Getting back into the swing of education after years in the workforce is hard. It requires old skillsets and mindsets to be relearned. Just think of the learning curve you had to go through right out of college — going back to school requires the reverse.

It can be difficult to get back into the swing of studying and learning and it’s going to be even harder when you attempt an online degree while still maintaining your full-time career.

Thankfully, there are online degrees in all the top subjects. Online MBA programs are designed to teach you on your own schedule and are geared around a ‘learn today, use tomorrow’ mindset so that you can benefit from your degree right away.You can learn more about from a top university if you click here.

Knowing you are in the right degree for your future can help with motivation, but to truly succeed you are going to want to have these top eight tools at your disposal:

1.     Online Note Clipper

There are computer and web-based clipper tools that you can use to easily select text from websites, documents, captions and more with ease. Evernote is a very popular tool, but there are others available to help you keep track of the information you find online.

2.     Citation Tools

Keeping track of where you have found information can be exhausting, especially if you need to properly cite it for any essays or projects. There are online citation tools that make this process easy. When creating notes, just input the DOP number or the link and the citation site will translate it into a format your educator is looking for.

Pro versions will even keep track of these citations for you, but it is often best to keep the citation near the information you have learned from, especially if you are using statistics.

3.     Tablet Pen

For those that prefer to write notes with a pen and paper, the best tool to invest in is a tablet pen so that you can write your notes on a tablet or phone wherever you are. The benefit in doing it like this is that many note-taking apps can translate written text into computer text for you, often automatically formatting your written notes into much easier to read computer text later.

There are even advanced tools that allow you to write directly on paper and have what you write translated to your phone or tablet. It means you can benefit from the memory-retention properties of physically writing your notes, and still enjoy the easy-to-read benefits of computer text when you are finished, with no additional steps being taken.

4.     Voice Recorder App

There are two main reasons to use a voice recorder app, and that’s to either create notes or to caption your written notes. The app also allows you to:

  • Practice using key buzzwords and become familiar with talking about what you have learned.
  • Create more natural audio notes to listen to on the go.

5.     Text-to-Talk

You don’t always need to create your own voice notes, however. Accessibility tools are widespread and often build directly into the gadgets you already have. It’s only a matter of using them.

For example, so long as the document you are looking at can be highlighted, it can often be read out to you. MBAs typically cover cutting edge topics for the day, meaning you are very unlikely to come across an old PDF that hasn’t been properly hyperlinked. All you need is to input is CMD or CNTL + A and then right click to turn that text into speak.

How you do this differs depending on the device you are using, so look online for step-by-step instructions for your operating system.

6.     Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions

The best insider’s knowledge is probably going to be behind a paywall. Experts want to be paid for their advice, after all, which means you need to dip into your pocket.

Not all subscriptions, however, need to be covered by you. For industry knowledge from a magazine, you may be able to get your employer to subscribe as a resource for their employees. For academic journals you should have access through your institution.

Take advantage of these subscriptions —especially for recommended reading from your professors. Unlike essential reading, recommending reading lists will round out your understanding and support your education. You don’t, however, need to read it all at once. Go through it at your own pace and even after you complete your degree.

7.     eBook Reader (App or Tool)

Having the text is one thing, annotating it is another. eBook reader apps or the tool itself often have the ability to highlight sections in the text, search phrases you don’t understand, and of course, write notes. When you read on-the-go this is the best way to keep track of key information without trying to hassle with a pen and paper or a digital notetaker like a computer.

8.     Video Downloader

If you come across videos hosted on third-party sites like YouTube or Vimeo, then you should use a video downloader so you can access these videos offline on your commute. If your university hosts the videos themselves, it may still be possible to download the content for offline use. If in doubt, get in touch with your educator to see what is possible so you can listen to lectures, case studies, and other content on the go above ground or under it.

The right tools can help you translate what you are learning into formats that suit your individual learning journey the best. Some are auditory learners, others visual, and even more are tactile. Though you might be a visual learner, diversifying with audio and hands-on learning is important.

In all situations, however, using the above tools to create notes and save information is going to help you complete assignments and improve your memory retention. In short, they are perfect to help aid your education and your career.