Amsterdesk – making studying enjoyable

On: October 23, 2012
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About Isabel Theissen
master student of the New Media and Digital Culture program at the Universiteit van Amsterdam // graduated in Social Sciences (B.Sc.) at the University of Cologne with a focus on Marketing and Media Management // studied a semester abroad at the Universté Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Political Sciences; History of Arts) // several work experiences in press work; online-communication and event management // lastly responsible for the press work of the Cologne fashion and design event "le bloc" // interested in traveling; communication; fashion and design; art -especially photography; cooking; jazz-dance // research interest: positive and negative impact of social media on the real-life; integration of social media in marketing and PR-strategies; online-communication.


Studying means a lot of work. And being locked up with your books at home easily leads to distraction and loneliness. Hence, studying at a cozy café with good coffee and some nice company would be way more enjoyable and productive. But a strong wifi-connection is important, since the Internet became an essential element of studying in the last years. Also, the venue should not be too noisy, in order to be able to concentrate. So, where to find cafés suiting these criteria?

Amsterdesk is the answer to this dilemma. It is an online-platform that reviews cafés and libraries in Amsterdam in order to map out good venues for studying or working. Thereby, it offers students and professionals the opportunity to relocate their desks from home to a more lively but still productive place: the Amsterdesk. The review criteria focus on the WiFi-connection and the coffee-price. In a more detailed description also criteria like atmosphere, availability of power plugs or the size of the tables are included. The cafés are shown on a map, so that the user can check the closest venue to his location and the route. Amsterdesk aims to make studying and working more enjoyable and simultaneously more valuable.

Why Amsterdesk?
As students at the University of Amsterdam, we experienced the dilemma of wanting to get out but still being productive ourselves. We were looking for places with a cozy atmosphere, good coffee and a strong WiFi-connection. Also, we searched for good venues for group meetings, as our homes were to small or occupied by our roomies. Hence, we came up with the idea of Amsterdesk as the answer to our needs. It recommends a selection of cafés and thereby offers a range of places that are suitable for studying or working. Thereby, it is also helpful for professionals who are looking for places where they can meet peers, clients or simply have a coffee in a different environment than their office.

Our research showed that relevant competition for this idea is low. While offers a big list of cafés and reviews them, important criteria for studying, like the WiFi-quality, the atmosphere or the availability of power plugs, is left out. Others, like and, also cover a great range of cafés and inform about the wifi-availability, but they only provide big café and fast food chains and do not include criteria important for studying either. Additionally, all of them are very impersonal and not focused on our target groups of students and professionals. Hence, Amsterdesk answers a market niche.

Future Plans
The platform initially starts as a blog, where the Amsterdesk-team posts reviews about cafés and other venues suitable for studying. Amsterdesk is also active on Facebook and Twitter, in order to be in touch with the users, to upload behind-the-scenes material and share information about new reviews. Instagram is considered as an additional channel for the future. Also, Amsterdesk is about to be available as an app for smartphones and other devices like the iPad soon.

Be Part of It
We are always grateful for tips and recommendations. Feel free to submit your own Amsterdesk and to review the cafés you already visited yourself. Otherwise, enjoy your studies and Amsterdam!

The Amsterdesk-Team
Irina Enache, Isabel Theißen, Jolien Siemerink, Katìa Truijen, Larissa Hildebrandt, Serena Westra

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