Top seven student life hacks: Ace your studies and make the most of university life

If you want to balance your studies, passions and social life, then it’s time to get the most out of your technology. Here are some quick tech hacks to make your life easier and get more done:

Carrying a notepad or folder for each class can be a strain on your back and frustrating to move around from home to lectures – or from the library to the bar! Take advantage of lightweight, hybrid devices like the Surface 3 that act as a notebook with a clip-on keyboard, a textbook with digital versions of your books and much more. Apps like Drawboard PDF let you make annotations on key chapters and sections of your digital lectures, and the Surface Pen that comes with the device enables you to take handwritten notes during lectures.

With tools like OneNote, you can then access your notes anywhere, anytime, and from any device, thanks to the power of the cloud. And did you know that science supports the fact that handwriting has a more positive effect on learning and recalling things? Perfect for the next exam!

Download OneNote – or use it online – here.

Have you ever looked at your notes and wondered, “Why did I write that…?” With OneNote you can record your lectures at the same time as taking notes. When you return to your notes, you can hit “play” and the audio recording of the corresponding section will play. This helps tie your notes and thoughts together, while allowing you to listen to your professors’ wise words as many times as you need to.

Find out how to record audio/video using OneNote here.

Tired eyes from studying or maybe out in the park in the sunshine? If taking a break isn’t an option, have your Surface 3 take over and read to you. In just a few taps, it can narrate books, worksheets (including PDFs) and more – giving your eyes a break and your ears a workout.

Find out how to use your Surface 3 Narrator here

Paper diaries are easily misplaced and are frustrating to edit. With a simple app like Outlook, you can organize your busy life digitally – adding your lecture schedule, social events and more to make sure you never miss a thing.

Outlook is accessible online here.

Trying to organize worksheets and written notes, and avoiding losing them, can be a major headache. Devices like Surface 3 with OneNote allow you to scan your worksheets and convert them into PDFs so you can annotate them as needed. This helps you more easily take and keep your notes, as well as allowing you to simply file them away on your device.

Find out how to scan using OneNote here.

Numbers aren’t for everyone, but sometimes there are calculations that even the most mathematic brains can’t compute. The answer used to be carrying a scientific calculator, which – as well as being something else to remember – added to the weight of your bag. For those who love their TI-89 calculators, it’s now possible to load this onto a Surface, giving you all of the functions on your screen, without the need to switch devices.

Read a guide to get your TI-89 on to your Surface here.

Getting group work done quickly and effectively can be a challenge, with classmates often living in and working from different places. Using online tools like Office 365, you can collaborate on the same documents and make your updates as needed – without having to worry about version control. All participants in a group can participate and co-edit the documents via the cloud, anytime and from anywhere. And if there’s a need to discuss something in the group, why not do a Skype call?

Download Skype here and find out about Office 365 here – as a student, you may be entitled to it for free via the ProPlus Benefit offer!

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