How Smartphones & Other Technology Can Help Students Manage Time
When it comes to time management, your smartphone and other technology can be both a blessing and a curse.
Most smartphones offer instant internet access. As everyone knows, the internet is full of valuable information, but it also can be a vehicle for unwelcome distraction. Time-intensive activities such as social media sites, online games and online streaming are just a few of the many distractions online students face while trying to study and complete assignments.
On the other hand, using the internet and smartphones wisely can help you manage your time in new and efficient ways. Most smartphones and tablets include a “reminders” app or a simple version of “notes,” which allow users to create timed reminders. Also, many smartphones are equipped with a stopwatch or countdown function that helps users allot specific time windows to complete tasks.
An online student who is trying to pursue a college degree while juggling a work schedule and a personal life might need something a bit more powerful than the standard time-saving tools included on a smartphone. For those achievement-minded individuals, a time-tracking app might be just the thing.
Below are some websites and apps you can use to not only manage your schoolwork tasks, but also your career and life to-do list.
This app can run in the background of your computer or mobile device. It tracks how much time you spend in meetings, social networking or on emails. You even can block certain websites by choosing time to focus, and the app will prevent you from accessing them. It can be paused at any time, which means you still control what you’re doing in your day.
Working full-time and balancing at-home duties is tough but throwing online school into the mix can make your to-do list even longer and harder to manage. Remember the Milk is an app that can integrate with all your devices to condense your to-do lists into one and can also give you a reminder if you need to call your professor during virtual office hours.
Do you have notes scattered throughout your home or office? Evernote is a free tool that gives you the ability to group all your notes in one spot, along with images and voice memos. You can also record meetings or lectures if necessary and share those files with others. It will even let you search handwritten notes that you upload to the app. Use it with fellow students to get organized for group projects or to share study notes. For extra time-management optimization, Evernote syncs with Remember the Milk.
Keep up with your tasks by using an app that lets you create categorized, digital cards for every task. You can customize your Trello boards and add task-based columns to it, so you can move the cards further along the task list based on the progress you make. Invite others to join your boards to coordinate study group work or to sync up with your family on what needs to be completed during the week. If there’s an important assignment due one week, your family can pitch in and help take care of other tasks to free up some of your time.
Need an app with some gamification to incentivize you to achieve your time management goals? EpicWin is a to-do list that gives you experience points each time you check off a completed task, giving you a chance to level up and improve your player statistics. You also get rewards for task completions, and can destroy chores in an animated battle. The to-do list lets you coordinate daily repetitive tasks with more urgent tasks assigned to specific days and times. It’s available for both Android and iOS platforms.
Remember, if you’re having issues with assignments, your professors can be valuable resources. They want you to succeed, and they want to help in any way they can. Reach out to them early on so they know if you are challenged by extenuating circumstances. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in achieving your time management goals.