Unlock your productivity

Getting the most from your studies can be a lot easier if you find the ways of working that suit you best. Some free tools go beyond helping you learn in ways that suit you and actively offer tools that help you do more and collaborate better with less effort. Here are few of our favourites.

Pocket

Pop the best of the web in your browser pocket to look at later on any device with Pocket, available as both a downloadable app, cloud based app, and a browser plug-in allowing you to skim the web, popping web pages, blog posts, free articles, images and videos into your Pocket to read later when you have more time, where they will be available even when you are offline. Not all the databases we pay for allow their content to be pocketed, offering their own ways to save, export or link to their content, but Pocket is very useful for collecting blog posts, websites and other freely available web content.

If this, then that (IFTTT)

If This, Then That (IFTTT, pronounced "if-tee") automates repetitive tasks to allow you to take back your life. A little more advanced to set up than the other life hacks presented here but every bit as useful to the busy person, two separate apps designed to work together, “If” and “Do” allow you to get your mobile device to help organise and share things without you having to lift a finger.

Flipboard

Now you can follow the Library, @uoppenguin and anyone else you fancy wherever we appear on social media using Flipboard - an app that neatly turns your social media into a single self-updating multi-coloured scrap book.

Pic Collage

Pic Collage is a free photo editor and collage creation app useful for creating and annotating field trip photo albums, drawing and adding text to mark important features, research and illustrate design concepts, and even create visually appealing infographics and conference or seminar posters. Useful as a tool for self-expression (not to mention a fun and creative way of making collages of your holiday snaps) it can help if you learn best by collecting, associating and making associations between pictures.

Maths apps

Speed up your mathematical manipulations using websites and apps that will variously convert handwriting to print and solve equations for you.

  • Photograph an equation and watch it be solved by the PhotoMath app.  Great for helping you understand how an equation is solved.  Not so great for solving all your practice problems because you won’t have it in exams!  
  • My Script Calculator converts equations you write on the screen into typed equation and then solves it and gives you the answer that can be exported to other apps.  
  • Desmos (also available as a website) engages visually with mathematical concepts plotting functions as animated graphs and tables, and solving equations.

OpenToonz animation software

Break into animation using the same software previously used by world famous Studio Ghibli. Probably only of specialist interest or if you are interested in creating your own cartoons.