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Five Free Apps to Help Study Habits

By: Terran R. Smith

Surrounded by a technology-addicted society, it is difficult to disconnect—even for the most studious-oriented learners. Fortunately, the following five, free apps allow students to harness smartphone ‘addiction’ to his/her academic advantage.

*Note: These apps will likely be most helpful for those individuals in secondary and/or higher educational levels.

app-studyblue StudyBlue

      • Pros:
        • Search millions of study materials from colleges nationwide
        • Searches specific to school, textbook, instructor and/or specific course
        • Save study materials in virtual folders organized by subject
        • App tracks amount of study time in each set and answer accuracy
        • Both free and premium versions offered
        • Premium Trial not mandatory for free membership
        • Sync to Facebook for easy sign-up and access to classmates
        • More than 350 million users; most popular on list
      • Cons:
        • Study materials are greatly limited without premium subscription
        • Lack of filters makes search disorganized and timely
        • Typing flashcards minimizes memorization vs. handwriting flashcards

icon_256myHomework

      • Pros:
        • Less to carry with a planner on-the-go
        • Writing space is unlimited
        • Optional notification setting for deadline reminders
        • Includes separate section for to-do and checklists
      • Cons:
        • Interface could be more aesthetically pleasing
        • Not exactly ‘user-friendly
        • Tracks homework, assignments, etc., but only if user manually enters item
        • Does not sync with Facebook or any other social media

1200x630bf FocusNow

      • Pros:
        • Timed sessions help habit formation, time management and concentration with competitive incentive:
          • Fruit tree sprouts at beginning of session and grows to full bloom, if smartphone or tablet is left untouched
          • Touch device during session and tree withers and dies
        • Saves fruit tree for complete session; begins to form fruit tree castle kingdom after multiple sessions
        • Worldwide ranking boards
        • Creative, colorful design with simple interface
      • Cons:
        • Does not sync to Facebook or other social media–difficult to find friends
        • Certain areas of menu, such as settings, only available in Chinese
        • Creation of account is mandatory–new password with no purpose

evernoteEvernote

      • Pros:
        • Take notes anytime, anywhere
        • Add images, audio and/or video related to notes
        • Office docs and PDFs compatible for adding to notes or tasks
        • Syncs with Facebook, so classmates are easily found
        • Collaborate on course agendas, share notes and connect with classmates within app
        • More than 100 million users; 2nd most popular app of list
      • Cons:
        • Premium, paid membership required to access all features
        • Free download doesn’t offer online access, unlimited uploads or Touch ID privacy option
        • Complicated interface for not-so-tech-savvy individuals
        • More hype than help

sep8bipcFlashcards by NKO:

    • Pros:
      • Makes studying fun
      • 13 different games to choose from
      • Use your study materials in games
      • Sync with Facebook and beat friends’ or classmates’ high scores
      • Bright design with simple interface
    • Cons:
      • Again, there’s something to be said for writing materials by hand
      • Study materials must be manually added and/or edited

School is hectic at times, granted, but the key to controlled chaos is to simplicity. From cluttered work-space to daily distractions, every student can use a helping hand with school and study habits. Smartphone software can help students sustain success in school.

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