Geeky tools for geeky students

Technology is a student’s best friend, and the pandemic has only intensified my relationship with online applications. These tools have helped me get through my undergraduate degree and are keeping me organised during my masters. If like me, you love endlessly watching YouTube videos on studying (sometimes more than studying itself), you may enjoy this post. Without further ado, these are the apps, google extensions, and websites that I use and wouldn’t survive university without!

1. Notion

Notion is available for both your phone and desktop and allows you to organise your life better than you have ever before! Notion has great templates for your class notes, reading lists, tasks and assignments, and weekly agendas. I’ve used Notion since August last year, and I use it for everything from keeping track of my work hours to jotting down any article ideas that I have. As a student, you can also get premium for free if you create your account with your student email!

2. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is great because it allows you to access your calendar on any device, as with the Apple calendar, you can only access it on Apple devices. It was great to have my calendars sync between my iPhone and Microsoft laptop.

Google Calendar for your phone also allows you to get a notification reminder 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour before a class. It helped me so much in my undergraduate with making sure I wasn’t late for my lectures. Google Calendar is also great for giving your day some structure by planning it out, especially when we’re spending so much time at home!

3. Duolingo

This app may not be essential to every career but as someone who would love to work around the world one day, being multilingual is essential. Language skills can give you a significant advantage in your career as it sets you apart from your monolingual peers. There are also many cognitive benefits from learning a language too. From improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and better concentration and listening skills.

4. Forest

If like me, you are great at procrastinating whilst studying, then this app is for you! Forest plants a ‘tree’ for a specific amount of time that you choose, and if you leave the app, then the tree dies. The more trees you plant, the more coins you get. These coins allow you to buy new species to grow or even plant a real tree on Earth. As of February 2020, Forest has planted more than 1,005,013 trees through its partnership with Trees For The Future.

5. Merriam-Webster app

The Merriam-Webster app offers you a ‘Word of the Day’, weekly challenges, and word games. I can’t promise that you will use half of the words you see in the ‘Word of the Day’ section, but this app is great for building your vocabulary. My sister and I both have the app and love trying to use the Word of the Day when texting each other. I have received some incredibly confusing texts thanks to her, but I love it!

6. TweetDeck

TweetDecks allows you to manage all of your Twitter accounts and read through your lists, such as the ones I have curated you can see in the above image. This one may be journalism specific, but Twitter Lists have been vital in finding stories for my Masters. My TweetDeck has allowed me to find potential article ideas and connect with interviewees far easier than it would have been from scrolling only through Twitter.

7. Dark Reader

If you spend all day staring at your computer screen, I strongly suggest you get the Dark Reader Chrome extension. Dark reader allows you to have all of your Chrome tabs in dark mode. Having your screen darker, especially at night, is believed to lead to decreased eye strain. The extension allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, dark mode, font settings and sepia filter.

The extension can be turned on and off via the Chrome extensions tab at the top of the page.

8. Weava

The days of copying and pasting all of your research onto a word document are over! The Weava extension helps me highlight straight from websites and pdf documents, saving them into folders for each topic. Weava allows me to not only break down the research into each essay or articles but also the subsections within it.

I discovered many of these apps and Chrome extensions through YouTube videos. Here are some of my favourite ones: