Its true that there is an app for anything. I even found an app to keep you from dialing someone you shouldn’t while under the influence (Drunk Dial No! incase you wanted to download it). But what about the apps you need but didn’t know you needed them until you found it?
There are thousands of apps available on the market, so finding the really useful ones can get tricky. Its a lot of trial and error and a lot of used up data that could’ve been avoided. We all know the feeling: you download an app thinking it’ll be the best thing since sliced bread and it falls flat when you open it up.
As a student, I am no stranger to the disappointments of these apps; apps that basically promise you an A and I full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League University. Spoiler Alert: none of the apps I have experienced or taken a chance on have done that, but I remain hopeful. Now that I am in college and am in the middle of a world consumed by technology, I have to admit I have had my fair share of trial and error. What really upsets me is that I didn’t know about these sooner… maybe if I had I would’ve gone to an Ivy League (but I’m not bitter). So to save you the time, energy, data, and maybe even money, here is a roundup of all the apps every student should know about (tried and tested).
- Trello (FREE)
This is without a doubt one of the most useful apps I have ever encountered and wished I had known about earlier. It is basically an app to help mange group projects and collaborations. If you are anything like me, you hate group projects. Let’s face it, you’re the one who ends up doing all of the work because no one did their part. With Trello, the frustration of group projects becomes more manageable and easier to handle. Here’s what Trello says it can do: “A Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team. It’s a lot more than that, though. Trello has everything you need to organize projects of any size.” To me, this sounds really good already. I love lists and an app that makes them for you? Sold. This is very different from the Google Drive that you may already be using. Honestly, this to me seems more efficient. Google Drive is great, but these two are very different. With Trello, you can make checklists, invite as many people as needed to the board, start a discussion feed and have live chats, add files quickly and easily from other apps such as Dropbox, be notified when something is going on so you never miss anything important, create due dates so everyone can see when a project is due, and its fast. It is also extremely convenient because you don’t need to be on a computer for it to work. Trello can be used on a desktop computer, phone, iPad, tablet, and more so you never need to worried about missing anything. I highly recommend this app, it is a lifesaver.
Click here for more information about Trello
- Socratic (FREE)
Another app that probably would have saved me a lot of time in high school. Ever since I stumbled upon this app I have been amazed. When I first dowloaded it, I was so excited. I wanted to tell everyone about it then realized how elderly people felt when they found something everyone already knew about. This app has thousands of downloads, and I was bummed I wasn’t one of those sooner. This app is basically a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and calculator all in one. What’s cool about it, though, is that you use the camera on your phone to use it. Say you have a homework question that asks “what is mitosis?” You just point your camera at the question, crop it, and Socratic will find the answer for you. But its more than that! Not only will it find the definition for you within 5 seconds, it will also explain to you what it is, give you a video on how it works, give you other definitions found within the question (for more complex questions), then give you the Google page with all the links. To me, this is a fantastic app and I applaud whoever thought of it.
It is so simple yet so helpful and I am very excited to share it. Now I’m not saying you should use this as a substitute for actually learning the material. This is a great tool to help you learn and understand it, but you should actually learn to do it on your own as well! It works will most subjects including math, science, english, and history.
- Photomath (IN-APP PURCHASES AVAILABLE)
This one is similar to Socratic but has a focus in math so it can deal with more complex problems. I’ve been using this one for awhile now because it can figure out all levels of math equations so I don’t have to keep finding new apps to fit for my level. For this app, all you have to do is point and shoot and it will figure almost any problem out for you. Not only will it find the answer, but it will also show you how it got the answer step-by-step so you can actually learn how to do it instead of just copying an answer down. Unfortunately there are features that can only be unlocked through purchase but the good news is it gives you a very long free trial so you can see how you like it before you make the splurge.
- SelfControl (FREE)
Don’t let its logo intimidate you! SelfControl is complete, 100% safe and effective. I first heard about this when I was in middle school circa 2010 so this has been around for quite some time now. Since middle school this program has gone from a website to an app and I am on board with everything it offers. Basically SelfControl will lock you out of your device for however long you set it for. But don’t worry, you can still make calls and use the other apps I’ve been mentioning. Before you even set a timer, SelfControl will ask you to type in the website/apps you want to be blocked from. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… really anything will be disabled until the timer is up. Once you’ve put in what you want to be disabled from, you put in how much time you wanted to be locked out — a.k.a. how much time it will take you to finish your work. This is incredibly helpful for anyone who tends to get distracted or bored and switches to social media or games. The key to this app, however, is being completely honest with yourself: which apps distract me? how long will it really take to finish all my assignments? Don’t just block Snapchat and Instagram for 10 minutes or else you won’t get anything done!
