-care through it all. We can’t wait to see you shine this fall!