Written by: Sarah Felbin
The school year is here at last! Getting to see your girlfriends every day is, of course, a huge plus – but homework, tests, and quizzes? Not so much. Lucky for you, you don’t have to do it alone! With so many new apps and strategies out there, it’s just too easy to make this year the best year ever… So what are you waiting for?
OneNote is a note-taking app that allows you to access notes from anywhere! Type, write, or draw your thoughts using this program, which is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS users (which, we have to admit, is pretty impressive). With multiple ways to organize your documents and the ability to share pages with classmates and friends, OneNote is a must for taking digital notes in class!
Anki is a digital flashcard program that uses spaced repetition to make sure you never forget a vocab word again! Create your own flashcards from anywhere (even your phone) and review them daily to make any information stick. You can even add pictures, which is a tried and true method for faster and more accurate recall during tests. It’s perfect for information-heavy courses, like foreign languages, history classes, or even the sciences!
Wunderlist is your new personal assistant. A to-do list app that allows you to sort your tasks based on different areas of your life, Wunderlist stands out from the crowd with its ability to create shared to-do lists with others. Working on a group project? Add everyone to the same list so you can all keep track of your progress! You can even sort tasks by the date they’re due, which works wonders for procrastinators. So get downloading and get to work!
Sunrise is the digital agenda you’ve been looking for! Your own personal secretary, Sunrise can sync with your Facebook account, Google account, and even your Office 365, allowing you to see all of your events and appointments in one place. Schedule your classes, projects, meetings, parties, travel plans – everything – and see exactly what your week looks like at a moment’s notice. We’d tell you it’s free for both iOS and Android users, but we don’t want you to get too excited…
Forest is perfect for those time when your Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and texts are just blowing up… But you have a massive essay due tomorrow and absolutely no motivation. What’s a girl to do? Download Forest, of course! To get you working, Forest plants a tiny virtual tree every time you set the timer on your phone, iPad, or computer. After you set the timer, checking your phone or visiting other websites will kill the tree, so you can’t distract yourself while you’re working. The best part? Growing trees earns you coins, which you can donate to planting real trees in the real world. Put down your phone, crush that essay, and help save the world!
Study Smarter, Not Harder
Give Yourself a Goal:
Not in the mood to study those vocab words? Promise yourself a little reward for finishing – a trip to Starbucks, lunch with your bestie, or even ten minutes on your phone shopping Pinkly Perfect – whatever keeps you going! Having something to look forward to makes time fly by, trust us.
Break It Up:
Studies show we work best when we give our brains a break to process information. How long your study seshes are is up to you – just make sure you’re not tiring yourself out! Try the Pomodoro method (25 minutes of work, 5 minute breaks, then a longer break after you’ve completed 4 cycles) or experiment to see what works best for you. (Just don’t get too off task while your brain absorbs those facts!)
Good notes can make or break your test prep, so why not branch out a little? Organize information into an outline, make a mind map, create a chart, incorporate some color, or start a whole new system, like Cornell notes. It can take a few tries to find the method that helps you the most, so don’t be afraid to try something new!
Set Yourself Up For Success:
Location, location, location! Sometimes, where you study can be as important as what you study, so choose carefully! Look for a place that has good lighting, so you won’t want to take a nap, and bring earbuds. Studies show that music can help us focus and remember information better, so if blasting Sia helps you with those equations, go ahead! We won’t tell. 🙂
Sometimes, the only thing keeping you going is a study snack – or two! But instead of reaching for Nutella and a spoon, try these (healthier!) alternatives:
- Hummus and veggies
- Pumpkin seeds
- Peanut butter (pair with apples, bananas, or crackers!)
- Avocado (on toast, or even in guacamole!)
- Granola bars
- Oatmeal (try searching for “overnight oat recipes.” Yum!)
With these tips by your side, there’s nothing you can’t do – so get working on that essay, because we’ve got a school year to crush!