- Wunderlist (FREE)
If you’re anything like me, the idea or organization sounds so good and yet every time you try it just never turns out the way you want it to be. You’ve tried different systems and gotten 4 different planners and yet they’re all sitting in a corner somewhere collecting dust. For me, this happens because I will either forget I have them or its just not convenient. I love the idea of having color-coded binders with different subjects but realistically I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up and I would fall behind. For people who have these same habits, Wunderlist is the way to go. Its pretty much a planner on the go where you can make lists, set reminders, create folders, and set due dates all on your mobile device. But what’s unique about this app is that it can be accessed from any electronic device and you can share your folders and make comments. This is sort of like an Evernote-Pinterest-Calendar hybrid that makes planning and organization super easy.
For more information on Wunderlist click here
- MinimaList (FREE)
I wasn’t able to find the icon for this one but it is as simple as it gets: a white icon with a black checkmark in the center. If icons were any indication of what an app will do for you, its this one. This is another list app that I really enjoy using that makes prioritizing your to-dos incredibly easy. All you have to do is swipe down to create a “new task” and it will be added to a list where you can rearrange everything and figure out what you can do when. Then, once you’ve finished the task, swipe right and it’ll be crossed out. You can set reminders each morning or night to plan out your day so you never forget to do something and you won’t feel overwhelmed when you have 10 tasks to do in a week. I also like to write out any appointments I have that day so I can plan accordingly. For assignment based tasks, you can tap the to-do and set a timer so you can allow yourself to be focused for that amount of time. Having a timer there making you accountable for that time really helps and has been proven to increase task proficiency. I’ll add a sample of this app so you can see how it works!
Here you can see in the first image (left) I added all the tasks I had or wanted to accomplish that day. Then, in the second image (right), I rearranged the tasks into a list that would work out best for me within the times I have down. If you later find out something won’t get done right when you expected it to, no worries! Just rearrange it again and put all the tasks you didn’t get to at the bottom to add into tomorrow’s list.
- Quizlet (IN-APP PURCHASES AVAILABLE)
I remember when I was younger I thought I had the next big idea: dry-erase board flashcards. Yep, I thought that was a pretty good idea! So many wasted flashcards and paper on an exam you’d never bother learning again. But when I thought of this great idea, apps weren’t around yet. I’d love to say I made millions off my idea but Quizlet beat me to it and they did it better. If your a student now I’m sure you’ve heard about it, used it, or have used something like it but I think its worth mentioning. This app allows you to create virtual flashcards and make tests out of the flashcards you make. You can print out all your terms in a glossary, index, table, or flashcard template and quiz yourself online or on paper. You also have a digital copy saved so you don’t need to worry about losing any and not having extra copies. What’s really great about this app is that it gives you the option to separate the words you don’t know into a separate pile so you can go back and work on them later. You can also search flashcard sets other people have done and search teachers/professors you may have and see what cards other people from the same class have used. This is a great app and its way better than my idea so its a win in my book.
- Purdue OWL (WEBSITE; FREE)
This one isn’t an app but I still think it is worth mentioning and you can still access it on your phone. Purdue OWL is an online manual for writing. It has instructions on how to write in certain formats and exercises on everything from grammar to punctuation. If you have trouble with essay writing or english in general, this is a great website to refer to. I still use it to this day if I’m not sure on my formatting or the correct way to say something.
- Rate My Professors (FREE)
Rate My Professor is an absolute must for any college or university student. It is so simple and has saved me from a lot of stressful situation and even money. When you first go on the site it will ask you if you’re looking for a teacher, school, or if you want to rate a professor you had. Then all you have to do is type in the information and you’re set. It will tell you how hard the professor and class is, the quality of the teacher and class, if they used their textbook, the grade they received, and if they would take the class again. Not only are the teachers ranked by students, but they also leave their comments on the class and professor so you can get an idea of what you might be getting yourself into. This is a great resource to use when signing up for classes but you’ve never heard of the professor before or you have certain things you want to get out of a class. It is also a website which I prefer to use, but the app is also just as helpful!
- Dropbox ($12.50/month [for more space])
If there’s ever been a time when you wrote a ten page long essay that took you 2 weeks to write, I’m sure you’ve heard of Dropbox. Dropbox is very similar to Google Drive in that you can upload files and secure them into a “cloud” so you don’t lose them. You can then sync your folder up with others so they will also receive your files. All files will be secure and you don’t have to worry about losing anything ever again.
- Graphing (FREE)
I am not a math person (hence apps 2 and 3 I talked about earlier) so I wasn’t to keen on buying an expensive graphing calculator that I would only use a few times. But, of course, there is an app for that. Graphing allows you to input any equation and will graph it for you. But it won’t solve an equation for you. What I like to do is use Photomath, then go
over to Graphing and input the answer and get the graph. Again, this is a great app to have on your phone for quick and easy graphing of equations… it will also save you lots of money which is always a plus.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Know about other helpful apps for students? Comment below and share your finds!