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Top Productivity Tools for Students at College

Top Productivity Tools for Students at College

The contemporary educational system is largely influenced by technology. Students attend online courses and use the Internet as the main source of information for their projects and learning goals. In addition, college students can find many tools and apps that will increase their productivity and help them meet all deadlines imposed by their professors.
It doesn’t matter how busy your schedule is – with so many tools at hand, you are not allowed to look for excuses. The following websites, apps and tools will help you stay organized and prepared to face any academic challenge.

1. MindGenius

All college students have difficulties to keep up with the immense workload they get. MindGenius is a cool mind-mapping app that brings the activities of researching and note-taking to a whole new level. With the use of this downloadable software (with a free trial of 30 days), you can make your day-to-day activities clearer and manage the overload of information you get.

The tool is extremely easy to use; it is fast and convenient for all college students. You can choose a template that’s appealing to your taste and start an effective mind-mapping session as soon as possible.

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MindGenious

    2. WordCounter

    Looking for a word and symbol counting tool that provides precise numbers? You’ll like the new WordCount tool provided by NinjaEssays. It’s completely free and easy to use. Just paste the text into WordCounter and get the exact number of words and symbols in a text!

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    wordcounter

      3. WritingHouse

      If you just finished working on a challenging academic paper, the last thing you would want to bother with is writing a bibliography. Don’t worry; you can easily skip that part and still submit a perfectly-formatted paper with the use of this tool. Citation generator WritingHouse supports Harvard, Chicago, MLA, and APA citation styles, and automatically applies the citations according to the format you choose.
      This tool will help you save not only time, but nerves as well.

      WritingHouse.org

        4. Zoho

        Zoho.com has become a huge part of many students’ lives. It helps them manage academic presentations in an easily-accessible manner and organize large documents without losing their focus along the way. The platform is extremely simple to use and allows a high level of flexibility for the student’s convenience.
        It doesn’t matter what type of document you need to import or export; Zoho supports different formats that allow you to focus on your work without any distractions. You can also use the mobile-optimized version to access your documents on your smartphone whenever you need them.

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        Zoho

          5. Scientific Research

          This website provides open access to great peer-reviewed articles and journals. The project is also available as an Android and Apple app, which provides students and teachers with access to relevant information about their projects at any time. Google does not lead to the most reliable sources of information for the academic papers of students and the teachers’ textbooks, so they are all recommended to use Scientific Research to find verifiable scientific sources.

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          SR

            6. Appolearning

            This website provides peer-rated and peer-reviewed educational applications that K-12 teachers can implement into the classroom. The apps are clearly classified by topic, grade, and discipline, and the website also provides information on how to use the featured apps.

            appo

              There is a tool to help you with every challenge you face!

              Your life as a college student is not as easy and fun as you expected it to be. However, you can always make it more pleasurable by doing more work in a shorter amount of time, which will provide you with a considerable amount of free time for activities you will actually enjoy.
              The four tools we listed above will help you deal with your academic struggles and become a more productive student that professors will love and classmates will admire.

              Featured photo credit: Ed McGowan via flickr.com

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              Forget Learning How to Multitask: Boost Productivity 10X More with Focus

              Forget Learning How to Multitask: Boost Productivity 10X More with Focus

              There’s a dark side to the conveniences of the Digital Age. With smartphones that function like handheld computers, it has become increasingly difficult to leave our work behind. Sometimes it seems like we’re expected to be accessible 24/7.

              How often are you ever focused on just one thing? Most of us try to meet these demands by multi-tasking.

              Many of us have bought into the myth that we can achieve more through multi-tasking. In this article, I’ll show you how you can accomplish more work in less time. Spoiler alert: multi-tasking is not the answer.

              Why is multitasking a myth?

              The term “multi-tasking” was originally used to describe how microprocessors in computers work. Machines multitask, but people cannot.

              Despite our inability to simultaneously perform two tasks at once, many people believe they are excellent multi-taskers.

              You can probably imagine plenty of times when you do several things at once. Maybe you talk on the phone while you’re cooking or respond to emails during your commute.

              Consider the amount of attention that each of these tasks requires. Chances are, at least one of the two tasks in question is simple enough to be carried out on autopilot.

              We’re okay at simultaneously performing simple tasks, but what if you were trying to perform two complex tasks? Can you really work on your presentation and watch a movie at the same time? It can be fun to try to watch TV while you work, but you may be unintentionally making your work more difficult and time-consuming.

              Your brain on multi-tasking

              Your brain wasn’t designed to multi-tasking. To compensate, it will switch from task to task. Your focus turns to whatever task seems more urgent. The other task falls into the background until you realize you’ve been neglecting it.

              When you’re bouncing back and forth like this, an area of the brain known as Broadmann’s Area 10 activates. Located in your fronto-polar prefrontal cortex at the very front of the brain, this area controls your ability to shift focus. People who think they are excellent multitaskers are really just putting Broadmann’s Area 10 to work.

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              But I can juggle multiple tasks!

