Apps chrome

The ultimate guide to apps that actually help you study

by Autumn Kaufman

This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.

Last Sunday, I was lying peacefully in bed after watching an episode of “Euphoria” when my classmate DMed me asking if I was ready for the next semester. My heartbeat accelerated and I felt a little sick after seeing the notification. I had completely forgotten that the mid-terms were approaching.

When I tried to do research for my politics class, I grabbed my phone every five minutes and unknowingly scrolled through Instagram. I had to do something to limit my distractions on my phone and computer and improve my attention span.

In 1999, Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique based on research showing that the separation of duties is a effective study method. Many applications have exploited this technique; they use a similar premise by letting you block distracting apps and websites so you can really focus on your missions. While you’re scrambling to study, check out this guide for a few apps — listed from cheapest to most expensive — designed to boost productivity. Maybe one of them will help you break your social media addiction for good.

1. leech block NG (free)

LeechBlock NG is available as a Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox extension. It uses the same timed website blocking functionality as most of the apps listed below. A fun feature of this app is that you can configure it so that blocked websites direct you to something else of your choosing. You can choose a motivational quote to encourage you, or maybe a link that gives you a spoiler from your favorite show as punishment. Either way, this app earns points for creativity. I found LeechBlock simple, convenient and easy to use. That being said, LeechBlock only blocks sites on the browser you add it to, meaning if you’re desperate enough, you can start scrolling through social media again.

Read the rest of the story on Washington Square News.