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21 Most Useful Websites Every College Student Needs To Know

21 Most Useful Websites Every College Student Needs To Know

Around 2004, I sat in on a meeting of reporters at the Akron Beacon Journal, wherein one of them asked a college student what were the hot new websites that younger people liked at the moment. “We’re all on this thing called Facebook,” she said, and it was the first time I remember hearing about the website, which – at that point in time – you needed an EDU email address to enter. Alas, college students are generally good at spotting web trends. It’s also important for them to know how to use the web effectively and to their advantage, especially as a college student who might need to ace an exam and perfect their study habits in order to gain passing grades for expensive courses. Therefore, give these 21 websites that are either growing in popularity or already well known and highly useful a try:

1. Ice Cream Apps

The Internet-based world we live in means that common web-based homework tasks need easy and fast solutions. Ice Cream Apps fills the bill by providing students the software to take care of tasks like capturing screenshots, converting video formats, making slideshows and all kinds of stuff that college students’ coursework can require.

icecreamapps

    2. Flvto

    With Flvto, students are afforded an easy way to listen to video presentations on the go, even when they don’t have Wi-Fi access or their data plans are hitting 90% and they need to lay off all that streaming because Mom and Dad are getting Verizon Wireless warnings.  If you need to write an essay about the

    “Color blind or color brave?” TED talk, for example, just plop the URL into Flvto and listen on the go. flvto

      3. Photius

      Photius is a weird little website with a throwback homepage look from the 1990s, but the best part is the fact that college students can save money on shopping by getting 20% off with a Nordstrom coupon, for example.

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      photius

        4. Slack

        Slack is a website that helps not only business people improve their communication efforts, but students as well. It integrates with DropBox, always keeps your place when you jump around various applications and it connects teams, so it can be used by study groups and project partners with open, efficient communication.

        slack

          5. Pocket

          With Pocket, college students can save articles they come across for later reading. If you’re writing a paper about “voodoo economics” for instance, it even lets you save the articles into a folder under the same name for easy reference later.

          pocket

            6. Rate My Professors

            Want to know which teachers to avoid and which professors’ classes to take? Using the website Rate My Professors, you can find real-life reviews from real college students about their real experiences with real teachers – good, bad and ugly.

            rate

              7. Glass Door

              Want to know the straight dope about what it takes to gain an internship or a permanent job position with a certain company after graduation? Check out Glass Door, wherein actual employees have left reviews about specific firms and have spilled the beans about the true corporate culture.

              glassdoor

                8. Mint

                During college, it’s especially important to know where you’re spending your cash, and Mint helps you do that for free and get supremely organized financially.

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                mint

                  9. Study Blue

                  With Study Blue, college students can use the convenient service to make flashcards that help them create notes online without wasting paper. It represents a supremely portable way to create formal study guides and freshen up prior to tests without going through piles of text.

                  studyblue

                    10. Study Hall

                    Study Hall helps students find jobs and start-ups get access to the top “hackers, hustlers and social media influencers” on college campuses.

                    studyhall

                      11. EssayTyper

                      EssayTyper is one of those confusing yet funny websites that claims it uses a combination of Wikipedia and magic to help students craft their essays fast – but also warns not to use it legitimately. If anything, the site can help spark imaginations that need to be rewritten – heavily – to likely get a passing grade. (Don’t forget, teachers have access to Copyscape, too.)

                      essaytypers

                        12. Copyscape

                        Speaking of Copyscape, it’s a great website that college students can use to check out the plagiarism level of the papers they construct. Use their premium services to copy and paste the things you’ve rewritten and essays constructed from multiple sources to ensure that it’ll fly with your teachers. There’s a nominal fee of five cents per search conducted.

                        copyscape

                          13. Overdrive

                          Who wants to pay for books when they don’t have to spend anything to read them? Thanks to Overdrive, when you discover, for example, the 10 bucks that Amazon is charging for the Kindle version of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, use Overdrive and your local library account to have it sent to your iPad or other devices to read for free in its entirety.

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                          overdrive

                            14. OpenStudy

                            If you’re the type that doesn’t do well studying alone, use OpenStudy to meet other likeminded college students to study along with based on a variety of topics.

                            openstudy

                              15. CollegeRuled

                              Students are using CollegeRuled to make class schedules online and find their classmates in order to launch study groups and get the answers to pressing questions.

                              collegeruled

                                16. PostYourBook

                                Using PostYourBook, college students can make back some of that cash shelled out for expensive textbooks by selling them to other students, who can save money by getting discounted books.

