It’s official: mobile apps are taking the world by storm! In the age of smartphones, it’s becoming more evident that we’re accommodating significant changes in the way we study and consume information—and apps are playing a massive role in it!
Gone are the days of old-school technology, and getting things done with only a pen and paper in hand. Indeed, the technologies and digitization behind these mobile apps are bringing about new trends that are causing drastic changes in the higher education sector! In academia, mobile apps are enriching students’ learning experiences and making life generally easier for everyone.
Discover 30 of the best apps that you can get the most use out of as a college student. Navigate our list with ease with these quick links:
Study Tools and Homework Help Apps
Hear us out when we say that your trusty source for music content is one of the best channels for you to learn more and be productive. Spotify may seem like a harmless little app that’s only useful during downtime, but believe us when we say that you can get more use out of it for academic purposes. If you’re looking to relax and increase your focus, some playlists and tracks specifically address this (binaural beats, white and brown noise tracks, and guided meditation tracks/podcasts). Additionally, there are tons of podcasts that you can listen to boost your understanding of specific concepts – the search results can surprise you!
Ugh, math. Just the thought of it makes the most of us turn inside-out. If you feel like swallowing a huge lump in your throat whenever you’re faced with a thread of equations and solutions (you’re not alone, we promise!), then you may have to seek reinforcement where it counts. Introducing Photomath, a nifty app that helps students solve even the hardest of math questions. Mathletes and mathematically challenged individuals will love its intuitive design and helpful features (including animated and step-by-step instructions, smart calculator, and graphing tools). Hands down, this is the best app to keep all those jittery math sweats at bay!
Slader is up there when it comes to peak millennial privilege, an app that our parents would have wished existed during their time in school. You heard it straight from us – it’s one of the best apps that you can get, as it provides you with answers to any problem in your textbook for free. No questions asked – it’s all there. If you’re stumped at one question or hoping to get a step-by-step during your study, Slader will provide you with valuable resources. From Math to Science (and all those steps in between), you’ll surely find a lot of uses for this app.
We all know this premise: imagine having an assignment so hard, you wake up the next morning stressed, woozy and unprepared. Tough luck. Know that it doesn’t have to be that way! With Brainly, you’ll have your fill of the answers, fast! It is a community that cares and shares, with around 200 million students and gurus ready to help you crack down whatever difficult assignment you may have right now. There’s no question too tricky or lengthy for users at Brainly – from the dreaded Maths and Sciences, and even up to the (sometimes obscure) Humanities like History, you’ll get your answers!
Ah, yes! The joys of learning something new every day. It may not be a highly cerebral or academic endeavor, but it pays to enrich your talents and skills as an adult, especially during your free time in college. Luckily, there’s Instructables, a powerful app that helps you create things. From the practical stuff up to the most whimsical of projects, you’ll surely love the portability of the app, where you can explore instructions related to cooking, tech, housekeeping, and arts and crafts! They even teach you how to create game items and other neat life hacks!
Dubbed as ‘The World’s Smartest Flashcards.’ Brainscape is an all-powerful study companion that guarantees optimal retention with continued use. It incorporates the proven concepts of spaced repetition that are backed by years of cognitive research. You’ll love it for its versatility. With the app, you can create your flashcards that you can use in class, or find pre-made decks in line with the subject you’d wish to study. You can even share and collaborate with friends on the app, or race to the top in a friendly learning competition.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary app, available on Google Play Store and the App Store, encompasses everything that you may need in a dictionary and thesaurus. You don’t even need an internet connection to view definitions, synonyms, and antonyms (except for media content). Use it for a variety of things, including using it as a quick reference for coursework papers and using it as a vocabulary and spelling trainer (if that’s something up your alley). It has a voice search feature and vocabulary building quizzes for your enjoyment. It’s the most trusted academic tool that you can take wherever you are!
As a student, you may find it hard to put things in one place. Especially if you’re completing a thesis, there may be truckloads of PDFs, documents, and other references that you’ll need to get a hold of. Mendeley’s powerful app (available on both the App Store and Google Play Store) allows you to work across platforms and helps you access all of your resources in one library that’s super easy to navigate. You can read and annotate all of your PDFs, and sync all these notes for online and offline use.
With more than 20 million users, you may be wondering why so many people choose Any.do to get things done. A productivity tool that’s packed with potential, the app allows you to break seemingly large tasks into manageable chunks, kickstarting your momentum, and allowing you to adapt effective productivity strategies into your daily life. Additionally, if you’re the forgetful type, you can always rely on the app for consistent and timely reminders of what you have to achieve for that day. You can even work together with your groupmates and friends with its shared lists and assigned task features.
