Date posted: 24/11/2017

5 hacks to declutter your student life with tech

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It can be tough to manage your budget, your time and the people in your life – check out our five useful tech hacks that can help you stay on top of it all.

1. Become a budgeting pro

If you're prone to enjoying that 'pay day' feeling a little too much, learning to keep a solid budget could be your best asset in the adult world1.

There are a variety of apps that can help you keep track of where your money is going (and save some for a rainy day too). Some of the top-rated free budget apps on the App Store include Mint2, Clarity Money3 and Fudget4.

If you would prefer to keep your information offline or create your own custom tracker, try an excel spreadsheet budget planner5.

2. Engage calendar clarity mode

Keeping across all of your personal, study and work commitments can be a struggle. If setup properly, both iCal and Google Calendar (as well as various other calendar apps) can help you to see your whole week at a glance.

Assign a different colour to each type of commitment/event in your life (i.e. school or university, family, friends, work, etc.) and you won't need to waste time clicking between the different calendars or reading each individual entry to see what you have on and when.

One universal view will show you each type of event you have on the horizon and allow you to plan your time accordingly.

3. Focus time

When you know you have an arduous task at hand - your instinct can be to leave it to the very last minute… Enter procrastination - our old frenemy.

Although it may sound difficult, you can break the habit. The Pomodoro Technique6 developed by Francesco Cirillo involves working on tasks in 25 minute intervals with short breaks between to help prevent burnout. Try experimenting with one of the many free Pomodoro interval timers and apps available online, such as Marinara Timer7, to help you kick procrastination to the kerb by rewarding sustained focus work.

If the Pomodoro Technique isn't for you, why not experiment with a time-logging and analysis app like Rescue Time8, or task management software such as Remember The Milk9 or the collaborative Wunderlist10.

4. Meal planning

If between classes, exams, assignments and regular study you are constantly struggling with the dilemma of what to eat, it might be a good idea to try and plan your meals a week ahead.

Compile a list of simple recipes and plot out how many meals you'll need to prepare to keep you fed for the whole week. Then make it a weekly tradition to go grocery shopping every weekend to ensure that you have everything you need to stay on top of your schedule.

Keeping a good store of healthy snacks at hand is always a good backup option too.

5. Organisational overhaul

If you're the kind of person who can't remember if you've paid your latest mobile phone bill, you could benefit from overhauling the way you organise your files.

If you currently squirrel your documents away in folders on your desktop computer and then get frustrated when you can't access them when out and about, you could look to exploring a cloud storage service like iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive.

You can create folders or labels within your email client to separate out the different kinds of mail you receive. Organising your emails will be handy around tax time when you need to dig up online shopping receipts, bank statements and bills.

Make a note in your personal calendar of when bills and other payments (such as direct debits) are due, so you don't come home one night to no electricity and a suspended Netflix account.

If you enjoyed reading our adulting hacks, be sure to check out some of our tips to help you remember all those little details.