4 Must Have Tools for Highly Successful Students

87% of college students say with better organization skills they would get better grades

A vast majority of successful students realize their success by developing and applying effective planning to boost learning. Today, this is not done the old school way–technology has set the stage to ease learning. There are powerful apps that yield great success and significantly improve student time management and their overall grade performance. These apps help the student manage through schoolwork, sports, SATs, clubs, and a social life of proms and pep rallies.

After realizing the incredible tools available through these apps, Bruce Markewicz, President of Digital-U-Know and a self-proclaimed “productivity app geek,” created the an online course entitled, A Step-By-Step Guide to Get Digitally Productive at College.

“I developed this program to show students how to effectively use apps to increase their productivity, manage their time, take and organize digital notes, and, most importantly, develop better productivity habits for college and beyond,” Markewicz said. “Having apps available to the student is only the beginning. Getting them to use them, in an effective manner and create productivity habits will lead to greater success at college.”

Here are a few examples of productivity and learning apps that successful students utilize.

1. Calendar programs

Google Calendar is the program of choice for those who find the calendar app that came with their device just doesn’t cut it. Google Calendar is the default calendar for many small and medium size businesses, so becoming familiar with it in college can only help when you get into the work world. Understanding the important role a calendar program can play in college goes far beyond seeing your classes or planning party time.  Listing professors office hours helps to prompt a student who may need some class assistance and seeing the available times reminds them to reach out.  Also, sharing sub-calendars with student project teams or family members can really help to keep everyone organized. A whopping 93% of college students do not use a calendar of any type, so just starting with a basic calendar can be a significant organizational leap forward. Because apps become a personal extension of our daily lives, you may find other calendar apps like Cal or TEMPO provide additional customizable features that you like.  Most calendar apps are cross-platform and sync with all devices, so your schedule is never far away.

2. Collaboration tools for team assignments and research

When it comes to collaboration, Google Docs shines by letting successful students share notes with classmates in a few clicks. The collaboration tools work perfectly when you and your friends are working on a project from different locations, or when you can’t meet face-to-face all the time. You share a doc using a custom-generated link, and any member of the team can comment, edit, and suggest changes on the Doc. Google Docs allows Microsoft Word to function in a web app to enable access to information from any device. Moreover, you can run Docs offline in your browser with Google Chrome without an internet connection. You can also take notes in a class and have Google sync them with your account when you’re connected again.

For those students who may be studying abroad, provides an exceptional and easy-to-use interface for video conferencing and screen sharing. Host a live report back to a professor or share your screen when developing assignments as part of your lab team.

There are numerous other collaboration apps that can facilitate your remote working environment from teleconferencing services to file sharing like DropBox and Box.

3. Structured Digital Notebooks for Organization

There are apps designed specifically for note taking. Evernote lets you create text, voice pictures, messages, PDFs, videos, and almost any other notes. You can then sort those notes, create stacks of notebooks that fit a theme and tag the notes to organize them into categories. Above all, with Evernote’s search capabilities, you’ll run the hassle of finding information on a concept you forgot. You just type in whatever you may be looking for in the search box, and Evernote will show you all the related notes on that topic. Other apps include Microsoft OneNote DropBox Paper, and Bear Notes.

4. Integrated daily to-do app is a simple task management app that reminds you of the things you had planned to do that day, the next day, later, and someday. This ensures that you’re not overloaded with a pretty laundry list of numerous responsibilities. This is because walks you through a “daily review” at the beginning of a day so you can decide what to tackle first, and what you would like to defer until later.

Other Useful Apps:

  • Now referencing is easier than ever. You will still find all your favorite styles, plus many comprehensive guides to help with understanding a particular style in detail.  Simply scan the book’s or resources barcode and immediately CiteThisForMe RefMe app will develop the citation for you.
  • The app is flexible and has lots of words with more than 2 million definitions. With a pro version, you can also access a slang dictionary, an encyclopedia, and a rhyming dictionary.
  • Voice Record Pro: The $3 turns of ad has a retro interface that enables successful students to record, edit, lectures, and export them to Dropbox, Google Drive, or to any other cloud services.
  • Xodo: It is a free, annotator and cross-platform PDF viewer that allow accessing, sorting, marking up, sharing, managing and syncing PDF documents.
  • Notability: The app is available on all iOS devices and it sync notes through iCloud by combining powerful organization with easy-to-use note taking features. Other tools used to take and annotate notes are Notes Plus, Microsoft OneNote, and more.

If you’d like to discover more useful apps that can help students succeed, sign up now for the Digital-U-Know course. Each module teaches students critical skills, such as time management and productivity habits, digital optimization, effective digital and written note taking and search, collaboration tools for effective teamwork. The course sets up the student with a suite of free productivity apps including Google Calendar, Evernote, ToDoist/, Dropbox/Google Drive, collaboration tools along with specific study apps such as Studyblue and others, so that they can be more successful in college. The course also spends significant time to help the student create productivity habits and create an ecosystem that integrates all of the apps they learn into a comprehensive personal productivity system.

As a University Parent subscriber, use promo code UParent to save 25% off the full Digital-U-Know course price.

To learn more about Digital U Know, visit their site at, email [email protected], or call (908) 866-6141.

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