BlogSarah Newman12 useful learning and productivity apps for college students

12 useful learning and productivity apps for college students

Today’s college-going Gen Z is not new to the world of online learning. Yet, amidst the thousands of applications that promise success hacks, it can be difficult to choose reliable and effective programs that can truly make their lives better. So, we have put together a list of the top twelve apps for students — ones that would enrich their learning experience.

Getting work done

#1 Stay Focused to avoid distractions

With millions of distractions just a click away, one of the biggest challenges that students face in remote learning is focussing on the work at hand. Stay Focused is a website blocker and usage tracker that lets students set limits on distractions. From keyword blocking to lock mode, the app offers several levels of obstacles to help students stay on a healthy digital diet.

#2 PomoDoneApp to get things done

The Pomodoro technique is a task management method that divides work into 25-minute bursts with 5 minute intervals in between. This is known to be extremely effective in avoiding distractions and getting difficult tasks done. The PomoDoneApp allows students to schedule these task-time and break-time digitally. 

#3 SnapHabit to build and sustain healthy habits

SnapHabit app allows students to create, track and measure the progress of their habits. And they don’t have to do it alone. SnapHabit also doubles up as a student community app to share habits with friends and hold each other accountable. As a team activity, with healthy competitive metrics, students will sustain their habits longer. 

Learning resource management tools

#4 Mendeley for managing references

Mendeley is a reference-management app for students, especially research fellows, to annotate and organize all their resources and citations in one place. The app allows adding, scanning, searching and synching large pdf files to pull out references anytime. 

#5 Evernote for managing ideas and learnings

Evernote allows students to create their own digital binder, to organize their coursework, schedules, calendars, class notes, sketches etc. They can also use it to take notes in class, manage to-do lists or even jot down ideas to work on later.

#6 Mindmeister to make meaningful connections

Most often, ideas don’t come in a linear outline. This is why mind-maps are popular among creatives such as novelists and screenwriters. Mindmeister is a digital mind-mapping tool that lets students convert complex topics into simple and useful maps. It allows them to make meaningful connections, just as synapses in their mind would.

#7 Quizlet for better recall

There’s a reason flashcards are popular as a learning tool — it makes it easier to learn, remember and recall. The Quizlet app helps students make flashcards in the digital world. They can create their own flashcards or use one from the database. They can then share it with friends for collaborative study. Quizlet also lets instructors create interactive flashcard sets and share it with their class as a part of their coursework.  

Off-syllabus learning platforms

#8 Duolingo to learn languages

Being able to speak multiple languages offers benefits beyond just while travelling. Studies have shown that it improves one’s creative, analytical and emotional intelligence. Duolingo is a free language learning app that offers personalized, bite-sized lessons in 38 languages. With gamification and animation, the app also makes it fun!

#9 Audible to have books read to you

In the world of social media and online content overload, students often find it hard to sit down and read long books. For such students, Audible offers an alternative way — listening to books. It is also a useful resource for visually impaired students, who can’t access Braille versions of the books they need.

#10 Blinkist for supplementary learning 

A great way of exploring new concepts outside the college curriculum is through non-fiction reads. But this requires time that students may not be able to commit to. Blinklist offers abridged versions of top non-fiction titles as quick reads and in audio — so students can catch up on key points from the books on the go.  

Money matters

#11 Mint for managing money effectively

Campus life is about having as much fun as possible under a tight budget. The Mint app helps with that. Mint is a free personal financing app that lets students track their income and expenses. With features like itemized spending tracker, comparing cash with the credit card balance, custom budget management etc., Mint helps students stay their course with their financial limits and goals. 

Writing better

#12 Grammarly for better writing

Pesky typos and grammatical errors are par for the course. But a good academic essay can’t afford to have them. Grammarly is an app that helps everyone become a good writer. It identifies writing errors and offers alternatives, eliminating the stress that comes with writing.

Nearly every college student has a smartphone today. In fact, a study found that 94% of college students want to use their cellphones in class for academic purposes. As education goes increasingly digital, mobile phones will play a critical role not only in watching video lessons or joining an online classroom, but also in other forms of student engagement. 

For instance, students from marginalised backgrounds who can’t afford a laptop might use the mobile phone to even write and submit assignments. During the times when students are entirely off campus, they might use it to engage with their peers and instructors. With the above apps, they will be able to get additional support for learning, productivity and overall well-being. 


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