Academic productivity

Academic Session 2020/21: Mobile apps to leverage.

apps for a good academic session

How can I milk the capacity of my mobile device this academic session? 

It is of no mystery, the array of apps available in the play store for productive use by students.

Although, this could be a double-edged sword. 

There are a ton of videos on social media showcasing a new app that does this or that.

 While that is valid to solve a particular problem, it can cause overwhelm to students.

After solving the problem, it becomes obsolete, further putting a strain on your mobile phone’s capacity.

The security of the phone’s software is also questioned by the possibilities of virus attacks.

This begs the quest for “A modest list of mobile apps to scale my productivity at school.”

Your quest ends right here within this post as a curated list of apps to do the bare minimum is laid at your fingertips.[literally]

The elements of this list have been scrutinized to only contain resources accessible on mobile devices.

THE BARE MINIMUM FOR AN ACADEMIC SESSION

With all the events and activities that take place during school periods, it is easy for you to be drained mentally.

It takes mental energy to plan the exact strategy to get a task done but with the right tools, it becomes relatively easy.

An academic session is usually filled with front and back communication between lecturers and students that aims at completing the scheme and having the students prepped for evaluation.

So the bare minimum of an academic session would generally depict

  • Holding these conversations either by traditional seat & meet or remote video conferencing
  • Distribution of handouts and other course materials
  • Reading and digestion of course work
  • Creation of presentations, term papers, or assignments from them.
  • Sharing, transferring, and collaboration amongst students and lecturers.
  • Studying and getting reading for evaluation

We have discussed a proven technique to help you study effectively. It ensures every minute of your study session counts, So we can get on with matters not yet addressed.

Going from point of inception to completion of tasks can be arduous and most times a block is created when stuck on the apps to get things done.

These tasks -and everything in between – require various tools which I have taken the liberty to curate and present to you.

It is due diligence to note that some apps may have overlapping functionalities.

APPS THAT HELP YOU ACHIEVE THE BARE MINIMUM THIS ACADEMIC SESSION 

1. Zoom

Zoom is a free HD meeting app with video and screen sharing for up to 100 people

It is known to be the #1 in customer satisfaction and the best-unified communication experience on mobile.

You get to stay connected wherever you go. You can start or join a secure meeting, share screen instantly and message across platforms all for FREE

FEATURES

  1. VIDEO MEETINGS FROM ANYWHERE
  2. COLLABORATE ON-THE-GO
  3. UNLIMITED MESSAGING (WITH PHOTOS, FILES, AND MORE)
  4. MAKE, RECEIVE, AND MANAGE PHONE CALLS

Pros

What I love about zoom is its versatility and compatibility across major devices.

It is one to keep in your phone for the long haul CAUSE IT IS USEFUl for both schools, work, and personal related matters.

It’s intuitive and really easy to use. It provides two join up means, by meeting ID or by link. And makes for easy communication among meeting participants.

Cons

Bugs with the virtual video background and other hardware lags 

Must have a strong network connection to work even. Poor network, no zoom.

Large download and update files that work your data and storage.   

2. Xender

The seamless movement of files from one person to another comes in handy especially when no heavy devices are lying around.

You can bring yourself up to speed by receiving files that are pivotal in the completion of assignments and other related tasks

Xender maybe currently the best sharing app that can fulfill all your transfer needs.

The newer updates have rolled in the functionality to change video files into audio: aka change educational videos to lectures; aka more work from tutors.

features

  1.  Transfer files with flash speed
  2.  Send Large Files without limitation (Original Size).
  3. Free Network and Data Connection
  4. Share all kinds of files without restrictions 

Pros 

Very fast and reliable in transferring large files of audio, visual, text, and image formats.

Contains an in-app music player that could substitute for iTunes for IOS users who find it expensive.

Enables you to view, move, or delete files you received and even to make a backup copy whenever you need to clean the phone storage all from one app.

Cons

Difficulty connecting IOS to Android devices especially in newer Android versions.

Hardware incompatibilities in few devices making certain areas of the screen unresponsive.

Large file downloads making your storage work.

3. Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Inc is an American multinational computer software company with a suite of products committed to changing the world through digital experiences.

DID YOU KNOW? 

