There have been a lot of new productivity apps launched recently that are specifically designed for students. If only I were still in school, I might have a much easier time keeping my class schedules, homework, and exams organized.
Grades 3 is a student-based productivity iPhone app that organizes your tasks, homework, and exams. It also reminds you of upcoming projects that are due, keeps contacts for your groups, and tracks your grades. Plus, it was just recently completely redesigned with plenty of new features…
These days, when I hear the term “completely redesigned” I think of iOS 7. I expected this app to be flat, white, and with brightly colored bubbles or something. Unfortunately, the background still uses the faux wood design that the rest of the app community seems to be drifting away from. That doesn’t mean this app isn’t just as worthy of iOS 7, even with a skeuomorphic background.
Students can easily add classes, homework assignments, test dates, professor and classmate contact information, and projected grades. Most entries have a quick input wheel with premade names, dates, and times so you don’t have to spend a lot of time typing in necessary information.
Each class features four sections. Add syllabus items and keep track of your grades in the planner section. Add dates for upcoming projects and set reminders in the To-Do section. Input contact information for your professor and classmates in the Information section. Take notes and even star important entries in the Notes section.
The first thing you will add is the current semester. Then, start adding classes. To add a class, tap the Edit button the upper right corner and then tap the “Add class” tab. You can also rearrange your classes in the Edit screen.
After adding a class, tap it to see the available features. You will first be taken to the Planner section. Here, you can add syllabus items. First tap, “Add new syllabus item.” Then, select from a list of item choices. You can label it as Attendance, Class Participation, Final, Group Project, Quiz, Homework, and many more. You can also add your own title by selecting the Custom item.
You can include the number of items that will need to be turned in per semester. If you have a quiz every Monday, add the Quiz item and then select the number of quizzes you will have to take. You can also add the item’s weight for your grade. For example, attendance may be 20 percent of your grade. Add that number to the weight section and track your attendance so you will know how much it affects your grade to miss a class. The more information you add for each syllabus item, the better the app is at projecting your grade.
In the To-Do section, you can add items that you want to remember. For example, if you know there will be an exam next month, you could set a reminder one week early so that you won’t forget to study. Tap the “Add To Do” tab and then type in the name of the task. Then, tap the clock icon right next to the item to set the date and time that it is due. You can set a reminder for as recently as five minutes before a task is due, or as much as one month before it is due. Once you’ve completed the task, tap the item to check it off the list.
In the Information section, add the location and time of a class. Input the name, office location, and office hours, plus email address of your instructor. You can also enter the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of you classmates. If you are part of a group project, you can even quickly send a group email or SMS to your group all at the same time from within the app.
In the Notes section, add lecture notes, exam study sheets, or anything you want in relation to the class. Each note will be timed and dated. You can add multiple sub notes in each section and add new notes for each day that you have a class. To add a new day’s notes, tap the plus (+) symbol at the top right corner of the screen. To add a sub-note under a new one, tap the current note and then tap the small plus (+) icon right below the note.
If you take notes that are particularly important, tap the star icon to add it to the starred notes. This feature is great for marking notes that were taken about a test.
Each class can be updated to include syllabus and grade information, to-do lists with reminders, contact information for professors and classmates, and notes from lectures.
It is very easy to add syllabus items and track grades. I really could have used this in school. I was constantly trying to figure out how much I needed to get on a final to achieve a certain grade in the class. I was also always calculating how many classes I could skip and still get a passing grade.
I really don’t like the way this app looks. I know that an independent developer spent a lot of time making important changes to the features in order to make it a more useful and helpful productivity app. I just wish he had included some iOS 7 design elements.
Grades 3 is available for $1.99, which is a reasonable price for a student schedule productivity app. Depending on your need for organization, this app could keep you from failing your classes. So, I’d say the value is pretty high.
If you are a college student looking for a class organizer that will remind you when homework is due, make it easy for you to contact your group for project updates, and help you predict your final grade, you’ll want to pick this app up. Download it in the App Store today.
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