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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Technology

Useful apps to enhance productivity


Since the invention of smartphones, the world’s approach to technology has been revolutionized, and countless applications have been created to enhance productivity.

Regarded as an integral, almost necessary, part of students’ daily lives, smartphones aren’t designed as only distractions. Productivity applications have turned smartphones into tools for helping students make accomplishments, which will come in handy throughout the year as students struggle to keep their heads above water in their studies.

Mobile applications also affect how educators approach the classroom.

“The emerging future context is going to be more and more ‘app-intensive,’” said Andrew Hines, human development and consumer sciences lecturer. “As educators, we can try to fight it, but I don’t think we’ll win that battle, nor do I think it’s the right battle to fight. Instead of trying to ban phones or apps, we need to think about how we can incorporate them into our teaching.”

These four free iOS- and Android-friendly apps could improve students’ efficiency, but downloading productivity applications is only the first step. Students should dedicate time and energy to integrate these applications into their daily routines.

Tab 1 - Aisha Bouderdaben - feature

Productivity apps help students stay focused and turn their phones and tablets into tools for success. | Aisha Bouderdaben/The Daily Cougar

Mint.com

Centered on generating a customized budget, Mint.com is a user-friendly guide to confront students’ budgeting issues.

“This is a great application that can help anybody, regardless of how much financial knowledge they have,” said finance junior Niccolo Buchelli.

Mint.com uses a monthly overview of the user’s spending to determine a profit or deficit at the end of the month. Its minimalistic layout can sync with an account from virtually any bank.

Any.DO

At first glance, Any.DO appears to be the average task manager. However, with its ability to categorize tasks based on priority, it provides the user with push-notifications and integrates a contact list to any task, which could be useful for group projects.

In February, Omer Perchik, CEO and founder of Any.DO, told Mashable, a Scottish-American news and technology website, that users create an everlasting list of things to do. Once they have too many tasks, though, they never look back.

“I’m a huge procrastinator,” said journalism junior Taha Ali. “This app is a blessing for me. It really helps me manage my time well when there’s a lot on my plate.”

Adobe Reader

The Adobe Reader mobile application proved itself to be more dynamic and user-friendly than its computer-based counterpart. It allows users to mark highlights directly on the document and features a handy scrubbing feature to quickly browse through the pages of any lengthy text.

The user can also annotate their content using either a paintbrush or basic textboxes. Getting emails from your professor with nine Adobe attachments has never been more approachable.

Tab 2 - Aisha Bouderdaben - feature

Productivity apps also change the way educators approach technology and in the future these could be incorporated into classwork.| Aisha Bouderdaben/The Daily Cougar

CamScanner

CamScanner is an ideal application for students who exchange handwritten notes in class. The app automatically compresses the notes into a PDF file. It adjusts the photo’s brightness and contrast to create an easily readable document.

“Half the hassle of sharing notes is getting them to the other person,” said communications junior Nida Chaudhry. “This app makes that process so much more convenient.”

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