Tools & Applications to Boost Your Productivity

studying with laptop

Tools & Applications to Boost Your Productivity

The day-to-day life of a college student is filled with a variety of tasks to be completed – from homework and studying for tomorrow’s quiz, to conducting research for your project proposal. Thankfully, there are wonderful programs and applications that you can employ, using the power of technology to stay organized and work effectively with ease. As Rutgers students, you already have access to a few powerful tools through your university Google accounts (i.e. Google Drive, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc.), but here are a few other options that are free and readily available:


To manage your time wisely…Sunrise (!

Does it help to color-code your calendar and tasks? Sunrise is a centralized calendar program, using a vivid, color-coded interface to organize your obligations and events, whether it is by subject, location or level of personal involvement. Users can easily sync their Sunrise calendar to their Google, Facebook, or other email accounts, adding events and sending /accepting invitations with ease. Other calendar options are available, such as sports calendars, listings for your favorite TV shows, and religious holidays. (Access: Web Browser, Android, Apple)

To defeat procrastination and promote better focus…Tomato Timer (!

Founded on the research-based theory of the Pomodoro Technique (“Pomodoro” refers to interval of time focused on completing a task), this site allows you to set intervals of 25 minutes, encouraging complete focus on work during that period. Once the time has been exhausted, users have the option to give themselves a short break (5 minutes) or a long break (10 minutes) to break up their work. Repeating this process can assist the easily distracted, encouraging higher productivity with the reality of taking a short break when needed. (Access: Web Browser)

To manage tasks and group projects effectively…Trello (!

Want to break a project into manageable tasks, and keep track of who is accomplishing what? Trello is a great way to create various lists to track your group’s progress. Collect ideas, and create “to-do”, “doing” and “done!” lists that can promote the movement of the group – drag task cards between sections to demonstrate progress made. Trello is a great communication and management tool to get the job done, whether individually or with others! (Access: Web Browser, Android, Apple)

To access and share your files electronically across devices…Dropbox (!

The process of transferring files from one device to another can be a tedious process. Using Dropbox makes life easier, providing access to all of your files with Internet access. Users can also share files and folders with others, as well as monitor collaborative work, since updated files are instantly synced to Dropbox. And here’s an additional perk - the more that you learn about Dropbox’s features, or share news of it with others, the more space you acquire for your account. Description (Access: Web Browser, Android, Apple)

To collect, store, and reference various sources of information…RefMe (!

Looking to collect an extensive list of references for that final paper or project? RefMe is a great tool that eases the process of collecting your resources, applying the desired style of referencing required. Not only can a user enter their own sources by hand, but with use of your phone’s camera and the application, you can scan barcodes of books for easy referencing. (Access: Web Browser, Android, Apple)


There are a plethora of applications and programs available to make everyday life a little easier to bear, especially as a college student. Take time to do your research, and find what tools work best for you!


Written by Aisha Huggins-Smith, Academic Coach (3/4/2016)