SIX APPS THAT CAN SAVE A STUDENT’S LIFE
*Caption: A student at the Durban University of Technology’s City Campus orders an Uber.
Written by: Xolisani Khumalo
Technology advances can do either one of two things for a university student: steal your focus from school work or work together with you to make your university life easier.
Besides your Instagrams, Snap Chats and Twitter’s on Google Play or IOS, there are applications that are tailor made for the more serious things in life. These are the top six that are recommended to the everyday university student:
The hardest part of doing an assignment sometimes is not researching or even writing the 1000 word + essay but referencing is usually the most grueling task of the whole process.
RefME is an application that makes referencing a whole lot easier for any student. The app allows the user to generate instant citations by scanning the barcode of a book with the phone’s camera to cite a book, pasting a URL to cite a website or by simply searching a book/ article title, ISBN, ISSN, DOI or URL.
Worried that it might not have the reference style your university uses? Fear not. This application supports up to 7, 500 citation styles including Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago and many more.
- Spending Tracker
If it’s not academics that have got students down, it is usually finances. This App is essential for students to keep track of their spending and keep to a set budget.
Spending tracker allows you to enter your income and categorizes each expense you enter. It also reminds you of any debt or account you need to pay if you have entered it in a set reminder. You can export transactions to PDF and printing and as a bonus you can back up all of your past transactions onto your drop box which makes your life a lot easier.
By keeping track of how much you are spending on a daily bases you are able to see where you can save more money at the end of each month.
If you are the kind of student who just cannot seem to remember to do assignments on time, homework, study, go on a planned date or which groceries to buy- Any.do would be just the perfect app to help with these little life problems.
This App helps you organize your life by reminding you to do the things you planned to do by the day. You can also sync the app to your desktop, tablet, and web or even share to-do lists with friends or family. It has speech recognition so you don’t have to ‘waste time’ typing your task in. The app allows the user to attach videos; music or any multimedia to a task so you are better reminded of whatever you need to get done.
If you are too lazy to make an appointment at the Writing Centre or don’t have a friend that can proofread your 10-page assignment for you, then Grammarly could be useful for your assignments.
Although Grammarly does not have a mobile app version, it is also very helpful when it comes to checking spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Most of the time getting low marks on essays is not about how good your research was or how good or bad your argument is, but about grammar and sentence structure. So this app is essential to better your marks as a student.
We all know student life isn’t all about books and studying so for your time- out on the town, you will need the Uber App especially if you either don’t have your own transport or have had one too many to drink.
The Uber App uses a GPS system so all you have to do is switch on your location and input where you want to go. A driver will then be sent to you and will take you to the address you put on the app. It is also connected to your bank account so as soon as you request a ride it automatically pays the account and e-mails you a receipt which makes life easier if you don’t have cash on you. ‘The rides are usually very affordable and safe’ expressed some students.
“I prefer Uber to normal cabs because they are efficient money wise, they usually take less five minutes to get to you and they are safe because you get sent your driver’s details and you have an option the details with a friend or family member just so that they know who is driving you around,” explained Christine Ndlovu, a 3rd year Video Technology student at DUT.
- Dropbox/Google Drive
There is nothing more frustrating than putting an assignment on a Flash drive, getting to campus, trying to put it into one of the computers at the lab and then having all documents deleted by a virus. That could mean an instant fail. So the sixth and final App every university student must have is Dropbox/ Google Drive.
These two apps are perfect for storing your files online so you can access them whenever you are in need of them. They can also take big files, so this is perfect for students who work with large files that cannot fit on a Flash drive. As an added bonus, you can back up all your old pictures and videos so you never lose your memories.