It’s not easy being a successful college student these days. The experience is often a delicate balance of juggling responsibilities – academic, professional, family and personal – all of which tend to multiply as the holiday homestretch approaches.
Accomplishing the things that matter most requires diligence, hard work and planning. The following is a list of tips – and apps! – to help college students prevent their responsibilities from becoming logistical nightmares.
Of course, if you have a lot to do, the only way to ensure you don’t forget about things that need to be done and things you want to do (yes, there is a difference – but both are important) is to write it down. As it happens. Do you have a pen? No, but you probably have an Android or Apple phone. Here are some great apps for that:
Clear is a to-do list app for Apple computers and IOS devices only that many tech critics have praised as an innovative way to keep track of the things you need to do. It costs $4.99, but offers a limited free trial version.
Simplenote is a website and app (for Android and IOS) that syncs across all devices that allows for a lightweight, clutter-free way to quickly jot down notes. It’s created by Automattic, which was founded by former UH student Matt Mullenweg, also known for its role in the creating of the open source powerhouse platform WordPress. Full disclosure: This site – and other Bauer Blogs – uses WordPress. A similar offering for tasks is Remember the Milk. Other popular software to keep it synced includes Dropbox and Google Drive.
Schedule it and forget it
There’s that paper due on Monday, the quiz on Tuesday, the family obligations on Wednesday, the crucial job interview on Thursday and the Big Sean concert presented by the Student Program Board on Friday … There’s a lot going on.
One of the best calendar apps is built into Outlook, the ever-popular corporate email application that comes as part of the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus suite, which is available for a free download for Mac or PC for University of Houston students. Calendar events created in Outlook with your University-issued student e-mail address play well with a properly configured Android or Apple phone.
After graduation and entering (or returning) to the corporate world you’ll likely be using Microsoft Office as mandated by your local friendly IT department For The Rest of Your Working Life, so if you’d like something else for now, here are some great calendar apps:
Google Calendar, which launched an eternity ago in 2006 and which has been completely redesigned on Android with this week’s launch of the Android 5.0 Lollipop, is a popular alternative to Microsoft Outlook and the web-based service syncs across Google accounts and even offers simple ways to collaborate with groups. The Bauer College Alumni Association and the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship both use Google Calendar for their organizations’ events.
For Apple IOS users who have wearied of iCal, the built in calendar app on their device – try the free Sunrise Calendar. It’s compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud and the Microsoft Exchange server for calendars – all of the services listed above. It works on the iPhone and iPad and allows you to add an event with real language, by typing something like “Bauer Pride Day starts today at 11 a.m.”
By Brandon Moeller