Back-to-school shopping may be greatly diminished this year, but if you’re learning from home, there are several tools that can help shift your school day into top gear. We’ve compiled a list of five of our favorite virtual school supplies to help students study better, retain more, and feel more confident in their abilities. Scroll to see our picks!
A note-taking app
Our pick: Kami App
Suddenly, all of your books, lectures, and notes are online. You find yourself dealing with endless conversions between PDFs, word docs, and google sheets - and you're expected to fill them out with equations you have no idea how to create with only a keyboard!
Our recommendation: Just fill out these documents (no matter which format they came in) by hand - using a note-taking software like Kami App. Kami App allows you to import any type of document and write, highlight, circle, draw all over it, and then export it as a PDF. You can even save straight to your Google Drive from Kami App! And best of all: their free version is bomb.
A digital tablet & pen
Our pick: XP-Pen Series
So how do you write on a PDF? Ever tried drawing a formula with your mouse? Yeah, exactly. Modern art has been reinvented thousandfold. Once you're taking digital notes through an app like Kami, you need the right writing tool so that you (and your teachers) have a chance at deciphering your scribbles. The XP-Pen Series has a great variety of models, from small and affordable to expert graphic designer - you can find a great tablet and pen around the $20 to $50 mark, depending on what size you're looking for. Alternatively, an iPad and iPad pen are of course also amazing tools, but a designated graphic tablet will allow you more flexibility to connect to any device, from PC to Mac.
Our pick: Best Self - Self Scholar
So, how do you know when to do what? When you're not physically in class or running into your classmates in the hallway, it can be easy to forget which projects or papers are due when. Are quizzes and tests sneaking up on you out of nowhere? Do the days blend together into one blob that's difficult to structure? A journal that leaves you space to plan out your goals, to dos, and assignments in a way that makes sense to your brain is the way to go. We love the company Best Self because they based their planner design on research in positive psychology - the goal is to empower yourself and create space for joy and school/life balance. Check out their Self Scholar, a planner made specifically with school or college XXX in mind! 15% off sale rn.
Our pick: Staples Standard D-Ring Binder
Organization, especially when you’re doing work in your home space, is key to staying sane. Having a binder with the appropriate tabs/sections keeps everything in its rightful place, and staves off the panic of losing assignments or misplacing worksheets. The most important aspect is the D-ring component - it keeps pages from being torn, and tends to last longer than a standard C-ring binder. We like this simple 3-ring from Staples.
A standing desk
Our pick: Flexispot Electric Standing Desk
For many students, having a space dedicated to schoolwork at home has never been much of a concern, and having a workspace that works for 6+ hours of school per day wasn’t an issue. As a result, students may find themselves sitting in uncomfortable and unsupportive chairs that create back pain, neck cramps, and bad posture. Our solution? Consider investing in a standing desk.
This modified desk is electronically adjustable, lightweight, and keeps users active and engaged throughout the day. Alternating between a sitting and standing position is just the thing to ward off discomfort and fatigue. If a standing desk is outside of your price range, prop up your computer on a stack of books or a crate - even raising your laptop a little can relieve unnecessary stress on your body.
The big takeaway
It's important to remember that throughout the virtual school year, your needs may change! Having the right tools to make learning comfortable at any stage is what matters. Be conscious of your physical, emotional, and academic needs, and make your learning space serve you accordingly.
Got more questions about how to set up a virtual learning space? Call or text us at
(949) 873-6807 to get customized support.