“Studying sucks!” – said no one ever. Well, that will be your school of thought once you’ve swotted up on the apps, tips, tools and tricks featured here in this handy guide to the very best apps for students. Containing everything you need to get your head down and get stuck into work, tuition, or exam prep, this will fast become your fail-safe document for technology apps.
We’ve compiled the very best applications and sites from around the Internet to ensure that no afternoon spent holed up in your room drowning in work is ever really that bad. Sure, studying isn’t always on the top of your agenda but we’re aiming to ensure it soon will be. From organisational apps to the completely bonkers (and everything in between!), you’ll love this one-stop shop to improved grades. So grab a cuppa and a good (dunk-able!) biscuit or two – and get reading!
We’re starting at the very beginning, because someone once said that’s ‘a very good place to start’. And they’d be right. Sharing with you the best apps for ‘techies’, this section takes no online prisoners. Full of good, serious tools and tricks to help you on your way, this is a category reserved for the serious tech fans amongst you.
While Twitter has now pretty much replaced RSS for finding and filtering news, there are still plenty of people who prefer to get their updates this way.
But what is it? An RSS feed is simply a way for people, particularly students, to find the information they’re looking for while filtering out the not-so-useful stuff – a real life-saver if you’re stuck on an exam prep question or two.
How will it help? It erases the need for hours spent searching on Google for that much-needed answer to a vital question. Simples!
Why we love it – For all the reasons above and more, RSS feeds have revolutionised the way we receive news about the world around us.
Are you a budding blogger? Or perhaps you’re a coder in the making? WordPress allows you to write, moderate comments and edit articles via your phone or desktop. It’s the right way to go if you’re hoping to enter the journalism industry, or if you’d like to document your coursework easily online to gain feedback from fellow students. And if you’re a coder – a lot of techies are – it’s even better!
But what is it? It’s a blogging platform that allows you to post, ‘blogs’ or snippets of news from which to document your day.
How will it help? Platforms like WordPress allow students to start up a conversation with others, as well as create their own online voice while also putting together a ‘portfolio’ of relevant work or experience to present to a potential employer.
Why we love it – it’s literally one of the easiest platforms to use and you can have your own blog in mere minutes.
Brimming with free online university classes for anyone to make the most of, Udacity is an innovative platform to help you learn programming.
But what is it? Whether you need to swot up on a programme as part of a larger project, or focus entirely on coding, Udacity will ensure you’re an expert in the subject in no time.
How will it help? With three million other students signed up, Udacity is the place to be for courses taught by industry experts from Facebook, Google, Cloudera and MongoDB.
No, this isn’t another app for photography students! Instead, it’ll become your new – and virtual – best friend, thanks to how easy it is to use.
But what is it? A useful app for college and uni students, it allows you to easily scan documents on the go. Choose the premium version and you can even scan and copy text from a scanned document.
How will it help? According to users of the app, it can increase productivity by 100%. Why? Put simply, it saves you a shed-load of time. No more copying text from a friend’s notes, or frantically scribbling stuff down in a lecture.
Why we love it – It makes our lives easier. Brilliant!
This isn’t an eBook as such, but a portal from which to find loads of them – and for absolutely nothing, too!
But what is it? Offering over 36,000 eBooks available for download to your Kindle, PC, Android, iOS or any other mobile device, Project Gutenberg allows you to choose high-quality eBooks to make studying a doddle.
How will it help? Each book has been diligently proofread and digitised by one of the thousands of volunteers who run the site, so you can be sure of good, quality content.
Why we love it – No fee or registration is required, which means you can get down to the serious business of studying without worrying about what you’re shelling out in the process.
Again, this is a site offering thousands of eBooks, alongside short stories, articles and poems – and it’s all free!
But what is it? In short, it saves you trawling the library for the books you need – and, sometimes, the pain of having to endure being put on a waiting list for something you’ve got your eye on. Bibliomania allows you to access books at the click or two of your mouse.
How will it help? Need an expert opinion on that book you’re pouring over? Bibliomania gives you instant access to a host of great articles and learning aids.
Why we love it – It gives you the opportunity to dip in and out of short stories and fiction without having to lug a rucksack load of books home.
Allowing you to search for textbooks and import PDFs, Kno also makes use of 3D animations in 2D books to make studying that bit more interesting.
But what is it? It allows you to capture, watch and link content from the web directly into your textbook.
How will it help? Textbooks are heavy, right? Give shoulder and back pain the heave-ho by saying no to carrying multiple textbooks home from campus.
Why we love it – The sheer volume of textbooks on the site makes it one of the Internet’s greatest tools for college and uni students.
Designed for interactive books, this app is compatible with PCs and MACs and has been rebuilt from the ground up for the iPad.
But what is it? Designed to help you learn just about anything in front of your laptop screen, subjects on offer via interactive online textbooks include everything from anatomy to business strategy.
How will it help? Like many of the apps in this guide, it’ll eradicate the need for hours spent in the library searching for those essential textbooks.
Why we love it – Say what you like about the Internet; there’s no doubting the fact it’s revolutionised everything from the way we bank to the way we work. This app is no exception and you’ll be a convert in no time.
Giving you access to over 4,000 audiobooks, this app includes professionally-narrated content for easier retention of facts.
