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Productivity apps for work and school: Smartphone app recommendations from SAIT students to help you balance work and play

Juggling school and work can be stressful – and while there is no single app to calm that storm, here are a few apps recommended by SAIT students that help you stem the tide.

Most students have iPhone or Android smartphones, meaning they have access to thousands of apps to choose from, whether pre-installed on the device, or downloaded from the platform’s app store, but the number of choices can be overwhelming, and some apps perform better than others.

We spoke to students about their preferred mobile productivity apps they use to accomplish things, whether in school, work, or other activities.

Rest easy on the cloud

Losing lecture notes, coursework, or data when a hard drive crashes can be a disastrous situation. One way to backup important files is to use cloud-based file storage systems like Dropbox and Google, said Chinua Chimezie, a SAIT Mechanical Engineering student.

“I use Dropbox and Google Drive to store my data all the time,” he said.

“I depend a lot on these cloud services because I’m busy and I can’t afford to lose my data.”

Consolidate news streams, keep informed

News aggregator apps are those that take content from multiple sources and put them together in one interface. 

One such app is Feedly, which is an effective way to consolidate the news you want into one feed, said Amanda Smith, a first-year hospitality management student.

“I have difficult schedules because I work and study full-time,” she said.

“Due to the nature of my field of study, I need to keep up with news and know what is happening in Calgary, Canada and around the world.”

Inhibit insta-cravings

Social media apps can make phone use compulsive. Fortunately, there are apps that can block the worst time-draining apps, explained John Howard, a first-year accounting student.

“Distraction is my biggest challenge – I can’t live without social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.”

Howard started using SelfControl, an application that blocks specified apps which would otherwise distract him away from precious study-time.

“I set it up for the time I want to be social-networks-free and change it later.”

Schedule serenity

Chimezie Uguru, a first-year radio television and broadcasting news student who also works full-time to support his family, uses a couple of key apps to juggle a busy schedule.

“I use Ellucian Go to monitor my lectures schedules and room numbers. I use Microsoft Outlook calendar to schedule personal meetings and community events,” he said.

Google Translate, the true Rosetta Stone

Tesfay Bisirat is studying plumbing at SAIT.

“I use Google translate a lot to translate school work from Arabic to English,” said Bisirat. He is from Ethiopia, but lived and studied civil engineering in Sudan before moving to Canada. 

Working and attending SAIT full-time is a challenge, he said. 

“It is not easy, especially when English isn’t your first language.”

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