During the live Q&A session for “What is a student?”, our students gave some advice for apps and hardware that they used in university that they would recommend to other students. We’ve made a list of these apps and tips. There’s definitely other useful software out there, but this will hopefully give you a starting point. All of these apps are free unless otherwise stated.
Most email providers allow you to sort your mail. Cutting down on some of the unimportant or old emails lets you focus on what’s important. After you don’t need the email, archive it and move on.
create a schedule, share it with classmates and collaborators
Google Calendar is a Google app available to anyone with a Gmail account (if you’re coming to UPEI, you’ll have access to it through your @upei.ca account). Google Calendar lets you create events to remind you about your classes, assignments and meetings. You can add additional information to let you know information about that day, like if a test is coming up or the class is in a different location.
Google calendars can also be shared to other users, which is great for organizing group meetings (online or off) and study groups.
Google Drive (aka Google Docs)
document processing, online storage, and easy collaboration
Google Drive is a mix of a lot of different apps under one header. Google Drive lets you create documents, spreadsheets, online forms and presentations. These apps cover the brunt of functions you’ll need for assignments, labs, and more. You can also use Google Drive to access your documents from any computer that can sign into Gmail, letting you work on the same doc from a variety of places and platforms.
All of your work is automatically saved in short intervals and the revision history lets you access previous forms of your doc, so you never have to worry about accidentally deleting your entire thesis.
Google Drive lets you upload files from your computer onto its online storage, kind of like an online USB jump drive.
Another big feature of Google Drive is the ability to collaborate. You can invite other users to access and edit your docs, letting you work on a group project even if you have clashing schedules. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time.
online storage and file sharing
Dropbox is another method of online storage. You can upload files from your computer, share them with collaborators and download them on a different platform. This app lets you easily transfer files from one computer to many.
Microsoft Office Suite
This one’s a given, and shouldn’t be new to any of you. Nonetheless, it’s important to become familiar with these programs because they’re still the go-to programs used by most students and professors, and are likely installed on each of your institution’s computers. Use Word for your papers, PowerPoint for your presentations, and Excel for your spreadsheets. No one uses Outlook, and nobody knows what OneNote or Lync do.
http://office.microsoft.com (prices vary)
Meeting scheduling made easy
Doodle is a solution to a common problem: trying to find a time to meet that works for everyone in a group. It helps you get around the confusing statements like “I’m good wednesday before 11 and after 2, Thursdays before 11…and sometimes all day”. An organizer makes a list of all of the times in which they are available to meet, and emails the list to therest of the group. They fill in their availability, and the time slot with the most availability between members is chosen.
big picture presentations
Prezi allows you to create presentations that use multiple layers of zoom to create a presentation that visually reminds the audience about your big picture idea. Like most other apps, it’ll take practice to learn how to make great use of the software, but you can use it to make some memorable presentations. Just make sure to be easy on the turning transitions.