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How To Use Your IPhone More Efficiently As A Student

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10 Ways to Use Your iPhone in College More Effectively Than You Do Now

Unless you are a social media influencer, you probably think of your phone as a tool to have fun, relax, and manage your social life – not as a working instrument. For studying, you probably have a laptop, a stack of course books, and a notepad. However, instead of creating distractions and tempting you away from the books, your iPhone can actually be your study buddy. Here is how you can use it to boost your academic performance.

Getting Help

Sometimes study load can get too much, no matter how hard you plan and schedule. For these times, there is a professional essay writers service that can do an assignment for you or edit your draft when you no longer have time or energy to continue. However, most of these services are web-based and can be a bit cumbersome when accessed on mobile. Well, not PaperHelp. It is perfectly optimized, and you will order an essay there from your iPhone with just a few taps. Other mobile-friendly websites include WowEssays (loads of free samples as well as an option to find an essay writer free online) and WowAssignment (for help with programming assignments).

Study Apps

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Of course, there is also a plethora of educational apps. Some provide structured lessons like Socratic or Duolingo, help you write like iA Writer and Ulysses, and solve problems like Photomath. Others offer high-quality content that broadens your horizons and builds critical thinking skills, like TED-Ed, Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Brilliant. Start collecting your library of improving apps instead of leaning on games and social media, and good habits will follow. At the very least, subscribe to a couple of educational content creators on TikTok.

Screen Time

Apple released this feature four years ago as parental control. Still, many adults have been using it to limit their own access to addictive apps and be more productive. As a student, you must be prone to procrastination. You probably know all too well that opening TikTok during a studying session just for “this one update” usually turns into an hour-long binge or a flame war in the comments. To make resisting the temptation easier, go to Screen Time and set a schedule for the time-hogging apps. When you are done with your digital detox, you can always go back to the Screen Time settings and remove those restrictions.

Focus Mode

Another useful feature that most people woefully ignore is the Focus mode. You can simply switch “Do Not Disturb” for the classes to silence notifications and limit distractions. However, I strongly advise you to take a few moments and fine-tune the Personal, Work, and Sleep settings. It might seem like a lot of fuss, but it will save you time and energy in the long run. Customized modes for studying and downtime can boost your productivity and help you rest better.

Notes

This native app has some features and shortcuts that make it entirely usable for taking notes during class. Even if you prefer writing on paper the old-school way, sometimes you might dash out of the room, leaving your notebooks behind. Instead of looking for a spear sheet or borrowing your classmate’s scribbles, you can try typing your notes. Some useful features include turning your lopsided doodles into perfect geometric shapes by lingering a moment before releasing your finger from the screen. This is very useful for sketching diagrams. Also, to easier navigate a long note, tap and hold the space bar on your screen, and it will turn into a mouse-like cursor control. Cancel your last action with a quick swipe left, and redo it with a swipe right. These features make typing in Notes almost as easy as working on your laptop.

Scanning

Another feature college students might find beneficial is document scanning. To use it, open the Notes app and create a new note by tapping the paper-and-pen icon at the bottom right corner. Tap the camera icon and select “Scan Documents.” Place your iPhone above the doc you need to scan; everything will be done automatically. Then, you can add a page, crop, adjust the orientation, rename the document, and even sign the PDF (Export > Mark Up > + > Signature). The scan is also handy for quickly copying pages of books that are not allowed out of the library and snapping a clear picture of the whiteboard or your classmate’s notes.

Reminders

You probably know it’s there, but do you actually use this feature? As a college student, you must be overwhelmed at times, struggling to remember what you are supposed to be doing NOW. You will notice how your life becomes more organized once you start setting reminders for your study group meetings, club activities, scheduled revision sessions, assignment deadlines, or even stuff like grocery shopping or taking a pill in the morning. This app allows you to color code reminders, group them, and set a “reoccurring” mode for consistent events. With this native feature, you don’t need any additional task managers.

Translator App

When you learn a language and start reading books to expand your vocabulary and gain fluency, you still need access to a dictionary from time to time. With your iPhone, it’s always at your fingertips. The Translator app was first introduced in iOS 14. It allows quick and effortless text or voice translation between supported languages. By default, the app uses Apple’s cloud computing with machine learning capabilities to deliver the best results. However, you can also download languages to use the app even without internet access. The results might not be as accurate, but it’s a great option when you are offline. To download languages for offline translation, go to Settings > Translate > Downloaded Languages and tap a downward arrow icon next to the languages you want to download. Then, turn the On-Device Mode on.

White Noise

Suppose a noisy environment easily distracts you, and music in the headphones is not the answer because you end up listening and singing along. In that case, white noise is a life savior. White noise is an umbrella term for all repetitive sounds your brain tunes out. However, they still mask other sudden noises that can disrupt your concentration or sleep. Many apps, YouTube videos, playlists, and even dedicated devices are created for this purpose. Yet did you know that since the iOS 15, you have literally a white noise machine built into the system? Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual (under Hearing), and there find “Background Sounds.” Tap Sound to choose Balanced, Bright, or Dark noise. For nature lovers, there are also Ocean, Rain, and Stream sounds. This isn’t groundbreaking, but very helpful, especially now that it’s built-in.

Low Power Mode

iPhone’s battery life is impressive and gives you many hours of autonomous work. Still, I recommend turning Low Power Mode always, not only when prompted due to the low battery level. If at the start of the day you suspect you won’t have access to a charger (whether during classes or while revising out on the green), turn on Low Power Mode in Settings. This will prevent unnecessary power drain and will allow you to see what your battery life is used for.

This post has just scratched the surface of what your iPhone can do. There are so many features that can be used for studying: lecture recording, sharing materials for group projects via AirDrop, continuing the paper you’ve started in Notes with your iPhone on iPad or Mac, etc. Do you have a favorite feature you find particularly useful as a student? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Alexander McCaslin

Alexander McCaslin

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