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Greatest Free Online Tools for Cash-Strapped Students

College students are becoming more and more reliant on computers – and it means spending boatloads of cash on software that is only needed for a short period of time. The truth, though, students can get plenty of free alternatives out there for nearly all purposes.

Using free web tools is a cost-effective and easy way to improve your academic productivity. Well-designed apps can also replace costly software products and free up computer space. These are 14 web tools that could prove useful to nearly all college students:

  1. Posti.ca (http://www.posti.ca/) Students who often use sticky notes will certainly enjoy using Posti.ca. It can be used to make and place digital notes in the web that can be opened from any computers and any locations. Those notes can also be sent from iGoogle and Twitter and may be shared with everyone including those who don’t have a Posti.ca account.
  2. Adobe Buzzword (http://www.adobe.com/acom/buzzword/) It is a free online word processor that works in major web browsers. It can be used to create and edit documents, track changes on a project from anywhere and collaborate with others.
  3. Creative Pro Office (http://www.creativeprooffice.com/) It is a free online office management app. Features include a project manager, office dashboard, calendar, time tracker, and expense monitoring. Creative Pro Office was developed for small tech teams and independent professionals, but it could also be useful to any student who needs to boost productivity.
  4. Whiteboard (http://writeboard.com/) With this free web application, students can collaborate on projects and documents from anywhere and make changes in a snap. It allows users to write, compare, and collaborate in real time without the worry of losing their works.
  5. Bubble.us (http://bubbl.us/) It allows students to turn thoughts into a color-coded mind map and it’s also perfect for visual brainstorming.
  6. PromoOnline (https://online.primopdf.com/Default.aspx) It is a free and easy way to make PDF documents without having to buy and install software. With just a couple of simple steps, you can generate a PDF version out of any file.
  7. BibMe (http://www.bibme.org/) An online bibliography maker for those who want to make a bibliography quickly or works cited page in APA, MLA, Turabian, or Chicago format. You can enter the necessary information or use a search feature to find articles, books, websites, or video clips.
  8. ThinkFold (http://www.thinkfold.com/) Students looking for a simple way to work at group projects should find what they want in ThinkFold. This free online tool allows students to create documents, make changes and add images – all in real time.
  9. Awesome Highlighter (http://www.awesomehighlighter.com/) It takes some of the mental confusion out of online research by giving students a chance to highlight the important sections of a web page and convert it into a more manageable link.
  10. FlashcardExchange (http://www.mindpicnic.com/) Simply the world’s largest web-based flashcard library, students can create and use flashcards online. If they don’t have enough time to make their own flashcards, it is possible to study ready-made cards made by other people.
  11. Mindpicnic (http://www.mindpicnic.com/) It is an online learning software. Users can choose many Mindpicnic courses and begin studying as soon as they create a free account.
  12. NoteMesh (http://notemesh.com/?a=home) Developed by students, it is a free web service for students who need to collaborate on a collection of notes in a certain class. NoteMesh makes a simple wiki that can easily be updated by all group members.
  13. CollegeRuled (http://collegeruled.com/) It can be used to make to-do lists, classroom message boards, a color-coded class schedule and much more. Those schedules can be linked to or from Facebook profiles and opened from any computers.
  14. NetVibes (http://www.netvibes.com/#General) It is a handy tool that gathers all of your favorite email accounts, blogs, video providers, social networks, and more to a single place, perfect for students who use the same sites regularly.

Do you already use any of these online tools? If it’s the case, feel free to share your experience with us 🙂

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Tommy Ben
    March 19, 2010 at 04:33

    Thank you very much for sharing this list of useful tools, I already knew about some but I didn’t have any idea about the use of others! Being a college student myself, I find these tools very valuable. It’s nice to find such as an interesting read!

  • Reply
    Sarah Wilson
    March 23, 2010 at 14:35

    Along with Bibme, EasyBib.com is another great free bibliographic tools. You can auto-cite, and cite up to 55 different source types, and then format in Word!

  • Reply
    Sung Schlein
    March 24, 2010 at 13:08

    I loved reading such a good post. Such insighful writing is rare these days. Informed comment like this has to be lauded. I’ll certainly be looking in on this blog again soon!

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