Tech tips to make life a tad easier

Salutations, Sun Devils! I’m back this week to add a bit of structure to your lives. As students, we are constantly busy with a slew of seemingly endless tasks. Between classes, homework, jobs, extra-curricular involvement and sleep, we barely have time to spend with friends, let alone eat a square meal that didn’t come out of a microwave. To simplify your life, I’ve compiled some tech tips to help you find your flow.

Chorebuster is a grown-up version of the gold star chart your kindergarten teacher used to reward well-behaved students. The website assigns chores to you and your roommates in a random order that help to keep your living space tidy. You can rank tasks based on level of difficulty, so you’re not the only one stuck cleaning the toilets. Find it at chorebuster.com.

Mint.com is a fantastic money-monitoring website that simplifies your finances. Not only are you able to view the balances of all of your bank accounts at the same time, Mint will email you when you have a bill due or have been charged a fee. Mint also encourages you to set financial goals, like paying off a credit card, and helps track your progress. I’m guilty of the occasional overdraft fee, and it’s always helpful to read Mint’s weekly email informing me of my account balances.

If you’re ever working on a significant group project or large-scale effort, give Dropbox a try. When you create an account, you also install Dropbox on your computer. To access it, you need an Internet connection, but the program allows you to access group files from a shared box, which can be stored on your desktop. Every time you invite a new contact to use Dropbox, you also get more memory added to your account.

Sometimes the most effective organizational strategies are right under our noses — ASU uses Google as their main host for email, calendars and documents. Important emails tend to get lost in the abyss of my inbox, so I’ve  learned to sort my emails based on priority. Now I have two simultaneous inboxes, and when I star an email, it jumps to the top of the page so I don’t forget it.

Google Calendar can also be a huge asset to you as well. Through Google, you’re able to create and color code your tasks and share your calendars with co-workers or friends. The tool is totally customizable, and you can even sync your calendar to your Apple or Android device through the free Google calendar app.

We rely on technology so often during our education, so why not take advantage of it? Your life is complicated enough, so take your mind off your schedule and lighten your load.

 

Reach the columnist at aamentze@asu.edu

 

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