Wednesday, 30 August 2017

App-y Back to School

Since I’ve been working in a tech department for the past year (I know, not the most expected place for an English major, but it’s worked out well), I thought I’d mention a few apps I’ve come across that have helped me countless times whenever I had a school-related issue.


If you’ve ever wanted proof of how, as a millennial, it actually is possible for us not to touch our phones, then this is the app for you! Oh, and it also gives you motivation to not touch your phone while studying. What’s the motivation you ask? You can plant trees, both fictional and real! Who doesn’t love trees?


We’ve got to stay hip when it comes to protecting our accounts and information, and the coolest way to do that is through a password manager. There are many kinds of password managers that are available for many different devices, so you can do some research to see which one is the right one for you. Either way, it’s the best decision you can make to safeguard your accounts.


What a fun name for an app! It’s also accurate because it does exactly that: it gives you a map of any city in the world without using data while taking up minimal storage. I’ve used this for travelling and it’s a lifesaver. Whenever you’re lost, a little homesick in a new city, and looking for the nearest Starbucks, you can just open Maps.Me and search for it. Maps.Me, Maps.Me! *sigh* That will never get old.

Office Lens

Here’s a nifty app if you’re constantly snapping photos of class notes on the projector. Office Lens takes photos and translates them to PDFs or Word files. It works with whiteboards, projector screens, and the good old pen and paper.


While eating is one of my favorite pastimes, I’m afraid I haven’t been blessed with the best cooking skills. But that’s okay, because technology has come to my rescue more than once in the form of epicurious. It gives me yummy, easy recipes that I can search for based on popularity, dietary concerns, and ingredients. The bonus is that they all sound super fancy and complicated to make, so I actually come off as a really impressive chef in the end.


Let me paint a pretty picture of why you should have this app:

I was walking to class, just like any other day. This meant that I took the pedway from the LRT station to HUB. It also meant I had my headphones on, jamming to the latest and greatest. As I approached the HUB doors, I noticed a crowd of people standing around. I figured they were a study group waiting for their other study partners or something and continued into HUB.

My journey through HUB was not the same as usual. This was because there was absolutely no one in HUB. Which, if you have yet to see that, was freaky. Just as my overly tired mind figured it was probably nothing, I got a notification from my UAlberta app saying that the CO2 alarm in HUB was going off. I pulled out my headphones and sure enough, there’s that alarm.

Thankfully it was just a drill (which I failed), but I would have probably been seriously injured had I not had that notification! It also taught me to turn down my music a bit…

The UAlberta app also gives you quick access to your class schedule, eClass, campus maps, and campus events.


My go-to for literally anything I’m trying to find in a city. It’s mostly used for finding restaurants based on certain criteria, but you can also find a lot more with it! Use it as a good start for figuring out the best coffee spots around campus or for finding a hairdresser you can trust.

Rachel - YouAlberta Contributor

After spending a year in work experience being too cool for school, Rachel is spending the last year of her English degree eating as many $1 donuts from the Undergrind as she can. When not on campus, she's snuggling up to her gecko and eagerly awaiting another season of Arrested Development.

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