But what is it? A handy portal to some of the world’s best sellers and hand-selected classics, Audiobooks allows you to study in a way that suits you.
How will it help? Allowing you to listen to content while doing anything from walking the dog to running on the treadmill, using audiobooks ensures you can claw back some much-needed social time.
Why we love it – With almost 4,500 titles to choose from, Audiobooks’ content is always professionally narrated and well edited.
Offering a great reading experience for Nook Books, magazines and newspapers (including New York Times best sellers), the app allows you to easily become a serial reader – ideal if you’ve got a lot of books to swot up on ahead of an exam!
But what is it? Thanks to this handy app, you can ‘read your way’, by adjusting font sizes, styles and even brightness for a convenient, customised reading experience. Not bad at all, really.
How will it help? The app has a function which automatically syncs the last page you read, meaning you’ll never lose your place again.
Why we love it – You can literally pick up where you left off, anytime and anywhere – perfect!
Giving you access to complete courses from some of the biggest universities and schools, iTunesU also offers a catalogue of free digital educational content.
But what is it? Offering courses from around the world, iTunesU allows you to learn via the largest collection of free education content.
How will it help? With everything from public courses and collections from leading schools and universities on offer, you’ll be able to ace your exam prep.
‘Life hack’ apps you’ll love
Helping you convert any files to PDF with a simple click, this is a useful application which is likely to shave hours off your week.
But what is it? Making life easier and your studying to-do list that bit shorter, Snap2PDF is one of the handiest apps out there. It saves you the hassle of having to manually go through the process of saving a PDF, ensuring you can literally ‘Snap’ and go!
How will it help? Fewer hours spent converting PDF files means more time to devote to some serious studying.
Why we love it – Not the fastest writer? Snap2PDF allows you to take a photo of a classroom text book and copy out the notes later, leaving you to digest the content of a lecture, seminar or workshop with little to no trouble.
Who knew such a glorious app existed? It’s actually less of an app, more a personal alarm clock, which will ‘phone you’ to make sure you’re out of bed on the day of a big exam.
But what is it? Exactly what it says on the tin! It helps you out when your mum’s on holiday, or when she wants a lie in herself and therefore can’t pop her head around your bedroom door to make sure you’re up and about.
How will it help? It’ll give you the peace of mind you need that you’re not going to sleep in on the morning of that Maths GCSE!
Why we love it – It’s so simple to use and can help you out ahead of all sorts of big life events -interviews and the first day of a new job being just two.
Self-control is a funny old thing, isn’t it? Thanks to a host of social media platforms all competing for our attention, many of us find ourselves putting off a task to ‘procrastinate’ by reading people’s updates. Now SelfControl allows you to avoid distractions like this with ease. (For more tips and tricks to help banish procrastination, have a look this recent post from the MyTutorWeb blog.)
But what is it? SelfControl allows you to block certain websites for a set period of time, meaning you can concentrate on that exam prep or tuition.
How will it help? It will trim down the time you lose to social media sites like Facebook and instead help you easily retain important facts you’ll need for that exam or project.
Why we love it – It’s the equivalent of your mum putting a lock in the house phone, but it really does work. It’ll be annoying at first, but think of all the things you’ll get done if you’re not on Facebook!
Love a to-do list? You’ll love Clear, which helps you easily synchronise the lot and lets you access them anywhere, too.
But what is it? It’ll make your life easier, in short. Making it simple for you to open your to-do lists wherever you are, Clear is a real hit for students.
How will it help? You’ll no longer need to have a notepad on you, or desperately rummage around your bag to find your phone to jot down that quick note.
Why we love it – The Internet might be steering us away from good old-fashioned conversation, or making mix CDs for our friends (cheers, Spotify!), but it has its merits thanks to Clear. Your life made easier – thanks to one little app!
Do you study literature? Then CliffsNotes should be your go-to site!
But what is it? Giving you all the information you need about characters, plots or themes in the books you’re studying, CliffsNotes is ideal for English students.
How will it help? Thanks to the site’s audio version, you can swat up on all the important fiction plot points while you’re at the gym or walking to class – result!
Why we love it – What’s not to love? It brings you those ‘oh, that’s what it’s all about’ moments, when you’re stuck on a tough book, and that audio version really is worth its weight in gold.
Feed.ly is an RSS aggregator, helping students keep their eye on the news without having to search multiple social media sites for a news rundown.
But what is it? It’s a handy, go-to place for news. Consolidating the day’s top stories into one convenient timeline, it allows people to only see the stuff they’re interested in.
How will it help? For media students in particular, Feed.ly helps people stay on the ball by only receiving the day’s biggest headlines.
Testing, Testing, 1,2,3
Easy to use, iStudiezPro makes studying – for school or that big exam – that bit easier.
But what is it? IStudiezPro helps you create reminders and notifications for future exams while helping you brush up on your methods of studying. Available for Mac, iPad and iPod Touch, the app lets you create colourful work schedules to store all the information you need.
How will it help? If you’re someone who can let deadlines slip, this is the app for you. It allows you to keep track of important hand-in dates and grades; simply plug your class schedule into the app to enjoy all the benefits it offers.
Why we love it – You’ll never be disorganised again, thanks to this handy app. Plus, with a free ‘lite’ version available, it doesn’t have to break the bank either.
Not to be confused with a certain nut-based chocolate spread of a strikingly similar name, Notella is in fact a handy app suitable for your studies.
But what is it? Notella makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, by managing your Evernote, Dropbox and Simplenote accounts from one place. This means you can edit and compose new notes – ahead of big exams or projects – quickly and simply.
How will it help? You’ll no longer have to log into individual organisation apps; this one is a one-stop shop for keeping yourself focused.
Why we love it – We love absolutely anything that makes our lives easier – and having to remember just the one password is reason enough to sign up!
A personal secretary for your school and studying needs, this is a must-have app for anyone currently revising for an exam or preparing for a new term.
But what is it? It helps you create to-do lists, as well as organise your class, deadlines and study session schedules.
How will it help? If you feel like you could do with a PA, this is the app for you. You can also take photos, audios and videos within it, as well as manage class notes and share them with friends and study goals.
Why we love it – The perfect life hack app; download it now!
Storing all your key exams in one place, Exam Countdown is a free and simple app.
But what is it? Store all your upcoming exam dates in one place, stay focused and colour code tests – and all thanks to this app.
How will it help? You can choose from over 150 icons, share your exam on Facebook and Twitter and organise yourself like a pro.
Why we love it – It will help clear your head when it’s otherwise overflowing with exam info and prep.
Made by teachers, Revision App is perfect for revising on your iPhone and iPad.
But what is it? Packed with revision guides, tutor videos and interactive tests to help you practice ahead of an exam, the app is ideal for GCSE, AS-Level, A2-Level and 11 Plus students.
How will it help? With fun animated videos and revision content made by teachers, there’ll never be a dull hour with Revision App.
Why we love it – It makes studying fun – something we never thought possible.
Exam Pal is an organiser and revision app. Coaching you through what can be a challenging time, the app is used by students and parents for a host of things.
But what is it? A well-designed app, Exam Pal helps you by giving you a place to track homework, prepare for exams and keep an eye on your timetable.
How will it help? You can even store the results of your exams via this handy app, which gives you all the encouragement you may need to do even better in the next set.
Why we love it – It helps you beat exam stress, thanks to its easy-to-use functionality. You can personalise the app with your name, college and exam number and set and schedule homework at the touch of a button – result!
Available on Blackberry only, Study Buddy aids learning and memorising to help you ace that big exam.
But what is it? Create flash cards, to-do lists and more with this cleverly-designed study app. You can even send lists directly from your phone’s camera!
How will it help? It makes revising for exams a little less laborious, thanks to its handy, time-saving features.
Why we love it – If you own a Blackberry, this is the app for you – and it’s free! Simply install and go.
An app that allows you to create mind maps, as well as flash cards and quizzes, while giving you a handy place to store all your notes, ExamTime offers a host of tools you’ll love.
But what is it? It’s an app designed to help you improve the way you learn, ensuring you meet the deadlines your tutors have set for essays and exams.
How will it help? Suitable for all sorts of touch devices, from mobiles to iPads, ExamTime can be downloaded in an instant to help you get ready for exams on the go.
Lecture capture apps you’ll love
Available on IOS, SoundNote is one of the most popular apps out there for capturing important details from your latest lecture or class.
But what is it? Acting as a notebook and voice recorder, it allows you to store an entire hour-long (or so!) lecture visually or as an audio file.
How will it help? No more frantic note taking for you; this app has you covered.
Why we love it – Can’t hear your class tutor properly? This might just solve that by capturing the bits and pieces of dialogue you couldn’t make out.
For those who want to capture the notes on a whiteboard, you’ve come to the right place; this app will do all that and more!
But what is it? The Android app allows its users to photograph a whiteboard from any angle, making it the ideal tool for catch-up following an important hour or two in the classroom.
How will it help? Allowing up to 32 users to connect simultaneously via local WiFi, presentation or project groups can discuss their plan of action with others easily – and for free!
Why we love it – Alongside an opportunity to share class notes, the app offers a host of other exciting features. Inter-compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad, users can make the most of multiple drawing tools and the ability to upload and edit photos, too.
Making taking notes a lot easier, Dragon Dictation works by recognising and transcribing your words. In short, it’s perfect if you’re not a fast typer!
But what it is? If your college tutor is talking too quickly, this will be worth its weight in gold. Using voice recognition software to turn the words into text in an instant, the app is also perfect if you’re up against it for a big deadline.
How will it help? Dictate anything from notes to lectures into the app to save yourself the stress of not being able to type quickly enough.
Why we love it – Dragon Dictation ensures you can concentrate on a lecture or seminar and really digest its content – for that reason alone it’s well worth downloading!
Suitable for a variety of purposes, Evernote syncs all the information you need – from video to photos, audio and text – to make student life that bit easier.
But what is it? Storing all your notes and studying material in one place, Evernote will help you out when you’re in lectures and need to take notes. Simply type them directly into Evernote before syncing it to your computer, ready for when you might need to print them.
How will it help? It saves all you need for studying in one handy place to allow for easy test preparation on the go.
Why we love it – All you need to do is download the app, create an online account and away you go! You’re then free to make the most of its features at any time – and guess what? It’s available free on all IOS and Android devices.
An audio note-taker for Mac and PC, Sonocent is a means of recording important snippets from lectures and study groups.
But what is it? Capturing high-quality recordings and allowing you to annotate in real-time using coloured markers, text notes and photos, Sonocent could well be the only app you need!
How will it help? Handwriting not so great? Struggling to decipher your notes after a lecture? This app is the one for you.
The App-solutely Bonkers
One of the quirkiest apps to make this guide, Maths Alarm Clock puts self-control at the very top of your to-do list.
But what is it? If you suffer from continuously hitting the snooze button on your alarm, this alarm is the app for you. It works by ensuring you’re out of bed and ready to start your coursework or project; asking you to solve a simple maths problem in order to turn your alarm off, it well and truly gives you a rude – but ultimately welcome – wake up.
How will it help? This app might not seem like a good idea when it’s jolting you awake in the early hours, but your bleary eyes will thank you later when you’ve smashed that deadline.
Why we love it – It’s one of the best apps out there for giving you a kick up the rear when you need it most. Procrastinators, beware!
Again, similar to the problem-solving sleeping app, but what about this one? It’s an even more extreme solution, if you’re brave enough to check it out!
But what is it? In order to turn off the alarm, you have to get out of bed and take a picture of your sink (or any other area you define) to turn off the alarm. Not funny, eh? But it’ll make sure you’re up and about when revision should be top priority!
How will it help? Productivity levels will soar.
Why we love it – You’ll want to lob your phone at the window when your alarm goes off but you’ll thank the app later, we promise.
Fancy a kip? It’s scientifically proven that a Power Nap improves brain and body productivity. So why wouldn’t you break up your study day with a short sleep?
But what is it? Allowing you to start a timer on a pre-defined time slot, you simply click and button and set your alarm for anything from five to 20 minutes. Then sleep!
How will it help? With features including background sound, vibrate, wake up sound and custom-time setting, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to peacefully drifting off.
Why we love it – It enables you to stop pushing your brain and body to the max; instead, Power Nap ensures you’re always at peak performance thanks to quick bursts of sleep.
Time-poor? EssayTyper is the answer! Typing an essay in minutes, it’s perfect if you’re up against it deadline-week and need to some much needed inspiration – and pronto!
But what is it? Giving you convenient prompts on almost any subject, EssayTyper is kind of cheating – and we don’t condone using it for a real-life project. But if you’re looking for some pointers, it’s great. Check it out and see what we mean.
How will it help? Simply press a key and it’ll populate your page with some text relating to your chosen subject.
Learnist recognises that because learning is social, the educational apps designed to boost the way you retain information should also be.
But what is it? Using this, you can save and share everything you’re learning with a couple of simple clicks.
How will it help? A crowd-sourced collection of the world’s knowledge, Learnist helps you thrive in life and work. From a personal point of view, it’s great that you can find tips and videos from survival experts, but how will it help students? Well, there’s a host of sequences lessons on all sorts of topics; head there now to see if it can help.
Why we love it – Discover almost anything via Learnist, from tips for surviving in the wild to solutions to that maths problem.
Giving you access to personalised digital tools and a community of fellow students to help you when you need it most, Unstuck could well be your new favourite app.
But what is it? Go from stuck to ‘unstuck’, no matter what the challenge may be – simples!
How will it help? Can’t understand a maths equation? Or perhaps you’re struggling with the plot point in a novel? The community on Unstuck will help!
Why we love it – It gives you access to quick and easy answers, as and when you need them.
With a social networking-esque functionality, BenchPrep is up there with some of the very best student apps.
But what is it? Allowing you to connect with fellow test-takers and browse the site’s revision material and quizzes, BenchPrep also has a note-taking functionality to ensure you’re more in control of your test prep.
How will it help? You can track your learning progress every step of the way, which means a more rewarding revision experience.
Why we love it – It’s an absolute gem of the student app world, allowing you to connect with others and access some great revision material in the process.
Stuck on something? Slader provides answers for everything from maths conundrums to English questions.
But what is it? A crowd-sourced platform for high school and college students, Slader combines the advice of fellow students to make it a truly interactive platform.
How will it help? If you’re short of time and really need to get your head around something, Slader will come to the rescue.
Why we love it – It’s a social network with real value. No scrawling through people’s family photos here; just good, honest advice from those in the know.
Connecting you with people nearby all over the world, Skout is less a study-focused app and more a handy tool to connect with others.
But what is it? A social network which allows you to meet people based on the search parameters you set, Skout is perfect for finding study partners taking the very same subject as you.
How will it help? Whether you’re looking for a ‘study buddy’ or just someone to chat with when you’re taking time out from revision, this is a great app for some advice or much-needed downtime.
Why we love it – Skout helps you out when revision has got a little bit too much too handle. Chat to others about that maths problem, or simply relax and kick back during your breaks with a likeminded college student.
Doodle simplifies the process of scheduling events, from group meetings with fellow students to post-exam reunions.
But what is it? Saving time for millions of students worldwide, this is like having a pocket-based assistant. It’s free to join and doesn’t require registration; simply sign up and get scheduling!
How will it help? A huge stress-reliever, Doodle takes a few things off your mind when you’re ready to burst as a result of pre-exam pressure.
Tick tock! Time management tools
We don’t have to tell you what this one is do we? Oh go on then…The Homework App Gives you the chance to add, view and complete your classroom easily and in one place.
But what is it? It’s basically your mum on your shoulder! We all need someone to give us a friendly hint about the work we need to complete – and this app does just that. Allowing you to colour code subjects, view a dashboard to see what’s left to do, and use an in-app calendar to make and meet appointments, this is a must-have for any student.
How will it help? You’ll never miss a homework deadline again, thanks to this app!
Why we love it – Apps like this just make life easier – and you really can’t argue with that.
Unlike an actual yelling mum, this app has quite a calm approach to giving you a nudge to get things done. With in-built reminders and the chance to sync with Evernote, the app helps you plan for today, tomorrow and beyond.
But what is it? Allowing you to swipe right when you’ve completed a task in your to-do list, there’s something quite satisfying about this app.
How will it help? When you’re lacking in organisation, Yelling Mom comes to the rescue to give you that little bit of focus.
Why we love it – It’s so easy to use, your kid brother or sister will have no problem sussing it out. Download it for the reminder options alone!
Put simply, you’ve never experienced a task manager quite like 30/30!
But what is it? Simple, attractive and easy to use, 30/30 gives you the opportunity to set up a list of tasks and add a length of time to each of them. You then start a timer and it’ll tell you when to move on to your next job when you’re ready.
How will it help? Keeping things varied, 30/30 will change the way you organise yourself and your studies – and for the better.
Why we love it – With multiple lists and the opportunity to link to iCloud, this is a feature-packed app you’ll love too.
A free productivity app for students like you, i.procrastinate offers intuitive controls and a really simple look and feel.
But what is it? i.procrastinate helps you organise tasks according to date and priority level and it’s so easy to use even technophobes could have a go.
How will it help? Taking a couple of seconds to set up a task, i.procrastinate has been well-designed to ensure students can get the most out of the app. And while it is predominantly for students, it’ll work well for any tasks you need to order by deadline.
Why we love it – Let us count the ways! The syncing option the app offers is very useful, for one, and it’s so simple to use you’ll be just about ready to ditch the traditional pen and notebook to-do list.
This one just sounds nice, doesn’t it? And good news: it is! It’s up there in Apple’s Top 25 best-selling apps of all time, too.
But what is it? Download Splashtop and access your computer on the local network with a great video streaming service, access to Microsoft Office and PDF files, and web browsing options.
How will it help? In short, you can access all the programmes and files from your computer with 100% compatibility. If you’re in the middle of a school or college project and you’re heading home to see your folks for the weekend, this app will be worth its weight in gold. Allowing you to access your files from your parents’ or siblings’ computer, it makes studying even simpler.
Why we love it – It literally just saves the day; download this and you’ll never have to back-up the files from your home computer.
For Mac users, Mendeley is a go-to app. Keeping track of research can be tough – and if you’re working with more than one document – or from a few different libraries – you’ll easily be able to stay on top of them.
But what is it? Allowing you to annotate documents and generate citations for essays on the spot, you’ll soon be asking yourself how you ever managed without this convenient college app.
How will it help? A great research tool, Mendeley helps you find, organise and annotate your research, before sharing it on any device.
Why we love it – We don’t need to carry around half a dozen memory sticks anymore – yay!
When you really need to focus, download Brain Focus Productivity Timer.
But what is it? A time-management app that will help you get stuff ticked off your to-do list, Brain Focus works by encouraging you to focus on a work session, before treating yourself to a break.
How will it help? Breaks are vital for studying; without them, your work will undoubtedly suffer. This app allows you to plan longer or shorter breaks and make the most of the time you’ve got.
Why we love it – It urges you to make breaks part of your studying, which gives you the motivation to work harder during your non-rest periods.
It all starts with Finish! Say no to the woes of procrastination by making the most of this iPhone app.
But what is it? ‘Getting in your face when you need it, and staying out of the way when you don’t’, Finish will help you to stay focused on completing tasks via a convenient due-date-based system.
How will it help? A virtual ‘to-do’ list, Finish ensures you can keep all your most important tasks in one place – check it out.
Why we love it – It helps you do away with the countless notebooks and pens buried in your satchel – what could be better than that?
Helping you to keep your student life organised, My Class Schedule keeps you up-to-date about upcoming classes and gives you convenient reminders about exams and homework you’ve yet to complete.
But what is it? The app includes a timetable which can be used any day of the week, as well as coming with a stack more features to help you keep track of tasks.
How will it help? With a colour-coded timetable and an option to set your phone to mute automatically during classes, this is one to tell your friends about.
Why we love it – Giving you notifications about upcoming deadlines as and when you need them, this is a life-saving app when it comes to important homework.
Designed to help you plan your lectures and exam schedule, Time Tab puts time management skills at the top of your agenda.
But what is it? Making planning easier and ensuring you meet the high demands of your course tutor with ease, the free app helps you organise everyday activities like coursework and important assignments.
How will it help? When everything’s getting on top of you, as it often does when you’re juggling what feels like a million and one deadlines, it’ll ensure you feel a bit more in control.
Why we love it – It’s free, easy-to-use and compatible with any Blackberry phone.
Created by a team of expert developers at ZeroDesktop Inc, in Silicon Valley, QualityTime analyses your habits when it comes to using your phone to put it on a ‘digital diet’.
But what is it? Fun and simple to use, QualityTime allows you to monitor how much time you spend on your phone and on certain apps. You’ll then get alerts if you’re overusing your phone, which will snap you into action where studying is concerned.
How will it help? Trimming down the time you spend poring over your phone, it’s bound to make you more productive in terms of exams and school projects.
Why we love it – It really is fascinating to find out how much time we lose to our phone each day; download this app and prepare to be as astounded as us.
A timer app to help you stay motivated when you really don’t feel it.
But what is it? Breaking up your time into small on/off sections to help you study hard for periods of, say, 30 minutes or more, the app will give you time for breaks, too.
How will it help? If you’ve ever woken up with good intentions and then found yourself six hours later still watching TV, this app is the one for you.
Why we love it – It’s basically your mum in app form. When you need someone to give you a kick up the behind, this will do it – gently.
Used by universities around the world, Blackboard comes recommended by a host of tutors and uni lecturers thanks to its many features.
But what is it? Available for Android, Blackberry and Apple, the app is only useful if your teacher is using it, too. Allowing you to access coursework, grades and timetables, you can use Blackboard anywhere and anytime.
How will it help? Simply install the app and get going! Coming with a user-friendly guide, Blackboard will ensure you’re top of the class in terms of organisation, at least.
Why we love it – Let us count the ways! It’s simple to use, quick to download and will absolutely change the way you work.
Copy and paste fiend? You’ll love JumpCut!
But what is it? If you use the copy and paste buttons more than you should while writing an essay, this app will save you a ton of time. Why? By tweaking the text a little and adding some of your own work, the job’s a good ‘un.
How will it help? Up against a deadline? This time-saving app will see you right.
Why we love it – Who knew such an app existed? But we’re so glad it does! This saves you the hours you’d spend desperately trying to combine your research into your own words.
With a clean and sharp interface, Timetable (available on Android) gives you the opportunity to map your timetables with ease.
But what is it? Ideal for school or university life, Timetable ensures you can save your timetable and its tasks, from homework to exams.
How will it help? The great thing about this app is you only need to enter your timetable and tasks once – and it’ll sync across all your Android devices too.
Basic but fantastic
This one’s self-explanatory, really. We all know and love Google and its great features – and here’s another one. Google Slides helps you create, edit and collaborate with others on presentations via your iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
But what is it? A free app, Google Slides is ideal for those tasked with presenting to the class. Get stuff done anytime, even without an Internet connection. You can also present right from your device – how cool is that?
How will it help? With Google Slides, you’ll never have to worry about losing your work; everything is saved as you go, so you can be sure there’ll be no sleepless nights where your next presentation is concerned.
Why we love it – Allowing you to simply add and rearrange slides, as well as format text and shapes, this is a dream app for creating presentations.
Free and flexible, Trello is an online to-do list which will help you smash those projects.
But what is it? A visual means of organising anything with everyone, Trello lets you see everything about your project in an instant. Arrange each task into a bullet-pointed list and enjoy the pride in ticking each off your virtual to-do list.
How will it help? There’ll be no need for notebooks, spreadsheets or scraps of paper anymore. Hooray to a clear and organised mind, too!
Why we love it – It gives us the chance to give spreadsheets the boot (we never liked them anyway!). It’s so easy to use, we’re converting everyone we know to the joy of Trello.
It might not sound very cool, but this is the bees’ knees when it comes to online apps with an educational slant.
But what is it? It’s a digital learning suite for both students and professionals and its database structure is similar to a little system 90s kids might remember called Encarta. With a host of contents for research and projects, this app can be used on the web, for your PC or via a mobile.
How will it help? It ensures everything you need is in one handy place, from handy facts to useful figures.
Why we love it – It’s almost a little spot of nostalgia; it’s so much like Encarta that we’re pretty much mourning our lost youth just typing this!
Come on; by now you should know what Twitter is! But if you don’t, it’s a social networking site (and one of the best at that!) that allows its users to send and receive short 140-character updates.
But what is it? In its most basic sense, it’s just another social platform which allows people to stay in touch. But it was unique when it began in that it was one of the first networks which allowed people to search for relevant information using a hashtag – this feature on its own means it’s perfect for students.
How will it help? You can filter the information you want to see by the use of relevant hashtags. What this means for you, then, is if you’re looking for advice and tips from fellow students or classmates, you can easily find via your own custom hashtag.
Why we love it – It gives everyone a chance to be seen and heard, which is ideal if you’re looking for answers to some of your course’s most taxing questions.
You’ll never be lost for words again!
But what is it? Quite simply does what it says on the tin. The Dictionary.com app gives you over 2 million definitions, complete with usage examples and etymologies. You can save your favourite words and search for words offline.
How will it help? Embellish your essays with wonderful words and clever phrases and you’ll be sure to boost your grades.
Why we love it – You’ll be able to impress your friend – and teachers – with your rich and exciting vocabulary
For photography students this app is bound to be a hit.
But what is it? One of the best-known photo-editing programmes, Photoshop has a great reputation. And this app is no exception, with a host of features useful for the coursework and exam prep any budding photographer needs.
How will it help? Allowing you to edit photos, make crops, adjust brightness and sharpen images, this app gives photography students a chance to polish up their skills. Plus, students of other subjects can add interest to projects and coursework with well-taken photos they’ve ‘brushed up’ on Photoshop.
Why we love it – Whether preparing for an exam or not, there’s no denying how cool this app is. Snap your pals and get to grips with its editing features; it may come in useful if you decide to set up a blog or join the media industry post-college.
The fun and functional
Blending interactive technology with educational materials, StudyBlue (a new favourite of fans of the recently discontinued app, EvernotePeek) ensures you can take in the facts more easily than you might via textbooks and flash cards.
But what is it? A leading crowd-sourced learning app, Study Blue gives you the chance to archive a copy of your educational materials in the Evernote notebooks of your choice. Features include quiz mode, reminders, a study saver and the chance to make flashcards using custom text and pictures.
How will it help? Changing the way you study or revise for an important exam, this contains everything you might need to keep yourself organised in every subject.
Why we love it – Our favourite feature is StudyBlue’s ‘Study Saver’, which enables you to pick up where you left off when it comes to your most recent revision session.
One of the best online resources out there, TED talks have earned a reputation for being bold and fascinating.
But what is it? The TED app allows you to view all the talks in the TED library and build playlists along the way. You’ll also be able to bookmark talks to watch later and share favourites with your friends.
How will it help? These talks will bring any topic you’re studying to life, providing further information and quirky facts. Exposure to the best and brightest minds in the world is also sure to motivate you to work hard!
Why we love it – TED is a goldmine of wisdom, with countless talks sure to inspire you academically as well as in your day-to-day life
Find it hard to motivate yourself if there’s no background noise? You need MusicforStudying!
But what is it? It’s an app featuring a ton of songs to help you stay focused. You simply select a song, choose a beautiful background and set the time for the track to stop playing. How will it help?
How will it help? With great sound quality and a good choice of tracks, you’ll be able to choose the song that best suits the work you’re completing. If it’s a maths-based project, you might want to go for soft, soothing music, for instance.
Why we love it – The right music equals boosted productivity.
Making learning fun – and more effective – instaGrok is packed with innovative features.
But what is it? Well, we know by now it’s got an unusual name, but what else makes instaGrok unique? There’s literally all sorts to this app; just take a look.
How will it help? Grasp important concepts or key facts thanks to an interactive visual interface and don’t forget to take advantage of in-built journals to keep your notes or reports, too.
Why we love it – Integrated journals mean easy peasy note-taking and you can write research reports too.
But what is it? A scientific learning-based system to boost your brain to learning up to 44 words an hour, it offers multiple games – and they’re all free.
How will it help? Game-based learning means it’s always fun to learn a new language with this app – and you can even track your learning as you go.
Why we love it – A visual way to learn, it’ll help you review and strengthen your language skills to get you ready for your exams.
The FREE Student Response System, Socrative works with smartphones, tables and computers. you respond to ‘quick questions’ or full quizzes and will be massively useful when it comes to creating polls and research amongst other students.
But what is it? In short, it lets you respond to ‘quick questions’ or full quizzes and will be massively useful when it comes to creating polls and research amongst other students.
How will it help? It’ll simply collate information you’ve tapped in via a poll or a research to ensure you can see your findings at a glance.
Why we love it – It beats sitting at the computer for hours drawing up graphs. For that reason alone, it’s a winner in our book.
Everyone’s heard of Dropbox – and it’s with good reason! It helps you keep those essays and projects safe and synced!
But what is it? Well put it this way, it will revolutionise the way you store your work. You’ll never lose a project or essay again; you can upload multiple files and access them whenever you need them – even on your phone.
How will it help? No longer will you have to make a lunch-time dash home to email yourself a file on your desktop; everything’s in one handy place in Dropbox, so it’ll save you time and hassle.
Perfect that presentation
A cool remote tool, Presentation Maker makes light work of presentation making.
But what is it? Allowing you to create exciting slideshows of official documents and projects, Presentation Maker is like a mobile Powerpoint.
How will it help? A perfect story creator, Presentation Maker brings with it a variety of effects and has a handy presentation timer, too.
Why we love it – There will now be no need to get stressed about that upcoming presentation; thanks to this app, you’ll more than have it covered.
One of the most powerful presentation apps out there, Keynote makes creating a world-class presentation so simple.
But what is it? You can use an Apple-designed theme to add text, images, charts and tables and then present directly from your mobile device.
How will it help? Keeping everything together, this app has iCloud built in to ensure your presentations are up-to-date across all the devices you own.
Why we love it – You can now organise your research easily and effectively thanks to this simple yet invaluable app.
You’ll find over 40 presentation-related videos over on Tips, each of which are contained within six different categories.
But what is it? In short, it’s your go-to site ahead of any class presentation, regardless of the subject. With tips on improving your confidence and increasing the impact of your talk, these videos are delivered by a professional speaker.
How will it help? Battle any pre-presentation nerves thanks to these top tips; the hints and advice featured within the app are both relevant and well-delivered.
Why we love it – Never before have we felt so confident before a big talk; Presentation Maker should be your first port of call if you’ve got a class talk in the diary, too.
Discover topics you love and make use of group polling, events, calendar and file sharing via BAND.
But what is it? It’s an app that offers all the collaboration tools you need for college, school or work.
How will it help? Create BAND groups when you have a group project; this will encourage participation from everyone and, possibly, a better presentation or piece of work.
Why we love it – You can easily share what matters to you via this app, as well as keep up with group members’ activity in one place.
Free to download and use, Free Office: Presentation is used by students and business owners, thanks to its fresh design and great features.
But what is it? The only presentation programme for Android, Presentation Maker lets you open, edit and save all your PowerPoint files while also saving and formatting any content you’ve created.
How will it help? Displaying your presentations in exactly the same way as they appear on your PC, you can even integrate sound and animations into Presentation Maker.
Best of the Rest…
While this isn’t strictly a study app, we had to share it! Sworkit allows you to create exercise training plans in minutes – and because exercise means more energy, we know that eventually that’ll equal a more productive you when it comes to that big assignment.
But what is it? Giving you no excuse not to exercise, the app helps you devise a workout that works for you – and fits in with your schedule.
How it’ll help? No more rushed visits to the gym! Find and devise a workout you can do from the comfort of your student digs.
Why we love it – It makes exercising, or rather making time for it, easy!
Brain in Hand
Brain in Hand is an award winning app designed ‘to help individuals living with conditions such as autism, anxiety, [and] mental illness’.
But what is it? An app specifically designed to help students affected by mental health conditions and autism cope with challenging situations whenever they need it.
How will it help? If you’re a student affected by autism or anxiety, Brain in Hand will provide you with a diary to structure your time, pre-planned coping strategies and a monitor to track anxiety. 88% of users in higher education said it allowed them to cope better with problems.
Why we love it – What’s not to love? This revolutionary app empowers students with autism and other mental health difficulties to ‘cope with every day challenges, stick with their course and achieve their potential.’
A convenient app for those at university, this will help you smash maths, science and algebraic equations so you’re exam-ready in no time.
But what is it? Helping you solve your homework and science projects, this free app also comes with a premium version you’ll love.
How does it help? Simply enter a maths problem in the blank box provided and see examples via a useful button embedded into the site.
Why we love it – Any app that makes maths a little easier to digest is okay by us.
A digital handwriting app, Penultimate offers distraction-free, natural handwriting and sketching with the power of Evernote’s handy sync and search.
But what is it? You can use it to take class or meeting notes, or simply write down your thoughts and ideas.
How will it help? Making the experience of pen and paper much more productive, Penultimate allows you to choose from a number of paper styles or create personalised paper by exporting onto a page. Convenient for those ‘hand-written essays’ you’re due to hand in, Penultimate could well become your new best friend.
Why we love it –There isn’t much about this software we don’t like! It’s simply like writing with your favourite pen – and what could be better than that!
If exam worries are converting to sleepless nights, you need to download White Noise – and fast!
But what is it? It’s known as a miracle worker for better sleep – and of course, without a good night’s sleep, your productivity when it comes to exam prep will take a nosedive. Download the app for free and block out distractions, soothe headaches and migraines…and relax!
How will it help? With a catalogue of 40 sounds, white noise brings you ambient audios to help you naturally drift off.
Why we love it – You’ll wake up ready to tackle your revision schedule head-on!
One of the easiest tools out there when it comes to organising your project ideas, Popplet helps you jot down and sort your ideas in a visual way.
But what is it? Great for school and learning in a classroom or at home, this app captures the facts and thoughts you input to help you come up with even more ideas.
How will it help? Everyone from office professionals to students use Popplet to generate some of their best ideas; visual brainstorming helps you organise your thoughts and keep them handy.
Why we love it – Set up as many Popplet boards as you like and access this app easily via an iPhone or iPad – it really couldn’t be simpler!
But what is it? The app allows you to create tables, add sliders and animate your graphs – and it’s completely free, too!
How will it help? The ‘next generation’ graphing calculator, Desmos uses a fast maths engine and a calculator that can plot any equation automatically – brilliant!
Why we love it – Beautifully-designed and intuitive, this is one of the very best free apps out there.
Here’s a fun one for you! Peak is a brain-training app for that often-sacred downtime between exams. After all, why not ‘switch off’ by doing something productive. Let’s face it, when you’re planning games and solving puzzles, you’re not really working are you? So it gives you time to wind down between lessons or exams, while keeping your brain sharp.
But what is it? Named ‘Appstore Best of 2014’, Peak is a hit in 24 countries! People love it, thanks to its ability to get your brain in tip-top condition via 30 fun games developed by neuroscientists and designed to test your cognitive skills.
How will it help? From boosting your memory to increasing your problem-solving skills, this app is one of the best out there for self-improvement.
Why we love it – Play this and you’ll be boosting your brain without even realising it. Well, almost.
English students will want to bookmark this one!
But what is it? Combining the world’s smartest dictionary with a learning game to have you mastering new words as you go, the tagline to the app is ‘look up a word, learn it forever.’
How will it help? Vocabulary can be downloaded for iOS and Android and will be perfect for anyone looking to populate their English essay with some big words.
Why we love it – Who doesn’t want the chance to improve their vocabulary and impress their mates with their newfound knowledge in the process?
Love citations? RefMe makes it so much easier to reference your essays and projects.
But what is it? The building blocks of research, citations make learning a doddle. RefME helps too, in that it gives the next generation a better alternative to the inaccurate and expensive referencing tools they’ve so far had access to.
How will it help? Helping to validate and connect knowledge, RefME will prove a useful portal for any research.
Why we love it – Like a lot of the apps here, RefME has made school, college and uni work so much easier – and less time spent on projects means more time spent doing the things you really enjoy.
Editor’s note: we’ve just published a new guide which readers of this post might find helpful.