Don’t Be a Fool: Tech Tools for Graduate School
You’ve survived undergrad, and now you are headed off to graduate school. The technology that you picked up as a freshmen isn’t cutting it today, so toss out all of the tech toys that you thought you needed to survive college, and pick up new gadgets that will serve you well through grad school and into your professional career. You’re looking for durable, reliable products instead of the latest shiny thing to waltz into the tech world, particularly if you end up working in a corporate environment. The apps and products that you choose now should be ones that you’ll use in a variety of situations, from research internships to being a teacher assistant.
You don’t want to stay in the dorms forever. Once you’ve reached graduate school, it’s time to consider moving off campus into an apartment or affordable house with roommates. If you’re used to having everything included for your room and board during undergrad, it’s going to take some adjustment to living completely on your own. Personal finance apps provide you with powerful tools to keep you on a budget.
One of the best out there is the Mint app, part of the Mint.com service. This free service for iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms connects your bank accounts, bills, and debts to give you a complete picture of your finances that’s updated instantly. It also categorizes your purchases, so you know exactly where your money is going. It provides a graphical representation of the data to make it easy for visual learners to understand where the money is going, and you can input cash expenses as well.
Everyone knows about how awesome Evernote is, but did you know that Evernote has a free iPad app specifically for quiz prep and note taking? Evernote Peek virtualizes flash cards so you can study before a test, better organize your notes, and incorporate multimedia files into each flash card, according to their website.
Your trusty laptop does a lot of the grunt work for you, but you should also consider pairing it up with a powerful smartphone. When you have a smartphone at the top end of the technology curve, it takes a long time before something bigger and better comes out. It’ll be attached at your hip with productivity apps. It will allow you quick contact with professors and students. It will also network for great internships and job offers. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are both powerful options in the current mobile playing field, with the real choice coming down to whether you like iOS or Android platforms better. The Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are supported through T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T wireless. The iPhone 5 averages $200 to $700, depending on whether or not you’re singing a contract. The Samsung Galaxy S4 costs $200 to $600, based on the same factors The iOS does have access to the biggest app library, and attracts quality app developers due to the profitability of iOS apps compared to Android.
Expand Your Education
It’s tough to keep your focus with all of the distractions that go on when you’re on your computer. This is especially tough if you’re taking online classes through a school like Pennfoster.edu or your local college. It’s tempting to blow off an online class. After all, you set your own schedule, you access class on your own computer, and you convince yourself that you’re only going to play that game for a few minutes. Instead of falling into the procrastination trap, use a browser extension like Chome’s Stay Focused, which prevents you from accessing distractions during specified periods of time. Stay Focused can block all websites or certain websites. You can set it to give you a specific time slot to browse websites not on an approved list, and it provides individual site blocking, which encourages execution of the task at hand. If things get really bad, the Nuclear Option locks down all websites, websites on your blocked list, or websites outside of your allowed list for the amount of time you specify without a way to reverse it.