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Get Organized With Free Web Tools!

I always find it surprising how few students know about and actively use web tools that, quite frankly, make everything much easier. In this post, I’ll point out some web tools that I use on a regular basis. For this quarter, I’ll specifically focus on tools that allow students to get organized with assignments, scheduling and class notes.

For students, balancing work, school and life outside of both can be a difficult task. Sometimes you need a little extra help organizing, collaborating, or studying. Currently, there are more web tools out there than ever before—many of them free and created specifically to give students this kind of help. I always find it surprising how few students know about and actively use web tools that, quite frankly, make everything much easier.

In this post, I’ll point out some web tools that I use on a regular basis. For this quarter, I’ll specifically focus on tools that allow students to get organized with assignments, scheduling and class notes. Keep an eye out in upcoming quarters for more free web tools for students!

TrackClass – At the beginning of every quarter, I plug each of my syllabi into TrackClass. TrackClass is a tool that will organize your assignments based on when they’re due, basically creating a giant to-do list for you. It will also remind you of assignments that are coming up in the next day, few days, or coming weeks. When you’re taking 3 or 4 classes, it can be easy to forget about an assignment every now and then. TrackClass helps prevent this. Additionally, if you can keep up with the grades you’re getting on the assignments you’re turning in, you can have TrackClass calculate your grade in the course (roughly, as it may be hard to calculate things like participation). Knowing where you stand in a class by the time you’re done with it is 100 times better than spending spring break refreshing the Grades page on myUW.

Doodle – Doodle is a group scheduling tool that takes the hassle out of planning meeting times. The user who creates a “Doodle”—which is a grid with dates, times and names—will set these times up and submit the link to the Doodle to participants. The participants then check boxes next to the times they are available. Doodle is a great way to visualize times when everyone is available. I’ve used Doodle most recently when trying to figure out a good time to meet outside of class with my in-class group. Working around everyone’s personal schedule can be hard, but Doodle makes it easy and saves you long chains of emails.

Evernote – Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you have at least heard of Evernote. Evernote is a cloud-based program that allows you to take notes and access them from any device where Evernote is installed. This includes a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. The best part about Evernote is that the word “note” is very broad. The program will allow you to take notes in the form of images, audio, text, or entire web pages. These notes are then stored in notebooks (collections of notes), where all content is searchable with the help of a text-recognition tool (even for images!). Evernote is one of those great tools that works for both class and everyday life.

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