Engineering graduate navigating life after university.

Apps All Students Need

It can’t just be me who is obsessed with using my phone. In fact if my mom had her way she would gladly take my phone and throw it out the window. I don’t know about you but I have this addiction to all sorts of electronic gadgets. I use my phone for honestly everything and anything. Even though my mom believes I spend hours and hours on useless social media websites and platforms, there are definitely apps that saved me from disaster in school and helped me keep my shit together.

The apps I want to share have been a significant help to me as a STEM major and will be to you as well, regardless of what field you are in. These apps helped me be more proactive and kept me sane. Most of these apps I still use today, at work!

1. Graphing Calculator + Math 

This free app allows you to graph all sorts of functions. This app really helped while sitting in lectures and trying to understand how a particular function would look like – especially when I didn’t have a computer with me.

2. Easy Bib

I thought I was done with all sorts of English subjects in high school and boy was I in for a surprise. All engineering majors had a requirement to take at least 4 liberal courses. It didn’t bum me out because I really enjoyed the courses I picked out. With these liberal courses I was expected to write a lot of essays with references. I hated writing out references and bibliographies because it was so tedious and half the time I didn’t understand the format. That was until I found out about Easybib. I used http://easybib.com and just discovered they have an app for free!

The app can scan book barcodes to create a citation in whatever format you state. This feature is great because then you don’t have to carry the book everywhere with you.

3. Google Drive & Google Docs

This app is such a great and easy to use storage system. The download process is easy, the making of new documents is easy and the sharing of various files with the multitasking functionality is incredible. I absolutely love this app and would suggest everyone to download this asap if they don’t already have it.

When I was in university, I would create a google doc when finals were approaching and add my friends in the program. In this document we added the content that was most likely to be on the exam with further examples and tutorials. It was also a great platform to communicate to one another if we weren’t all on campus.

Google Docs also proved to be a great resource during group projects and lab reports. You can see exactly where your team members were in their portion of the project and provide feedback instantly. This app is truly one of a kind.

4. Pomodoro

This app is so beautifully designed to help you keep focused and manage your time efficiently. All you do is set the timer to do a certain task and then rewards you with a choice of a short of long break. At the end of the day it compiles a list of all the tasks you’ve done. It is so nice knowing that you’ve accomplished so much and were productive! Best part about this app is that there are no ads!

5. Asana

I was introduced to this app when I took a job on campus where I worked around 11 hours a week. And then an additional 3 or 4 at home because there was just a lot stuff to do! At my campus job, the work I did was highly dependant on my co-workers and other staff. The challenge was waiting for them to do something so that I could begin my part based on theirs. It was hard because everyone had different work timings as we were all in school and had different shifts. There was just a lot of miscommunication as we were a brand new team in our department set up as a pilot run. Then my supervisor suggested Asana that helped create a cohesive communication system within our team.

I would suggest Asana for any group because it is so easy for teams to track their work, assign goals and follow along in conversation. With this app, I could see what my team members were doing and how perhaps I could help. My manager also really enjoyed this app because it created transparency within the team.

6. Slack

Slack is just like Asana offering team environments an interface to manage and do their tasks efficiently. Slack, like Asana is available on desktop and allows users to communicate and collaborate in one space.

7. Gmail

If you don’t have this app on your phone, I suggest you stop reading this right now and take a minute to download it. This is the best app you could have on your phone as a student. If your school is anything like mine that sends email blasts every other minute, you need to invest in Gmail.

8. Freedom

This $2.42/month app is the answer to getting shit done without being distracted. I recently discovered this and wish I found it in my first year. If you are an Instagram/snapchat/facebook/twitter addict like me or have the need to peek at your phone every ten minutes while studying because it is an arm length away, install this app right away!

With Freedom, you create a list of all the the websites or social media platforms you are addicted to. Then when studying you can turn freedom on for the time period you will be studying for and it will block those items on your phone, Mac, window and iPad. It will literally force you to study. I told my mom about this and she made sure I purchased it. I’m impressed with this application and suggest it to anyone who likes to have their phone next to them while studying but also have this fighting urge to look at it every 10 mins. Like me.

9. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

This free app analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep. This way you feel like you naturally rested without an alarm clock. The app uses sound analysis to classify sleep states and by tracking movements in bed. As a STEM major, you need to make sure you get enough sleep even if you are falling behind on your assignments. Using this app will make your sleeping patterns as efficient as they can be!

10. Quizlet Flashcards

If you like flashcards download this free app. You can create flashcards and study sets and then access them anywhere within pocket reach. While on the commute to school pull out this app and review your notes to study for the next midterm or quiz. It is a great app to refresh your memory and learn on the go.

11. Udemy 

Have you ever wanted to learn something specific? Maybe photography, Java programming or graphic design? You now can using Udemy. It is an online database with all sorts of courses available at your finger tips with lifetime access. You can find courses that are free and some for a small payment.

 



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