College classwork can get very tedious. Between the several classes you are probably taking and the amount of material you have to commit to memory, it is often overwhelming. As classwork has made its way online due to COVID-19, being computer savvy is a superpower when trying to get your classwork/studying completed. Here are 7 computer hacks to streamlines college classwork.
If you are in college, you almost certainly have to write essay, after essay, after essay. If you are like me, you tend to push them all up until the last minute. This means your time to peer edit and self-edit time is cut down to a minimum. Grammarly is a great tool that will go through basic spelling and grammar errors but will also help you adjust your writing based on tone and content. All you have to do paste your writing into the text box at Grammerly.com, or you can attach the Grammarly add-in to Microsoft Word. Either way, this app is a virtual peer-editor. Whether you push your essays up until the last minute or like to take your time, Grammarly is essential to make your essays perfect.
You probably know about Quizlet at this point, but I think it deserves a spot on this list of computer hacks, especially since most people don’t use it to its full potential. Quizlet is a great computer hack to store several sets of virtual flashcards on your computer or phone. This means you can study your flashcards anywhere you are. Quizlet also has several different modes/games that allow you to study your cards in a much more interesting way than just regular flashcards. Personally, the “Learn” mode is by far my favorite. This mode takes you through each of your terms and will quiz you through multiple-choice, memory, and flashcards. It will track your progress and will take the guesswork out of what specific cards you need to study. If you are cramming for a big exam, Quizlet is an essential computer hack.
3. YouTube Transcript
I found out about this hack through TikTok and its definitely one of the most useful out of this list of computer hacks. If you have to watch a YouTube video for an assignment, and perhaps have to write a paper in response, don’t waste your time sitting through the entire video. Open up the YouTube video on your computer. You should see a button with 3 dots on the bottom right corner of the video window. Press that button and then press the ‘Open transcript’ button. You will then be shown the transcript of the entire video. You can read the transcript, or you can Control + F to find the specific section of the video you need to watch for your assignment. This is a huge time saver!
4. YouTube audiobooks
This is one of the computer hacks that just make your life easier, even when you may not be cramming. Ever been forced to read a book for a class and you just don’t feel like reading it? Then have someone do it for you! College professors tend to think alike, and chances are, if your class is being assigned a book, another class is as well. This means you can likely find an “audiobook” on YouTube, meaning a teacher recording themselves reading the book for their class, or an actual professionally recorded audiobook made available on YouTube. Either way, you can pop your headphones on, and let the video read the book for you. My favorite method of doing this is to put the speed on 1.5x and follow along with the actual book. This is a must-try for that long tedious book you have no interest in reading.
5. Google Docs
This is also one of those computer hacks you likely already know about, but still worth mentioning. If you are a terrible note-taker and can’t bear to write out notes for a 2-hour lecture, make a Google Doc with friends and have everyone work on a collaborative notes document. You can split up note-taking time throughout the lecture or by day. Either way, this is a great way to split up the work while still making sure you are getting all the material. When you need to study your notes, copy and paste the material into a Quizlet for an instant flashcard set!
6. Voice Transcriber
Another computer hack for those who hate taking notes, this one is actually a hack that you will have to do on your phone. If your professor allows it, make a voice recording of the lecture, and save it. When you have a little bit of time, put the voice recording into a voice transcriber app. This will turn the talking into text and will give you a document to study. My favorite is Voice To Text Pro, but any app will work. Be warned that this app requires you to buy a $5.99 per year subscription for unlimited transcription, but if you’re like me and hate having to spend hours upon hours taking notes, I think the price is worth it.
Out of all these computer hacks, this one is BY FAR my favorite, because it is so simple, yet so life-changing. CopyClip is an app that will make a drop-down menu of all of the text that you have copied. Even if a selection is not your most recent copied text, just click on the drop-down menu and select what you want to paste. For writing essays where you have to cite and quote different sources, this app will certainly make that process worlds easier. Instead of having to go back and forth to select what you want to copy, you can copy everything at once, go back to your essay, and go down the list in the order of what you want to paste. Available for the Mac, this app is free on the Mac App Store. Unfortunately, this exact app is not available on Windows, but ClipClip is a worthy alternative, and also free for Windows. Either way, this app will make writing essays way easier.