Phone time = productivity?

Download these apps to keep focused and stay on top of your schedule this semseter

Since we’re a couple weeks into the spring semester, you’ve probably gotten into a somewhat decent rhythm of work-life balance. You’ve started to finally adjust to your new class schedule alongside the organizations you’re involved in, making time to hang out with your friends and stay in touch with family and, oh yeah, make sure you take care of yourself as well. 

Let’s face it: as college students, we’re on our phones way too much. Sometimes this is a bad thing because it can become such a time-sucker. But what if you could make your lowkey phone addiction work in your favor this semester and have it help you find ways to stay on track and help you work harder and smarter? Here are a couple suggestions of apps that you can download that will contribute to your overall productivity and functionality as a student as well as just a person in all other aspects of life.

Google Docs/Google Drive

This one may seem a little obvious, but it comes in handy more often than you might think. How many times have you needed to pull up a syllabus for one of your classes on your Safari app and it tells you that you can only access it through Google Drive? Besides the obvious functionality, it can also just make your life a lot easier to be able to access important documents from your phone without having to click a million different things on Safari to get there.


CNU courses are accessible through Scholar, an offshoot of Blackboard. Another way to make your school life slightly easier is to download the Blackboard app and log in with your username and password to access all of your course information quickly and easily. Just like the normal Blackboard website, you can see your assignments by class, your grades, syllabi and other important information.


If you’re taking a foreign language class this semester, chances are you don’t always want to open your textbook (sometimes getting English right can be difficult enough). Duolingo can be extremely helpful whether you’re actively trying to delve into learning a brand new language or if you only know a little bit of Spanish and you’re trying to brush up before you have to give that big final presentation in SPAN 200. Duolingo lets you select your level of knowledge before you use the app so you can skip over what you already know or go back if you need a quick refresher. Not everyone can afford Rosetta Stone and fancy headsets nowadays, so Duolingo is the next best thing that works much easier for those on a college budget


If there’s anything that all students can agree on, it’s that school can get extremely stressful. Calm is an app that offers opportunities for relaxation, like guided meditation, breathing exercises and calming music that plays in the backgroud as you scroll through it. The app’s simplicity makes it user friendly and easy to navigate. Each section of the app can be used for however long the user would like, which makes it great for those stressful moments when you just need to take a minute to breathe.

Productive Habit Tracker

Trying to build and maintain positive habits while dealing with all kinds of other college responsibilities can be hard. Although there are many habit tracker apps out there, one of the highest-rated is Productive Habit Tracker, a name as simple as the purpose of the app.

You can add habits and tasks you have to get done and swipe to check them off as you go about your day with a customizable and aesthetically pleasing setup. Whether you have a one-time thing that you need to remember to do or a daily reminder, this app is perfect for both.

Google Calendar

While having a physical paper planner can help you stay organized, sometimes you need to be able to access your schedule more easily on a variety of platforms. Just like downloading Google Drive and Docs, Google Calendar makes planning our every minute of your day super simple.

You can block out class times to make sure you don’t accidentally schedule something important during them in the middle of syllabus week (trust me, I’ve been through that recently). 

Your calendar can also sync up with your friends’ or your significant other’s so that you can all make sure you have adequate time to meet up when you know all of you will be available.

It’s 2020, and whether we like it or not, our phones aren’t going anywhere. If anything, they’re only becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives. As “Black Mirror” as that sounds, there are many ways to make this technological takeover work in your favor.

Make the difficulty of staying on top of things a little easier on yourself by installing and using these apps if you find them helpful. Hopefully the right combination can help you figure out what works best for you so that you can become the most productive and organized student you know.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

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