For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jan 01 2016
by Olivia Ray Laskowski

10 Free Chrome Apps That'll Help You Nail It This Semester

By Olivia Ray Laskowski - Jan 01 2016

Alright, guys, we've got to get back into the swing of things this semester and it probably won't be easy following all of the couch potato-ing, snacking and napping we did this break. Feeling high and mighty after surviving a semester of college, not being fearful fall semester freshman and having a mild grasp on college life might make us feel like we can procrastinate and still survive. The truth is, though, that spring semester will be cold, long, and probably harder than fall. Thus, it's important to have an arsenal of tools (or in this case apps) to fight off the urge. 

1. Forest

If you're a visual, kinetic kind of person, this might be for you. In Forest, when you start a task a little sprout forms. The seed takes 30 minutes to grow into a tree, and it's your challenge to see how big and healthy you can make it. If you're working diligently on your task, the tree grows. If you're opening social media, email, Buzzfeed or other distractions, the tree will die. This is a life or death situation, and it's all on you. 

2. Move It

Focus requires breaks. Going too long without stopping or switching your task can make you less productive, and keep you from getting anything meaningful done. Even if you stop to take breaks to check Facebook or Twitter, that might not be enough to tell your body that you're breaking. Move It pops up every now and then while you're working to remind you to get up and move around. In the long run, this will make you way more productive, and also make everyone in the library think you're super quirky and hilarious.

3. TimeWarp

This one trips me out, and is absolutely awesome. TimeWarp is an anti-procrastination app that works by creating internet "wormholes." The wormholes come in three varieties. You can create a "redirect," that bounces you back to a productive page (google drive, jstor, etc) when you try to access something like Facebook or Twitter. You can create a "quote" which will display to keep you motivated. Or, you can create a "timer" that shows you how much time you've spent on a site today. Twitter may sound like a good idea, until you see that you sat on it for 3.5 hours while you should've been researching.

4. Grammarly

This plug-in works on any website or Chrome-app that you may need. When it's on, it will check you for spelling, grammar errors, and can even suggest better, more complex or clear word choices while you're writing. This is sure to improve your papers, emails to professors, or short answer responses for homework. No fear, though, it can be turned off when you're trying to be hip and cool on Twitter or Facebook. 

5. Just Not Sorry

This is one of three of my favorite apps offered by Google Chrome, and it is especially important for girls (especially in male dominated fields). Just Not Sorry was developed to help women stop diminishing their voice in the workplace by using weak words like "just" or "think" that have been engrained into our vocabulary to reflect etiquette and femininity. The truth is that these words just come off meek, and downright bad. It pops up as a reminder not to use weak words or phrases, and then gives you a bubble or quote to explain why. However, just because the app was mainly designed for women doesn't mean "just" is fine in a dude's email. Bottom line: if you use "just," "I think," or anything similar: download this.

6. Noisli 

Noisli is the second of my three favorite apps. This one is amazing both for studying and relaxing. Noisli is a background noise generator that you can mix and match to make an infinite amount of relaxing settings for working, sleeping, or chilling with friends. It has a dashboard of 10+ different noises, including rain, thunder, train tracks, coffee shop chatter, birds, forrest, wind, or basically anything else that could relax you. You can mix and match the sounds at different volumes, and save them as "naptime," or "reading" for quick access when you want them. So. Freaking. Amazing. 

7. Kickresume

Kickresume is a semi-automated resume builder that comes with templates, schemes, suggested words, and phrases to help you fill in the dreaded "job duties" or "skills" sections that nobody really knows what to fill with before they have a bachelors degree. It may seem far off that a professional resume is necessary, but if you don't have one, you'll definitely be needing it this year if you haven't already. Resume's are needed for any job without a standard application, for studying abroad, and for internships. Not only that, but they should be brought with you to any career fair or interview, and should be given to anyone you ask to write a recommendation for you. 


This planner is meant to serve as a personal development assistant. It works as more than an agenda, because it allows you to set goals instead of mere to-do lists. You can split tasks and events into different parts of your life, such as different classes, work, social obligations, clubs, or any other categories you wan't to block out. It shows you a to-do list, your obligations for the upcoming three week days, shows upcoming responsibilities and then breaks it down by category. You can organize it however you choose, making it really good for people who are visual learners or don't do well keeping a paper agenda.

9. Momentum

This is my all-time favorite of all my Chrome Apps, and I think it is also the simplest and most thoughtful. Whenever you open a new tab, instead of being greeted by a blank screen, it shows you the time, greets you by name, and gives you a little quote. Beyond that, you can organize any imminent tasks or projects. At the beginning of a work session, you can tell it your main focus. When you complete it, you can cross it off the screen (which I think is really gratifying). I think the idea of trying to not see the task every time you open a tab motivates you to finish it. It also features a mini pop up to-do list that you can add more tasks to, and will show you a different back ground each time you open a new tab. 

10. Tab Snooze

You ever need to close your tabs to start working, but you don't want to lose all the pages you've been surfing, or have 100 windows open trying to preserve them? To keep you from losing them or accidentally canceling out, Tab Snooze allows you to close the tabs and assign them to reopen at a certain time or date so that you can check them out. If you've been online shopping, but want to wait a week for a sale, you can set them to re-open. Or, if you need to work until 6, you can schedule your social media to re-open at night when you'll be chilling in bed. 

Lead Image: Google 

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Olivia Ray Laskowski - Northeastern University

Olivia Laskowski is a rising Sophomore at Northeastern University majoring in International Business and German, minoring in Economics and Global Fashion Studies. She is the editor in chief and founder of Fresh U Northeastern. In high school, she was an exchange student in Frankfurt, and she is currently studying abroad at the London School of Economics. She enjoys drinking coffee, walking aimlessly through cities and owning too many tote bags. Follow her on Instagram @o.ray or check out her website!

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