Six Free Tools for Getting Organized
Wondering how you are going to keep track of everything once the school year starts? The Internet offers many free online tools that make college life easier. Here’s a list of the best of the best:
Evernote: Need some help organizing your life? With Evernote you can write a note, make lists, bookmark websites you like, and store documents, audio files and photographs. It can be used for anything from storing your projects, to organizing your favorite recipes or planning your next Chanticleer football watch party. Use the search function to easily find things you’ve stored. Evernote syncs across multiple devices, including your computer, phones and tablet so you are always able to access your stuff.
Mendeley: Mendeley is a citation management system that allows you to collect and organize citations and export them to a word processor like Microsoft Word in order to create a works cited list. Mendeley allows you to store articles on your computer and sync the citation information to the cloud (on their website) and other devices like your phone or tablet. Mendeley has an optional social function that allows you to create a network of people interested in the same research as you. Use this feature to discover new research from other people’s collections.
Mint: Trying to save money for a new car or a vacation? Mint syncs to your online bank account to keep track of your spending, set goals for yourself and set up a budget. The Trends feature allows you see trends in your spending over time; just be prepared for the scary moment when you realize you spend $50 a month on Javalanches.
Dropbox: Store your files on the cloud and you never have to worry about your computer crashing and losing your work at 3 a.m. the night before it’s due. After you download Dropbox to your computer, any files you put in your Dropbox folder will automatically sync to the cloud and any other computers you have it set up on, including your iPad or phone. Use the sharing function to share large files with friends or collaborate on group projects.
Doodle: Perhaps Doodle’s most useful functionality involves scheduling group meetings. Rather than wading through several e-mails to find a time that works for everyone, set up a Doodle poll instead.
Google Hangout: Google Hangout allows you to combine Google video chat and GoogleDocs. Up to 10 people can video chat, providing they have a webcam and microphone. In addition to integrating GoogleDocs, Youtube, SketchUp and Gchat features, Google Hangouts also allows you to screen share. This means collaborating virtually on large group projects just got easier. If you have an Android phone, you can also download the Hangout app and contribute even when you are away from your computer.