Knowing how to use your laptop to optimize your academic life may be just as important as using mobile apps and tech taming strategies. See if browser extensions, free software, and computer apps serve your academic needs.
Have other web tools you’d like to recommend we feature? Suggest them here.
Reading and Writing tools
Livescribe Pen – A pen with a built-in digital recorder. Upload your electronic notes to your computer.
Dragon Naturally Speaking – Turn your speech into electronic text.
Read and Write Gold – Text to speech software that reads aloud any electronic document from PDFs to websites.
Internet blocking sites
Stay Focusd – Designate how long you can spend on time-wasting websites before they become inaccessible for the rest of the day. A Google extension.
Mac Freedom – Disable your entire internet connection for a specified time. Windows, Mac and Android compatible. $10.
Self Control – Block specified sites for a specified period of time. A free Mac application.
Leech Block – Select which sites to block, for how long and when. A free Firefox add-on.