12 Apps to Help You Survive the School Year

By Kai Dao Modified on October 31, 2017
Tags : Tech

Apps make life easy. Why not make your school life easier too?


Whether you’re a millennial or born after the dawn of the 21st Century, you’ve probably used an app. It doesn’t matter what kind of app - YouTube, BrickBreaker, Microsoft Word, Candy Crush Saga, etc, - you have spent hours upon hours using your phone to enhance your life in some way.

We use our phones for everything, whether it be to keep in contact with old friends on Facebook, or schedule our busy lives. Apps make life easy. Why not make your school life easier too?

Some of these apps are no-brainers and are widely used, and others are a bit more obscure, but no less helpful. In no particular order, here is a list of 12 apps that will keep you on the right track while at school.

1. Google Drive
It’s no surprise that this app is on the list. Google Drive is a multimedia storage platform available on both mobile and laptop. This app is accessible with a Gmail account and comes with 15 GB of storage. Google Drive itself is just a storage app but within are other apps including Google Docs; Google Slides; Google Sites; Google Drawings; Google My Maps; Google Forms, and Google Sheets, which let you do just about anything. Annoyingly, on mobile, to access your files, you might have to download the individual app along with Google Drive.

2. Evernote
Evernote is a free note-taking app (with paid upgrades) that utilizes the touch screen of your phone. Like many apps, Evernote stores your data in the Cloud and you can sign-up using your Gmail account. This app gives you the option to save information in several different ways, such as in a picture (don’t feel like writing? If the information is already written, you don’t have to!), as an attachment, as an audio file (Record a lecture and listen to it later), as a reminder (class begins at 10 instead of 10:30!), and of course, as a note. However, Evernote does require Internet access to sync changes across devices.

3. Your university/college app
Some schools have their own app and it might be worth downloading as it may contain useful information about student life that you may not already know, like lunch menus or football schedules. Of course, each school’s app will be different but if the app allows you to track grades, assignments, or readings, you might want to keep it as it will certainly come in handy.

4. Dictionary.com
This dictionary app goes beyond a brief definition: it lists synonyms, origins, words that rhyme, idioms, slang, grammar & tips, and even offers medical and science dictionaries. On the main menu is a collection of interesting extras, like Word of the Day, quotes, videos, quizzes, word facts, and history. Although, an Internet connection is required for the full experience.

5. Zombie Run
There are times when exercising seems like a big commitment and let’s be honest, it’s not for everyone. Zombie Run doesn’t make exercising any easier, but it does make the experience more enjoyable. This app is story-based and the story is this: you are trying to get to the safety zone...whilst being chased by zombies. A strange concept, but oddly convincing. Between scenes, the app will play music, either built-in or with an outside app. Beyond the main storyline, Zombie Run also offers 8-week workout regimes and marathon practices. If that isn’t your style, I would suggest Sworkit, Workout Trainer, and/or Nike+ Training Club for a more traditional workout app.

6. EasyBib
Citations are arguably one of the hardest parts about writing an essay. Stating points and backing them up is a breeze compared to logging in your sources. EasyBib is both a website and an app - though the website requires a subscription. The app allows you to snap a picture of any book’s barcode and instantly cites it for you in the style of your choice!

7. Sleep Cycle
If you are not a natural early-bird then Sleep Cycle might be a great app for you! Sleep Cycle monitors how long and how well you sleep using your device’s microphone or motion sensors. In the morning (within a 30-minute window) the app will gently wake you up when you are already mostly awake. By waking up like this, even if you are actually sleeping less, you wake up refreshed and ready to take on any challenges the day might bring.

8. Mint
Mint helps you save money by organizing your credit card spending into easy, colorful charts. It tracks your spending and allows you to budget accordingly! But as with any app that deals with sensitive information such as your bank account number and pin, there is always that risk of someone stealing it. Mint has been proven to be very secure, and if you’re unsure you can read reviews here and here. The choice is ultimately yours, but students should definitely look into getting an app that limits and keeps track of their spending.

9. Todoist
To-do lists are beneficial to those who are slightly more forgetful and slightly less organized (hey, it happens to the best of us!) With Todist you are able to sort your different tasks into folders (ie: Work, Personal, School) to help keep your priorities straight. Todist is a simplistic, user-friendly to-do list app that allows you to set priorities and deadlines. There is also a Karma aspect that motivates you to check off your completed tasks. Unfortunately, comments/file attachments and labels are only available with Premium.

10. Chegg
Chegg has expanded beyond simple textbook renting and selling. It is now equipped to help you solve the problems within that inexpensive Mathematics textbook. There are now several apps under the Chegg banner: Chegg Study; Chegg Books (the original), Chegg Tutors and Flashcards+. The Study and the Tutor apps will take you step by step through the question and answer any questions or concerns.

11. Insight Timer / Calm
Feeling stressed? Anxious? Depressed? At this stage in life that’s, well, expected. When going out for drinks, a jog or a walk just isn’t working, try meditation. Meditation isn’t for everyone but the Insight Timer and Calm apps can help you learn how to if you’re interested in trying. Both come with a selection of meditation music that will either get you focused, relaxed, or sleepy. Expect some bugs...potential crashes could be prevented with a steady Wi-Fi connection.

12. Offtime / In Moment
Okay, okay, so you’ve downloaded all these nifty apps and now you’re distracted. You can’t get your work done and social media isn’t helping. Well, Offtime (free on Android, $2.99 on Apple) and In Moment (iOS only, sorry!) will take that burden away. These two apps will restrict apps of your choosing for a set time so you and your boss/teacher/parent can be sure you’re working and not trawling through your ex’s Instagram.

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