Tackle College with StudyMinder

The summer is over and for many of us, school or college has begun. I love college and firmly believe that they’re the best days of your life. At times though having a job, attending class and clinging on to some kind of a social life is too much.

I’ve read dozens of ‘manuals’ and ‘how-to guides’ aimed at college students. They all prescribe some kind of system which in itself would require a full-time secretary to operate. This wastes valuable time and energy which could be devoted studying – or partying. Is StudyMinder the answer to this problem? Let’s find out!

I’ll not pretend that StudyMinder will make your days magically longer. Let’s face it, the week before final exams every student in the world is pushed for time and under a mountain of stress. What StudyMinder promises to do is keep track of your work and paint a clear picture of what needs to be done to attain goals.

I know, I know. There’s a million of these programs out there already, right? Right. But StudyMinder promises students a level of intuitiveness we have yet to see putting regular ‘glorified calendar’ apps to shame. But does it live up to its promises?

StudyMinder Has Smarts

The usual programs labeled as study aids tend to feature no more than a calendar and notifications. They also require heavy student input and do little more than track workload. A simple pen and paper could do that job. StudyMinder from the outset impressed me with its features because they actually solved problems many students face.

Tell Study Minder about your course

Tell Study Minder about your course

Setting up StudyMinder is actually quite easy – all it takes is a little input from the user. The main data that needs to be fed into the program is your current class timetable, existing assignments and grades along with tasks you wish to complete over the next few weeks. For smart students that like to strategise and get maximum results, you can enter different credit levels for each module. Not only will this assist StudyMinder in calculating an accurate GPA but it will also help the student prioritise study time for modules which will return the most points towards their degree.

Assignments, tasks and homework recorded in great detail

Assignments, tasks and homework recorded in great detail

Then, each time a lecturer dishes out another paper simply record the details in StudyMinder. Enter a class name, topic, due date and assign a priority. You can update progress in percentage format and cross the item off your to-do once finished.

Regular usage makes time tracking a breeze

Regular usage makes time tracking a breeze

Regular use of StudyMinder is a must to get the full use of all its features. I recommend firing it up at least a few times per week so that you’re always on top of college work. When deadlines begin approaching StudyMinder will remind you and prioritise assignments which are due soon. What’s more, based on the academic calendar your enter earlier, Study Minder will begin a countdown to finals week so you always know how long until crunch time.

The fancy features continue with the study time tracker. As I’ve mentioned in other posts here on AppStorm I love to track the time I spend both working and studying. It gives a clearer picture of time to reward ratio. The reward here being the final grade achieved at the end of a semester. The study timer allows you to log time previously spent studying and to record in a stopwatch fashion right there and then. With this you can see how much time you’ve spent studying this week, month, semester or academic year.

One of my favourite features of StudyMinder, and definitely the programs main powerhouse, is the ‘Homework Help’ section. Students can use this section of the app to ask questions. StudyMinder will return online resource which may help the student find an answer to difficult homework questions.

Obviously this isn’t going to replace good old-fashioned academic resources but it is definitely a big help when you’re stuck. Anyone studying ‘broad’ degrees such as business or arts, or high-school students, will find this to be a great help, making use of the treasure trove of information out there on the web for these degrees.

The Looks

It’s hard to complain about the design of StudyMinder. First off, the layout resembles that of Outlook delivering instant familiarity and ease-of-use. The toolbar across the top and the left hand information column give the user all the options they’d ever need while the main pane to the right displays the current tasks or information.

Caramel skin

Caramel skin

The light-blue colour scheme is unobtrusive and the icons are sharp and look great. However, there are several other colour schemes available under the options tab including caramel, as you can see above. Other include Mac, ‘Office 2010’ and Asphalt. They all look great and are easily interchangeable.

My one criticism would be of the monthly calendar which can look a little too crowded with icons and symbols. Some text small descriptor text would have looked much better, less tecky and offered the user an easier experience.

Final Grade

StudyMinder achieves almost perfect marks in my books. Short of actually doing the assignment for you, it checks almost all boxes when it comes to tracking, and in many instances automating the running of college life.

We all know what it’s like to have a deadline appear on the horizon out of nowhere. Similarly, we all know how tedious it is to track work using standard calendar apps or a diary. StudyMinder tackles these issues and makes the process ten times easier. It has some great intuitive features which have been compiled by people who actually understand what college students’ needs are as opposed to overkilling the problem with ridiculous tools and processes.

If you’re starting college for the first time, returning after the summer or are still in high school then I recommend StudyMinder. The free thirty day trial is enough time to decide whether or not is deserves a place in your academic life. For me, this year is going to be a little easier knowing everything is under control.


Summary

StudyMinder is an intuitive study aid. It is aimed at college students - helping them keep track of assignments, homework and upcoming exams. It has cool features custom designed for students and is easy to use.

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