Everything you need to (not?) go back to school

The very best stuff for... getting through it.

It's time to go back to school, but the world is plunging into chaos.

Well, the United States is plunging into chaos if we're being specific. Some students are going back to school while others are grappling with the compromises of remote learning. We're all working remotely here at Input, so on a certain level we feel you. It's hard! Neither option is perfect, so we've put together some helpful apps, gadgets, and whatnots that will help you become a productive member of society. Because as we all know, nothing is more important than contributing to the economy. Enjoy!

If you've suddenly been thrown into remote learning, you might find yourself drowning in homework or paperwork or all different kinds of files. Hazel, or a Windows alternative called File Juggler, allows you to set up rules and filters that can automatically process files based on a huge number of criteria. It is expensive, but it's absolutely worth it.

There are a ton of note taking apps out there right now, but you’ve got to find one that clicks for you. Notion is the one that works best for me; it’s not as open-ended as some, and those guard rails help me stay organized. It’s free, but there are a number of corners that will gently nudge you toward a paid subscription.

Nike’s upcoming Offline mules are the ultimate “anti-sneaker,” intended for moments of leisure and includes interchangeable midsoles for different sensations. The first midsole, Sensation 001, comes with strategically placed nubs in a bid for a "massage-like" experience. They’ll be available on August 28th via the SNKRS app.

Brass, like copper, has antimicrobial properties. And as much as we’d like to move to an all-digital world during the pandemic, sometimes you just have to write IRL. It uses standard ink cartridges, so you can use finer or broader tips, and it’s just a nice looking pen.

Are you looking for a comfortable hoodie made out of high quality materials that will look great on a video call? Look no further than Nike’s Sportswear Club Fleece. As Nike’s product page says; it’s a closet staple.

Text expansion can change your life. If you find yourself repeatedly typing the same thing over and over, a text expander can map that text to a keyword, saving you huge amounts of time. It is expensive by modern standards, but listen, sometimes you’ve gotta pay for the good stuff.

Want to turn the cozy factor up to 11? These Yeezy-esque slippers from SoleSlip are perfect for tooling around the house between video calls, like walking on clouds.

If you’re using a laptop, chances are extremely high that your webcam looks like shit. There’s no other way to say it, it’s bad and laptop makers (Apple…) should be ashamed for making you look bad. Not only does the Logitech Brio stream your beautiful visage in blistering 4K, but it also has a number of software tricks to make you look even better.

Whether you’re going back to school or logging on virtually, your phone is probably gross. Using harsh cleaning chemicals can damage the oleophobic coating on the glass, but Samsung’s upcoming decontamination box will flood it with germ-killing UVC rays. And it’ll recharge your batteries if your phone supports wireless charging!

Look, you’re going to be sitting. A lot. You need a chair that will support your body, keep you sitting in a posture-positive position, and not look totally horrible in a room. Herman Miller’s Sayl is the answer. Sure, it’s very expensive, but it will last a lifetime, and you’ll use it a ton. When you’re old and you can still stand up straight, this chair will seem like a very good investment indeed.

Look, sometimes you have to go outside. Some of you may even be physically attending classes. Not great. What is great, however, is Goodfight’s SALVAGE mask in “Blue Camo.” It just looks rad as hell, and like it’ll stand up to more than a few washings.

We have an entire guide on ring lights, but if you just need a cheap one to look your best on stream, then the Sunpak ring light is what you need. It’s a 19-inch light, which will give your face a nice and even glow that minimizes harsh and contrasty shadows.

Want to give off an extremely chill vibe on your video calls? Uniqlo’s Cuban U shirt will give you exactly that: a relaxed fit, wide collar, and elbow-length sleeves. Your fellow classmates will think: Dang, how are they pulling off this relaxing demeanor?

If you’re learning from home, there’s no reason to keep torturing your hand with a touchpad, and yes, that includes the one on your MacBook. Repetitive stress injuries are no joke, and even though using a mouse won’t always prevent them, it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable than tapping on a flat piece of glass. Plus, the Logitech MX Master 3 is our Reviews Editor’s personal favorite.

Got a test coming up? Flash cards are a tried and true method for cramming information into your noggin, but physical cards? We’re done with that. Instead, use your phone or tablet for something that’s actually productive. Will you have to resist opening Instagram? Yes. Will it be worth it when you have a nice shiny test grade. Absolutely.