I have just been impressed by a new site/application site. Lifehack had an article about Studyrails the other day and I decided to check it out. It wasn’t so much a review as it was an offer for 100 free accounts at the site through January 2009.
I put my name in the hat, and didn’t get one of the free accounts. They did send me an email to let me know, and I decided to try out the site anyway.
Once I was there, Studyrails asked about some personal information (that they promise not to share), asked about my classes and their schedules, and finally some location/phone information. This was very painless and easy to step through. I give kudos for their great interface.
Upon entering the real site one can tell immediately that it very closely looks like Google Calendar. Fortunately, Studyrails is different enough to notice though. Their scheduling is great in that it lets you block off time and have it assigned automatically or specifically by you to certain tasks. All of the time assignment can be done by click-dragging across a period, and then assigning it to an event, studying, or whatever.
The calendaring is not limited to schoolwork. You can schedule generic ‘events’ as well so that you don’t schedule study time or anything else during a meeting or party. We all know how important those parties are to students. As you are scheduling, you can set whether you want a reminder per-event. That’s nice for things that you won’t forget, so there’s no need to have a reminder sent (like a Monday – Friday job).
Normally, I am very skeptical of new sites that claim to be new and innovative, especially those still in beta. When I went to check out Studyrails my attitude was no different. I have to say that they definitely impressed me. Perhaps it just caters to me because I am a student, I crave organization, and the interface is useful.
I know that you could do this on your own at most calendaring sites. My like of this site was definitely swayed by the ease of use the interface provides when scheduling.
My experience was not totally glowing. There were a few instances that the interface showed ‘server error’ and did not appear to save my settings. Upon refreshing the page, everything did show up correctly and saved however.
My final opinion – great site if you have the money to buy a subscription (I don’t), but still in beta (could disappear or lose all your data) and again, the subscription.
If you have the loot and want a good calendaring program/site, go give them a shot. It’s definitely worth checking out the free trial just to see it for high school and college students.