Review: StudyBlue, the ultimate studying and revising tool.
Today, I’m reviewing a service, a web app, which I love and started using almost a month ago now.
This service is outstanding, it’s simple, fast and most important of all it’s easy to use . I’ve discovered StudyBlue a month ago. Unfortunately, when I discovered it, my vacation has just started but that didn’t stop me from using it .
I spent more than 21 days organizing my important notes and lessons which I’ll need for my senior year and it worked like a charm. I prepared almost everything, all in few easy steps. You can upload PDFs, DOCs, PowerPoint slides and much more. You can copy from those documents and paste the text into a new note or a flashcard for an easy way to create new class notes from within StudyBlue.
I’ve also used Flashcards which are basically written notes to revise important rules quickly (I use the word rules because I’ve prepared them for English and Mathematic rules ).
The StudyBlue website uses Flash, but it’s not buggy at all! It’s so fast and almost instantaneous. With that being said, you can use the website on any smartphone with a Flash capability. They have also apps for iPhone, Android and soon iPad too which give you an easy to use revision tool with offline capability. I haven’t been able to try out the mobile experience for some reasons all though my phone supports Flash! (I have a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic just in-case ).
Five days ago, they announced a new feature called folders. It helps organize notes, flashcards and so on. A new cool feature . Along with the new feature, they improved the interface and now it works better even on slower internet connections; I tried it .
I’ve got the new update today so I didn’t have it the time I did the video review (in a minute), because of that I’ll describe it briefly here along with some screenshots.
The interface has changed to an even better one, it’s now more organized and now you see folders instead of just subjects:
You can create a folder within your backpack and it’s going to be the subject you’re studying or you can click on a subject and create folders to organize your notes into chapters and so one. To create a new folder do this:
Once the folder is created, drag a note or a flashcard into that folder and that’s it! (the screenshot above).
You’ll get this confirmation at the top of the screen when you’re done .
In the other hand, lucky me, I was contacted by Jennifer, the Student Relations Intern for StudyBlue, after I followed StudyBlue on Twitter. She offered to help me along with StudyBlue in case I had issues and answer questions if I had some. I was (and still) honored by her contact, you don’t get contacted by amazing people working at such amazing companies all the time!
After using StudyBlue for almost 20 days, I contacted her back with some questions and she answered them happily .
Here is the conversation:
- Me: How did the idea of StudyBlue first start?
- Jennifer: StudyBlue was started by University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate Christopher Klundt after deciding digitally inclined college students could use an online platform to study together. He is still with us as Head of Development!
- Me: Is it targeting students in college, high school or all of them?
- Jennifer: StudyBlue is for all students! We’ve been getting a lot of requests from non-students lately, so we’re working on making the sign-up process even better as I write this.
- Me: Any ideas if you’re going to target international Students/Teachers by supporting more languages in both interface and entries? My Maths teacher would love to use it except that he doesn’t know English, so support for French or Arabic and international languages in general is going to help a lot of students and teachers use StudyBlue.
- Jennifer: Although we are an American company, we recognize our growing base of international students. We’re continually reaching out to more students and working to make the experience the best it can be. We’d love your input on what is most critical to “localize” for you!
- On that, I’d love to see, when I sign up or log in, that it detected my country and language. Also, it could automatically pull up schools in my area so I could pick one up .
- Me: Now to the apps and the availability, I’ve seen that’s available for both the iPhone and Android phones, are there any plans on creating one for the iPad? I’m one of those who are completely eager to see how it works on it How about other mobile platforms such as Windows Phone 7?
- Jennifer: A special iPad app is on the way, but for now, the iPhone app is compatible with the iPad. As far as other mobile platforms, the iPhone and Android are the two biggest platforms that our students are asking for. If students start to demand for apps on other mobile platforms we will expand to meet their needs.
- Me: Since I couldn’t sign in nor try the mobile experience , I was wondering, do you support Offline access? whether it’s in the browser or the apps.
- Jennifer: Yes, the mobile app does work offline so that you can study whenever and wherever you want! It basically pulls in your most recently studied materials for you to review on the go!
- Me: There are Flashcards in StudyBlue which help us revise and I love them! My question is, are there any ideas on dropping the support for Flash and use HTML5 instead?
- Jennifer: Currently, we try to use Flash only where needed.
This is basically my summary about the service, but here’s is the link on how they explain the service.
And of course, if a picture is worth a thousand words, I wonder what a video’s worth?
Here’s the video review covering the basics of the service, how it works and so on.
StudyBlue is completely free. However there’s a paid version which gets you a couple more features. Unfortunately, I can’t get the StudyBlue+ version because we don’t support credit cards or internet payments in my country. Although I don’t really need the paid version as the free one is more than enough for me, I would get it just to support them and show some love .
So that’s it for this time’s review, I hope I covered everything, but if I missed anything, let me know in the comments.
I wish you the best of luck StudyBlue and thank you for making me wish I had school instead of the vacation!!