Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Laptop apps // Miscellaneous

There are so many apps online, and variations of the same kind of app. It can be hard to judge which app is the best. You may also not know which apps exist that could potentially change your life. Here are a list of apps that I've recently come across - some I love and some have been a disappointment and you could save your time by not installing them. I've divided them into categories to make it easier for you to know which app might just be for you!

--- Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by any of the below mentioned application companies but gurll do I wish it was sponsored ---

College Apps

1) OneNote

There have been so many posts about this application on the internet already, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It's great especially for tech-savvy people and for people who don't want to use notebooks to take notes during classes. You can quickly type the notes during your lecture and you can create folders to segregate notes for different classes. Other features also include adding files like images (just like in any word processing application). It's advantages are easy listing/check-listing options and folder segregation/ It's mostly just liked Microsoft Word. However there is one feature that stands out, that would probably be useful especially for taking down diagrams (i.e. if you are using a tablet-computer or have a stylus as it'll take too much effort to try to draw with your touch pad), which is the draw feature:
One thing I feel it misses out on is the feature to record audio and insert it into your notes like Evernote can. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a free app that does the job, this is it.
It is pre-installed if you have Windows 10, but if you don't have it, you can download it here: https://www.onenote.com/download
I rate this app a 8/10

2) Grammarly

You've probably seen Grammarly's ads around the internet, but it is quite cool. It corrects your grammar so 1) you don't make a fool out of yourself while writing important essays or emails and 2) so you can possible get a good grade in English. The only catch is that the free version contains only basic grammar correcting features so if you want the whole deal you have to pay. In fact the free version gets pretty annoying if you make "advanced" grammatical errors as the app will only tell you you've made them but you have to pay to know where they are in your write-up and how to correct them. But other than that its pretty cool because you can use it online anywhere you need it and you can even add it to other softwares like Microsoft Word.
I rate the free version of this app a 7/10 and the full version could possible be a 9 or 10 out of 10 (but I haven't used it yet)

General Study Apps

1) Super Simple Highlighter (Google Chrome extension)

This is a great app and I love it. It basically lets you highlight anything on any web page you want to. You simply just have to select the text, right-click and select what colour you want that text to be highlighted in.
The highlights get saved so every time you go on that web page, the text you highlighted previously will still be highlighted. You can see what pages have highlights in the options setting for the extension
If you've highlighted a lot of text on one long webpage, by left-clicking on the extension icon, you can see all texts that have been highlighted with their respective colors and you can search sentences/keywords/etc.
This extension is amazing if you are making summary notes off of one or more websites.
I've also used it a lot of times when I have to send a long reply to important e-mails and don't want to miss out on the important points I want to revert on. I just highlight the points that concern me/I want to address in the email I have received and use it to make sure my e-mail contains all the points I want to include. This app has been a life savior and there are so many uses for this app. The only one flaw I could take out from this app is it's appearance (it doesn't look modern) but that's just a small personal opinion that is irrelevant to its function
I rate this app a 9.5/10

2) Forest: Stay Focused

If you like little cute rewards for being productive/focused this is the app for you. In the app you get to plant a seed and then all you have to do is not stop studying till the timer ends. If you manage to do that, your seedling grows into a tree and stays alive in a forest (all your trees get added to your forest). It's a nice little way to keep you productive and determined to study till the timer ends. However, I like the phone app better than the pc app for some reason. Probably because you get more stats in the phone app and a lot of stats just hits me in the right place (can anyone relate haha). The app lets you black list websites. Now the first time I used the app on my phone, I couldn't go off the app even if I needed another app while studying (like say some important image with notes on it in the gallery) but I'm pretty sure you can now whitelist apps on the mobile app.
This is a simple but effective app...unless you have no will power at all and you keep killing your trees, then it's just straight up frustrating. 
I still feel there isn't much to this app and isn't as functional as the rest on this list unless it reallyyy works for you (which doesnt do much for me, it does okayish)
I rate this app a 7/10

Other shizz

1) Instapaper (Google Chrome extension)

Okay, so I saw this on the main page of the Chrome Webstore and I don't know where this app (/extension) has been all my life. It says you can save your links offline to read later. Now I know I'm probably the only one who was impressed by it but it made sense. Especially if you take your laptop to college every day and don't have access to wi-fi (and say you don't have internet data on your phone or your data is up). It could also useful if you're travelling and need to read stuff online on the way. Once you have this app on your laptop all you have to worry about is your laptop battery. At least that's what I thought. After downloading the extension, I realized you do need an internet connection to open the saved links...so basically its just a bookmark which makes no sense at all. However, it does have a phone sync option which I will check out later and maybe this can make it on to the "good apps" list on the phone apps post I will be posting later. The only useful feature I see now in the laptop app is the speed read feature, so you can use this app to increase your speed of reading. The visual interface is nice, the website has a minimalist modern design. The app has a highlighting feature but it's something like 5 highlights free per month. This was kind of a disappointment for me but hopefully the laptop-phone syncing option will make it more useful (?)
 I rate this app a 3/10 
(You could pair this app with the highlighter app mentioned above to give it more functionality and use it like a bookmark app to easily find your highlighted pages, but on it's own my rating above says my opinion).

2) myTaste Browser Button (Google Chrome extension)

This is a good extension for those of us who see all those mouth-watering recipes online, save them in a random bookmarks folder without noticing which folder it was, losing that recipe link, and forgetting that recipe for the rest of our lives. You can say this app is like a specialized bookmark app for recipes. There's nothing else to it but I think it's pretty useful to keep your recipes in a single place and have folders segregating the type of recipes (e.g. deserts, lunch, healthy, etc) without having a million bookmark folders in our browser and losing track of all of them amongst the other folders. However, you could just save your recipes on Pinterest too. So this again is kind of an okay-okay app
I rate this app a 6/10

3) Instant translate (Google Chrome extension)

This app is basically an easier version of having to open a new tab, typing translate.google.com, selecting language and then translating whatever you have to translate.
you can instantly (like the name suggests) translate anything. This is great for you if you are learning a new language too, especially if you are too lazy to open google translate again and again.
Nothing much else to it but personally, since I've been learning Spanish, it's been a useful app to have around when I'm curious what a particular word or sentence is in Spanish
I rate this app a 7/10

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