Top 5 Online Productivity Tools

by Sara Vazquez Shaw

It can be difficult to study online when the temptation to check Facebook every two minutes lingers and your motivation is waning. Students can increase their productivity when studying for exams, researching papers, and writing essays by using these five online productivity tools.

1. Leechblox

A site blocker prevents you from being distracted with social media, emails, or sports scores while you are trying to complete your schoolwork. Students can specify the sites they are prone to visiting and temporarily block access to them.

A great option to consider is Leechblox for Firefox browsers. Leechblox allows students to create up to six sets of sites to block. Students can apply rules to each set of sites. Currently, there are three options to block time-wasting sites:

- During specific times: Do you study between 6-9 p.m.? Lock yourself out of social media, shopping sites, or other time-wasters during your study period.

- Set time limits: Do you find yourself checking a website with the intention of visiting "for only a few minutes"? Before you realise it, you've spent 45 minutes taking online personality quizzes. Leechblox allows you to limit how many minutes you can visit a site per hour or for an entire day.

- Password protection: Leechblox offers a bonus productivity tool: an option to password-protect your browser. This may prevent you from impulsively extending your time on a time-wasting site.

2. Library Anywhere and EasyBib

Library Anywhere is a mobile app that lets students perform any library catalog research from their phone! Library Anywhere is available in the iPhone store or Google Play. When you download the app, you'll have quick, convenient access to these productivity-enhancing features:

- Catalogue search, including placing a hold or renewing a book

- Geo-location finds the closest library to your location

- The universal version works on any phone with web surfing capabilities - not just smart phones!

- View your library's events, hours of operation, or use the contact-a-librarian feature

In addition, if citations and a bibliography are slowing your progress - there's an app for that. The EasyBib app is designed to enhance students' productivity. The app can cite in MLA, APA, and Chicago style. As a free app for Google, EasyBib is a seriously simple tool to help students instantly and accurately cite books, websites, and journals.

3. WordCounter

WordCounter is a quick and simple tool designed to check the word count of your paper. The site provides basic proofreading services, including spell check and minimal grammar checks. A great feature of the site is its ability to analyze key words. With the click of a button, WordCounter will generate a report of the top ten keywords and the keyword density of your paper. If you overuse certain words, WordCounter can spot them for you.

4. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is integrated with Gmail. Any underlined date or time in an email can be quickly added to your calendar. Set deadlines, add reminders, and take notes to keep your academic schedule organised.

5. Google Docs

If you are working on a group project, utilize Google Docs. Colour-Coding and sharing makes group projects a breeze! Spreadsheets, slides, and documents can easily be shared and edited by members with an emailed invitation. Storing the documents in Google Drive keeps your project accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection. Download the app for access from your smart phone.

Those are our top five online productivity tools. Do you need help with time management? Our tutors can teach you organisational and study skills to maximise your productivity. Contact us today!