Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app that would make you a better student?
As luck would have it, there actually is an app for that. Quite a few.
Of course, none of them will make you a better student all by themselves, but they will help you stay organized, focused, take better notes and study more efficiently.
So without further ado, let’s jump right in to the top five apps for students.
Trello is one of my favorite apps for students. It’s basically a to-do list but way, way cooler and with a lot more functionality.
It’s no surprise that keeping a to-do list is a huge part of becoming a better student. And, while there are several resources out there, a bajillion apps, and even more experts, all you need is a place to write stuff down and a place to check it off.
And that’s what Trello does better than anyone else (I think).
It’s wonderful for visualizing what you need to do alongside how much you’ve done, and it’s even better for project management.
The Forest app is really quite simple. It’s basically a Pomodoro timer that plants a guilt-trip tree.
You start the timer, a little tree starts growing, and if you swap your phone off that app any time before the tree stops growing, the tree dies and you get sad.
It’s nothing earth-shattering, but that little “Your tree is not done growing!” on your phone when you pick it up to check Snapchat is enough to make you go “ehh … I can wait ten more minutes.”
It’s simple, but it works. It’s my go-to app to keep me focused and productive.
Besides, if you get the paid version, the app’s team will actually plant real trees as you continue to use the app and plant happy little trees of your own.
This is one of the single best apps for students out there. I use it in my classroom pretty frequently.
If you have anything to learn that involves labeling charts or flashcards (or things that could be turned into flashcards), you need Quizlet.
Like … really need.
Its primary feature is “Learn” which uses spaced repetition to teach you whatever cards you input as quickly as possible. If you’re not already familiar with spaced repetition, this app/website will be your equivalent of Indiana Jones finding the Holy Grail or whatever.
Just use it.
This is the only app I don’t 100% support, primarily because I’ve never used it. I’m just not a take-notes-on-the-iPad kind of person.
But based on what I’ve seen, the two best apps for notetaking are Goodnotes and Notability.
Notability is a perfectly respectable app and actually probably the better choice if you’re an auditory learner and record lectures — as you record and take notes in Notability, your notes are automatically synced up to the audio, so you can find things super easily.
For everything else, though, I think Goodnotes is a better bet. It features better folder structure, more customization, and it’s generally just easier to use and stay organized with.
This is the granddaddy of all the other apps here.
It’s probably the single best resource out there right now for taking notes on your computer. If I was in college or high school right now, I’d be using a combination of handwritten notes in class and typing them up into Evernote afterwards, along with a photo of the handwritten notes (because you can do that!).
It’s incredible for research projects — as you scour the web for sources, it’s quite easy using a browser extension to send a journal article you find straight to your Evernote notebook.Great for taking notes on the computer
It syncs across devices, and it’s probably the best note-taking app and life-organizing thing out there right now.
Here’s a great video for getting you an idea of all the cool stuff Evernote can do for you:
Side note: you can write to-do lists in Evernote, too, if you’d rather just have One App That Does It All
If you’re not already using Google Docs and Google Drive to store your writing in, you live on the edge in my opinion.
Unless you have some other sort of word processor that syncs your stuff to the cloud as you type it so that if your laptop spontaneously combusts you don’t lose a single misplaced modifier and also so that you could shut your laptop, open your phone and pick up where you left off.
If you’ve got that, you don’t need Google Docs. ‘Cause that’s what it can do for you.
Just use it. The peace of mind is worth the switch.
So … did I miss anything? What are some other apps you recommend for students? What do you think is the most indispensable app out there?
Here’s the video version of this from this week’s podcast: