You need some help staying organized for college, just to make sure you don’t miss all your classes. Fortunately, you’ve got an Android smartphone or tablet with access to the Android Market — your library card to a world of awesome apps.
Here are some of my personal favorites, for keeping organized!
Up-to-date scheduling: Google Calendar and Astrid Tasks
The Google Calendar app might have come with your smartphone. What you may not know, however, is that you can add its “widget” to one of your home screens. Just long-press (press and hold) on an empty space, then tap “Widgets,” then “Calendar.” It’ll show you what your next meeting or college class is, and where it’s at, without having to start up an app. Try doing that on an iPhone!
Astrid Tasks, meanwhile, is my alarm clock and to-do list. I can have it repeat tasks on a regular schedule, set alarms for upcoming deadlines, and prioritize tasks by importance. I can set Astrid to sync with Google, so that if a task has a deadline it’ll show up in my calendar, online and on my smartphone. And if I miss a task, Astrid’s friendly … red … octopus mascot will remind me to finish.
Don’t laugh, it’s useful!
Hassle-free finances: Mint Personal Finance
I’ve never had much luck with personal finance apps. Fortunately, Mint Personal Finance had the solution for me. I just signed up on mint.com, and it synced with my bank account and pulled up my information. Not only that, but it looks at who I made payments to and figures out what kind of an expense it was, then tracks how much I spend on different things automatically. It doesn’t always guess right, but I can set it straight when it doesn’t.
Probably the best part are Mint’s widget and “Recent Transactions” live folder. I just swipe to the home screen they’re on, and I can see my bank balance without having to log in to anything. And if I’m confused by a recent change, I can just tap the live folder to see where the money came from (or went), or tap on a specific transaction for more details. It’s incredibly easy to use, and that’s why I love it.
Classroom notetaking: Evernote, AndroNoter, and StatusNotes
I’ve personally never been interested in Evernote, but they have to be doing something right because I hear about them all the time. HTC even partnered with Evernote for their HTC Flyer tablet, which includes a special version of Evernote that works with the Flyer’s Scribe pen. I hear it’s supposed to be great for college students.
What I use is the SimpleNote service, a free web app I can access from my computer. I like it because it’s simple to the point of being zenlike, and basically uses plain text. The AndroNoter app’s unofficial, but it works with SimpleNote, so I can access my notes on the go. And if you don’t like it, there are a few other SimpleNote apps on the Market.
For the absolute fastest note-taking — the Android equivalent of scribbling something on the back of my arm — I use StatusNotes, an app that turns your phone’s pull-down status bar into a notepad. It’s lightning-quick to put something in this way, and each note then shows up as an icon on my status bar, to remind me that it’s there. If I want to make sure I remember something, I pick a brightly-colored icon.
Either that, or set an alarm in Astrid.
That’s not all
The best part about these apps? Except for StatusNotes, they’re all free. And StatusNotes has a free trial that lets you write one note at a time.
Good luck, and I hope you have fun at college this school year!