                                postyourbook

                                  17. Go Abroad

                                  Using Go Abroad, students can learn the ins and outs of becoming an exchange student.

                                  goabroad

                                    18. The College Investor

                                    If you hate incurring student loan debt and want other financial tips that are helpful to college students, give the College Investor website a gander.

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                                    thecollegeinvestor

                                      19. College Tips

                                      College Tips calls itself a college survival guide for students.

                                      collegetips

                                        20. Hack College

                                        Using the website called Hack College, students can discover the articles written specifically from the paradigm of their campus-life plights.

                                        hackcollege

                                          21. Unigo

                                          Unigo helps students discover which colleges they should attend by providing a plethora of reviews for more than 7,000 schools, along with plenty of other helpful information.

                                          unigo

                                            Featured photo credit: education, technology and internet concept – smiling teenager in eyeglasses with laptop computer and take away coffee or tea via shutterstock.com

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                                            Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                                            To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

                                            To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

                                            We are all about doing things faster and better around here at Lifehack. And part of doing things faster and better is having a solid personal productivity system that you use on a daily basis.

                                            This system can be just about anything that helps you get through your mountain of projects or tasks, and helps you get closer to your goals in life. Whether it’s paper or pixels, it doesn’t really matter. But, since you are reading Lifehack I have to assume that pixels and technological devices are an important part of your workflow.

                                            “Personal Productivity System” defined

                                            A personal productivity system (at least the definition that this article will use) is a set of workflows and tools that allow an individual to optimally get their work done.

                                            Workflows can be how you import and handle your photos from your camera, how you write and create blog posts, how you deploy compiled code to a server, etc.

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                                            Tools are the things like planners, todo managers, calendars, development environments, applications, etc.

                                            When automation is bad

                                            You may be thinking that the more that we automate our systems, the more we will get done. This is mostly the case, but there is one very big “gotcha” when it comes to automation of anything.

                                            Automation is a bad thing for your personal productivity system when you don’t inherently understand the process of something.

                                            Let’s take paying your bills for example. This may seem very obvious, but if you can’t stick to a monthly budget and have trouble finding the money to make payments on time, then automating your bill payment every month is completely useless and can be dangerous for your personal finances.

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                                            Another example is using a productivity tool to “tell you” what tasks are important and what to do next. If you haven’t taken a step back and figured out just how your productivity systems should work together, this type of automation will likely keep you from getting things done.

                                            You can only automate something in your personal productivity system that have managed for a while. If you try to automate things that aren’t managed well already, you will probably feel a bit out of control and have a greater sense of overwhelm.

                                            Another thing to remember is that some things should always be done by yourself, like responding to important emails and communicating with others. Automating these things can show your coworkers and colleagues that you don’t care enough to communicate yourself.

                                            When automation is good

                                            On the other hand, automation is a great thing for your personal productivity system when you understand the process of something and can then automatically get the steps done. When you know how to manage something effectively and understand the step-by-step process of a portion of your system, it’s probably a great time to automate it.

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                                            I have several workflows that I have introduced in the last year that takes some of the “mindless” work from me so I can be more creative and not have to worry about the details of something.

                                            On my Mac I use a combination of Automator workflows, TextExpander snippets, and now Keyboard Maestro shortcuts to do things like automatically touch-up photos imported from my iPhone 4S or open all the apps and websites needed for a weekly meeting to the forefront of my desktop by typing a few keys. Once you open yourself up to automating a few of your processes, you start to see other pieces of your system that can benefit from automation.

                                            Once again; none of this works unless you understand your processes and know what tools you can use to get them done automatically.

                                            The three steps to determine if something is “ripe” for automation

                                            If your workflow passes these three steps, then automate away, baby:

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                                            1. You can do this process in your sleep and it doesn’t require your full, if any form of attention. It can (and has been) managed in some form prior to automating it.
                                            2. The process is time consuming.
                                            3. The process doesn’t require “human finesse” (ie. communicating and responding to something personally)

                                            Automating your personal productivity systems can be a great for you in the long run if you are careful and mindful of what you are doing. You first need to understand the processes that you are trying to automate before automating them though. Don’t get stuck in thinking that anything and everything should be automated in your life, because it probably shouldn’t.

                                            Pick and choose these processes wisely and you’ll find the ones that take up most of your time to be the best ones to automate. What have you automated in your personal productivity system?

                                            Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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