Many of us approach college with the mindset of “let’s just wing it,” but it never hurts to plan ahead of time. These are the most formative years of your life, and if you can learn a thing or two about organization or money management, you’ll be much better off. Fortunately, we have a number of useful apps for students at our disposal that can assist you in doing just that. Yes, the thing we spend the most time on—smartphones—can actually help us save time, money, or both. When I first started college, no one told me about the applications I’m about to list, and how I wish they had! After a few rounds of trial and error, I came across the majority of them and found them to be among the best at what they do.
Also, because I understand how expensive it can be to be a student, most of the apps you’ll find here are either completely free, have a useful free tier, or have special discounts. Let me save you some time and get right into the top ten apps that I recommend every college student has on their phone. There are various apps for students according to different uses. For example, Khan Academy, Duolingo and Coursera are best online learning apps. Similarly, best research apps for students include TED, CliffsNotes and Wikipedia. Organizational apps include “myHomework”.
It doesn’t take much for my phone to distract me, and it is solely to blame for me finishing my assignments at the last minute. Fortunately, Forest has assisted me in limiting my usage. It incentivizes not using your phone in order to grow a virtual forest that provides a sense of accomplishment. What’s even more incredible is that if you decide to leave your phone alone for longer periods of time and develop a healthy pattern, you can eventually accumulate enough coins to redeem them for the planting of an actual tree!
It may appear that you don’t need it, but it’s never a bad idea to meditate and listen to your thoughts in a calm, peaceful setting. If you’re not sure how to get started, Headspace is the app for you. It provides guided meditation, which can assist you in developing a habit. It even has a lovely collection of calming music and nature sounds that I enjoy listening to while writing—it also helps me sleep! If that isn’t enough, there are motivational stories and mood-boosting music to accompany your workout sessions. The app is available for free for all teens, or for a yearly cost of $10 if you’re a student, and that’s quite a drop from its regular $70/year price tag.
Mint: Track Expenses & Save
We don’t print money, so it’s a good idea to keep track of how much you’re spending over time, and believe me, in a place where you’ll never run out of reasons to party, you’ll need to do a lot more. Mint is a fantastic budgeting app that helps me understand my monthly outflows through attractive visuals and simple insights. You can even keep track of all the subscriptions you pay for and the crypto currencies you own.
Unidays – Discounts galore!
You may not realize it, but your college email address is a gold mine of savings, and there’s no better way to take advantage of it than with Unidays. Simply sign up with your.edu email address to gain access to student discounts on all of your favorite brands and websites across all categories. The app divides the discounts into categories such as technology, fashion, and travel, making it easier to know where to look.
There will be numerous occasions when you will have to pay for your friends and vice versa. Instead of accounting for and settling each transaction individually, form a Splitwise group with them and track all of your expenses in one place. Splitwise does all of the math for you and instantly tells you your financial situation– who you owe money to, who owes you money, and so on.
Google Lens is one of the best apps for students. If you don’t use Google Lens during your college years, you’re doing something wrong because this useful tool isn’t worth passing up. Its excellent OCR capabilities allow you to copy text from any photo on your phone, allowing you to finally catch up with that one professor who writes or presents at the speed of light. It can even help you with translation (if you’re taking foreign language classes), math problems, and general searches for things you might see but not recognize in your daily life.
College is a great time to pick up soft and technical skills that you know will be useful in your future career, and Udemy is one of the most popular e-learning platforms. It’s all here for you to consume, whether its courses on personal development or coding languages like Python, R, or SQL. It’s best not to think of this as an addition to what may be a busy school schedule because you can also take non-academic courses. For example, I took a beginner’s photography course to ensure that I can take better product photos for the reviews I write for Android Police. The app is well-designed and you can even download courses for offline access if you’re not sure about always having a reliable internet connection.
One of the best apps for students is Notion. There is a slight learning curve, but Notion is worth getting used to if you want to organize your notes and thoughts in a logical manner. It is extremely flexible in terms of content storage and allows you to store all of your information in interconnected blocks of text and media. The ease of use of third-party templates for kanban boards, daily planners, portfolios, and job search trackers, among other things, makes Notion even more appealing to a student. What’s the best part? It’s completely free to use for personal purposes!
It’s natural to want to play the most incredible and immersive games available, and there aren’t many cheap ways to do so, unless you use cloud gaming services. Stadia, for example, is a free cloud gaming subscription service that allows you to buy games and play them on virtually any screen you own, including your phone, laptop, projector, or tablet. You can pay a monthly $10 fee for a slew of free games and 4K gameplay, but that’s entirely optional—Stadia frequently offers discounts even if you don’t subscribe. For the best experience, you’ll need a fast internet connection, but you won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a hard-to-find console.
This last point may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many students make the mistake of writing down assignments and notes in their local notes app. Google Docs is one of the best apps for students and is always a better option because it is fully functional on all form factors, automatically syncs documents across clients, and is completely free. What’s more, it provides the majority of the features that Microsoft Word does for free and is appropriate for group projects due to its excellent collaboration tools. Similarly, Google Slides can be used to create presentations, and Google Sheets can be used for all of your spreadsheet needs.
If any of the names on this list sound unfamiliar to you, you’ll be surprised at how resourceful your phone can be. I can’t imagine going through college without some of the apps I’ve mentioned, and I hope they’re as useful to you as they are to me!