PDF was invented by Adobe, but they no longer own ownership 

Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free PDF creator and document editor that allows you to easily convert JPG files to PDF format and create and sign fillable PDF forms. Add your e-signature to shared documents and send them to group members for fast, efficient, and paperless collaboration.

Features

  1. VIEW AND ANNOTATE PDFS
  2. WORK WITH OTHERS AND SHARE PDFs
  3. FILL AND SIGN FORMS
  4. STORE AND PRINT FILES
  5. FREE FILE STORAGE AND SHARING
  6. WORK WITH SCANNED DOCUMENTS
  7. FILL AND SIGN FORMS

PROS

Does an excellent job in viewing PDFs. You can quickly open and view PDF documents with search, scroll, and zoom functionalities that provide a smooth reading experience.

Annotating documents becomes easy with the use of highlights and markup texts which really comes in handy when preparing for an exam or test. You can even create or upload an e-signature to a document for verification purposes.

You can share documents and collaborate with others during group work. Everyone can partake and contribute to the success of the assignment. You receive activity notifications for files you’ve shared this way you can track pending actions.

Cons

Although there is a separate free app for turning notes, forms into pdf by scanning them, it is almost obsolete as most editing and exporting functionalities are reserved for the subscription plan of NGN3600/month.

You cannot edit text, convert file format, organize pages, compress size, nor combine files in the free version.

These core features make up the bulk majority of what students need to do with files which reduces the Acrobat Reader to just a pdf reader for students on the free plan,

4. The Google Docs

You can’t get through an academic session without having to create a document. 

Assignments, quizzes, take homes and thesis must be assigned by the lecturer as a form of Grade Point evaluation.

Google Docs is a suite of software-based products that satisfy your document creation needs.

It consists of Word, sheets, slides, and forms which are very useful for both students and lecturers.

Word

Create and edit documents on the go.

Create, edit, and collaborate with others on documents from your Android phone or tablet with the Google Docs app. Docs allow you to:

  1.   Create new documents or edit existing files
  2.   Share documents and collaborate in the same document at the same time
  3.   Work anywhere, any time – even offline
  4.   Add and respond to comments
  5.   Never worry about losing your work – everything is saved automatically as you type
  6.   Research directly in Docs with Explore
  7.   Open, edit and save Word documents

AVAILABILITY: Available across all device but you must have a google account,

5. WPS

WPS Office – Free Office Suite for Word, PDF, Excel is an all-in-one office suite that integrates Word, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, Forms, as well as Cloud Storage, Template Gallery, and Online Editing & Sharing. 

Also, it perfectly works with Google Classroom, Zoom, Slack & Google Drive, makes your online study in an academic session more efficient & stable. 

Features of WPS Office 

  1.  Integrate with Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and PDF 
  2. Scan, view, edit, convert PDF on your Android device 
  3. Support Google Drive on your Android device
  4. More functionality for WPS premium members 
  5. 1GB free cloud storage, support online editing and sharing files, easy to built and join the Cloud Team 
  6. Supports 51 languages and All Office File Formats on WPS Office 

PROS

I love how they make it easy to create presentation slides. A vast majority of free templates, animation 

Powerful sheets & Forms with predefined formulas make you do basic data and digital operation more conveniently. A solution for working remotely on your Android device 

Cons 

I find that it is overwhelming to look at. The UX/UI design seems clustered with icons, text, dropdowns, and navigational menus. 

Easily distracted by so much to do and 80% of these icons/tools are available to only premium users.

Offer basic document functionalities similar to Adobe Acrobat on the free plan

Extremely large in size and can cause performance lags.

6. Color Note

Arguably the most opened app on my phone since jotting ideas and tracking to-do lists is important for me.

ColorNote is a simple but smart note app. 

Color Note is a simple notepad that gives you a quick and simple note editing experience when writing notes, memos, email, message, shopping list, and to-do lists. ColorNote makes taking notes easier than other note and memo apps.

 Main Features

  1. Sticky note memo widget (Put your notes on your home screen)
  2. Checklist notes to get things done (GTD)
  3. Organize your schedule by note in a calendar
  4. Write a diary and journal in the calendar
  5. Password Lock note: Protect your notes with a passcode
  6. Supports local and online backup
  7. You can sync notes between phone and tablet by signing into a google account

Pros

Lightweight and offers little strain on your phone storage.

