At your service: A guide to the best computer assistant apps


Productivity forest in the app Forest.

Kennedy Ogden

Grammarly: Grammarly is a chrome extension app that can be added to help with all things writing. Offtentimes while writing an essay there are moments where words start to blend. Knowing what is right and wrong is hard when you have been working for a long period of time. Grammarly acts as another set of eyes to help make sure your writing is the best it can be. Not only does it help with spelling it helps with placing correct punctuation. The only faulty function of Grammarly is that when a document is open for a prolonged amount of time the in-app assistance runs flat.  

This grammar check system works much better than the built-in grammar systems. Grammarly often finds errors that other systems do not catch. This app add-on is a great addition to all writing platforms. Just remember to refresh your page every once in and a while. This add-on is a three-star resource for its effectiveness and assistance. Its downfall lies in its issues to perform after a prolonged period of time. 

Slides Carnival: SlidesCarnival is a website with free PowerPoint and Google Slides templates. Having a well-designed presentation adds a whole new level of difficulty when creating a slide presentation. SlidesCarvnival makes that much easier for students and teachers. They have a plethora of different categories to choose from ranging from Nature themed to Food & Cooking. They offer 187 different templates that all fit different topics of interest. This website is for slide presentations and only slide presentations, with no distractions. 

This app has an extremely accessible download system. Once you find your desired theme you simply click on the download button for PowerPoint of Google Slides. I download it directly to either program and allows you to quickly get to work. 

Another feature of this website is that once you have downloaded the slide presentation there are tips in the presentation. The tips explain what should go in each slide to keep the presentation engaging and concise. 

This presentation resource is a five-star resource. It has an easy-to-use platform and gives tips for using each presentation picked. 

Speechify: A majority of schoolwork in high school involves reading and for some that can be difficult for a prolonged amount of time. Speechify turns any GoogleDoc page into a podcast. You can customize the speaker’s voice and speed making it easy to keep listeners engaged. 

This app is another Chrome Extension that works just like Grammarly. Speechify is always ready to go to work. When the going gets tough, just click on the easy access play button. After turning on Speechify it immediately begins and the voice and speed are still adjustable with the taskbar. The taskbar sits on the side of whatever document is being read. This app can also read emails, PDFs, all Google resources, CNN, and other platforms. 

This extension is creative and useful for the moments where schoolwork gets tough. With all the different options for reading Speechify is a four-star resource. Its downfall is in the apps that it is not compatible with like Schoology. 

Simplemind: Life can get ahead of people sometimes resulting in feeling scattered and disorganized. Simplemind helps organized tasks and thoughts into “webs”. Simplemind is an app store app for Android and IOS. This can be downloaded on phones or computers making it accessible at school or elsewhere. 

Once the app is accessed there are many different map styles to choose from ranging from simple black and white to rainbow. The organized app style makes the app itself seem organized and remotely stressless. This is definitely for someone that is more of a visual type person. 

This app is a great three-star resource. The only fault that lies in this app is the time it takes to create a map and the audience that it is targeted for. This app is not for everyone but it can definitely help some. 

Forest: Forest is great for the easily distracted and the procrastinators of the world. Forest is an app store app and a chrome extension. This is a calming way to stay focused on school work.  When starting a task forest allows you to set a timer for time to work. As you work a tree grows in your personal garden. For some that seem slightly silly, but Forest grows real trees. For every tree, you grow with your productivity, Forest plants a real one. You can collect coins and use those to plant a tree.

While using the app motivational comments pop up on the screen. In fact, I am using this app right now. If you leave the app before your productivity timer is up the tree will die. As you progress through using the app you can unlock different species of trees and plants. 

This app helps with productivity over time with the use of it. It also helps our earth. With the environmental impact, this app has, it is a five-star resource.