Cool Apps and Sites for Students (and Non-Students)
You know all about Facebook, Snap, Twitter and YouTube, but there are dozens of free or low-cost apps and sites to help you survive high school, college, and beyond. Here are a few of our favorites:
Studying and Organization
- Evernote – Evernote is perfect if you take a lot of notes while surfing the web. You can download web clippers, desktop shortcuts, and other handy tools, and you can also sync notes on different computers and smart phones. While it hasn’t completely taken the place of Post-Its in my life, it is a very handy way of saving info online.
- LibraryThing – LibraryThing has been called the Facebook for book lovers. After you create an account, you can list and organize your books, write reviews, and find friends who are also on LibraryThing. An added bonus is the site’s Early Reviewers program. In exchange for writing a review, you can get free books. This site is a must if you are like me and have too many books to keep up with. You get to list up to 200 books for free and unlimited books with a yearly ($10) or lifetime ($25) membership.
Sites to Help You Avoid the Bookstore
- Bartleby.com – A free online collection of books in the public domain (including Shakespeare’s works and Gray’s Anatomy)
- BookMooch – Looking for a copy of a book for English 101? Or do you need some light reading for the plane ride home from college? Sign up for a free BookMooch account, list any books that you don’t want or need (or can’t sell back at the end of the semester), and earn points for each book that gets mooched from you. With your points, you can then mooch books from other members. The only money involved is when you need to mail a book (media rate is usually less than $3 in the U.S.).
Not Tempting Fate: Sites That Can Help Prevent Computer Heartache
- Google Docs – Remember that Google Docs gives you a free means of backing up documents.When your computer unexpectedly crashes the night before your research paper is due, at least you will have a backup to help get you through the night.
- IDrive – Another online backup site that allows you to back up all your computers, laptops and devices to one account.
Sites to Help You Keep Up With News & the World
- Academic Earth – In case you are interested in getting a taste of what a college lecture is really like, Academic Earth has video lectures on a variety of topics. The lecturers are from schools like Yale and Stanford, and some of the videos take you through an entire semester’s worth of lectures, right up to the exam review.
- MentalFloss.com – Fun and surprisingly informative, Mental Floss offers an entertaining but still educational distraction when you need a break from academia.
- Slate.com – A rare web magazine that looks at issues (ranging from politics to popular culture to world news) from a variety of perspectives. Whether you love it or hate it, Slate is always provocative and informative.