Tuesday, November 14, 2017

9 Software You Will Need For Survival In The Poly!

Welcome back to a new semester! Now that you’ve gotten into the swing of things, we’re recommending nine software programs that can help you ace that presentation or keep your laptop in good shape.
Some of them are pretty basic, but some others may be brand new finds: Read on, NYPians!

Although this is pretty much common sense, most students forget to install this. With the rise of cyber-attacks caused by ransomware like WannaCry, it is crucial to install antivirus software. True story: A Trojan virus infected my first laptop and the situation became so bad that I had to reformat my hard disk, causing all my data to be wiped out.

All that anguish and pain could have been avoided by activating an antivirus subscription. Most of the laptops come with a free 1-year antivirus subscription. You can choose to extend the protection period or install other free antivirus software like AVG or Malwarebytes.


You have probably heard of Photoshop, which is great for designers. But for students not from design courses, creating good visuals for a project may be quite challenging. Canva is an online photo editor not only simple but also free to use. It can even create some pretty impressive infographics.


Video editing may seem like a complicated task, but Openshot is the best bet for non-media students who need to create videos for their projects. The simple video editing program can be used on both Mac and Windows. Furthermore, Openshot supports various video formats and is also free to use.

It is so easy to be distracted with YouTube and funny cat videos while working on your laptop. Personally, I use FocusWriter to do my assignments as this program hides all the distracting icons on my laptop. It also runs on both Mac and Windows.


Grammarly is a free software that helps to identify and correct spelling and grammatical mistakes as you type. You can even use it to check your writing on Microsoft Word or Chrome! Check it out.


Most students will inevitably end up procrastinating at some point. Here’s where Toggl will come in handy. It can be used to set a certain time limit for doing specific tasks, such as your assignments. When the time limit is up, you will be notified to take a break or start on your next task. It can even provide a summary of what you did on your laptop. I recommend this for anyone who needs help with time management. 


imindmap is a free program for anyone who needs to make a flow chart or mind map. Personally, I have been using imindmap since secondary school to organise lessons into simple diagrams to better understand concepts. Students who are visual learners would definitely benefit from this.


This software is great for writing and organising your notes. There are features for you to quickly locate notes taken down months ago, and you can even link it to your smartphone. Definitely convenient. Download it here.


Chemistry students like me are often needed to “draw” chemical structures. Chemsketch is a freeware that allows you to draw and edit chemical structures with finesse. Check it out here.

By Christopher Teo, Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry
A smile is a curve that sets things straight.

Never be afraid to try. Even if we fail, there is no better way to live.

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