Alain is a staff writer for Unimelb Adventures. He is a a first year B.A student who is going to major in Politics and International Studies and Media and Communications. He enjoys travelling, photography and looking for the next hot restaurant to rave about whilst crying at his bank balance.
Do you find yourself taking millions of Snapchat selfies? Do you get the sense that time is passing you by way too quickly and you don’t know why?
With Swotvac in full swing, here are some suggestions of great free apps that can help you maximise your study whilst minimising your procrastination.
Quizlet is a study app that lets you create flashcards in interactive ways. The app allows you to play mini-games with your notes and even has audio options for your revision.
- Brainscape – Smart Flashcards
Brainscape is another flashcard app that seeks to promote interactivity in revision. It provides “brain games” and personalisation of your study plan. The app also allows users to share their flashcards and collaborate with other people.
If you’re more of a visual learner like me, Mindmeister could be the app for you! It lets you create mind-maps and organise them into folders. Like other apps, users can collaborate and even make changes to the mind-map in real time.
You’ve probably heard of Evernote and maybe even use it already, but if you don’t it is well worth a try. The app is a multifaceted platform that provides bookmarking, note taking, clipping and list services. All of which are essential for organising notes come exam time.
This is a minimalistic app that seeks to provide a simple way of keeping up with the pomodoro method. For those who don’t know the pomodoro method is a time management strategy named after a tomato! It is essentially 25 minutes of focussed work followed by a 5 minute break repeated. The app provides multiple background sounds, such as the ocean or a busy cafe. If that doesn’t suit you can even play your music over it.
Any.do is a simple list making and to-do app. It lets you customise categories for your needs and provides a self-tailored priority list for your day. Just touch, swipe and drag and you’re a listastic any.do user.
Google has many apps to offer, but the main ones are: Docs, Sheets, Drive, Photos and Calendar. They offer a seamless and intuitive experience for your organisational needs. Handy tip- because every student email account is using Google, you can have double the storage if you use both your UniMelb and personal accounts.
Brought to you by the people behind Evernote, Scannable is a mobile scanning app. You simply use your phone’s camera and it automatically detects pieces of paper. It can be fiddly but it’s useful if you don’t have access to a scanner.
This is a team communication app. If you want to send messages only relating to study, then Slack is the way to go. You can organise chats to different folders and with individuals. It can be more effective than Facebook as there is no newsfeed or pictures of dogs – meaning you are less likely to be distracted!
Study Break and Fun Apps
Doing well in exams isn’t just about cramming and studying until 6am. You need a balance of study and cool down periods. Of course there are your social media apps and actually GOING OUTSIDE but here are some apps I’ve used in the past while taking a study break and revising at a more leisurely pace.
I call this app (which is also a website) the procrastination app. Just sign up with your email or Facebook account, choose a few topics that interest you and the site will give you random links (pictures, comics, sites, videos, essays etc) that you can divulge in.
- Khan Academy
Many of my friends who do Science have found this great. Apparently it explains topics really well, from calculus to history. The site or app is organised into categories and within them, are videos going through key concepts and examples. There are also interactive exercises to track your progress.
Curious is an app that aims to provide you with new pieces of knowledge everyday. You can customise how much time you have a day (5, 15 or 30 minutes) and the app will tailor your needs with video lessons, such as, how to create a budget, play guitar or mindfulness meditation.
You’ve probably already heard of TED Talks and your subject tutors and lecturers might already use it, but TED is a wide-reaching platform that is worth you taking a look at as well. It has a speech on just about anything, from spam emails to breakups, and there is surely something that can inspire you or help you revise.
Food is a very important commodity in studying. With these apps, you can get it delivered to you. If you’re in area that’s not a library or uni, having food delivered to you can save time and prevent you from having to go down to the closest cafe/KFC/friend’s apartment. Be careful, however, as some of the apps require a minimum spend and remember to try and eat healthy – it can actually improve your brain power!
The daily fix of java is one of the post popular motivations for leaving the house to study. It seems we just can’t get enough coffee whilst studying and many students even find cafes great study locations. If you’re one of these people, this app can help you! It shows a map of the closest and highest rated coffee shops within your area. Perfect for when you need your caffeine fix or you’re in the ERC or Baillieu at 12pm going up and down the stairs trying to find a study spot.
If you know of any other apps that might be of interest to your fellow students, feel free to comment below!