The 7 best productivity apps for postgrads

The 7 best productivity apps for postgrads

Technology is here to improve our lives, right? But sometimes the apps on your phone are a time drain instead of a help. We’ve reviewed seven apps that you can take advantage of to manage your time and study smart – even better, many of them are free.


1. SelfControl

If you frequently find yourself slipping into Reddit or Facebook sinkholes or checking email excessively instead of studying, SelfControl is here to help. This free app allows you to nominate the websites you want blocked on your computer and for how long. Be warned: once you press ‘start’ there’s no way of reversing the block until time is up – even deleting the app or restarting your computer won’t reverse it. If you’re procrastination-prone, this app is for you.


2. Alarmy

Billed as ‘The World’s Most Annoying Alarm’, Alarmy is for all you snooze-button addicts who can’t seem to get up on time no matter what. Set Alarmy to ‘Photo mode’ and the only way to quell the alarm will be when you take a fresh picture of a registered place – such as the shower or the coffee pot. (Hint: make the place far away from your bed – obviously.) Other options include ‘Math problem mode’, where you’re required to solve a math equation to silence the incessant sound. Never sleep in again.


3. iStudiez 

Keep track of class schedules, assignment deadlines, performance grades, staff contact details and office hours with iStudiez. iStudiez is a well-designed, sophisticated calendar interface that keeps all your study-related planning info in one place. The cloud-syncing capability means all your devices will be up-to-date. The Lite version is free, or you can sign up to Pro for the full functionality.


4. Evernote

Evernote is an indispensable digital notebook that allows you to collate relevant information – including study notes, images, audio, files and online links – in the one place. Organise your notes in folders, and sync it effortlessly between devices so you can access it anywhere. Since launching in 2008, the app now includes additional features such as Work Chat, which allows you to instant message classmates about shared notes.


5. StudyBlue

StudyBlue lets you browse millions of study-related flashcards from universities and high schools around the world. What’s more useful, however, is linking it up with your Evernotes, to create flashcards and quizzes from your notes. Revise efficiently for exams anywhere, anytime with StudyBlue.


6. RefME

RefMe is a simple, free app that makes citation a breeze. Scan the barcode of books or journals and the app will automatically generate the reference in any of the 7,500 styles you prefer. Online, enter the URL of the article and it will generate the citation – saving you time and potentially headache. Another nifty feature, RefME will also recommend other sources you might find useful, based on the citation you’ve scanned through. The app was invented by a team in Shoreditch, London that includes an ex-Nasa space scientist.


7. Macquarie Complete Australian Dictionary

Improve your spelling, vocabulary and knowledge with the touch of a finger with a dictionary app. The free app is one of the best, featuring ‘trending words per area’, ‘words of the day’, ‘question of the day’, voice recognition, and thesaurus and synonym options. The only downside is that it’s American English. The Macquarie Dictionary is widely regarded as the authoritative source on Australian English. It has fewer features and comes with a price, but is the most accurate and up-to-date Australian resource.

While La Trobe University has no affiliation with any of these apps, we recommend you give them a try. 


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