College life – at least the academic parts – is all about heavy lifting. Between the 20 textbooks that you have to haul across campus, the binders filled with notes and assignments and the storage needed to keep track of your group projects, you’ll be lucky if your arms don’t look like Popeye’s once the school year is out. This just gets worse when you factor in the work of carting group project research and notes to the library or across Los Angeles to a group member’s house each time your research group meets.

Of course, as a fan of gadgets and other techno-goodies, you know that every problem has a cool, often high-tech, solution. Until we perfect teleporters and anti-gravity backpacks, check out these cool solutions.

GigaTribe ( is, as the name implies, a service that lets you share data with the whole group (or tribe). The display will be familiar to anyone who has ever used a data-sharing network like Napster, but this service only shares files with people you have approved on your list. So, as long as you aren’t using it for illegal file transfers, it is a great way of sharing research with your group without having to meet in person.

Sure, e-mail could do much of the same work, but GigaTribe offers a few more perks. In addition to transferring data, you can chat with your teammates and leave them blog posts, making this a useful tool for synchronizing and coordinating your workloads. Best of all, GigaTribe’s basic functions are all free, with the useful additional features available for $5 a month or $30 for the full year.

Unfortunately, not all assignments can be left in the digital realm. That is what Timbuk2’s ( Swig backpack was made for. The Swig is an amazingly roomy backpack that is built to snugly carry your laptop, but the rest of the bag is roomy enough to carry a small desktop computer.

The Swig is not just about room and construction, though. These cool backpacks are customizable, giving you the ability to pick colors and fabrics ranging from simple colored Nylon to cool floral camo to lightweight, shiny gold and silver diamonds.

You can even add pouches to hold gadgets and a Beerdaleer (although you may not want to cart a beer with you to class) for a bit extra. Sure, these customizations may not actually help you lift anything better, but it will lighten your spirits.