Trello has been a favourite app of mine ever since my co-op days at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. This app is aesthetically pleasing and can help you stay on top of multiple projects at once. Basically, Trello is a giant pinboard where you can create “boards” using “cards” to prioritize your work. Cards can be archived, labelled, and categorized. You can also add members to your boards/cards, as well as due dates, notes, collaboration lists and checklists.
How I Use Trello
Every semester, I take a look at the syllabi for my classes and make a board for each course. Then, I add cards with all of the assignments and due dates, which I archive as I go through the semester. You can also add different motivational backgrounds to your boards.
Grades is an app that allows you to input all of your course information to track how your grade fluctuates over the semester as your marks keep rolling in. You can set a target grade and change the weights of assignments, projects, and tests. This app is simple and easy, with a very minimalistic aesthetic. I also love that the app shows what grade you need to achieve on assignments, according to your current and target grade.
How I Use Grades
At the beginning of the semester, I put all the projects on the syllabus into the app and add the weights. I also set my target grades so that I am constantly reminded of my goal. Although you can only have four classes on Grades before having to pay (I usually only put in my four busiest classes), I still love the functionality and ease of this app.
Reminders and Minimalist
These two apps have basically the same function, but one is just much more simple than the other. Every Apple device comes with the pre-installed application called Reminders. This app is a great way to keep track of everything going on in your crazy life and the new update allows you to create multiple lists, as well as add due dates, alarms, and notes. You can also personalize each list with a different colour and icon. The new update also allows you to see four different options: due today, programmed reminders, everything, and flagged.
On the other hand, Minimalist serves the same function, though it is the most minimal (fitting, I know) app that I have ever used. It’s just a white screen and you swipe down to add a reminder, then swipe to the right to delete it when it is completed.
How I Use Reminders and Minimalist
I use the Reminders app to categorize everything into different lists. For example, my lists include: “Daily,” “Winter Semester,” and “Personal.” Every job I have has its own separate list as well. I also make sure to utilize the due date update on each reminder.
Cam Scanner is a very effective scanner app. Instead of just taking a picture of that textbook homework and then having to zoom in to read it, use Cam Scanner. It gives you the option to scan multiple pages, change the cropping and colouring, and more. It’s a very efficient and an easy way to organize all those papers you want to save.
How I Use Cam Scanner
I use Cam Scanner to take pictures of forms, homework, and even photos. I also always add the magic filter, which whitens the page and makes it look exactly like a freshly scanned photo.
Flora is basically the famed app Forest, except it’s free. Flora is a study timer that uses the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of study, 5 minutes of break) and blocks you from using other apps on your phone. Each session is a different type of plant from a new country, such as fig from Turkey or lavender from France. At the end of each session, you can see your Garden become full from all the studying you’ve done.
How I Use Flora
I find this app is the most helpful during cram season. If you try to leave the app to text someone or check Instagram, it will prompt you to go back to the app before your plant dies. I also use the “plant with” function, that allows you to share a passcode for a friend to join your room if you’re studying, or even just hanging out together.
Some other standouts that have helped me throughout university include LinkedIn, all the Google Apps, Quizlet, and Canva.
All of these apps have guided me through my two years in university so far and now that we are moving all of our classes online, I know they will be an even bigger help in my productivity. It can be hard to stay focused and on task when you don’t have someone checking up on you like a professor would in class. So use these apps to make sure you’re still working hard until the end of online classes. You got this!