As we all know, the long-awaited and stress-inducing time of the year has arrived once again… Finals season. A time to come up with ways to fit in certain amounts of studying into our busy schedules and try to stay on top of everything.
With the rise of technology, there are many apps out there that can help us work smarter and not harder. Here are a few to get you started!
Imagine this. It’s 1am and you’re tired. Your eyelids slowly close and the screen gets even more blurry with each passing second. But alas! You must keep studying for tomorrow’s test because the truth of the matter is, you’re probably cramming for it. Hey, we’ve all been there. Speechify helps out with these all-nighters by reading whatever document it is you have on your screen for you. You just have to listen and follow the words on the screen. And the good thing is, you can totally customize your experience by changing the voice’s tone and speed. You just have to set up an account, and you’re set!
If you have the motivation to just sit and get stuff done, but you don’t know where to start, Dashboard can help you with that. With this app you can make a list of five tasks you have to get done on a certain day. You can organize these tasks in order of importance and you can check them off as you go. Also, the cool thing about this extension is that everytime you open a new tab, the to-do list pops up. And if you want to block certain websites, there’s also an option for that! So basically, if you tend to procrastinate while trying to get stuff done, DayBoard has got your back.
So, you’ve probably heard of this one before, but if you haven’t, thank me later. Grammarly has the tools to proof-read any document for you. It will give you suggestions on how to edit your work and, if you get the premium version, it will give you detailed comments on how you can improve your writing. You just have to either upload a document from your computer or start writing right there.
- Save to Pocket
Tired of looking through your search history to remember which were the exact websites you referenced in your essays or articles? Save to Pocket lets you bookmark any website you go into and those web pages will be neatly displayed when you enter the application. What is also great about Save to Pocket is that you can organize your bookmarks and you’ll get suggestions on even more web pages that relate to those you have already saved. This way, you’ll have endless resources to support your paper.
Noisli is the perfect extension for those of us who get easily distracted. It not only times your study sessions using the pomodoro techniqueー25 minutes of hard work and 5 minute breaksーbut it also lets you choose from many playlists of sounds and music that will help you block out any external noises and focus your attention on your task. Noisli also lets you make your own playlists with the sounds that are more to your liking and it keeps track of all the time you spend on your study sessions. This will help you develop a sense of accomplishment every time you complete your tasks.
If you’re currently learning a language, Flashcards is a great tool. Warning though, you must be a Google Dictionary and Google Translate user. What this extension does is that, if you’re reading an article on your target language and you don’t understand a certain word, you can highlight and save that word into a flashcard with its definition, context, and its use in a sentence. Then, when you open the app, you’ll have the word included in a stack of flashcards along with other words you have saved. This will help you memorize the true meaning of certain words and it’ll boost your learning experience!
- Cite This for Me: Web Citer
I’ll admit it. I’m one of those people that always has to look up guides on how to make citations whether it be in MLA, Harvard, or APA format every single time I have to write a paper, no matter how many times I've actually had to use each format before. If you’re like me, this extension will be a life saver for you. After you have found the web page that you want to reference, you just have to click the extension’s icon and choose which style you want to use to make your reference. After that, you can copy your reference and paste it on your paper.
- Forest App
Procrastination and getting distracted easily are one of the top problems students face while trying to get their work done. Sometimes, we find ourselves not even being able to fully commit 10 minutes to our work. Forest App helps out with this. With this extension you can put websites on a block list to avoid using them and you commit yourself to focusing on a task for 30 minutes. In return, you get a tree. If you try visiting one of your blocked websites while you’re in those 30 minutes, your tree dies. The more sessions of studying you complete, the more trees you have. By the time you complete four study sessions, you’ll have a small forest!
Finals season is an overwhelming time, so it’s good to use the resources we have at handーlike technologyーto make our lives just a bit easier. And remember to keep up the good work! Summer is just around the corner.