7 Highly Effective Productivity Tools for Students
I’ve had a long journey searching for the best productivity tools for students. It started in high school, when I could barely keep track of my important files. I read the book Getting Things Done and I highly recommend it-it helped me a lot. I’ve taken some lessons from there and from my own research through the years to come up with this list. Here it is.
Life before and after I got a calendar was completely different. Before, I would try to keep track of things in my planner, but I had to flip through it week by week to see events. Besides, I only had enough space for homework and assignments. I couldn’t store appointments, meetings, concerts, or other events on there. If you don’t use a calendar, it’s time to start. Or maybe you already use this productivity tool. See if you can’t get even more benefits out of it by using all of its features.
I use Google Calendar. I’ve created many different sub-calendars in different colors. This makes it easier for me to see visually what types of events I have coming up. With Google calendar, you can also check it any time from my phone or computer. Additionally, you can get directions to the locations you put in the event location space. You can store as much detail about the event as I need to without worrying about running out of physical space. I even add recurring events like getting a haircut and gym progress photos to my calendar as reminders. As a student, you can schedule big upcoming tests under a “School” sub-calendar. This will keep yourself aware and motivated to study.
#2: Time Logger
Time Logger apps are another key item on any list of productivity tools for students. I’ve started to log my time spent on nearly everything, from sleep to workouts to music and everything in between. In addition to keeping myself accountable, it also raises my productivity and even my motivation levels. Logging a habit increases the desired result.
Many time logger apps like aTimeLogger for Android, the one I use, have useful features like graphs and charts showing where all your time goes. You can use this to help cut down or even quit bad habits that suck your productivity. You can also use time loggers as a way to balance and strategically allocate your study time, especially when doing SAT, ACT, or GRE test prep.
How is someone going to write a compelling biography about you when you get famous if you don’t keep a journal? Jokes aside, journals are powerful productivity tools for students for several reasons. First, they are a great emotional outlet and can make you happier. A study referenced here found that participants who wrote about an emotional experience showed more activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which eased emotional feelings. Secondly, a journal is the ideal place to write down and plan your goals. Studies referenced here show that writing down both a goal itself and how you will achieve it increase achievement rates. Finally, journaling is a creative activity, and creativity beats depression and anxiety, two major enemies of productivity. This study found that knitting, a creative activity, made knitters happier.
You need a place to jot down quick thoughts in your house. You can use post it notes, but this uses paper unfortunately. To save trees, you can get a whiteboard and suddenly-Boom! You have way more space for everything. Whiteboards also help with big ideas and designing. The bigger, the better. You can get a magnetic whiteboard which allows you to put up loose papers with magnets.
Whiteboards are also great places to learn difficult concepts you’re studying. I saw many students at my university study centers getting taught things like circuit design and advanced math using whiteboards.
#5: Password System
A password system is an essential tool for keeping track of your information. It allows you to use different passwords for each site, making you more secure, rather than remembering one master password. However, the password manager/ database you use itself must be secure. This is the problem with using a Google Docs spreadsheet. If someone knows the password to that, they instantly have all your passwords. That’s why I like Everykey.
Everykey is a Bluetooth device that unlocks all your devices when you’re near them and have the Everykey with you and unlocks them when you step away. This device also generates certified secure passwords for websites and automatically logs you on when you visit them. Using it, you’ll upgrade your productivity by not having to remember or reset passwords anymore. Plus, you get military-grade encryption peace of mind.
Alternatively, you can use this offline password safe that no one can hack into. Students applying for colleges have to juggle a lot of logins and passwords-these solutions make the process easier and way more secure.
#6: Standing Desk
If I told you that you could boost your productivity significantly just by standing up instead of sitting while working or studying, would you believe me? It’s true- Texas A&M did a study of employees in a call center and found that by six months of using the standing desks, standing employees had 53 percent more successful calls than seated employees. Also, researchers found that standing employees had different attitudes about their comfort, work and how they felt about themselves.
Remaining seated for many hours a day increases obesity, diabetes and heart disease risk, so standing up can counteract those health risks. Finally, a study referenced here noted that using a standing desk could improve cognitive performance. Standing desks are great productivity tools for students because students need to focus on difficult and sometimes boring subjects for hours on end, which standing helps with. You can get a standing desk to keep at home or a portable one to take with you to the library, coffee shops, or wherever you study.
#7: Water Bottle
As explained in this article, dehydration is a productivity leech. One study referenced here found that dehydration increased “total mood disturbance”. That can mean being more inclined to depression and anxiety and generally not feeling your best. Often times, feeling down cascades into other behaviors. These can include excessive technology use and sugar consumption that drag down productivity further.
Research suggests that drinking water during examinations can improve test scores up to 10%. Likewise, another study found that drinking 300ml of water can improve attention by almost 25 percent! I’ve found a reusable water bottle to be one of the indispensable productivity tools for students’ workflows. It gives you the freedom to hydrate yourself constantly and better arrange your break times.
Now you’ve seen several highly effective productivity tools for students that you can get without breaking the bank. They make great gifts, too! I’ve used every item on this list and I can say I’ve never felt more productive. If you have an addition to the list, post it below. If you think someone will like this or benefit from it, share this article! Have a look at our Ultimate SAT Guide if you’re going to be taking the SAT. Thanks for reading!