Are you a pen-and-paper kind of person? Do you feel the need to embellish every single one of your notes, or keep them colorful and presentable for optimal learning? If you hate taking notes on a device, Notability will let you think otherwise. The app allows you to combine different digital elements, such as pictures and PDFs, where you can add annotations or even play around with different sketching tools. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to keep all of your notes in one place and collaborate with your classmates. You can choose to sync it with Google Drive, AirDrop, Email, and Dropbox for added convenience.
Digitizing all of your notes and relevant documents just got simpler! And no, it doesn’t involve any of those chunky and bulky scanners of yore – you just need your smartphone for the job! With Scanner Pro, you can quickly scan and save a digital version of your papers, with automatic tools that help define borders, keep distortion at bay, and other clarity parameters in check. Best of all, you can save and organize all of your documents and extract actual text from the picture! It even performs decently in low-light situations, making it one of the most dependable apps that you can download.
With everything going on in this world, you may feel it hard to focus and keep your head in the game. If you have a short attention span or feel that it’s almost too impossible to be productive, you may want a bit of help from Forest, a productivity app that integrates a gamified timer. The concept is that you will have to plant a ‘tree’ when you want to get productive. As you carry on with your tasks and earn gold coins, your forest thrives. Consequently, when you fall short of your goals, your tree slowly withers – a surefire way to keep your focus in check.
You may have heard of the popular Pomodoro technique. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to cut down distraction and space all of your breaks properly to prevent burnout and premature fatigue. With the PomoDoneApp, you can easily track your workflow as it is more than just a cute timer – you can integrate all of your task management apps (i.e., Todoist, Trello, Slack, and Evernote) in one place and let your lists be your guide. Monitor the time you spend on essential activities and help you plan better strategies to get ahead in school.
In the modern age, it’s pretty easy to get sidetracked with the Internet. Whether it’s a few minutes of cat videos or a complete season rerun of Friends, you know it sucks when you realize that it’s wasted time that you can never get back. With Rescue Time, you will be able to get more out of your day, as it cuts off your access to websites and content that may distract you from getting work done. It runs incognito and behind-the-scenes, with real-time stats that show you exactly how you spend your time on the Internet. It even spotlights social media trends and usage stats, making you more conscious about endless scrolling.
You can say that Notion knows how to keep up with the millennial culture. It is kind of the ‘cool kid’ of apps, with its sleek and intuitive design and highly customizable interface that brings other productivity apps to shame. Bring your all-in-one workspace with you in your smartphone, as Notion provides you with the necessary building blocks that allow you to take notes, write in tasks, and keep an eye on essential group projects in real-time. It also allows you to create your very own digital mood board, which is perfect if you’re also into content creation and similar endeavors. This ‘internal wiki’ will make things easier for you!
Most users on the Internet may feel like the Office 365 Suite is getting a bit old, but we beg to differ. OneNote just got an upgrade, as it helps students get the most out of digital note-taking. This long-established app is something that you can use daily for capturing valuable content and ideas. It’s also an excellent app for organizing all of your class notes and creating your very own workspace where you are free to explore and express all of your thoughts (like an all-in-one notepad/diary). You can even share all of your notes quickly, and sync them with other Office 365 tools.
Exam Countdown Lite is the app for you, especially if you’re the type of student who loves to be efficient, keeping tabs on every single deadline, meet-up, or school event. If you have a variety of Zoom meetings and coursework these days, you can rely on Exam Countdown Lite to display all of your deadlines in a list format, including descriptions for every entry. You can even add notifications as an added measure, perfect for busy students who may have trouble juggling different aspects of college life. An equally excellent feature is that you can invite friends to view your countdown and share in expectation of the day you’re waiting for.
Emails can be such a boring and lifeless working space, especially for college students who crave efficiency and graphic design elements. With Spike, you’re less likely to doze off at the sight of your Inbox – you can go ahead and make things a bit better by making your Email more conversational. No more scrambled threads, and no more switching in between accounts – bring different conversations and your entire workflow with you in one app! You can integrate different accounts and funnel all of your messages in a smarter inbox. Additionally, you don’t have to set useless meetings – collaborate live with your groupmates and use all of the necessary tools available within the app!
Working in groups, especially during this quarantine season, may feel like such a bummer. With all the added social distancing and stay-at-home measures, you’ll surely feel drained about getting everyone together. The Doodle Poll app is a powerful online polling tool that would help you plan events with the consensus of everyone in the group. You can create an event or task in the app, enter date and time proposals, tweak the polls as needed, and share them to everyone in the loop, to match all of your needs and schedules.
Coggle is a mind-mapping and brainstorming app that’s up for your consideration. At first, it may seem like a teensy app that’s just too plain for your tastes, but it’s packed with features that you’ll surely find useful as a student! Its clean and simple interface speaks volumes of its intelligent design concept. With this app, you will be able to collaborate with your groupmates in real-time, making it perfect for group assignments and projects, especially when you’re learning remotely. You can also use this app to save changes to your work automatically! Regardless of the truckload of images you need to be saved, you can do so with Coggle using the drag-and-drop feature; no need to worry about memory limitations and flowing text to your mind map.
Another helpful mind-mapping and visualization tool, MindNode keeps the business of collating all of your thoughts in a comfortable and no-frills way, making the experience less of an exercise (and more of flowing and enriching for users). For starters, you can upload images and enhance your concepts with themes and stickers, dragging and dropping different elements across your mind map. As needed, you can also upload documents, highlight items, and add visual tags as you go along. You can even sync, share, export, and print your mind maps for added convenience, which is especially helpful in collaborative set-ups for the quarantine season.
Health, Wellness, and Safety Apps
Being a college student may be an exhausting ordeal for most people. On top of a global pandemic and other challenges, one may feel overburdened and helpless. It’s essential to take the first step and acknowledge that you may need some help – with BetterHelp’s all-in-one app, you will be able to talk to one of 3,000 online counselors and therapists under a variety of different specializations, including experts in adolescent psychology. After answering a short questionnaire, you will be matched with a licensed and experienced professional who can guide you through the storms you may be dealing with right now.
MedManage is one of the most useful, and possibly, one of the most critical apps college students can have! You may be dealing with a few health conditions, requiring you to keep tabs on medication, opioid (painkiller) use, and other treatment concerns. Additionally, you may feel the need to receive birth control pill reminders. This all-in-one app allows you to keep track of all medicines that you’re taking, reminding you to take them on time, and storing pertinent information about your prescription history and treatment compliance. It’s a beneficial tool, especially during follow-up visits to the doctor.
Meditation, mindfulness, breathing,—and smartphones? It may seem like a bizarre mix at first, but thinking and feeling your best, especially this season, is a vital part of surviving and being productive – and the best part is you can download an app for this purpose. Headspace is a remarkably popular mindfulness tool, where users can listen to guided meditation tracks with varying lengths for various activities, ranging from a full minute up to a full 20 minutes of pure peace and calm.
This year is all about change – it’s about time that we step out of our comfort zones and make sure that we are in tip-top shape, ready for the days ahead. As a college student, it is also imperative to prioritize health and wellness (aside from academics, of course). With Fitocracy, you will be able to conquer your physical limits and be a part of a support group with members who share the same ideals as you. The app’s free version is already packed with various features, including free workouts across skill levels, and a knowledge base and support group from community members who aim to help individuals reach their fitness goals.
The importance of sleep in college cannot be understated! With the sleep timer app, you’ll never have to feel restless (and it’ll probably count the times you toss and turn in bed). Get into a relaxed and calm state of mind as you fall asleep to your favorite sleepytime tunes while getting ready. Just play your music (integrated with media players such as Spotify, Google Play Music, Youtube, etc.), and set the countdown timer as you please. Once you reach the end of the timer, the music will slowly fade away, avoiding draining your battery as you drift off to sleep.
An app created for college students to prevent compromising and life-threatening situations, Circle of 6 is a safety tool that’s made for everyone. Teenagers, parents, and all members of any community can look out for each other using this app. Just select up to six persons from your contact list, and you can choose to (a) send a group text that asks your contacts to fetch you, indicating your GPS location, (b) ask them to call you so you can get an interruption or (c) send a text that lets your contacts know that you need to talk to them.
Finance and Security Apps
With the Acorns app, you will experience a different way to save and earn, even with as little as $5! The app is grounded on principles of financial literacy and personal accountability, which you can start learning about even in college. Turning out the automatic round-ups feature will ensure that your leftover change is set aside for possible investments. You can even save up and pour all of your extra funds into an automated retirement account because it’s never too early to think about the future.
Just like most college students, you may be dealing with crippling student debt and daily expenses breathing down your neck. Especially if you’re having a difficult time right now, it may be wise to rely on a few tools, just to get the momentum starting. YNAB (or You Need a Budget) is a powerful budgeting tool that teaches you how to take control of various aspects of your spending and helps you save up effectively, especially for the essential things in life. Not only will you feel the fulfillment after just a few days of saving with the app – you’ll know how to set your priorities better and make choices that won’t have to feel too restrictive.
Extreme couponing junkies know what’s up when it comes to earning massive savings with every purchase, but with Rakuten, you’ll enjoy these perks sans the time and effort it takes to collect, cut, and organize the pieces of paper. It is a digital coupon and cashback tool that gives you more savings and great deals. As a college student, you’ll surely appreciate earning back some money while shopping at any of their 2,500 partner stores. When you sign up, you’ll get a welcome bonus of $10 – a sweet deal for little to no effort!