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After a long year, we’ve finally returned back to school! No more waking up 5 minutes before class and hopping onto Zoom (which I’m sure we will all miss). Now, it’s time to actually start getting up and preparing for long school days. But don’t worry, I’ve got you! I’ve personally struggled with time management and organization while we were in online classes, but now I want to get rid of old habits and pick up some new ones that will help me stay organized this semester! My phone caused me a lot of distractions last year, but I decided to turn it into my most functional studying tool. In the age of digital technology, our phones can become our most useful device for helping us stay on top of our school work and personal lives! Lucky for you, I’ve compiled my top five apps that have helped me and will definitely help you stay on top of your game this semester! 

  1. Notion

Forgot to buy a planner this semester? Don’t worry, Notion has your back! Notion is your all-in-one workspace and the best part…it’s free! With Notion, you can create your own schedule, tasks, manage files, set reminders for homework, and so much more! Its customizable workspace lets you create anything (and I seriously mean anything) for your organizational needs! In need of a budget planner? Notion has one for you! Need a master list for any assignments due this semester? Notion’s got that too! What’s awesome is that Notion has a huge community of creators that create amazing aesthetically-pleasing templates for school, work, personal life, and puts them out for anyone to duplicate and transfer over to their workspace! I use Notion to create not only my digital planner for school and personal life, but to make online notebooks for my classes and create a master list to all my assignments due this semester. Using Notion’s reminders, I set dates for assignments and Notion can remind me they’re due the day of or two days before the due date! Notion is free for college students! Just sign up with your school email and start creating your own personalized digital planner! Notion can be used on your laptop and phone, so you can access any document templates anywhere you go! 

  1. Google Calendar

Everyone knows Google Calendar but, do you use it? If not, girl…it’s time for you to download it again! Google Calendar can be accessed anywhere you go! On your laptop and mobile devices, you can create your own calendar for every semester and color coordinate certain classes or events if you want to spice it up a bit! Google Calendar can send you reminders for tasks you need to complete, and if you don’t know where your class is, you can add Google Maps to any event on you calendar. With just a click, it will direct you to the building you’re searching for! As a transfer student myself, I use this feature a lot to find my way around campus! I love to color coordinate my Google Calendar based on classes and plan out to the hour what my day will consist of, tasks to get done, and meetings I have to attend. The cutest part about Google Calendar is that it’s available as a widget for your iPhone. With one swipe on your lock screen, you can access your calendar at any time without having to open the app. And don’t worry my Android friends, Google Calendar has a widget for you as well!

  1. Tide

When getting our work done, our phones can sometimes become a distraction. But with “TIDE,” you no longer have to worry about that. I tend to constantly pick up and check my phone when doing homework. It often distracts me, but with the help of “TIDE,” I am able to use my phone as a good study tool that helps me stay on track with work that needs to get done! Tide is an app that aims to improve focus, sleep, and meditation. In the app, you will find a focus timer which is great if you’re doing assignments and your phone is distracting you! Just set the time for as long as you want, select if you want any soothing sounds to play in the background, set your phone face down, and focus will help you stay on track by creating an immersive space! (P.S. It can sense if you pick up your phone and lets you know that you need to put it down and get back to work!) My favorite part about this app is not only its minimalistic look but that it’s free! A lot of focus timer apps usually cost money, but this one is great if you’re trying to save an extra buck!

  1. Minimalist

All you need to know about this app is built right in its name. It’s a minimalistic to-do list-making app! This app is designed to provide you with the most simplest and organized way to write down and get through your daily tasks! Once downloaded, open the app, swipe down, type in your task and *voilà!* you’re all done! You can also customize your task with timers, soothing sounds, and select from different styles of timers. Once you’ve completed a task, just swipe it away and it will cross it out for you! When I’m on the go and I remember something I have to get done urgently, I open the Minimalist app and quickly type what I need to remind myself to accomplish that week! I have the Minimalist widget saved right on my home screen, so I can access my reminders without even having to open the app! It’s available on both Apple and Android!

  1. Health App (Apple)

If you have an iPhone, you need to start using the built-in Health app! With 13 different health categories to choose from, the Health app is perfect for helping you keep track of your physical and mental well being! The feature I love using on this app is the sleep tracking option! I usually dread having to turn on different timers every night for each day of the week, but with “Sleep,” you no longer have to worry about doing it every night! The Sleep tracker in the app not only gives you a run down on how much sleep you get daily, it also helps you customize a sleep schedule for every day of the week! Have a 9 a.m. class on Mondays? Don’t worry, “Sleep” will help you find the best time to go to sleep that day to make sure you get a full eight or more hours of sleep each night! What I love the most about “Sleep” is its “Wind-down” feature. Before you sleep, the app makes your phone start its “Wind-down” mode to help you relax before going to bed by reducing distractions on your screen and turning on your personalized “Do not disturb” mode on. When you wake up, it greets you and lets you know what the weather is like that day, which is super helpful when choosing your outfit for the day. Plus, it has the most amazing and angelic alarms to wake up to that are made just for the sleep section in the Health app. You won’t find these special alarms anywhere else but on “Sleep”! No need to wake up to “Radar” ever again! 

And there you go! These apps will help you not only use your phone as a useful device for school, but will help you manage your time better, pick up great study habits, become more organized, and get your creativity going as you create your own personalized online hub for school. Now, go clean up some space on your phone and download these apps now! You won’t regret it!

Melany Subina

Rutgers '23

Melany is a junior attending Rutgers University getting her bachelors in Linguistics and Cognitive science. During her free time Melany loves visiting New York, ice skating and working at her local bubble tea shop!
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