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5 Online Tools You Need For This Virtual Semester

The beginning of a new semester is upon us, and it’s time to get organized. However, this semester will be far from traditional, so why stop at a pen and paper planner? I personally love using online tools to help me get organized and stay on top of my assignments. Here’s a list of five tools that I’ve been loving that you should try out this semester:

1. Momentum 

Momentum is a browser extension for Google Chrome that makes your default home page a hub for productivity. Not only does it rotate through some motivational quotes and beautiful background pictures throughout the day, but it allows you to create quick, focused to-do lists, allows you to pick a main focus for the day as a reminder, and gives you the time and weather, all in one handy place. Seeing this when you first open your computer or create a new tab is sure to start your day off right and keep you on track. 

2. Google Calendar

Of all the many calendar and planner apps out there, I keep coming back to Google Calendar. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but there are some really great features if you learn how to use them. I love that I’m able to consolidate different accounts (i.e. school, work, personal, etc.) into one calendar and sync it to all my devices. The interface is clean and simple, and if you love customization, there’s an option to enter a unique hex color code to color coordinate your schedule. 

3. Google Tasks

To-do lists are my favorite way to organize my day and make sure I’m getting the important things done. I recently started using Google Tasks, and it’s one of the best online to-do list apps I’ve ever used. You can create and name multiple lists to keep all of your different tasks organized, and you can keep them open on the side of your Gmail (just click on the icon on the right side of your inbox!) or in the app. The phone app is also great for when you’re away from your computer or out tackling errands on your to-do list.  My favorite part? If you add a date or time to any of your tasks, it will automatically sync to your Google Calendar.

4. Web Timers

When your classes are all through Zoom, the distractions are endless. It’s so easy to click open a new tab and start online shopping or scrolling through Pinterest. However, there are a ton of free web timers that will block any websites you choose for any amount of time. They work similarly to the app limit feature on iPhones, which also comes in handy during homework time.

5. Library Genesis

Last but certainly not least, is Library Genesis. Libgen.rs will scour the internet for pdf files of your textbooks and allow you to download them for free. It’s not guaranteed that your textbooks will be available, but it’s definitely worth a shot to check. I’ve found a few textbooks on there that download directly into the Books app on my Macbook, which allows for easier notetaking and the ability to look up certain vocabulary words or concepts. 

Let’s make the best of this virtual semester, collegiettes!

Lexi Reyes

George Mason University '21

Lexi is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Communication with a double concentration in journalism and public relations. She has an interest in online journalism as well as social media, and is the social media editor for the school newspaper as well as a small business in Northern Virginia. When she's not writing, you can find her at the thrift store or in the Chick-Fil-A drive through!
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