Three websites every first-year should know

Save time for what really matters

From grabbing notes for that class you missed to citing an essay to organizing your drinking schedule, being a new university student isn’t easy. Luckily, there are three amazing web sites—Google, Workflowy and CiteMe— that will help you keep up with your studies. Learning to use these sites will make your life as a student much easier.

This may seem like an obvious choice but it’s one of the most robust, useful applications on the web and most people use it just to search. Google is your best friend and it has grown into one of the most fully-featured web applications around. With resources such as Google Docs, Books, Maps, Calendar, Gmail and their newly launched Google Play store where you can buy ebooks, apps and more, Google is a student’s best friend. Clicking the top menu bar at Google and diving in to any of these useful applications will guide you in the right direction for an organized school year.

There are a lot of note taking applications on the web, but Workflowy, with its minimal design interface and extreme ease of use, has become my favorite. You are introduced to a very friendly video tutorial immediately after signing up and, once you master a couple of easy-to-learn hot keys, adding notes and sub-notes is a breeze. Another useful feature of Workflowy is sharing notes — just select a note to share and choose whether or not your friends can edit it. Workflowy will then send you a link that you can share with your study group or project mate, making this a very effective collaborative tool.

CiteMe is a Facebook app from the Online Computer Library Center that helps you format your citations. Type in a book, author, subject or ISBN and the app will fetch the results from its massive online database. With the results you can select the proper citation that you’re looking for, be it Chicago style or MLA. The style will be there for you to jot down to ensure you have the proper citation formatting no matter which standard the professor wants. Another amazing feature of CiteMe is the ability to search locally which libraries have the title you’ve searched for. Want to see if a certain book is available in Saskatoon? Just type it in, click Find a Library, enter a postal code or city and you’ll have your information!

John Foster studies at the University of Saskatchewan. This article first appeared in The Sheaf.