Brace yourselves – finals are coming.

If you are currently in college, you might already be swamped, like I am, with final papers, projects, and other ways to show-off to your professors on how you ‘understood the semester’s material’, but actually just crammed during these last couple weeks. As a SkyDrive Insider, I was trying to find ways to utilize Skydrive, a free cloud service that Microsoft offers, to minimize my stress with papers, organize notes better, and not fret over whether or not something is backed up.

Photo Cred: The Prospect

Photo Cred: The Prospect

Use OneNote for Your Research Notes
This is probably one of the most useful features offered on SkyDrive specifically for students. For those who run Windows and might already be familiar with this program, OneNote is Microsoft’s solution to making note-taking more efficient and clean. So what makes the OneNote option in SkyDrive so attractive than just opening a Google Doc or using Microsoft Word? For one, you can use tabs to organize your notes. Rather than having random word documents around my laptop, I have all of my notes for a paper in one dedicated document. I usually dedicate a tab to each book, article, or online source so I can figure out how to format my footnotes and bibliography at the end of the paper. Another feature is the automatic save option so you will never have to worry about losing your notes if your internet fails or computer runs out of battery.

Use Word for Your Final Paper
I only started to do using this system this year after my harddrive crashed, but I cannot emphasize enough that students should start saving their documents to these cloud services to avoid losing work. I started typing up my papers in SkyDrive’s Word in order to have my paper accessible on different computers. Since this is a heavily advertised feature of SkyDrive, people wonder how often will someone do this? From my personal experience, I utilize this function at least once a day because I have to migrate my work to my library shift (using the library’s computer) back to my laptop after my shift to the computer lab where I’m working with my friends some nights. Moving a word document on a USB drive is so 2007.

However, one function I would like to see in SkyDrive’s Word is the ability to automatically save like OneNote. Currently that is not a feature, so remember to ALWAYS SAVE THROUGHOUT WRITING (ctrl + s or command + s) and as often as possible. I usually save after every paragraph I write.

What online tools do you use to finish your paper? What are your experiences using SkyDrive? If you have any questions or comments, let us know in the comments section below!

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