How to Use Your Phone to Increase Productivity

There are many apps that can help you with your organization. When used correctly, your phone can be more helpful than it is distracting. Credit: Illustration by Abe Nelson.

There is so much you can do with a phone. But, when used incorrectly, it can impact your focus and quality of schoolwork due to the amount of distractions existing. However, with the multitude of apps that exist on all platforms, it is easy to find tools that can help you with your work instead of setting you back. Apps like this are already common among many students. The purpose of this article is to review some of the most helpful apps, some of which you may use every day, and some you may have never heard of. These apps fall under many categories. Some help you study, while others will help you stay on top of schoolwork. Overall, they’ll keep you concentrated and stress-free.

Music

While everyone has their own way of focusing, music can be very helpful for eliminating distractions. Casper Eichman (10) listens to music very often when doing homework. I recommend making a playlist on your app of choice. Keep it to calm music that doesn’t require you to focus on the music itself; choose songs that provide you with background noise.

If you are getting distracted by lyrics, try lo-fi music, which can help you focus as it has calming repetition. While you can find lo-fi music in many different places, an app called Flipd combines lo-fi music from many different platforms. Flipd also tracks “Mindful Minutes” and provides guided meditation sessions, which can be very helpful for managing your stress levels.

Study for a Test

Memorizing vocab can be very time consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be. Quizlet is a great app that allows you to create flashcards and study them in a variety of ways. For example, the “learn” feature tests you on each card until you have answered every card correctly at least twice. You can also use other user’s flashcard sets, so you might be able to avoid making your own. You can memorize a surprising amount of information in not very much time using one of Quizlet’s many learning styles.

Homework Help

It is easy to get stuck on your homework and want to just give up. But there are apps that can help answer your questions and give you a better understanding of a subject. For example, Photomath is an app where you can scan a math problem and get a step-by-step solution. It doesn’t work for every type of math problem, but it provides explanations that can help you understand both the individual problems and overarching ideas.

Another option that can be used across a variety of subjects is Google Socratic. Socratic enables you to ask, scan, or type in a question, and gives you many answers from different sites including YouTube and websites of teachers. It is great for answering a quick question you have in math, history, and pretty much any other subject.

If you have a class with a textbook, Slader will be very helpful. Slader has a surprising amount of textbooks in its system, with answers for almost every question. Once you find your textbook on Slader, you can enter a page and problem number and it will give you an answer and explanation. Answers are uploaded by users, so it is not a 100 percent guarantee that the answer is correct, but it is great if you need a human to explain step-by-step how to do the exact problem you are working on.

Work From Your Phone

While your phone may not be as easy to work on as a computer, it is still better than nothing in a pinch. It is a good idea to get most of the Google apps, such as Google Drive and the accompanying services. Eichman uses Docs on his phone quite often because he sometimes leaves assignments until the last minute. He says that he will use Google Docs on his phone “right before a class if I need to do some finishing touches on an essay.”

Stay on Top of Things

Your phone can be very helpful for staying on top of school work. StudentVue is a very important app that both Eichman and Micah Wells (10) find most helpful. “StudentVue is the most helpful because it allows me to track my grades at any given time,” says Wells. StudentVue is especially helpful at the end of semesters when it is important to keep an eye on your grades. Additionally, Google Classroom and Apple Reminders are great tools for remembering your many assignments.

I hope some of these apps help you use your phone more effectively. I have listed just a few out of the hundreds of apps that aim to increase your productivity. I recommend that you try at least one of these apps, and hopefully, it will increase the efficiency and quality of your schoolwork.

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