3 Techy College Life Hacks You Need To Try Now

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Every year, I attend the Microsoft Champions Summit in Seattle to learn about all the new innovations brewing across the company. This year’s Summit struck me as particularly innovative, with a focus on tons of new products that are totally relevant and helpful to college students. We’re all familiar with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but I was surprised at how many other new amazing tools are now a part of the Microsoft suite. Read on for three techy college-focused life hacks brought to you by Microsoft that you need to try now. Get ready to rock college in a new way!

1. Wow your class with a non-traditional presentation

The traditional PowerPoint is so 2014. Spice up your next presentation, portfolio or website using Sway! Sway is a new app that helps you create gorgeous, polished, multimedia presentations including features like embedded social media posts, image galleries, interactive charts and more. Sway presentations are responsive and touch-enabled, so they render optimally across all desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone devices. A bit of AI technology is built into Sway, so when you drop in content like text and images, it automatically arranges everything in the most aesthetically pleasing configuration (though you can override anything to appeal to your preferences, of course). Sway gives you basically everything you need to make a beautiful presentation, plus a ton of features to take it to the next level in terms of interactivity and wow factor. Give it a try for free here! See an example Sway in action below:

2. Turn your professor’s slides or classmate’s notes into an editable online doc

Ever taken a class with a professor who speeds through his slides or one who never posts them afterwards? Have you found yourself furiously trying to take notes, giving you barely any time to digest the material itself? The Office Lens app is here to change all of that and make learning in lectures way easier. Just snap a picture of the screen, whiteboard, you name it – and Office Lens will de-skew the image for you (when you get stuck at the far corner seat and your picture of the screen is at a weird angle), then convert any typed text in the image into editable, searchable text. Now you can grab the content off every lecture slide with just one tap and compile the most comprehensive notes ever! Office Lens works perfectly on printed documents too, so you can snap a picture of a classmate’s notes and convert it into an editable document (so you won’t have to beg them to borrow their precious notebook the night before a big exam). Office Lens is free and available on Apple, Android, and Windows devices, so be sure to download it soon to make your lectures so much more enjoyable.

3. Sync your class notes to an audio or video file of the lecture

How’s this for another lecture hack: you can now sync your typed notes to an audio or video recording of lecture. Using Microsoft Office’s OneNote, just start a video or audio recording at the beginning of lecture and take notes as you normally would. OneNote matches up what you’re typing with the lecture in progress. Then later when you’re studying, just click on any line in your notes, and you’ll be taken to the exact spot in the recording when your professor was introducing that topic. No longer will you have to wonder what you were trying to explain to yourself in your notes – you’ll always know exactly what you were talking about with just the click of a button! This fantastically simple life hack is just one of many awesome features included in our favorite note-taking app. Check out our video review of OneNote here!

There you have it: three of the top techy college life hacks that will revolutionize the way you learn. Keep these tools in mind for your next semester and you’ll be acing your courses in no time!