Smart Tech To Take The Stress Out Of School

Siri, what's my deadline?

Image: @kristinawilde on Instagram

It’s the end of August, and we all know what that means: goodbye summer vacation, hello back-to-school. We’ve been tackling our end-of-summertime sadness with our tried-and-true tactic of retail therapy, from restocking our worn-out shoe collection to shopping all forms of French-girl approved transitional pieces. But September is only a few short days away, which means it’s time to get serious about the upcoming academic year. 

In anticipation of a successful start to the semester, we’re talking about the best smart tech products you need to get a head start on your goals – and it doesn’t hurt that they’re stylish. Follow the five simple steps for an easy (re-)entry into school life. 

Step one: leave the house

Let’s start with the basics. Since an 8am start time is the bane of every student’s existence, there’s nothing more important than making sure you're up and about at least half an hour earlier. For that, Electrohome’s Alarm Clock Radio is even more suited to the job than your average smartphone alarm, with its built-in radio, back-up battery and phone charging cable, meaning you can free up a wall outlet for another device. If you’re the kind of student who’s constantly scrambling for your things as you rush out the door, sliding a nifty Tile Slim into your wallet could cut down on your morning anxiety. Just ring it from your phone to locate it or, on the many occasions we misplace our phones, ring the tile to locate your phone (even if it’s set to silent).

step two: stay on top of the day

Once you’ve made it out of the house, it’s important to stay organized and not let the rest of the day get away from you. If you’re on the go with a complicated schedule to keep track of (and don’t want to get sucked into mindless Instagram phone scrolling), a smart watch is your best bet. You’ll have phone calls, messages, calendar reminders and a whole slew of health and activity trackers right on your wrist, whether you opt for the Apple Watch’s more streamlined design or the LG Smartwatch’s classic touch.

step three: streamline your study

Now that you’ve got the day’s responsibilities planned out, it’s time to actually get to work. Instead of lugging textbooks or piles of stapled papers to class, the most efficient method is to download everything onto a tablet. The new iPad Pro is more adaptable to student multi-tasking than ever before: annotate your work, create gorgeous presentations on Keynote and work on graphic design and illustration projects with a touch of your finger (or, even better, with the innovative Apple Pencil). But if you’re looking an all-in-one workspace, the HP Spectre x2 does double duty as a laptop and detachable tablet – complete with a stainless-steel kickstand that positions the tablet at your optimal working angle.
The utility of these major tech tools goes without saying, but let’s not forget all the smaller accessories that keep us productive throughout the day. If you haven’t already invested in an external phone battery yet, the EMIE Kitten Portable Charger is as practical as it is adorable. But if you’re looking for the next best thing in on-the-go charging, look no further than the functional and fashionable Everpurse: a handbag (or wristlet) with a charging pocket that keeps your phone at 100% all day long. 

step four: focus

Whether you’re listening to a lecture or taking a Britney’s-Greatest-Hits break, we recommend a pair of comfy wireless headphones – invest in Bose's noise-canceling design if your commute involves a noisy subway. It may be 2017, but not everything is accepted in digital form yet, so make sure to have the Canon MG5720 Wireless All-In-One Printer on hand for hard copies of forms and papers. It also functions as a scanner and copier. And if your eyes are already aching from staring at the computer screen all day, invest in a pair of Jins Screen eyeglasses: their special lenses block up to 60% of the blue light emitted from your devices and will reduce eye fatigue caused by late-night revision.

step five: clean room, clear mind

Last but not least: who likes going to sleep in a dirty dorm room? If you’re notoriously bad at vacuuming and have extra cash to spend, Neato Botvac Robot Vacuum will likely be the most time-saving purchase you’ll make this year. Bonus? Strap a speaker to it and blast music while it cleans.

Ready for a new school year? Here's everything you need to stay on top of your schedule:
Apple Watch Rose Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band - $269
LG Watch Style Smartwatch 42.3mm Stainless Steel Rose Gold - $280
Fitbit Alta HR™ - $180
Jins Screen Glasses - $160
EMIE Kitten 10000mAh Portable Charger - $29
Everpurse Charging Handbag Kate Spade Quentin Julia Striped Wristlet - $198
iPad Pro - $649
HP Spectre x2 Detachable Laptop - $1,150
Tile Style - $35
Neato Botvac Connected Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum - $594
Electrohome Alarm Clock Radio with USB Charging for Smartphones & Tablets - $30
Urbanears Plattan ADV Wireless Headphones - $100
Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise-Canceling Headphones - $349
Canon MG5720 Wireless All-In-One Printer with Scanner and Copier - $110