Productivity tools

Cover Story, Features, Self-help

Four productivity tools that university students should be using during their studies.
At some point, we all get lost and get messy during our studies. You don’t feel that you’re productive and organized anymore. Nevertheless, some productivity tools may be your rescue in your educational journeys. Thus, here are some of the most recommended tools that you can comfortably handle.

1. Note-taking apps
Some of you still like to use a pen and paper to take notes, which is the normal thing to do. It’s okay to do so, but moving to a digital system is highly recommended because you store many years of notes and school materials without using extra space.

  • Notability app (Mac and IOS only): it’s handy for handwritten notes. You can use it to write on top of your course. However, you need a digital pen to make your use easier because it is not convenient to use your finger to write on your tablet.
  • Evernote app: if you don’t like to use a digital pen or don’t have a tablet, you can go for the Evernote app.

2. Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro means tomato in Italian. Yes, like tomato, real tomato. The question here is: how are tomatoes related to productivity?
This technique was invented by an Italian student who challenged to break his work down into short sessions and stay focused until the timer rings. And guess what? The timer was tomato-shaped.

Basically, this is how it works:
Step one: Choose a task
Step two: Set a timer to 25 minutes.
Step three: Work on the task until your timer rings.
Step four: Take a short 5 minutes break.
Step five: Take a more extended break after 4 Pomodoros (15-30 min).
Step six: Take time to celebrate your achievement.

3. Microsoft 365 vs. Google Suite
On the one hand, most Finnish universities provide students with a free version of Microsoft 365, and even a majority of Finnish companies utilize them. So, it’s an advantage for you since you will get time to practice your Microsoft skills. On the other hand, Google Suite is more straightforward and more apparent because Microsoft tools tend to be sometimes complicated to use. However, both are excellent and provide almost the same products, noting that you start paying for Microsoft 365 after graduation, while Google Suite is always for free usage.

4. Video conferencing tools
Considering the world’s current situation and the fact that most universities are doing and might continue doing, students should learn video conferencing tools such as TEAMS. You can check a tutorial on youtube if you want to explore it fully. TEAMS nowadays is used for teaching professional meetings and even job interviews. Thus, you better learn how to use it because it’s a long-term investment.

Text and pictures by IKRAM BECHARI