If you ask a college student about productivity, he won't have much to say. And you really can't blame him.
The same goes for students online courses. They lead a dynamic life where academics and fun go hand in hand, with the latter becoming a more important activity most of the times.
However, with the advent of internet and web 2.0, a college student now has access to so many amazing tools that he could finish up his work as well as enjoy life to the fullest without the guilt. The following list mentions 21 such tools which could skyrocket the productivity of college students when it comes to doing research, communicating with fellow students and dealing with assignments. Also, look into all the opportunities there are in online programs and courses.
Research and Taking Notes
Questia is an excellent online research tool which features a huge web based library of magazines, books, journals, papers, articles and much more. They claim that it is the largest online collection of complete books and journals, all of which is searchable word by word.
Although you need to pay about $19.95 per month for its membership, you could save on books and magazines you buy if you subscribe to it. And of course if you are prone to missing classes, this tool could cover up for it. It is available in 9 languages including English. Check out this article - 10 Cool Things About Questia
2.Free Book Notes
Free Book Notes, as the name suggests is a collection of free book notes, summaries, study guides and similar material aggregated from the internet. If you are an English Literature student, you would benefit the most from it. It has a huge repository of novel guides, plot overviews, context summaries etc of almost any book you could think of.
Wikipedia, internet's favorite encyclopedia is also a great research tool. Whether you are studying in high school or doing your PhD, you are sure to find things of your interest in this ocean of knowledge.
Although time and again, academicians have raised concerns over the authenticity of the content in Wikipedia and if it should be used by students as a study material, it remains a great tool for any college student who can't afford to pay for sites like Questia and needs to do his research online.
Now coming to online note-taking, lets talk about Notely. I'd say it's a superb tool especially for college students because they are the ones it focuses on. It is a seriously cool web productivity tool for students which combines note taking, to-do lists, calendar, file uploads, calculators and converters, dictionary and translator and much more in one single interface. Oh, and it works on the iPhone too.
Check this great video tour of the app if you aren't convinced yet.
Evernote is my personal favorite and probably the most popular note taking tool available. It offers all the versions - web based, desktop and mobile and syncs your notes between all the 3 mediums effortlessly. A great tool with some extraordinary features, something you would know only when you start using it.
Unless you are into hardcore maths and statistics, I'd assume you don't do complex tasks like creating macros in Microsoft excel. If that's the case then you should strongly consider switching most of your note creating and spreadsheet tasks to Google Docs.
Not only does it transfer your work to the cloud which can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, it also has some great sharing and collaboration features which you could make use of.
7. Google Reader
Google Reader is a great productivity tool for just about anyone looking to find and read great content on the web and that includes college students. It is the best RSS reader available and lets you read content from your favorite sources without the need to individually visit each of them.
Noodletools provides some creative online and software tools for both teachers and students which can help them in researching, organizing and recording things. Their main tool which is called NoodleBib is a bibliography composer combined with note taking.
It's important that college students use Gmail as their email client. Gmail has got some amazing features which ensures that you are productive while handling your emails. Features like keyboard shortcuts, Gmail tasks and labs make it the ultimate email app.
Skype is a great communication tool, especially for college students as they are usually cash-strapped. It saves them money by reducing their cellphone usage and also saves them time because unlike with cellphone, using which you can talk anywhere and in any position (like while making food, lying on the bed), with skype you know you have to be in front of the computer and hence you'd avoid talking for prolonged intervals.
It also offers nice video conferencing and collaboration features.