Student life is awesome, but can be hard at the same time. The good thing is that you have so many amazing activities to do, you are surrounded by your new best friends forever and interesting people in general. Plus, there is no parental control and basically no control whatsoever. The bad thing is you need to maintain your studies and somehow manage to get decent grades, and you are the only person who is in charge of that. Since we live in the high-tech era, why not turn to various software programs to ease up the process of studying in university? Here are 12 software programs for your computer that will for sure make life easier and optimize the process of studying in college.
1. Icecream Ebook Reader
Unlike any specific tasks that each major requires, every single student in the world reads books. Icecream Ebook Reader supports as many as 6 formats: epub, mobi, fb2, pdf, cbz and cbr; so any eBook can be opened with the help of this eReader. The reading modes are great for studies both day (Day) and night (Night and Sepia modes); and the panic hotkey (Ctrl+H) will make sure you won’t get caught red handed if you decide to work on your imagination and read books that have nothing to do with your current class. The reading progress indicator will also show how many pages are left until you finally finish reading the book.
Those who have ever in their life lost an important file that was the result of hours and hours of work know this horrible feeling. When you realize a file is missing or it is corrupted, you want to fall down on your knees, raise your hands to the sky and scream “Nooo” like they usually do in Hollywood movies. To avoid this drama, any smart student should perform backups (along with pressing Ctrl+S every once in a while). You can create your PC backup and save it to local hard or external hard drives, to USB flash drives (they also offer the option of saving to floppy disk if you prefer old school) or to the network. Mirror and full backups are supported; for full backup (that is a zip compression) you can set passwords. For those who are not that excited about manual backups (or let’s be honest, are just too lazy for that) there is a magic wand – Scheduler. Configure all the backup settings in advance and simply forget about this task. How simple is that?
You will not come across a student who doesn’t create, use or edit both text documents and spreadsheets. There is no doubt that Microsoft Word and Excel are wonderful things, but if the words “student loan” mean something to you – stick to OpenOffice. This is a freeware office suite that includes several programs that are absolutely free to use. They are all compatible with Windows Office documents and you can freely work with files of OpenOffice formats and of Windows Office formats as well. The interfaces of these 2 suites are two peas in a pod; they are absolutely identical so there is zero chance for any student to get lost in the buttons and options.
4. PDFill PDF Editor
PDF format was created to preserve the data kept in it. If you want to edit PDF documents and have no clue which program to use, you’re sure gonna have a bad time. Such programs are limited in their functions, whereas others all of a sudden keep watermarks and so on. But there is a PDFill PDF Editor that can become your salvation here. As soon as a file is added, there will be buttons, buttons everywhere! You can add graphic elements, text, highlight elements, copy, delete and move objects, work with alignments and spaces, insert headers, footers, bookmarks, watermarks, add files and add Java scripts. In addition to that, deletion, adding, renumbering, moving, extracting and replacing pages along with their rotation and cropping is also easily available through the interface of this great software.
When you study something or work on something, you usually collect all the files and all the data that you are turning to and that you believe you will need in the near future. Despite the fact of whether it was useful or not, after the project is outdated, we rarely delete something. To keep all the files that we might need one day in the future and save some PC memory you should use 7-Zip. This is by far the most widespread freeware archive in the world and is a must-have tool not only for students but for all computer users. You save space, you make sure your file system looks neat, and you can protect and hide some files by password-protecting their archived folders.
6. Free Alarm Clock
We can’t miss school because of our parents, and we can’t miss work because of our employers. When you are a student, nothing can force you to wake up except for your conscience and a good alarm. The Free Alarm Clock is a very simple and convenient tool to have. You simply set the time and days when it should go off, its title, volume level and, even better, the sound: you can use mp3 files from your computer or default sounds (continuing sleeping to Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff is pretty much impossible, trust us). The Snooze button is available for those who still want to sleep just another couple of minutes. All in all, it is simple yet essential software for every not-a-morning-person.
All the best things in life are free, right? Tell that to students with their endless student loans. Every student should carefully track his or her income and expenses to at least predict their financial situation in the near future. MoneyDance is a free personal finance software program that can calculate savings for you. This program creates graphs and reports according to your financial flows, so you can always see if you are doing good or bad on the chart. Reminders on transactions or general reminders can also be created so there is no chance of you missing any of your important payments. Adding transactions is very simple – you enter the date, check the number, add a description and even a tag, and select if it is a payment or a deposit. All the transactions can be filtered by their date: for example, the last transactions of 30 or 60 days, or transactions of this month or year, which is also very convenient.
