Apps and Chrome Extensions to help you be more productive this semester - A blog by Res Life Mentor, Aditi

a phone with apps on the screen

With the continuation of online learning, it is more important now to utilize resources that can help you with your university learning. Here are some of the apps and add-ons that have helped me over my last four years at university.

Grammarly 

This is a popular grammar-checker that can be added onto your Chrome as an extension. You can either open up the application and paste your essays in to check for grammar and spelling or enable it to grammar check anything you type into Chrome. This is incredibly helpful for typing important emails, filling in forms or even social media posts. The basic checker is free and flags up grammatical and spelling errors. In my opinion, the basic package works just as well as the Premium version so save yourself this expense.

Google Dictionary

I have always found myself opening multiple tabs with Google to search for a definition or synonym quickly. With Google dictionary, you can easily highlight a word and click on the extension, and a drop-down tab shows you the meaning and even provides you with synonyms. 

Bibme

This website has saved me hours of writing my bibliography. You can type in the name of a book and journal as you reference, and it creates a bibliography for you to import right into your essay. The citations are not always accurate to the University’s standards (misplaced brackets and commas), but it is an effective starting point to which you can make quick edits to your final bibliography. I would definitely still refer to the University’s citation guidelines to make sure it is accurate before submitting your essay. 

Using Tab Groups on Chrome

Not necessarily an extension, but something I was not aware of until relatively recently, is Chrome’s new feature to group tabs. Opening 20-30 tabs is almost inevitable when you’re working on a project and it can be complicated to find what you’re looking for. Chrome now allows you to create folders and group your tabs, keeping your tab bar organized and easy to navigate.

Flux

This app adjusts your screen colour according to the time of the day so staring at your computer screen is not as harsh on your eyes. It supposedly helps you sleep better, and I have found myself having fewer headaches after prolonged use. As of now, it is only available on macOS.

Serene

I found using separate browsers for work and everything else really helpful. I only use Chrome for University work and Safari for everything else. I don’t log into my social media and Netflix on Chrome either. So when I plan to have a proper study session, I use the application ‘Serene’ to block Safari for a period of time which stops me from wandering onto Facebook or Instagram and aimlessly scrolling.

I hope these Apps and Extensions help you get the most out of your study time, I know they have helped me!

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