Some people may say that Quizlet is the key to surviving college, but in reality Google is the ultimate college hack to help you make it through four or more years of writing papers, studying for exams and trying to keep your life organized. In no particular order, here are 7 ways ~ AKA 7 different Google utilities~ that have helped make college a little less stressful for me.
If you’re in college, you need a Gmail account, you need a Gmail account, you need a Gmail account! Most colleges will assign you a University email that most-likely is a Gmail account, but you should also have a personal Gmail account because after college you won’t use your University email anymore.
Gmail can make your life a whole lot easier if you create categories for different class subjects, or areas in your life and sort the important emails you receive and delete/ unsubscribe from all of the spam and not-so-important emails. For example, you could have a category/ label (folder) for “Fall 2017 Classes”, “Scholarships”, “Financial Aid”, “Work/Internship” etc. Sorting emails into categories makes it easier to keep track of information, rather than having to search through an inbox filled with hundreds or thousands of messages.
2. GOOGLE DOCS
Imagine it’s 3 A.M., and you’re eight pages deep into your final research paper for a class and then… your computer dies (before you saved the paper). During college I stopped using Word Documents or Pages on Mac and started using Google Docs for everything– writing papers/ articles, taking notes, making study guides.
Google Docs are amazing because of the auto-save feature and the fact that you can access them anywhere from any computer with Internet access. Also, being able to share docs makes collaborating on study guides/ notes so much easier: GOOGLE DOCS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE ON A TEST. In a lot of my classes, the students make Google Docs for tests, where we all share notes and it can and will literally save your life (and your GPA).
3. GOOGLE DRIVE
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during college it’s to BACK UP ALL OF YOUR FILES, and back them up a second time and maybe even a third. I keep all of my important files on my laptop, my external hard drive and in Google Drive. Documents, photos, videos, everything.
Google Drive, like Google Docs, is also accessible from anywhere that has internet. Your files will always be there, even when your laptop decides to crash or you lose your flash drive or external hard drive. Last year, I had my entire life on an external hard drive and none of it backed up to my laptop because of lack of storage. Unfortunately, I ended up losing that expensive little hard drive and with it lost thousands of precious photos, videos and other files. After that, I bought another external hard drive and made sure to keep up with it and starting backing up everything to Google Drive.
For a normal Gmail account, you are given 15GB of free storage for Google Drive and after that you may purchase more GB. When using some University Gmail accounts, you may have unlimited GB of storage.
4. GOOGLE SLIDES
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with PowerPoint but I prefer creating presentations with Google Slides because of the accessibility. Whenever I had to give a presentation for a class, I prepared it using Google Slides and it took away those steps of emailing it to yourself, logging into your email on the class computer, finding the email, downloading the PowerPoint and putting it on the classroom computer. Google Slides, like everything else Google, just makes things more simple.
Honestly, I use the Calendar app on my iPhone/ MacBook, but if you love Google and want everything to be in sync and all Google, then use Google Calendars!
Other than for personal use, Google Calendars can be helpful for organizations/ clubs. For this upcoming year, I will be president of an organization on-campus and will try using Google Calendars to keep all of my officers in sync and to keep up with deadlines/ events/ meetings etc. You could make different Google Calendars for different groups and share it with the members, or leaders/ officers to make sure everyone stays on the same page throughout the semester.
If you download the Google Calendar app on your phone, you can sync it with your iPhone calendar app so all of your calendars and the ones that are shared with you will be in one place.
6. GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Yes, Google Translate has saved the life of almost everyone who has taken a foreign language course in college or even in high school. Whether you have no clue how to say anything in Spanish, or just want to double-check your work before submitting, Google Translate can help you out! Just be careful, because sometimes the translation may not be 100% grammatically correct from English to the given language or vice versa. And of course, Google can’t help you for an oral test so don’t rely solely on this tool to help you get an A in, or just pass, the class.
AND FINALLY… 7. GOOGLE
Need to research a topic? Google it.
Don’t know where something is on campus? Google it.
Trying to find a free PDF of the textbook for your class? Google it.
The search engine Google can help you with basically everything. Just be skeptical of the websites you visit and don’t trust any information online that is not credible or verified. Also, beware of sketchy websites that could give your computer viruses. But, Google away and search the web for everything. There is no such thing as a dumb question when asking it to Google.