8. Kingsoft Presentation Free 2013
Every student makes a presentation in class at least a couple of times. When you are standing in front of everybody and show the results of your hard work, you expect your presentation to be smooth and elegant (which makes you look like somewhat of a computer genius who needs no effort) rather than awkward and ugly (which puts you on the same level of computer skills as your grandpa). This presentation creator is very easy to use and the output results look very nice and don’t seem like they are from 90s at all. It offers all the means to create a successful presentation and to customize it as it is needed. The interface reminds us of Microsoft Office’s so it is almost impossible to get lost while using Kingsoft Presentation. Users can insert not only standard pictures, videos and links, but also special symbols, background music, equations, the date and time, charts, numbers of slides, and headers and footers. Changing the design of slides is possible as well as adding different transition effects between the slides.
Obviously, the faster you read, the less time you need for finishing reading educational materials. AceReader is a software that can definitely help you with that. Using the program is very easy; you can go to Course Mode where there are various courses listed with descriptions and activity lists. Select ‘Menu Mode’ to pick activities by their type or ‘Reading Mode’ to pick any text you wish to train with. The ‘Admin’ tab is for customizing some settings like general user management, comprehension test management as well as others. In each of the 3 modes you can set personal goals and track your current ones; for each exercise you are free to choose one of 13 available complexity levels. Although this program is a paid one, there is 30-day trial so grab your chance to become a reading guru in just one month.
Having this legen (wait for it) dary software installed on any PC is something that is absolutely crucial. Your computer should be cleaned not only on the outside but inside as well, and the best way to do that is to use this software. Its interface is extremely simple. There are 4 menu options on the left (Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options) and the working area on the right. The first menu option, Cleaner, is divided into 2 tabs – ‘Windows’ and ‘Applications’ – and before starting the process you are free to customize the items which you are going to clean. The second menu option is Registry, which you can obviously use for cleaning the registry, scan for issues and fix problems if found. The third menu option, Tools, is for uninstalling unneeded stuff and controlling programs that start with Windows that you can completely erase or remove before the data and system restore. In the last Options menu, you can manage the general settings, keep or remove specific cookies, and include and exclude custom files. To sum everything up, with the help of this single program you can easily keep your computer nice and clean. At least you know there is something you are capable of organizing and dealing with smoothly.
11. Mozilla Thunderbird
The email client from Mozilla supports add-ons and can be customized. It is great for students as it supports multiple emails so you can use both your old one from school (which sure sounds somewhat like email@example.com) and your official email with your name and last name. This mail client also features better junk mail filtering, advanced messages management (virtual folders for quick search, labels etc.), cross-platform support (works on Windows, Mac OS, Linux), and a higher level of protection when compared to other email clients.
Add-ons, which we mentioned in the beginning, are a great way to simplify your experience of using Thunderbird. For example, “Attachment Extractor” is for the automatic saving of attachments from emails; “Change quote and reply format” is for the customization of messages in the reply mode; “External Editor” helps to edit messages with MS Word formatting; “Keyconfig” changes default hotkeys combinations and adds new ones; “Profile Password” protects your email from being accessed without a password; and “Mailbox Alert” is for the alerts of new messages to be seen on Mac and Linux (the default one is only for Windows). This list of extensions is not a full, complete one; we have only highlighted our favorite ones. If you want to manage your emails like a boss, this post client is for you.
12. Rainlendar Lite
This is great, customizable desktop calendar software for your PC. With this software, you have a sticky widget on your desktop that shows information in various modes like ‘Day View’ with a day shown hour by hour, ‘Calendar’ with the current month with tagged days and their labels shown, ‘Events’, where you see list of days with the added events, or ‘To Do List’ with topics and agendas to each of these topics. This calendar supports multiple languages and changes its skins. You can also set alarms through this cross-platform software. If you don’t want to forget about your upcoming exam, nonna’s birthday or buying bacon – just put everything into this calendar and it will make sure you will have the relevant notifications in front of your very eyes.
Student life is the best time of your life as you have enough freedom but not too many responsibilities. Use the listed software above as your personal lifehacks to make your life as a student smooth and effortless.