With all of the distracting, funny, or downright time-wasting things on the internet, it can be hard to remember that you can still use it to be productive and simplify your life. There are so many tools on the internet that trying to find and use all of them might seem counterproductive, so I compiled a list of them to try to help college students make the most of their time online.
Here are some free extensions for Google Chrome that can make college life a little bit easier.
As college has evolved through the years and students have moved from pen and paper to pen and paper and desktops to no pen, no paper, just laptops, one thing hasn’t changed. Books are still expensive. Books will always be expensive. But at least tools have been developed to minimize one of college’s most unrewarding expenses.
Occupy the Bookstore shows you the best prices on the web as well as student listings at your campus for the book you’re searching. It works with your campus bookstore’s website, so long as your school is using BNCollege, bkstr.com or Neebo.
As I count right now, I have over 15 tabs open in my browser. I suffer from a near-paralyzing fear of closing a tab. I use tabs to help organize my day and remind me what I’m supposed to be working on while I’m browsing the internet. I should be using Sidenotes.
Sidenotes opens up a sidebar in your browser and allows you to take notes next to a URL, then stores those notes in a secure Dropbox. The URLs are saved and your thoughts are stored for you to revisit. Getting in the habit of writing down what you’re thinking while you’re thinking it is a great idea for any college student. We all have brilliant ideas every day that we can’t recall and many of these ideas are inspired by something we see online. Sidenotes gives you the ability to capture those thoughts.
The death of good grammar has been a slow and steady one. “You” has become “u”. There’s a 50-50 chance people are going to get the usage of an apostrophe right on its or it’s. Commas are inserted haphazardly and almost randomly in many blog posts these days. The students that headed off to college this Fall have been reading and influenced by unedited words on the Internet for the majority of their life.
Grammarly is doing its part to bring back the editor (without the cost). Grammarly catches your major mistakes and highlights them much like most browsers do, with green underlines under questionable words. It then totals the number of errors and shows the total in the bottom right of whatever box you’re writing in, be it Gmail, Wordpress, Facebook or most other places for writing online. For a fee, you can also integrate Grammarly into your Microsoft Word to provide an extra guide on top of Word’s built-in spell and grammar checks.
The ability to visualize data will serve you well. It’s one thing to print out a list of numbers and say “Things are up!” But it’s much better to be able to present data in a way that pleases the eye of even the most number averse boss at your internship.
Plotly allows even the number novice to look like an expert.
With all of these helpful extensions, you can get more done, better use your time and look like you’re a real professional. So go ahead and reward yourself by watching that cat video … now you have the time.