NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You


Free online tools you’ll want to use.

Posted on Nov, 07 2014

The college experience can be stressful with everything students have to manage: staying organized, doing research, and writing papers. We have a few solutions for you to make college life a little easier. We have reviewed some of the top online tools and below are the four we found to be helpful, easy to use and most importantly FREE.

Bibme  - No more incorrectly formatted bibliographies.

This online resource is for students to use for formatting bibliographies in academic papers. It covers MLA, APA, Chicago and Tiburian citation formatting. Students simply search for their source, add it to their bibliography on the site and then download the completed bibliography to Word. Plus, if a student is unable to find his or her source there is a manual entry mode that allows the student to enter the information and Bibme lays it out into the correct citation format.  

Dropbox – Don’t lose your data.

After creating a free, secure account, this online tool allows students to save all of their documents to the online cloud, so they are able to access their documents just by logging on from another device including smartphones and iPads. Students can share documents when working in groups by creating a share folder and allowing other students access to the folder. There is also an option to have your photos automatically saved from your phone to Dropbox just by making the selection in your Dropbox settings.

NDSU Libraries – A wealth of resources.

As students of NDSU you have free access to the NDSU Libraries’ online resources including: journals, databases and research guides. These resources allow the ability to find sources you will need for your academic papers. If you have difficulty navigating any of the resources there are librarians available to help and their contact information is located on the site as well as a live chat feature.

Google Calendar - Stay organized.

Now that a number of things are electronic not everyone wants walk around with a planner. For those who would like to be more organized and want everything at their fingertips, whether it is on a Smartphone, tablet or PC, Google Calendar is the tool to use.  Users can enter in events, appointments, class schedules, homework assignments and tests and look at their schedule from a day, week or monthly view. If you prefer to have a hard copy of your schedule the calendar is easy to print.

Do you have a favorite free online tool that is not on our list? Share it with us on Twitter @ndsuotl or on our Facebook page.

Written by: Shannon Jacobson, public relations and marketing intern