Focusing and remaining motivated while studying is something with which many students struggle and is nothing to be ashamed of. However, it’s something that all students should aim to master. As technology has developed, so have the study tools and apps that students have access to. In the last few years, a multitude of apps have been developed and refined to assist students in improving both their efficiency and focus when studying.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to focus on school work by making use of technology and apps.
How Study Tools Can Improve Focus
Study tools offer a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your ability to focus on your academic work.
- Organisation: study tools, such as note-taking apps and digital organisers, allow students to keep all their study materials, notes, and resources in one place. This organisation reduces the time spent searching for materials and minimises distractions associated with disorganisation.
- Note-taking efficiency: note-taking apps often offer features like bullet points, checklists, and formatting options that make it easier to structure notes. This can lead to more concise and organised notes, resulting in study sessions being more efficient.
- Digital flashcards: flashcard apps allow students to create digital flashcards, which can help them memorise facts, formulae, and concepts more effectively. The interactive nature of flashcards engages memory and helps students stay focused on their study material.
- Mind mapping: mind-mapping software helps to visually organise complex concepts and ideas. This visual representation can make it easier to understand relationships between different topics, enhancing comprehension and retention.
- Time management: certain study tools include features for setting study schedules and deadlines. These time management features can help students allocate their study time more effectively, ensuring they stay on track.
- Adaptive learning: some study tools use adaptive algorithms to personalise the learning experience. They focus on areas where students need improvement, making their study sessions more efficient and engaging.
- Progress tracking: many study tools provide insights into a student’s progress and performance. Monitoring this progress can motivate a student to stay focused on their study goals and make necessary adjustments.
- Flexibility: as all of this software is located on a phone, laptop, or tablet students don’t necessarily have to carry tons of books with them when wanting to study at another location. Whether students plan to study at another location for a day or while they’re away with family for a weekend, they can easily transport their study material with them.
Study Apps vs Focus Apps
Technological items such as phones, laptops, and tablets are typically opportunities for distraction while trying to engage in focused study. However, if used correctly, they can aid in improving focus.
There are certain study and focus apps that have been specifically designed and developed to help students increase their efficiency and focus.
Study apps and focus apps serve different purposes and cater to distinct aspects of the learning and productivity experience. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between the two:
Study apps are primarily designed to enhance the organisation and management of study materials, making the learning process more efficient. They offer valuable features like note-taking, document storage, and organisation tools, ensuring that all study resources are easily accessible and well-structured.
Additionally, study apps empower users to create, store, and access a wide range of study materials, including notes, flashcards, and documents. Their focus is on content creation and retention, simplifying the process of generating study materials.
Many study apps also incorporate features such as spaced repetition algorithms and customisable study plans, allowing students to tailor their learning experiences to their unique needs and preferences.
Focus apps are tailored to increase productivity and concentration, making them an invaluable tool for students who wish to optimise their study environments. Their primary objective is to enhance overall productivity and concentration levels by facilitating effective time management and minimising distractions.
A key feature of focus apps is distraction management, which empowers users to regain control over their digital habits. These apps often offer features to block or limit access to distracting websites, social media platforms, or apps during dedicated work or study sessions. This restriction on access to potential time-wasting elements contributes significantly to maintaining a focused and productive mindset.
Types of Study Apps
There are a number of study apps to choose from that will help students effectively organise their study sessions and help them study more effectively. Some of the most well-known and notable apps include:
Quizlet is a specialised study app designed to help students create and study flashcards and other interactive learning materials. This will both save time and prevent students from peaking when trying to quiz themselves, allowing them to truly test their knowledge on a subject.
Some of Quizlet’s key features include:
- Flashcard creation with text, images, and audio.
- Access to a vast library of user-generated flashcard sets on various subjects.
- Study modes, including flashcards, quizzes, and games, to reinforce learning.
- Progress tracking to monitor a student’s study performance and improvement.
Evernote is a popular note-taking and organisation app that's known for its simplicity and robust feature set. This is the app that can do it all when it comes to students wanting to organise their study notes and easily access all their information.
Some of Evernote’s key features include:
- Note creation and organisation with notebooks and tags.
- Web clipper for saving online articles and resources.
- Cross-platform synchronisation to access notes on any device.
- Search functionality with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for finding text within images.
- Note sharing and collaboration with others for those student who participate in study groups.
Duolingo is a widely used language learning app renowned for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive language courses. While Duolingo is not an overall study app, it’s exceptionally helpful when trying to learn a new language or improve linguistic skills in a secondary language.
Some of Duolingo’s key features include:
- Engaging language lessons through interactive exercises, including speaking, listening, and writing.
- A gamified approach with rewards and achievements to motivate learners.
- Personalised learning paths based on individual progress and goals.
- Support for a wide range of languages, both popular and less commonly spoken.
- Cross-platform accessibility, enabling users to learn on web browsers and mobile devices.
Choosing a Focus App
Focusing on studying is a problem that many students encounter. Luckily, technology has caught onto this and apps intended to increase focus have been created. Some of the best focus apps include:
Forest is a gamified focus app that encourages students to stay off their phones and concentrate on their tasks. Making this the perfect accompaniment to a student’s study session.
This is how Forest works:
- A student plants a virtual tree when they start a focus session.
- If the student uses their phone during the session, the tree dies.
- Over time, students can grow a forest by staying focused.
- The app will provide statistics on the student’s focused hours.
- This app’s functionality supports a sense of achievement and discipline, encouraging students to stay motivated.
This app’s name (StayFocusd) says it all. StayFocusd is a browser extension for Google Chrome that helps students limit their time on distracting websites and ultimately prevents procrastination.
This is how StayFocusd works:
- Allows a student to set daily limits for specific websites.
- Offers a ‘Nuclear Option’ to block all websites for a set period.
- Customisable settings for maximum flexibility.
- Provides detailed statistics on a student’s website usage.
- Syncs settings across multiple devices if a student signs in with a Google account.
For those students who enjoy studying to music, Focus@Will will be very useful. Focus@Will is a music app that provides scientifically optimised music tracks to enhance focus and productivity.
This is how Focus@Will works:
- Offers a variety of instrumental music tracks designed to improve concentration.
- Utilises neuroscience-based algorithms to help maintain a student’s focus.
- Customisable playlists and settings to match a student’s preferences.
- Tracks a student’s productivity and provides usage statistics.
By leveraging the benefits of the study tools mentioned, students have the opportunity to create a more organised, efficient, and focused study routine, ultimately improving their ability to concentrate and absorb information effectively.