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Web 2 Cool for school - A rundown of online applications for students

Web 2 Cool for school - A rundown of online applications for students.With some students already in school, and some preparing to enter yet another journey into a new semester, let DLS make your studies that much more organized with a few free desktop and web applications that will make your school life that much more enjoyable.

From free document creation applications, online to-do's and organization applications, users are faced with a decision, go for the costly desktop versions and upgrade every few years, or stay ahead of the curve with free web based applications that are constantly updating with new growing feature sets. The choice has never been easier.

This DLS special feature lists out current tools that are floating around the web as highly competitive alternatives for both students and professionals.



COMMUNICATION
Effectively communicating wherever you are begins with a new email address. Save the Hotmail and Gmail addresses for the jokes and newsletters.

Gmail Apps for your Domain - https://www.google.com/a/
Sure you can get by with your student email address, or even a hotmail, yahoo or gmail address, but why not get one that you can take with you and looks a little slicker. Domains are cheap-o, and so is setting up a professional working desktop of applications, including your own personal email address. Google makes this easy with Google Apps. Buy a domain, and instantly get 'youname@yourdomain.com' using a powerful email server.


FREE OFFICE APPLICATIONS
Getting the job done doesn't have to cost $150 and a few hours spent configuring applications. There are plenty of online office suites to choose from that do the same, if not better than ones costing up to $700. And let's face it, that kind of cash can be better allocated to other uses.

The Google Office - http://www.google.com/google-d-s/tour1.html
Jammed with all the required applications that both professionals and students seek, Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Calendar provides everything for free, online, and accessible wherever you are.
  • Google Docs – create, store and share text based documents
  • Google Spreadsheets - create, store and share spreadsheet documents
  • Google Calendar – organize and set reminders on a calendar that can be synced up with multiple sources including Outlook and mobile devices.
Zoho - http://zoho.com/

Zoho is a well rounded online office productivity suite of applications. They are a leader in shifting all documents to the online space for easy accessibility. Zoho's office suite includes these free online applications:
  • Zoho Writer – online word processor with spell check
  • Zoho Sheet – spreadsheets that can be created and shared
  • Zoho Show – create, edit and publish presentations
  • Zoho Meeting – share desktops, hold online meetings and web conferences
  • Zoho Notebook – create and collaborate on content
  • Zoho Planner – organize and maintain to-do's, reminders and notes

OpenOffice - http://www.openoffice.org
As an alternative to the online office applications, Open Office is a free powerful office suite of desktop applications. It includes everything you could possibly need to get your work done straight from your desktop:
  • Writer - a text editing platform
  • Impress - for multimedia presentations
  • Calc - for spreadsheets
  • Draw - graphics package
  • Base - for manipulating database data
  • Math - for performing mathematical equations


NOTES
Keeping up to date notes, even if you have partied too hard the night before is essential to passing that exam.

NoteCentric - http://www.notecentric.com/
Organization is key when you have your head pushed in the books. This web based note taking application is an easy way to store and share class notes with friends and help your organization efforts. Account holders can easily invite friends to join in on certain notes for simple reading or collaboration purposes. NoteCentric also has RSS abilities, so sharing and reading through feed readers is possible.
DLS review

NoteMesh - http://www.notemesh.com
Add some social flavor to your note taking with this collaborative wiki style class note taker. Users can post their lecture notes, or contribute to existing lecture notes. NoteMesh wants to get classmates to collaborate to create a single definitive source for lecture notes.
DLS review

Wridea - http://www.wridea.com/
While not particularly aimed at students, this application is a web based note taking application. The freshly colored notes and web2 style gives notes a clean look, while brainstorming sessions and RSS feeds make it easy to share and collaborate.
DLS review

Notely - http://www.notely.net/
This powerful application has it all, Calendar, To-do list, homework organizer, course manager, notes, link, contact and file organizer. With the easily managed interface, student users can focus their efforts on things that matter most, studying for the endless number of exams
DLS review



ORGANIZATION

Keep things organized, and thow shalt find it fast.

mySchoolog - http://www.myschoolog.com/
This online application tracks and organizes school lives. Lessons are entered and organized into categories, with weekly schedules built by dragging and dropping lesson planners and times for each class. There is a to-do list where appointments and homework lists can be made and the ever important reminders can be set and sent out via SMS or email.
DLS review

Stu.dicio.us - http://stu.dicio.us/
Stu.dicio.us could be a students dream. Missed a class or forgot your schedule? Students can publicly save notes and manage class schedules here. Class schedules are easily entered and tracked by class name, day, time, school and professor. Stu.dicio.us also has the ever important to-do list, and note taker. A major feature is the ability to export all notes in HTML or DOC formats for viewing, storing and printing at later dates.
DLS review

Toodledo - http://www.toodledo.com/
Quoted as the "killer task list application" , this AJAX tool has simple task entry, integration with Google Calendar, iGoogle, Firefox, and IMified. It has a developers API as well as RSS support and importing options for Outlook, iCal and Remember the Milk. This one isn't free; it costs $14.95/yr.
DLS review

HiTask - http://hitask.com/
Dragging and dropping goodness makes this task tracker a fun tool to use to stay on top of things. Colored tags can be applied so users can easily identify and review important items. Meetings or reminders can be set by dragging their instance onto a calendar and into a time based schedule. Members of teams can also be assigned certain tasks by dragging the task onto the person's name. It's a very clean and east to use application. It does not allow for unlimited information, but there is an option for a $12/year for a premium account.
DLS review



Around the school
What's around your college or university?

CampusExplorer - http://www.campusexplorer.com/
Hopefully you have your school picked out, and have been accepted, but if you don't and are doing some research for next year CampusExplorer can make your research a little easier. This online tool is a great research tool for tuition fees, Universities and Colleges in a particular city, school size, male to female rations and acceptance rates.
DLS review



CASH
Making money while at school, and not going the bar or restaurant route is possible.

Going to school and working at the same time isn't only physically draining, but it does take a toll on your brain strength, and that has to be saved for studying. There are some things in web land that can help you make money, while not killing yourself at an after hours job, here are a few.

Blogging for dollars
Start a blog, do a little SEO, keep your post rate up, and write on a relevant topic and you could make $20-$30 day like Chloe does.

Become a Google Local business referral
Google has a program that pays out individuals for referring businesses to Local listings. As a Google Local representative, Google will pay $10 towards each listing that is approved. Representatives simply have to visit local businesses to collect information like hours of operation and payment accepted and tell them about how Google Maps and Google AdWords can help their business. After that, snap some digital photos of the business for inclusion in Google Maps. Submit the goodies to Google and you're off to earning some simple dough.


If DLS readers have any other suggestions for tools and websites that can benefit students, please drop a comment, we would love to hear about them!

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