5 invaluable free productivity apps for college

A few years ago I wrote about useful apps for high school — but now college is here, and it brings a whole new set of demands. Since I arrived at Harvard, I’ve had to do more, and my apps have had to do more too.

These new apps need to run on all platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS), sync seamlessly between them, and help me keep my data organized. They have to be versatile, robust, and easy-to-use. And they have to be free.

With that in mind, here are the five apps that I’ve relied on most at Harvard and that I recommend to anyone in college or anywhere else in life. They’re ranked in order of usefulness.

Evernote, Wunderlist, Mailbox, Sunrise, Pocket
5 free, essential apps for college: Evernote, Wunderlist, Mailbox, Sunrise, and Pocket.

5 awesome Android apps to send you back to school

Don’t be Spongebob. Use technology to make your school year awesome.

Another school year, another series of 180 (give or take) slightly sleep-deprived, overly-stressed days. It might make you look a bit like that yellow sponge guy over there.

Hold on! I’m here to help.

All you need is this newfangled doohickey called a smartphone. Specifically, an Android smartphone (tablets work too, if you’re into that).

Watch videos and play music with VLC

This is a review of VLC, a free multimedia player for movies and music. Download it here.

Happy holidays! To go along with that DVD of your favorite movie, that CD of your favorite band, and that ugly sweater from your favorite aunt, here’s a present of a program: VLC!

VLC is a free, open-source multimedia program for any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, even Android) that can play movies, music, the whole nine yards. Did I mention it’s free?

Learn Computer Science with Khan Academy

The young man had finished his arduous training period of ten years. The grizzled old man next to him, his tutor, had devoted himself to teaching his pupil the arcane art, an art known only to a select few. Ten years of intense physical labor, deep within the mysterious dungeons and high atop the silver mountains, had finally prepared the battle-scarred young man. He was prepared to unleash his mastery of the dangerous art few knew even existed.

Computer science.

Sorry for downtime – also, props to WebHostingHub

A closed box package cartoon clip art
Error 404, elephant not found

tl;dr – hathix.com had some downtime but my super-helpful host WebHostingHub cleared it up immediately. Also, I apologize for the fanboyishness – it’s just that WHH is that awesome.

I was recently working with some so-called cutting-edge web programming techniques (parsing JSON using PHP from client requests using JavaScript and jQuery… told you it was gory) and realized I needed a new version of some software on the server that hathix lives on.

Chrome OS: all web, all the time

As you might have noticed, the guys at Google have released (well, not released, they’ve just publicly shown it for the first time; Chromebooks are coming out on June 15) Chromebooks, which are netbooks that run the Chrome OS.

Chrome OS (official site)

More about the actual computers later; the interesting part about the computer is its operating system. Chrome OS is a completely web-based operating system; it’s nothing but Chrome, Google’s web browser. That’s right, the only application on the computer is Chrome.

Forget flash drives with Dropbox

I’m sure this happens to a lot of people: you have an important file on your flash drive and you need to hand it in, print it out, or take it somewhere else. Only problem? You lose your flash drive. It’s happened to me far too many times.

So that’s why I decided to eschew flash drives and emailing stuff to myself and use the power of the internet.

I found Dropbox, which lets me access my files from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. I don’t even need a flash drive any more; I can just store everything I need on my Dropbox account.