              You are capable of taking in information with your eyes while doing other things efficiently. Scientifically speaking, making use of your vision is the only thing you can truly do while doing something else.

              For everything else, you’re serial tasking. This constant refocusing can be exhausting, and it prevents us from giving our work the deep attention it deserves.

              Think about how much longer it takes to do something when you have to keep reminding yourself to focus.

              Why multitasking is failing you

              Multitasking does more bad than good to your productivity, here’re 4 reasons why you should stop multitasking:

              Multitasking wastes your time.

              You lose time when you interrupt yourself. People lose an average of 2.1 hours per day getting themselves back on track when they switch between tasks.

              In fact, some studies suggest that doing multiple things at once decreases your productivity by as much as 40%. That’s a significant loss in efficiency. You wouldn’t want your surgeon to be 40% less productive while you’re on the operating table, would you?

              It makes you dumber.

              A distracted brain performs a full 10 IQ points lower than a focused brain. You’ll also be more forgetful, slower at completing tasks, and more likely to make mistakes.

              You’ll have to work harder to fix your mistakes. If you miss an important detail, you could risk injury or fail to complete the task properly.

              This is an emotional response.

              There’s so much data suggesting that multitasking is ineffective but people insist that they can multitask.

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              Feeling productive fulfills an emotional need. We want to feel like we’re accomplishing something. Why accomplish just one item on the to-do list when you can check off two or three?

              It’ll wear you out.

              When you’re jumping from task to task, it can feel invigorating for a little while. Over time, this needs to fill every second with more and more work leads to burn out.

              We’re simply not built to multitask, so when we try, the effect can be exhausting. This destroys your productivity and your motivation.

              How to stop multitasking and work productively

              Flitting back and forth between tasks feels second-nature after a while. This is in part because Broadmann’s Area 10 becomes better at serial tasking through time.

              In addition to changing how the brain works, this serial tasking behavior can quickly turn into a habit.

              Just like any bad habit, you’ll need to recognize that you need to make a change first. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to adjust to a lifestyle of productive mono-tasking:

              1. Consciously change gears

              Instead of trying to work on two distinct tasks at once, consider setting up a system to remind you when to change focus. This technique worked for Jerry Linenger, an American astronaut onboard the space station, Mir.

              As an astronaut, he had many things to take care of every day. He set alarms for himself on a few watches. When a particular watch sounded, he knew it was time to switch tasks. This enabled him to be 100% in tune with what he was doing at any given moment.

              This strategy is effective because the alarm served as his reminder for what was to come next. Linenger’s intuition about setting reminders falls in line with research conducted by Paul Burgess of University College, London on multitasking.

              2. Manage multiple tasks without multitasking

              Raj Dash of Performancing.com has an effective strategy for balancing multiple projects without multitasking. He suggests taking 15 minutes to acquaint yourself with a new project before moving on to other work. Revisit the project later and do about thirty minutes on research and brainstorming.

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              Allow a few days to pass before knocking out the project in question. While you were actively work on other projects, your brain continues to problem solve-in the background.

              This method works because it gives us the opportunity to work on several projects without allowing them to compete for your attention.

              3. Set aside distractions

              Your smartphone, your inbox and the open tabs on your computer are all open invitations for distraction. Give yourself time each day when you silence your notifications, close your inbox and remove unnecessary tabs from your desktop.

              If you want to focus, you can’t give anything else an opportunity to invade your mental space.

              Emails can be particularly invasive because they often have an unnecessary sense of urgency associated with them. Some work cultures stress the importance of prompt responses to these messages, but we can’t treat every situation like an emergency.

              Designate certain times in your day for checking and responding to emails to avoid compulsive checking.

              4. Take care of yourself

              We often blame electronics for pulling us from our work, but sometimes our physical body forces us into a state of serial tasking. If you’re hungry while you’re trying to work, your attention will flip between your hunger and your work until you take care of your physical needs.

              Try to take all your bio-breaks before you sit down for an uninterrupted stint of work.

              In addition, you’ll also want to be sure you’re attending to your health in a broader sense. Getting enough exercise, practicing mindfulness and incorporating regular breaks into your day will keep you from being tempted by distractions.

              5. Take a break

              People are more likely to head to YouTube or check their social media when they need a break. Instead of trying to work and watch a mindless video at the same time, give yourself times when you’re allowed to enjoy your distracting activity of choice.

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              Limit how much time you’ll spend on this break so that your guilt-free distraction time doesn’t turn into hours of wasted time.

              6. Make technology your ally

              Scientists are beginning to discover the detrimental effects of chronic serial tasking on our brains. Some companies are developing programs to curb this desire to multitask.

              Apps like Forest turn staying focused into a game. Extensions like RescueTime help you track your online habits so that you can be more aware of how you spend your time.

              The key to productivity: Focus

              Multitasking is not the key to productivity. It’s far better to schedule time to focus on each task than it is to try to do everything at once.

              Make use of the methods outlined above and prepare to be more effective and less exhausted in the process.

              If you want to learn more about how to focus, don’t miss my other article:

              How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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