Essential apps for an easier student life

So you’ve begun your journey to attain wisdom and enlightenment (and to improve your job prospects), you’ve just arrived at your halls, you’re feeling super excited, a little nervous and trying not to let that one big fat tear roll down your cheek as you watch your parents drive off. (Who’s been chopping onions? They must be making a lasagne.)

Don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of handy apps that should help every of facet your student life run smoothly. As a poor starving student, I’m sure you’ll especially appreciate the fact that these apps are all totally free.

Even if you’re a seasoned final-year student, you might find some of these apps useful:

1) Study: Examtime

Android, iPhone

Exam time, two little words that can strike such fear into the hearts of students. Thankfully, in this instance it appears in the form of an app that’s geared towards helping you pass your exams with flying colours. Think of it as a digitised version of all of your old revision methods rolled up into one handy app. It includes mind-maps, flashcards, quizzes and a study planner, you use the web app to create your study notes but once this is done, you can review them on your mobile. No more excuses not to revise whilst on the go, now.

2) Note-taking: Evernote
Android, iPhone

I’m not sure if Evernote needs much of an introduction as it’s one of the most famous note-taking apps out there. In fact, it does so much more than simply record notes or scraps of text. You can create lists, save photos and attachments and file them away neatly in different notebooks, you can even share notebooks with friends. An especially handy feature it has is the ability to search for the text content within images or photographs. This means that you can take a photo of your handouts and later on when it comes time for revision, you can just do a quick search and you’ll pinpoint the exact handout sheet you need.

Bonus suggestion: I’ve found Google Keep a little more handy for short notes and shopping lists. Its simpler interface means that you can jot something down more quickly.

3) Citations: Zotero

Android, iPhone

With Zotero, handling and arranging your cited documentation finally becomes a trivial matter. Its main feature is in the form of a web browser plugin where it can automatically detect the content of your browser and with one click, add it to your library. You can store and organise research papers, PDFs, videos or just webpages, but the real benefit to using this software becomes apparent once you begin writing your research papers and assignments. Firstly, you can use it to create (correctly styled) citations in Word or Open Office, it will even produce your entire bibliography at the blink of an eye.
Now, there are a number of different mobile apps that work with Zotero for both Android and iPhone, but all of them will allow you to add, view and synchronise citations via mobile. So whilst I’m not recommending any one app, I can highly recommend the Zotero system as a whole. It’s a complete lifesaver when you get to the final year and beyond when you have to get some serious research done and managing your resources and producing a bibliography becomes unwieldy.

4) Travel: Moovit
Android, iPhone, Windows Phone

As a student you’ll either be using public transport a lot, or you’ll be walking everywhere, and it’s a royal pain if you’re suffering from a self-inflicted alcohol-related ailment, you have a 9am lecture and you’re stood about in a light drizzle.
Enter Moovit, a UK nation-wide app that covers all types of public transport with arrival and departure times. Even if you’re not familiar with the area, it can show you where your nearest stops are. There are also live alerts so you know in real-time what’s happening with your bus/train.

5) Motivation: Fabulous

I don’t know about you, but procrastination is a *massive* problem for me. Especially when faced with the daily grind of study and revision, you’re knackered, a new assignment is due in two days and yet there are so many distractions whispering and calling your name… This is where some healthy habit-forming apps might help.

Fabulous is a gorgeous little app that helps you to reset your habits, it has a few pre-set habits and routines that you can use, but it’s flexible enough to let you create your own routines. Everyday, it notifies you of your day’s tasks and keeps reminding you until you tell it that you’ve completed them. The idea being that once you’ve gone through and successfully completed several weeks of these tasks, it will eventually become a natural habit. Essentially, it’s a nagging app, but oh, it does it ever so gently and with such style.