11 apps to simplify student life
How much time do you spend on TikTok, YouTube or Netflix? Be honest – we’re not here to judge. In fact, we love a good app, and being social and watching shows are two of our favourite things. But when you’re trying to focus on study and revision, or even just getting a good night’s sleep, scrolling on your phone is the easiest and most addictive way to procrastinate.
Enter: more tech. Yes, creating good habits is the ideal long-term solution. As you work on building those habits though, there are some fantastic apps out there to keep you on task and productive, help you stay calm and focused, and even make it easier to save money – music to everyone’s ears.
Here are 11 apps that we’ve checked and tested which we think may help you out as a uni student.
If you find yourself stopping study every five minutes to check TikTok and getting sucked in for hours, you need a productivity app such as AppBlock. It will save you from yourself by blocking your most distracting apps and helping you stay focused. Simply download the app, select high-use apps and websites to block, and set your focus or restriction parameters. Your future self will thank you.
Keep your ideas, study notes, files, to-do lists and more in a single space with the notetaking and organisation app Evernote. Not only can you capture endless written notes, but you can also store photos of slides, sketches, audio recordings and documents, allowing you to keep your study and research needs in the one spot. Evernote has a browser extension too, so you can save items from the web such as screen grabs, articles and PDFs. Plus, you can schedule tasks and set reminders, so you can stay on top of your assessments and never miss a due date.
Todoist is an app that helps you stay across all your tasks and to-dos. Do a brain dump of all the tasks you have on your plate, add a due date and priority level for each, and set daily and weekly goals to help you stay on track to meet larger achievements. If you’re working on a group project, you can also use Todoist as a project management tool and delegate tasks to different group members.
Revising for exams
Quizlet is the be-all and end-all of revision apps. You can create your own flashcards and browse those of others, test your knowledge with quizzes and practice tests, and even buddy up with an AI tutor that can help you apply your knowledge.
Stay focused and productive with an all-rounder app such as Flow. Simple and unobtrusive in design, Flow includes a Pomodoro-style focus timer. The Pomodoro Technique means you work for 25 minutes, take a break for five minutes, repeat that process three more times, then take a 15- to 30-minute break. It’s a super simple way to keep your exam revision on track and avoid procrastination.
Flow also allows you to block apps and, with the paid version, websites. It’s for Apple users only though, so Android users could check out Forest: a cute app that grows a tree for you each time you focus and offers a ‘Deep Focus’ mode to help you stay on task.
Headspace, Insight Timer
Feeling anxious about your upcoming exams? Headspace (AU$12.99/year for students) is an app that offers a range of meditation and mindfulness techniques and resources to help ease your anxiety and help you relax or sleep. And don’t worry, you don’t need to meditate for hours to benefit – it only takes a handful of minutes a day to calm your mind and stay centred.
A similar app with a free membership option is Insight Timer. It has a library of more than 150,000 free guided meditations from psychologists, spiritual leaders and mindfulness teachers. You can search guided meditations for sleep, stress, anxiety and more, use a timer for your own meditation or relaxation practice, try a breathwork or yoga class, and stream music from classical to binaural beats.
Manage shared bills and expenses with Splitwise: the grandaddy of bill-splitting apps that allows you to automatically split payments between members of a group and work out who owes what. It’s equally handy for eating out with friends and divvying up the electricity bill between your flatmates.
Save on food, clothing, tech, entertainment and more with Student Edge. Use this app to access student discounts from a range of big brands and enter a bunch of competitions to win prizes. You can also complete surveys to win credits that can be converted into gift cards or PayPal cash.
Grocery shopping is a necessary evil, but no one likes to pay top dollar for things like toothpaste if you can avoid it. Enter Half Price (iOS, Android): an app that showcases the latest 50 per cent discounts at Woolworths and Coles. It’s best to build up a shopping list of items you regularly use, then stock up each time they’re offered at half price. Deals get refreshed every Wednesday morning.
Are you ready to take the next step in your studies? Find a course at ACU.