All the applications I recommend below are free. These are not in any logical order. Try them out and be sure to share with me what your favourite productivity applications are.
1. Google Calendar
I initially downloaded this application because my handwriting was too big to fit on all the physical planners I purchased. If that is a struggle that you experience, then you know what to do. You need to have a Google Account to use Google Calendar and you will be able to access your calendar from any device with internet access.
You can add an event, reminder or a goal to your calendar. You can also colour code types of events. I have my exams in one colour and all my tests in a different colour and so forth.
For each event you add to your calendar, you can set reminders; 1 week prior to the event, 3 days prior, 1 hour prior etc.
There is a wide range of goals that you can set; from “Call Mom once every week” to “Hike every Saturday”.
You can share your calendar with family and friends so that they know what you are getting up to and you can plan trips together more effectively.
2. Google Tasks
I keep my daily tasks and my future tasks separate. I use Google tasks to keep track of everything I need to do in my day. I use Google Calendar for the future tasks. Once I complete the particular task I mark the checkbox next to it and I move on to my next obligation.
I also use Google Tasks to write my grocery lists and to keep track of my progress in school assignments.
You also require a Google Account for this application, but you will be able to access your tasks from any device with internet access too.
3. Easy Study
This is my favourite application of the year. I use it as my study timetable. When you download this application it will ask you:
1. what modules do you have?
2. How many modules would you like to study on each day?
Then you can assign each module to the days you would like to cover it. The app will tell you when you have enough modules assigned to a particular day based off of your response to the second question.
If you are looking to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals, this is the application for you. It allows you to time each study session and keep track of the particular topic or section you covered during that session.
Some of my role models are Thomas Frank and Daniel Wong. Take some time to read through their websites. They share several tips on how to perform to the best of your ability during your school career.
Daniel Wong advises his students to make use of the period review of material to beat procrastination and cramming on the day before an examination. How does this actually work? You want to review your material every time your brain is about to forget it.
The AnkiApp can keep track of how many times you review a particular deck and you can mark the cards that you are getting stuck on so that these may be repeated more in your next review.
You use the AnkiApp to create flash cards. When reviewing a deck of cards, you flip between the back and the front for the definition and the term respectively. You can share your deck with friends and you can also make use of flash cards that have been created by other AnkiApp users.
Flash cards can be accessed offline and there is a feature where you can have your cards read to you.
5. Exam Countdown Lite
I use this application as an examination timetable. It counts down how many days, hours and minutes you have until each examination and you can set reminders to tell you about the examination closer to the time.
Elevate was awarded Apple’s App of the Year. It is a brain training application that compiles daily challenges to help improve your reading and basic mathematics skills, memory and speaking abilities.
I usually make use of this application every morning to wake me up. I can definitely say it has helped improve my reading speed and my focus when studying and learning.
7. Khan Academy
When learning new information, I read through my textbook, attend lectures and if I still have difficulty understanding the topic I will use Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a resource covering many subjects including Economics, Finance, Computing, Science and Mathematics. They provide videos and exercises to help you understand a topic.
What I love about this application is that I can pause the video at any time, rewind to make notes and make sure I have not missed anything. You can share the links to these resources with friends.
You will have to create an account to use this application. To keep you motivated to learn, Khan Academy awards you with badges for making use of a certain amount of resources or maintaining a certain average on each of the exercises you complete.
At the beginning of this year I struggled to concentrate during my lectures. One moment I would be following the lecturer, taking notes and then the next, I am thinking about what I should do when I return to my dorm.
You can imagine the amount of catching up I had to do to stay on track because of that bad habit.
I did some research and found that meditating could help me overcome my struggle. It did. I use Headspace three to four times a week to complete my meditation sessions.
Meditation teaches you the skill of being mindful. Being in the moment at that particular moment.
You know all those times you leave a conversation saying, “Maybe I should’ve said that instead,” or “Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that”. Meditation is really useful in several aspects of our life.
Depending on the module that I am studying, I will either appreciate dead silence around me or I will need a bit on background noise while I tackle the task at hand.
In the latter, I use Tide. Tide is an application that is intended to help you focus using nature sounds; rain, waves or fire. You can also use it to do breathing exercises and to help you sleep better.
You can time each session of focus and have automatic breaks setup to keep you consistently motivated.
10. Google Docs
I hope you have noticed the trend. You need to register a Google Account for this one too.
Google Docs allows you to collaborate with your fellow project members simultaneously. You can, in real time, keep track of who is making changes to want on your shared document.
You can give certain members editing rights and others only viewing rights.
A Google Doc is perfect for when you do not have a lot of time to meet in person or you simply prefer to not communicate in person.
Be sure to check out Google Sheets and Google Slides which work in the same way.
The Aspiring Chartered Accountant