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25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

Many people say that today’s college students have it easy. All information they need is at their fingertips, so they can easily complete all academic projects after browsing the Internet for a few hours. However, that’s not what happens in reality. The curriculums have become more rigorous than ever, so college students have to think of different ways of increasing their productivity and motivation.

Luckily, there are many apps and websites that will improve their skills of time management, planning, brainstorming, writing, socializing, and many other aspects of student life. In this article you will find a list of 25 websites, apps and tools that will immediately turn you into a smarter student.

1. StudentRate

Student Rate

    Among all the new responsibilities as a college student, budgeting may be the toughest one. StudentRate.com is a website where you can find great discounts and steal deals that range from textbooks, to travel, to technology.

    2. NinjaEssays

    NinjaEssays

      With the help of this website, you can always get your papers and assignments ready for submission. The company will assign your projects to real experts, so you can be sure that the results will be excellent.

      3. Koofers

      Koofers

        Koofers enables you to access flashcards and prepare for exams more easily. In addition, students use Koofers to get information about job and internship openings and to get hired in adequate positions.

        4. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

        Alarmy

          Missing important classes is out of the question if you want to be a successful college student. Let’s see if you can sleep through this alarm! It’s annoying, but will get you out of bed for sure.

          5. OpenStudy

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          OpenStudy

            When you need to study hard for exams, you can access OpenStudy and become part of study groups for history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other courses you take.

            6. Sworkit

            Sworkit

              When you forget about the importance of exercising, this app will remind you that there is always time for investing in your health and fitness.

              7. Help.PlagTracker

              Help.Plagtracker

                When you write a paper, you have to make sure it’s perfect in all aspects before turning it in. At this website, you can easily hire a professional editor to smooth out the content and start getting better grades on your academic assignments.

                8. Audible

                Audible

                  When you’re too tired to read the book for your literature class, listening to an audiobook will help a lot. Now you can spend your time productively when waiting in line or taking long walks.

                  9. Half

                  Half

                    You can save a small fortune by buying and selling your textbooks online. There are other websites with a similar purpose, but Half is the easiest one to use.

                    10. Mint

                    Mint

                      Gaining budgeting wisdom takes time and effort, but everything will go much more smoothly with the help of Mint – a free app that will categorize and organize the expenses for you.

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                      11. InstaGrok

                      InstaGrok

                        At this website, you can research the topic of your interest and get a customizable concept map that will help you make the studying materials cooler. You will easily remember important information thanks to the interactive visual interface.

                        12. Studious

                        Studious

                          Sometimes you forget to turn your phone off during classes, and that’s exactly when your parents decide to call you. This Android app will help you avoid interrupting the class and getting on the professor’s nerves.

                          13. StudyBlue

                          StudyBlue

                            No matter how much you dislike taking notes and making flashcards, those learning strategies are important if you want to make your studying easier. StudyBlue enables you to make fun flashcards and take notes anywhere, anytime.

                            14. SelfControl

                            SelfControl

                              It is very important to stay away from distractions during studying time. This free Mac app will help you avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other distracting websites.

                              15. Rate My Professor

                              Ratemyprof

                                When you are about to create your class schedule, you can check the reputation of different professors at this website.

                                16. iStudiez Pro

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                                Istudies

                                  This awesome planner will help you organize your life throughout college. You can use it on your iPhone, Mac or iPad to enter a smart summary of all planned events for the day.

                                  17. TED

                                  Ted

                                    The speeches featured at this website are not only motivational, but informative as well. TED is a reliable resource you can use to get ideas and resources for your projects.

                                    18. Dragon Dictation

                                    Dragon

                                      Instead of typing like a maniac, you can become more productive by dictating. Dragon Dictation will instantly transform your words into text.

                                      19. SugarSync

                                      SugarSync

                                        Your files and folders hold important information that needs to be protected from loss. SugarSync will make you feel safe, but will also make your work easier because it will sync the files on multiple devices.

                                        20. Quizlet

                                        Quizlet

                                          Quizlet enables you to study vocabulary, languages, and many other things for free. It supports effective study tools that will help you see learning as a fun activity.

                                          21. Dictionary.com Mobile

                                          Dictionary

                                            When you don’t understand what your eloquent professor is saying, you can access this smartphone app and translate his expressions into simple words.

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                                            22. Wolfram Alpha

                                            Wolf

                                              Wikipedia is really overestimated, and your professors don’t appreciate it. Thanks to this app, you can access expert knowledge and trustworthy information whenever you need it and wherever you are.

                                              23. Notella

                                              Notells

                                                When your professors drop important information unexpectedly, this app will prevent you from missing it. This is a super fast note-taker that will save you when you least expect it.

                                                24. RealCalc

                                                Realcalc

                                                  With the help of this scientific calculator, you may actually start enjoying calculating. You don’t have to invest in an expensive calculator to use in class when you have this brilliant software at your disposal.

                                                  25. BenchPrep

                                                  BenchPrep

                                                    This extensive library of interactive test prep courses will help locate all exam study material you need. BenchPrep also provides an impressive base of flashcards, practice questions and study lessons.

                                                    Featured photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via flickr.com

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                                                    Last Updated on September 30, 2020

                                                    Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                                                    Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                                                    When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

                                                    Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

                                                    Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

                                                    Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

                                                    Effective vs Efficient

                                                    Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

                                                    A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

                                                    Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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                                                    The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

                                                    Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

                                                    When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

                                                    Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

                                                    Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

                                                    The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

                                                    If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

                                                    When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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                                                    • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
                                                    • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
                                                    • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

                                                    Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

                                                    Efficiency in Success and Productivity

                                                    Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

                                                    When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

                                                    Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

                                                    The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

                                                    If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

                                                    Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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                                                    The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

                                                    Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

                                                    Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

                                                    If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

                                                    It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

                                                    Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

                                                    Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

                                                    Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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                                                    By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

                                                    It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

                                                    Bottom Line

                                                    Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

                                                    • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
                                                    • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
                                                    • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

                                                    And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
                                                    [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
                                                    [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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