The Best Free Software for Students and Interns

Mon, Jul 30, 2012

Internship Information

Every student knows that the right tools can make for a successful college experience, which is why most now carry myriad devices loaded with programs and apps. But if you’re on a fixed budget (as most students are) you might not have the money to get all of the software needed to help you navigate the often stormy seas created by school, work, and internships. So here are just a few free programs that can help you keep your life in order as you steer towards a diploma.

  1. Word. Document creation is a huge part of any student’s life, whether they’re taking on an internship or simply trying to keep up with classwork. And while computers often come with some kind of basic package that includes a word processor, you might not want to splurge on this software when you’re building your custom Dell laptop (after all, it could come down to a choice between the Windows package that includes Microsoft Word and the GeForce graphics card you need to play your MMOs – the clear winner is graphics capabilities). Luckily, there are quite a few word programs available for free, such as Apache OpenOffice and Google Docs, that can give you the functionality you need to get your term papers in on time.
  2. Scheduling. Planning a comprehensive calendar while you’re in school is essential to staying on top of your many tasks and activities. And this is especially true when you add an internship to the mix (after all, you don’t want to screw up an opportunity to get a good reference or even a job offer down the line because of massive disorganization when it comes to your schedule). Google seems to have all the tools a busy student needs to get by and this area is no exception. Google Calendar is not only easy to use and highly functional; it can also sync with most desktop calendars for easy crossover. You might also want to check out the class schedule generator at myedu.com, which can help to break down your days into an easy-to-see time chart.
  3. Project management. Now that you’ve got your ducks in a row with your overall schedule it’s time to get down to the details, and a project management app will really help to ensure that you keep class assignments on track, and that any projects you do for your internship are orderly, precise, and delivered in a timely manner. Open Workbench is not only a free, open-source alternative to pricy project managers; it’s also one of the best programs available (and improving all the time). And aside from the standard options for assigning tasks and due dates, this software looks at activities and resources to help advise you on how long particular the overall project should take.
  4. Notes. As freebies go, Evernote can provide you with the basic ability to take notes on your many mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.). But if you’re looking for a hands-free option, try Dragon Dictation to create voice memos on the go. You’ll never again find yourself digging through a bag for a pen and paper.
  5. Audio/video. This may not be essential to all students, but considering you’re far from home, the ability to create videos for your family and friends could be a real boon (especially when you don’t have time to call). So download Audacity, VirtualDub, or even Windows MovieMaker to keep everyone in the loop on your many classes, activities, and of course, your new internship. And for the time you can spare to talk, get Skype for video conferencing so your mother can see your smiling face.
| More

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.