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Free apps and tools for university and work

Carolina Rodriges

Everybody knows that when you study or work you have a lot of things to do and little time to do it and everything that can help make your life easier is welcome. Especially if it’s free! In this article, we’ll share with you some of the best tools that can be found for free that will help you organise yourself better. 

1. Google Services

From google docs, google drive, google calendar, to the amazing Google keep and Google scholar -which narrows the research down to academic journals-  and many more. The services that Google offers are often free and are a great tool to help you to keep your life -and files- organised and synced with all your devices. You can also share those same files with your classmates when doing group assignments.

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You love having a paper planner, but your work requires you keep an online calendar for meetings and scheduling purposes. How do you manage both? . We have written extensively about the benefits of having a paper planner (scroll back through some of our older blog posts if you want to read more about this!). Briefly, paper planners are easier to customize to your unique needs. Mobile apps are usually designed with one specific purpose, meaning that you are constantly switching between apps. Paper planners can be a space where you set goals, schedule your week, keep lists, sketch and journal, etc. There is also some evidence that writing things down by hand can help you commit things to memory. . Of course digital calendars have their own advantages: you can easily share your schedule, you can invite or be invited to meetings that instantly get added to your calendar, you can add URLs into calendar events that link to directions or to a website. . So how do YOU use both digital and paper planners? How do you incorporate the two into a workflow that makes sense in your life? We are interested in writing more on this subject and want to get ideas from you. Share your story below (we'll feature our favorite)! If there are enough responses, we may even write a full blog post on integrating your #inkandvoltplanner with digital tools.

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2. Trello

Trello is an app difficult to beat because it’s so flexible, sharable and user-friendly. You can attach notes, organise to-do lists in a very visual way like if it was a board. However, it has all the advantages of having an internet connection so they can be shared with several people for group projects.

3. Evernote

Evernote is one of the most famous note-taking apps. The way of organising note into notebooks is really practical, especially because, in the desktop version, it’s very similar to a word processor, and in the mobile app you can add audio recordings. You can sync every notebook from your phone, desktop or tablet but, unfortunately, on the free version, you can only sync two devices.

4. OneNote

Believe or not, Microsoft OneNote is free to download to your computer and smartphone. It’s an incredibly powerful note-taking tool where the different notebooks created are saved on Onedrive and can be accessed in all your devices. Similar to Evernote Premium, you can have different sections and pages within the notebooks, import pictures and PDF files and record audio into the file.

5. WeTransfer

Everybody has been annoyed by the 25 mb limit to send over email. That’s why we thank for the existence of WeTranfer that allows to transfer up to 2 gb with a link or straight to someone’s email. However, if you need to transfer to your phone, you can download the we transfer app that will save all your files sent from links.

6. Todoist

Everybody needs a way to track what they have to do or what they have done. Todoist is a great app for that. With a very pretty and user-friendly interface, tasks can be organized into projects and labels, due dates and priority can even have sub-tasks.

7. Pocket

Pocket is probably one of the simplest and most useful browser extensions out there. It allows you to save articles, videos, images from the web into your account and organise them into categories. You can sync across numerous devices and access the saved links. It’s as simple as that.

8. Grammarly

Even if it’s not our native tongue, at some point in our lives, we’ll need to write in English. It can be for a job or as early as for an assignment for the university during your exchange program. For that, there’s Grammarly. It’s a browser extension -but can also be used as an app on itself- that activates whenever you’re writing and corrects your English mistakes. The free version might be limited but still very powerful.

9. Pushbullet

Ever had the issue of having a file or image on your phone and wanting to send it to your desktop or vice versa? Pushbullet is a browser extension that solves this problem instantly! Regardless of being IOS or Android, it can sync your phone with your computer despite being Mac, Windows or Linux. You can instantly share files, images and videos to any of your devices through Pushbullet. No more need to email yourself again.

10. Bibme.com

Bibme is a great resource when you’re doing assignments. Especially that part that everybody hates, which is the bibliography. With Bibme it’s simple! You just enter the data from the book or journal you took the information from, or if it was a website you paste the website link and TA-DA! You have a bibliographic quotation!

As you noticed, there are plenty of resources online that will make your assignments and work easier to do. Especially if you have to them in with other people. There a plenty more resources than the ones featured in this article but, the ones which were, can do so many things that most people don’t use it to its full potential. Feel free to explore each one of them.


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