April Maguire 4 min read Academic Tips and Info, Coronavirus

10 Resources to Help You Study and Work from Home

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As school systems temporarily close their doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), an increasing number of students may find themselves hitting the books from their homes. Along with providing students with a way to stay busy during the quarantine, online education prevents them from falling behind in class while enabling them to prep for college and beyond. 

 

Studying and working from home come with numerous challenges, especially when it comes to staying focused. Luckily, modern technology provides plenty of resources to help students achieve their goals. If it’s been difficult for you to be productive at home, the odds are there’s a website or app to meet your needs. Keep reading for 10 free resources to help you study or work from home.

 

10 Resources for Studying and Working from Home


Want to ensure your work-from-home efforts are a success? From combatting productivity problems to sticking to a schedule, the following resources will help you stay organized in these uncertain times:

 

1. If you’re having trouble following a schedule…

 

Adhering to a study schedule can be challenging if you only have yourself to answer to. If you’re used to scheduled classes and strict deadlines, think about downloading the free Marinara Timer app as a way of staying on track. A takeoff on the well-known Pomodoro timer, which suggests 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of relaxation, the Marinara Timer lets you customize time segments in advance based on your specific workload and needs. 

 

2. If you need to block out distractions…

 

Between cell phones and TV, the average home is packed with distractions that can impede your ability to work or study. Fortunately, a number of blocking apps exist to stop you from watching YouTube videos or shopping ModCloth when you have work to do. An all-in-one distraction blocking app that’s free, Freedom stops users from opening websites or apps while they’re supposed to be studying. 

 

3. If you struggle to stay organized…

 

If you’re studying from home for the first time, you might have trouble keeping your notes organized for multiple classes. That’s where Evernote comes in. Designed to store and organize multiple sets of notes in one location, this app allows you to create study guides and share information with friends and classmates in different locations. As a bonus, students can currently get a year of Evernote Premium at 50% off, but there’s also a free Basic version.

 

4. If proofreading is your weak point…

 

Even the most insightful, thought-provoking papers and essays can be destroyed by sloppy writing. If spelling and grammar are your weak spots, think about downloading Grammarly to ensure the work you complete at home is as strong as possible. A free browser add-on, Grammarly helps you correct your mistakes while identifying areas where your skills need improvement. 

 

5. If you need a better to-do list…

 

Between classwork, standardized testing, and college application work, prioritizing tasks can be a challenge when you’re working from home. Designed to free up valuable mental real estate, the Todoist app allows you to arrange tasks in order of importance. Once you know nothing can slip through the cracks, you can focus on completing each task one at a time. Todoist offers both a free Basic version and paid Premium version.

 

You can also try Trello, a free website and app that allows you to build lists. The main page is called a board, which is the space for your lists. Under each list, you can write “cards,” which have space for a title, deadline, label, attachments, notes, and comments. Trello is especially useful if the things on your to-do list involve multiple steps or different categories, as you can make separate lists for those. It’s also helpful for collaborating with others on projects, as you can claim cards and invite multiple people to your Trello board.

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6. If your worst subject is math…

 

If you struggle in your math classes, you might find studying this subject at home to be especially challenging. It can be even harder if you don’t have a scientific calculator to help you with your homework. Fortunately, MyScript Calculator allows you to handwrite calculations on a phone or tablet, which it will then solve automatically.

 

7. If you need to scan documents or images…

 

Not all tasks and assignments can be submitted via email. If you need to scan documents for work or school, think about downloading Scanner Pro 7. An app that turns your phone or tablet into a scanner, this $3.99 purchase allows you to scan book pages, photos, and more. As a bonus, the app automatically removes shadows and other defects from your images.

 

There are also free versions in the app store, such as Simple Scan. Just keep in mind that the functionality of free apps is likely more limited.

 

8. If you need to do some reading…

 

Just because you can’t hit the library doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune ordering your books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. A free resource for students of all ages, Project Gutenberg is an online library of 60,000 e-books including many of the classics that feature prominently on school reading lists. Browse by author, title, subject, language, and categories.

 

You can also use Overdrive to borrow ebooks for free, if your local library participates (many do!).

 

9. If you need a soundtrack for studying…

 

While many students prefer to work with a little background noise, Brain.fm takes study music a step further. In fact, the app uses patented processes to create music proven to help people learn. The website claims to remove distractions from sound to help you focus on the task at hand. You can try 5 sessions for free and see if it works for you.

 

10. If you need help with your college essays (or regular school essays)…

 

Just because you’re embarking on the admissions process from home doesn’t mean you’re on your own when writing college essays. To that end, CollegeVine offers a peer essay review service that students can use for free. All you have to do is submit a copy of your essay online and wait for the comments to roll in. Additionally, you can review other students’ essays to learn more about the writing process and garner insight to improve your own writing.

 

If you or a loved one is embarking on the college admissions journey, then you probably know that the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting the application process for students nationwide. At CollegeVine, we’re passionate about keeping families informed throughout the pandemic. With that in mind, we created our Coronavirus Information Center to provide you with the latest news and developments. Check back regularly for test dates, application tips, and blogs regarding the epidemic and its effect on education.

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.