Effective organization of tasks into groups depicted by different colors which overly associated with maximum productivity out of your daily tasks

Reminder notes on the status bar are what stole my heart. It makes remembering your notes a breeze. Awesome for a mantra you live by.

Adding a widget to your home screen allows you to check off completed tasks and track outstanding ones.

Cons

Limited to only two basic note-taking formats. Checklist or text-based. 

No accommodation for other media file types like voice note and images

AVAILABILITY: ANDROID ONLY

The alternative for IOS users are the in-built Reminder and NOTE apps

7. Dictionary

All through the academic year, you’ll find yourself consuming content from articles to youtube tutorial videos. It is common to come across foreign words.

Being able to fully grasps the context of the content, helps tirelessly, in creating a bigger picture, one that can be recreated when the need arises.

To do is, a decent resource that provides a vast library of words and their meanings should be consulted

A good dictionary app should 

  • Be able to clearly define words.
  • Cite examples
  • Link to other words that share a relationship whether opposite or similar

8. Clev calculator

Clev calculator for an academic session

It is common to be misled that only Engineering & science students feel the need to ascertain number-based information.

A snippet from 3 things to gain before leaving college entails that personal savings burdens upon students distantly separated from their parents/guardians.

Clev Calculator can help you deal with those numbers as it has a module for personal finance included to help you calculate your loans, savings, and incomes.

The Clev Calculator is available both on Android and IOS devices

A few of the modules included are:

  1. General Calculator
  2. Unit Converter
  3. Currency Converter
  4. World Time Converter
  5. GPA Calculator
  6. Ovulation Calculator
  7. Date Calculator
  8. Body mass index (BMI) and basal metabolic rate (BMR).

9. File manager

With the numerous amounts of classwork, study notes, study sheets, and memos that are released in an academic session, it is a breeze for your storage drive to be unkempt.

Not only is it unappealing to the eyes, but it also makes it difficult to find documents leading to a productivity drop.

A good file manager should be able to sort, filter, organize, and share files.

Free online storage from Google.

Google Drive is a safe place to back up and access all your files from any device. Easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

With Drive, you can:

  1. Store and access your files anywhere
  2. Quickly access recent and important files
  3. Search for files by name and content
  4. Share and set permissions for files and folders
  5. View your content on the go while offline
  6. Receive notifications about important activity on your files
  7. Use your device’s camera to scan paper documents

10. Camscanner

CamScanner is a scanner app created by INTSIG Information Co.ltd.

This app will turn your phone into a PDF scanner literally by converting images to pdf in a simple tap.

A practical example will be if you are expected to answer questions in a printed worksheet and submit them online.

To do this, you’d need a mobile scanner to read the content of your hardcopy and transfer it via different media like email, and other sharing methods.

Features:

  1. *Quickly Digitize Document
  2. *Optimize Scan Quality
  3. *Extract Texts from Image with OCR (optical character recognition) feature. (Premium only)
  4. *Share PDF/JPEG Files
  5. *AirPrint & Fax Documents
  6. *Advanced Document Editing
  7. *Secure Important Documents
  8. *Sync across Platforms

PROS

This has been a keeper for me due to its efficacy in creating pdf files out of text, images, and physical documents.

It is phenomenal in the quest for decentralized education. Remote learning hinges on the use of this app attend to modules with written work to be submitted.

Ability to bulk import images and auto-crop pages.

Cons

Inaccurate automatic cropping mechanism cause delay in workflow and dwindling productivity.

Upon the creation of new plans, the best features are kept behind a paywall and they are a lot of complaints concerning the unnecessary need to log in.

Ads and gimmicks to lure a person into becoming a paying member actually reduce the user experience. 

CONCLUSION

The endless argument of the emergence of mobile devices is tied to whether it has caused more good or harm.

Today, we see the power that can be assessed by leveraging mobile apps to do our bindings.

A curated list of mobile apps that help you to put in the smallest quantity of schoolwork in an academic session but is still adequate for optimum academic results.

These specially selected mobile applications help you do the bare minimum and exclude all the overwhelm associated with getting tasks or given assignments done.

It is an absolute relief to be able to do so much on-the-go.

Which app has helped you the most in your academic pursuit?

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2 Comments

  1. All the apps mentioned have helped me through out my college years. Thank God for them, what would I have done without them😩

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