Do you already know about the best tools to study online for free? | Erasmus tips

Do you already know about the best tools to study online for free?

Do you like working online or studying from home? Or perhaps you hate technology and studying online has become your worst nightmare? With these tools for distance learning, you'll get the the most out of the hours you spend in front of the computer.

If you're planning on studying your degree online, you'll have to attend classes online, pay attention to the virtual classroom, keep all your notes up to date, present all your exercises and do group work from home. So if you thought that there isn't a difference between studying online and face-to-face, I'm sorry to tell you that there are many things you'll have to do differently. However, if we've learnt anything throughout history it's that when faced with a problem... there's always a technical solution!

Whether you plan on working or studying online, these study techniques and tools will catch your eye. Studying a degree online or working from home will be a piece of cake once you've put these tools and ideas for online study into practice.

Discover the best apps for organising your studies

At this point you'll have already realised that studying online can sometimes be a bit chaotic (a backlog of homework to hand in, notes to organise, exams to study). It could even be that you've come to question why you even study online when you could just go to class like always. Well, take a deep breath, because in these cases, proper organisation is the key to reduce stress and avoid getting overwhelmed.

It doesn't matter if you study Law, Engineering or Teaching; whatever your studies are, these ideas for working from home will mark a before and after in your academic performance.

What's more, once you put all your pending coursework in your study organising app, say goodbye to mental overload! The tools we're going to look at below will help you to discover how to study better online without losing your mind, word of an Erasmuser!

Trello

The key to organising your study from home is order, and you should know that hundreds of apps exist for lovers of order, but non as intuitive and easy to use as Trello.

It's a free platform with which you can organise your outstanding courseworks, classify them, establish hand-in dates and even assign tasks to other people to have everything properly organised.

Use already created dashboard templetes or create your own from scratch to share with other classmates and study online with more people. Undoubtedly, this is the first tool I mention when I'm asked what tools I need to study online.

Google Calendar

We all know how it feels to be dependent on a diary, and while deep down we like to joke about how mainstream we are using paper and pen, when it comes down to it, it's not that useful and practical as Google Calendar can be.

Put aside the vintage vibe and surrender to new technologies, because working from home with a computer has loads more advantages than you can imagine. Google Calendar is a tool from Google which is completely free and something you've always had close to hand but, probably, ignored.

Thanks to its features, you can create meetings and do video calls to meet up with your classmates for those group projects, make reminders and link them to your email so you won't forget. Furthermore, you can create different calendars for each subject and add the dates of your exams so you have a visual image when the date is around the corner, so you won't run out of time!

The best tools for studying online with other people

If you're in search of the best site to study online with others, it's your lucky day. There are tools created exclusively to facilitate communication and projects online among various people, therefore creating a virtual community and making the most of the advantages of studying online.

These programs enable you to manage in virtual environments at your own pace, therefore allowing you to do things like study online in another country and keep on communicating with your classmates without losing track of them.

Slack

It could be that you don't know it (for now), but Slack is a messaging platform created principally for the management and organisation of workgroups. It was created with the intention of being able to gather all the functionalities that you may need when studying online and working with others in just one app.

Studying with friends in the library is good, but studying online with more people is a different story. You'll be able to share documents, create broadcast channels, manage groups by subject or theme, and much more than you could imagine.

Teams

This app is the ultimate online tool that basically every teacher has used during this pandemia to share their classes online. It's one of the most used tools until now to study long distance, and all thanks to how practical and useful it is. Of all the tools for online sessions that have been created up to now, this has stood out for various reasons.

Thanks to all its functionalities, you'll feel like being back in class again, but from the comfort of your home. Despite being behind a screen, you'll be able to virtually raise your hand to ask a question, share your screen as if it were a blackboard, go between different class groups... Even chat with a classmate privately, only this time you won't get caught (it'll be our little secret).

Zoom

Zoom, similar to Teams, is another app that's top of the list for video-calls and virtual teaching. You can say that it's one of the best online tools for teachers. Just like its competitor, it offers an exceptional service with which you can meet up with your class or workmates and address topics or work that you have yet to do.

Manage each minute and get the most out of distance learning

There are many differences between studying online and face-to-face, but one of the advantages of working from home is that you decide how to organise yourself. The time you spend on your commute, you'll be able to invest in your work, but the workload is so much that sometimes we get overwhelmed.

Concentration isn't constant, and procrastination can become your worst enemy if you're not careful. Therefore, there are apps for online study that will help you to manage these waves of inspiration and will remind you to take a break when you need to clear your mind. This technique is called pomodoro and it consists of splitting your time into 25 minute intervals with breaks in between. If you're interested in learning how to organise your study from home, this trick for studying online will make you even more efficient!

Pomodoro Tracker

As I said, each 25 minute interval is called a "pomodoro", and that's how the app started. It's one of the most useful study apps you'll find, but very few people know about it.

As you may well know, spending six hours in front of the screen doesn't do anything if you're distracted by anything as small as a fly (it's happened to us all). Therefore, this type of online tool is designed to advise you when you should stop and have a break - have a kit kat after a period of maximum concentration.

Besides, this tool lets you manage the time you decide to dedicate to each subject, getting the maximum out of your every day.

Focus To Do

Just as the Pomodoro Tracker, Focus To Do is one of the most popular online tools when it comes to managing and organising time. This type of study programme is focused in optimising each second of your time, so at the end of the day you won't even believe the amount of things you'll have done.

This app, besides organising your breaks to optimise your concentration to the max, it also shows you visually how you have structured your tasks through graphics and tables, so you can choose where to prioritise your time more according to your needs.

Share notes online with your class or workmates

Do you remember when you could only share your notes by asking in class or taking a photo of them to write them up later? Well, the hassle is over, because there are cheap online tools with which you can share everything with your classmates; what do I mean by cheap, they're free!

Let's see which study programmes we can find here. You'll be familiar with some of the apps with which you can work on and share documents online, but I'll take advantage of your attention to give you some good advice on studying online that I'm sure will be handy.

Google Drive

Studying online with others has never been easier with the help of Google Drive. Do you need to share documents? Share your documents, photos and videos from wherever with whoever through Google Drive. Do you have some group work and you have to work on the same document online? Create a Google Docs, a Google Sheets or a Powerpoint document on Google Drive and share it so you can work together all at the same time.

This is one of the most famous digital study tools that exists, and because it's a tool made by Google, you just need a Gmail account to be able to use it. In my case, all I need to work from home is Google Drive to at least have a way of working online with my coworkers.

Dropbox

Dropbox, just like Google Drive, is a tool where you can arrange all your files and store them in the cloud. It's the main player, alongside its competitor, when it comes to storing files. What's more, it's a great tool when it comes to files you have to share with other people, given that this type of programme makes working online easier.

WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a platform designed specifically for transferring and sharing files. In fact, with this application you'll be able to share documents and files that, because of their size, you wouldn't be able to share using other platforms and online tools, like for example, that recording of your two hour Economics class that you couldn't attend but you really need.

What makes WeTransfer different to the rest of the technological tools for online studying is that you don't have to have an account to use it; neither you nor the person you want to send the file to. It's an advantage that makes it more attractive in comparison to its competitors. Use WeTransfer and discover how to organise yourself to study from home in the most efficient way!

Are you thinking about trying to study online from another city?

If you fancy a change of scenery and you don't know where to start looking for accommodation, in Erasmusu we have an infinity of options from student rooms to rent, studios to rent, flats or halls of residence from which you can pick so you feel right at home during your stay abroad.

With our student accommodation services you'll find it easier to look for accommodation and you'll be able to focus on living your university experience to the maximum.

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