Students and teachers have different productivity needs than most professionals. Many of the front-line tools work well in both the office and classroom environment, but there are enough differences that we thought an education-specific list of productivity tools would be helpful.
As you're planning for the new year, setting goals and making resolutions, consider adding these apps to your repertoire.
Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal are all really strong offerings, so we're betting that you're already set on a primary calendar. But each of these apps augment its basic calendar with additional features that will be of particular interest to students and educators.
Essential PIM—It won't matter that your calendar is squared away if you can't remember your passwords. PIM manages your appointments, tasks, notes, contacts, passwords, and emails across all of your devices. It can remember anything you would put on a sticky note. So your student ID number, your study group appointment, and your homework reading list are all immediately at your fingertips.
Cozi Calendar—Sharing features make this a great option for families or suite-mates. It allows all family members to see each other's calendars, create calendars, include notifications to certain family members, and create shopping lists that are accessible to everyone. At $19.99, the paid version is not cheep, but if you don't mind ads in your calendar, the free version should treat you just fine.
Calendly—Not a calendar, per se, but this app will cut down on the back-and-forth when you're scheduling meetings. It will make office hours way easier for everybody.
Wunderlist—No-nonsense task lists. This app does exactly what you expect and nothing more. Available on all platforms, the free version will meet most of your needs. The paid version adds list sharing, which could come in handy when you have a group project.
Todoist—The most feature-rich task tool on the market boasts lots of bells and whistles like intuitive dates, smarter recurring tasks, sub tasks, and productivity visualization.
Evernote and Microsoft Onenote are top-of-the-class, but these lesser-known note apps have an appeal that the big guys lack.
Google Keep—This may well be the most under-appreciated thing that Google makes. Its camera and file attachment features are powerful enough to rival Evernote. The only thing it lacks now is an import tool.
Connected Mind—Mind mapping is not for everybody, but the non-linear thinkers who swear by this organizational approach are desperate for an affordable and capable application. Connected Minds runs in a browser, and will save your finished maps to Google Drive. Plus, unlike most mind mapping tools, it does not limit you to straight lines.
Prioritab—This plugin for Google Chrome turns any new tab into a priority-clarifying dashboard. It might not help you get more done, but it will probably help you get more of the right things done.
Noisli—Studying for exams or working on a paper and need to give your playlists a break? Noisli offers several ambient noise options that you can combine into focus-inducing soundscapes like:
- campfire + crickets + wind
- train + rain
- fan + thunderstorm
OneTab—Picture this: you're working on a paper and you've got 27,498 tabs open. Your browser slows to a crawl. But you can't close anything until you check each source. But you can't check those sources because your browser is dragging so badly. GAH! It's a never-ending productivity death spiral. Enter OneTab. This browser plugin saves all of your open tabs in a single list so that your computer can run at normal speed while you check each source one at a time. Brilliant.
Did we leave out your favorite productivity tool? Let us know in the comments section below.