Technology use in education has come a long way in recent years, and it’s really helped my workflow. If you told me ten years ago that I’d be checking my email on my watch or asking my phone the square root of four, I wouldn’t believe you.
Last week, I mentioned my top five favorite apps that I use frequently as a student. This week, let me share with you my favorite features I use across my iPhone 12 and Apple Watch SE that help me with my university work.
Siri has become my multi-tasking companion on my iPhone and Apple Watch. Whenever I don’t have a free hand, I can simply say, “Hey Siri” and the familiar voice is there to help. I use it a lot to set reminders, double check what’s on my calendar for the day, and to look up something simple via Safari.
We all tend to get distracted at times, and this mode helps turn our attention back to our tasks. Focus mode is my go-to when I’m taking an exam or need to fully concentrate on what I’m doing.
Once set, it will work across all my devices so I won’t be disturbed. When it’s turned on, I don’t receive any notifications on my Apple devices. However, you can customize to keep certain app notifications on or allow certain people to contact you while Focus is on.
In this mode, you can set certain modes for tasks at specific times. For example,there’s a Work mode you can set to automatically turn on during your work hours. The other modes include Do Not Disturb, Driving, Sleep, and Personal. There’s even the option to customize your own mode I named mine ❤️ just for fun.
During my studies, I tend to manually turn on Do Not Disturb because I don’t always work at the same times.
New with iOS 15, Focus mode is an underused feature. If you’re curious to learn more about Focus mode, check out my colleague’s article on the subject.
Timer on Apple Watch
I use the timer on my Apple Watch on an almost everyday basis. While it’s great for personal use, it can be a good tool for students as well. You can set a timer manually using the app on your watch, or you can ask Siri to set a timer for you. I usually opt for Siri’s help as it’s faster.
There are various ways a timer may be helpful for a student. One method that comes to mind is the Pomodoro Technique. For those unfamiliar, the Pomodoro Technique is a study method where you do four tasks in 25-minute sprints. After the first three 25-minute sprints, you’ll take a five minute break. Once your fourth sprint is up, you can rest.
There are Pomodoro-related apps, but many require in-app purchases. This makes the Apple Watch timer a great (and free) way to go. When the timer’s up, the device will gently tap your wrist to let you know.
Apple Pay is a convenient (sometimes too convenient) tool to pay for items using your iPhone or Apple Watch. I sometimes forget my wallet in another bag when I grab my backpack and head somewhere to study, which previously left me without money. However, now I have my Apple Card stored in my virtual wallet, and I don’t have to worry about that anymore. With a double-click of a button, I have money on my wrist. Not to mention the lovely feeling of getting 1–3% daily cash back from the Apple Card.
Now if only more states would accept digital IDs stored in Wallet, I’d leave my physical wallet behind more often.