At this point, we know it’s a cliché to bring up internet addiction in a blog.
It’s like live-tweeting the Oscars or Instagramming the food on your plate. “Yes, internet,” people think. “We know we’re addicted to you. Thanks for pointing that out.” So, we’re just going to leave it at that: the internet is addictive, and that’s a fact.
Now, as a student looking for an edge in school and the admissions process, how can you use this fact to your advantage? Trick the internet into keeping you on task by downloading applications designed to increase productivity! Here are some of our favorites:
Already extremely popular, Freedom blocks your internet connection for a preselected amount of time (even as much as eight hours!) before granting you “freedom” (ie, Internet access). The only way to get back online before your time is up is by restarting your computer. Author Zadie Smith uses it!
SelfControl is a lot like Freedom in that it restricts web surfing. However, instead of completely blocking your internet connection, SelfControl, which is free, blocks only websites that you’ve added to your “blacklist.” The goal is to keep you from procrastinating on Faceboo, Twitter, Gmail, etc., while keeping the rest of the internet available to you for research, fact-checking, and other productive tasks. Just keep in mind—unlike Freedom, SelfControl blocks your access to blacklisted sites for the duration of your session, no matter what.
Talk about stripping the writing experience down to its bare essentials! WriteRoom gets all the “bric-a-brac” of your standard word processor and computer out of the way. All you get is text and screen. Thoreau would be proud! With tons of intriguing themes—who wouldn’t write genius works with this typewriter theme?—WriteRoom is a no-nonsense program that keeps your focus on your writing—and nothing else.
Unlike Freedom and WriteRoom, Evernote is not the digital equivalent of a prison cell. Rather, Evernote is an all-in-one notetaker. It lets you keep all of your notes, shopping lists, essay ideas, application deadlines, articles you want to read later, etc. in one place. We find it very helpful for keeping track of on-the-go ideas, reading notes, and important dates and reminders.
Wunderlist is the ultimate all-in-one task manager. Make to-do lists, plan trips, set reminders—it’s all easy and free with this highly-regarded app. Best of all, it’ll sync with iPhone and iPad. Never forget an assignment again!