Computer Tricks for a New Semester

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I spend a lot of time on my computer. From reading for class, writing essays, sending 832,593,019 emails a day, reading (and writing for) Wesleying, and of course all the dumb internet shenanigans I get into, it really adds up.

As I enter my senior spring I thought I would share the many tips and tricks I have discovered over the years that keep me (semi) sane on a day to day basis. Listed in order of “saving me from throwing my computer out the widow” to “allowing me to sleep in peace”, read them all after the jump and then start using them! I assure you life will never be the same. Also feel free to add your favorite computer hacks/apps in the comments!

OneTab 1) One Tab. You know when you are writing a research paper and you have six windows open each with approximately 42 tabs each? And then your computer has the spiny wheel of death and you’re confused where you put that really important page and your brain hurts and you want to cry? I used to be that person. One Tab allows you to collapse all of your tabs and saves them on one handy page. This Google Chrome extension boasts 95% computer memory reduction and  has definitely made my research (and job search?!?!!!?????) 95% easier. You can name your groups and use the keyboard shortcuts for expert organization.

2) Facebook events (and birthdays!) on my Google cal. *Warning* This is a great tip for people with FOMO but not great for people who are easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cool things happening at any time on this campus. My Google calendar is my lord and savior at this school. I organize my homework there, my classes, meetings, work and even my weekends with lovely color coordination.  If you go to Facebook and click on events, then pick any event and click on the … on the top right, choose export event and then there will be an option to export all events. You copy that link, take it to Google.com/calendar and then under “other” calendars drop down list click “Add by URL” and paste it there. Now you will never miss another show/audition/party/birthday because you will be thinking about them all week! Also I have added other great calendars such as sunrise and sunset times and phases of the moon which can be added under “more interesting calendars”.

3) Boomerang. This extension allows you to send emails in the future. It’s perfect for when you need to send a time sensitive email but it’s not quite the time and then you’re busy the rest of the day. Sometimes if I’m feeling nervous about sending an email I’ll schedule it to send in an hour and then if I need to re-read it or change anything I still can before it is too late. It takes away all the pressure from the send button and makes you feel like a time traveler! Also there is a boomerang feature which you can use to make your emails come back unread to the top of your inbox if you don’t respond to them in the required time.

word-to-pdf 4) Turning in assignments as PDFs. This is a tip I just learned recently and could not freaking believe I hadn’t been doing this until my senior year. When you turn in word documents professors not only have the ability to (accidentally) change something, but also they see the underline marks from grammar and spelling errors. Also if you are one of those people that has to fudge margins or spacing to make things a bit longer or shorter, using a word document gives away all your secrets. Plus a PDF is just neat, clean, and you can be sure it isn’t fucked with.

5) Flux. This extension changes the color and brightness of your computer screen to match the room and time of day. “When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.” When you are having to write a late night paper this app is a total lifesaver for your eyes. It also helps you keep a more regular bedtime because bright computer lights can make your body confused and not ready to sleep even when you should have stopped watching Friends three episodes ago.

6) Sleepyti.me This is a website that calculates sleep cycles to make sure you are waking up and/or going to bed at a time that works with your REM cycles. It’s a little imperfect (as everyone’s sleep cycles are a little different) but is very helpful to be shown, with color coordination, the amount of sleep you will be getting each night. There’s probably other sleep apps out there but I like the simple design on this one, I also bookmarked it on my phone too so I always check it before I set my alarm.

2 thoughts on “Computer Tricks for a New Semester

  1. anon

    other helpful chrome extensions:
    google dictionary – double click on a word and the definition pops up
    pocket – save articles/videos to read later. can also be synced with your phone
    pushbullet (not a chrome extension) – send notifications from your phone to your computer, e.g. texts, snaps, tinder matches

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