Apps for the 21st Century Student

I was recently interviewed by Ellen Lessner, who is working with Jisc, about my use of digital tools. During our entertaining and insightful conversation, I had a chance to have a good think about what tools I use and why. I thought it would be nice to put this information down on a post, as others might find these tools useful. Here’s a short list of my favorite apps, ordered by usefulness:

  1. OneNote: One note taking app to rule them all. I use OneNote for everything from taking notes in class to writing down crazy ideas and collaborating in group projects. Its perks include the ability to share notebooks with multiple users and the option to print in full PDF documents, making it possible to annotate them in-app. I love using OneNote on my iPad to squiggle in notes.
  2. Trello: the all-mighty of organization apps. Trello is a flexible platform that works with fully customizable “boards”, “decks”, and “cards”. A downside of its flexibility is that it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it. Once you get past the learning stage, however, it’s a beast. I use it to organize my academic, extra-curricular & personal life. Get started by reading this article on how to organize your life with Trello. Pro Tip: You can enhance Trello through extensions like Trellius.
  3. Slack: the go-to messaging app for any project, big or small. Slack is most useful if you’re working on a project with a team for a relatively long amount of time. If you’ve got a group project for your course that lasts less than a month, this might not be for you. However, because of its built-in organization tools (which work seamlessly with Trello), this is a must for any long-term project. We use it at FuseMind to monitor progress, organize meetings, etc. Perks include ability to have multiple channels per team (e.g. Development vs Business).
  4. Toggl: Time tracking made easy. I like to track how much time I spend on what, it allows me to see what I have been focusing on and lets me assess whether any changes are needed. Toggl makes it extremely simple to monitor exactly how much time I spend a week on any given project.

These tools work on the full suite of available devices (phones, tablets and computers) and actively sync across any you use. I’ve also began working with Microsoft’s Sway, which introduces a strangely awesome way to make report-presentation hybrids. I’ll be writing specifically on that soon so be on the lookout for a new post. Lastly, as a part of my contribution to Jisc I’ll be attending the CAN conference on the 21st of April and will be writing about that shortly thereafter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *