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8 Essential Mobile Apps to Kickstart Your School Year

Written by Peter Ki

Let’s face it: for most of us, smartphones are just distracting teenager toys that prevent us from being productive (“must… refresh… Facebook app”). But they don’t have to be—I’m here to show you some apps that’ll make your student life way easier. To start off this marvelous new school year, here are 8 apps that will boost your productivity both at home and at school.

1. My Study Life

Cost: Free

Timing is everything. In order to stay organized, you need to know the times of your courses and when you’re free to run errands, study, or socialize. My Study Life helps you schedule all your classes, tasks, exams, and reminders. For those with a rotating schedule, the app can easily adapt to changes and takes into account when a scheduling term begins and ends. When it comes to tasks, the app doesn’t stop at “done” and “not done”, either—you can specify how much you’ve completed a task and even set review tasks for when a final is coming up (don’t forget about those units from the beginning of the year)! With its intuitive interface and its ability to sync with other devices, this app is a must for organizing your schedule.

Available on the App StoreGoogle Play, and Microsoft Store.

2. Quizlet

Cost: Free

I think we’ve all experienced the awful ordeal of having to memorize 3 million terms for a test. The traditional cue card system comes to mind as a potential solution, but who wants to pull out a hundred of them on the bus ride to school, especially on the day of the test? Quizlet is a simple yet elegant solution that makes your mobile phone into an unstoppable cue card machine. As a flashcard system, the app allows you to review your terms in a list view or a double-sided view. It even offers a matching game that really crystallizes information in your memory. If you want a neater, classier way of studying on the go, Quizlet is for you.

Available on the App Store and Google Play, with Flashcards Pro as an alternative on the Microsoft Store.

3. Pocket

Cost: Free

When you find a really useful page, you probably tell yourself that you’ll remember to read it later. Except not. 90% of the time, you end up forgetting about it. Pocket is really handy in this case, since it allows you to save web pages for reading in the future. The app not only supports text, but also pictures and videos (even stuff on Twitter)! Plus, if you happen to use up all your data, your pages are saved to your device so you can read things in offline mode.

Available on the App Store and Google Play, with Poki as a client on the Microsoft Store.

4. Clockwork Tomato // Flat Tomato

Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)

Have you got a long, long project to do? Try splitting your work time into manageable sessions. Clockwork Tomato will divide your time into 25 minute intervals, forcing you to work but allowing 5 minute breaks in between sessions. Using the Pomodoro Technique (for all you language-lovers out there, pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian), the idea of having periodic breaks may help out a lot with trying to get a large assignment done while transforming distractions into manageable pieces. Note that Flat Tomato is a cool Clockwork Tomato alternative for iPhone users.

Available on the App Store and Google Play.

5. Evernote

Cost: Free

A very popular app, Evernote allows you to take notes not only using typed text, but also with handwriting, pictures, attachments, and voice memos. Share notes via email or URL or give others permission to edit and view your documents. Its built-in chat function is perfect for group work, as it enables participants to communicate and share their notes in the chat. And if you want to remember a task for later, the reminder function will ping you about a task when you tell it to.

Available on the App StoreGoogle Play, and the Microsoft Store.

6. Trello 

Cost: Free

If you’re looking for an app that organizes multiple tasks into a bigger picture, Trello is the perfect fit. Using a whiteboard-style layout, the app allows you to set up a board with multiple cards that can be arranged into lists of anything you want. This includes pictures, videos, and attachments. This one’s also great for group projects, since multiple people can engage with a board and have the ability to make comments on each card. Even better, the interface makes it super easy to shift from one card to another while still having a view of your whole board.

Available on the App Store and Google Play, with Treyo! as a client on the Microsoft Store.

7. Feedly

Cost: Free

For media fanatics out there, it’s irritating to hop from app to app when trying to catch up with the latest news (or with your favourite YouTuber) on your smartphone. Fear not, for there is a solution! Feedly lets you incorporate all of your favourite feeds into a single, seamless space for you to view. You can even make multiple collections to better organize your feed. Any interesting articles you come across can be saved on the app for later reading. And if you have the urge to tell all of social media what you’ve found, you can! Share stories you find on Feedly on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote.

Available on the App Store and Google Play, with Flipbord as an alternative on the Microsoft Store.

8. 7 Minute Workout

Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)

Sometimes, you tell yourself that you’re gonna get some exercise only to end up watching Disney movies in bed. While eating an oily pizza dinner. Definitely not something you should be doing all the time, right? Seven Minute Workout is a great way to be more active by prompting you to do a variety of exercises in a given workout session. From wall-sits to jumping jacks, the app vocally announces all workout commands so you don’t even have to look at your screen for instructions. Good health is also connected to better studying, so don’t forget to take care of your body! You’ll thank yourself for it.

Available on the App StoreGoogle Play, and the Microsoft Store.

Know of more must-have apps that would benefit your fellow school-goers? Post them in the comments below!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.