Online tools for better & focused studies

By Kaustov Kashyap

The internet is one of the biggest inventions in today’s world. It is fast and brings us information in seconds. On one hand, the internet provides us thousands of apps to make our lives simpler and on the other, it distracts us throughout the day with endless notifications and sometimes unnecessary information.
Though the internet helps students with free online courses and study materials, it also keeps them distracted from studying most of the time. How many times we have tried to read an article on the internet, but ended up reading five more along with it? The online media is an interesting space and it can easily keep you hooked on for hours and so proper time management is necessary.
Too much distraction is not good for anyone, especially for students who are studying to grow their career. With exams around the corner, students need to focus on studies and score well. But this can only happen when students can avoid checking their mobiles or laptops every 10-15 minutes. Thanks to the internet again as there are a few tools that can easily help students stop wasting time on the internet and rather focus on their lessons. A list of best online tools has been mentioned below for students to focus better in their studies:
SelfControl

If you find yourself checking your Facebook and Instagram feeds every now and then, you can use SelfControl to block these social networking sites for any period of time, say 2 hours or 4 hours, as per your preference. Even you restart your computer within that time period, the app won’t stop working. You can specify the names of the websites you want to block so that your access to other websites remains uninterrupted. SelfContol app is available on the Mac App Store.

Time Out

While it is important to focus on studies, it is equally important to take breaks at regular interval to avoid putting too much pressure on the eyes and the brain. Time Out lets you set intervals after specific duration, for example say 2 hours or 4 hours. Time Out will automatically fade your screen and remind you to take a break. You can set the break time from 1 minute to any duration of your choice. It can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Think

If you feel clumsy using multiple apps at a time, install Think app. It will let you use a single app in the foreground while the rest of the apps will be in the background. The background will appear almost opaque, making it easier for you to focus on a single task. You can download Think from the Mac App Store.

FocusWriter

If you need to complete an assignment or do your homework, FocusWriter is the best tool for you. It hides absolutely everything from your screen like other applications, the task bar and menu leaving only a grey background and a blank screen to write.
This screen feels similar to a word document. FocusWrite is available for Mac and PCs.
Concentrate

Concentrate is another useful tool that lets you customise a set of tool for a specific task. For example, if you want to write something, the tool will let you focus on the task completely by automatically blocking social media sites, changing your instant messenger status from active to away and closing all email inboxes. Similarly, if you choose to do some other tasks like social media marketing, the app will customise another set of tools suitable for that specific task.Concentrate is available for Mac only.

RescueTime

If you genuinely want to improve yourself and spend less time on the internet watching videos or playing games, then use RescueTime. The tool helps you track your activity throughout the day and assess your progress. Additionally, the app will also help you block social media sites when you want it to and send alerts about the amount of time you have been on the internet.

Flowstate

Flowstate can be your best friend when you are having a writer’s block or when your creativity goes out of the window. The Flowstate tool is simple to use; first you need to name your writing session and allot time duration (maximum 120 minutes). As soon as your session starts, you need to keep writing until it ends. In case you stop for more than 5 seconds or exit before the session time is over, the whole progress will be lost and you have to start writing again form the beginning. This app is available in the Mac App Store.

Forest

Forest improves your power to focus on a single task. With this tool, you can set the time when you want to focus. At the scheduled time, you have to plant a tree which will grow over the next 30 minutes. If you leave the app and switch to another in these 30 minutes, your tree will die. When you try this everyday, by the end of the week, you will have a virtual forest. You can try this out while having dinner with family or studying. Forest is available on Apple iTunes and Google Play. Balancing studies and leisure time is very important for students to score well in exams. With the help of these apps, you can easily save 2-3 hours and utilise it for doing something worthwhile. Improve your concentration and boost your productivity by downloading these apps at the earliest.

(The author is a career counsellor)

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