New year, new you – right? Right! Whether you’ve made an active New Year’s resolution to be a more productive student or you simply want to work harder this year at university, you’ve come to the right place.
Improve your study time with this handy selection of time management apps and tools. Whether it’s making notes more efficiently, scheduling your work-flow better or making sure you stick to your assignment deadlines, there’s an app that can help you keep time, keep notes and keep sane as the work piles up.
Read on for some of the best time management apps for students on the market this year!
First in this list of great apps for students is Timeful (iOS), an app that acts as a calendar and to-do list, allowing you to keep your entire schedule in just one place. A perfect example of how time management apps have evolved to become ever smarter, Timeful uses intelligent code to gather information on the user’s habits and regular routines in order to suggest the best possible times to schedule new jobs and other chores when you’re at your most productive. As Timeful aims to work with the app user, giving suggestions and tips to help you develop good time-keeping habits, the idea is that you’ll become less reliant on the app over time and you may actually start to feel just as productive without it!
One of the best free productivity apps on the market, Evernote allows you to gather all your notes, thoughts and ideas in one place across as many devices as you like, making it possible to locate all your different university assignments, plans and inspirations in just one click. Whether you like keeping notes on your phone or not, Evernote lets you save any article, film clip or general webpage so that you can come back to it another time and on any device. Perfect for people who quickly forget their greatest ideas, Evernote also helps with multimedia presentations and conducting research.
Marketed as a “digital Pomodoro timer”, Focus Booster is an online app that allows users to break up their schedule into manageable chunks. Just like the old-fashioned Pomodoro method – outlined here – Focus Booster is essentially a timer that splits up your revision sessions with a number of little breaks in order to keep you as productive as possible. The added benefit of the digital version is that you can track exactly how much time you’ve spent on a certain topic, as well as being able to analyze this activity on your dashboard.
A more fast-paced and modern version of the above, 30/30 (iOS) allows you to set timers to complete specific tasks. The interface is sharp and innovative, allowing users to control the app easily with swipes and gestures. One of the better-looking productivity apps on the market, 30/30 can also give you a better understanding of how long it really takes to do certain things.
Remember the Milk (iOS) is similar to the other productivity apps listed here, but it also functions seamlessly around the other time management tools you may have already set up on your devices. Earning a worthy name as the “veritable Swiss army knife of to-do list management” from Lifehacker, Remember the Milk helps you to complete tasks on the moo-ve (sorry), organize your schedule, and set up multiple-platform reminders for your most important appointments.
Any.do (iOS/Android) allows you to organize your day by allowing you to create reminders, to-do lists, notes and events and store them on the clean and easy-to-use Any.do interface. Although similar to other time management tools on the market, the app works across platforms, making it easy to switch from your phone to your laptop without missing anything on your schedule.
To-do list apps
Listastic (iOS) is one of many to-do list apps providing a similar service – it is essentially just a digital list tracker – but its smooth functionality and ease of use gives it an honest place among the best time management apps for students. Whether you need to keep a note of what groceries to get, what textbooks to buy or what chores to do, Listastic can help keep you, and anyone you choose to share your notes with, up to date.
The so-called “to-do list for procrastinators”, Finish (iOS) is another in the long line of to-do list apps, but what’s special about this one is the feeling of achievement it strives to give you. When you finish a task, simply swipe over it and gain a checkmark, along with a nice rewarding sound. In addition, all your completed tasks are automatically archived, so you can finally stop rifling through your laundry in search of those old paper lists!
If you find you don’t get on with the other to-do list apps listed above, consider 2Do (iOS), an app that offers a more flexible way of using time management tools, with a focus on color coding. This feature in particular is extremely helpful for visual learners, allowing you to distinguish your tasks by type (e.g. work, university, or home) and its level of priority. You can also defer set tasks, which, although seemingly counterproductive, allows for ongoing development without penalty.
If you were getting worried about the dullness of the to-do list apps listed above, fear not because EpicWin (iOS, US$2.99) might win you over. This functions just like most other to-do list apps, but with one major difference; every time you complete a task you earn XP which goes towards improving your in-app character in an “ongoing quest to improve stats, gain riches and level-up”.
Other useful apps for students
Coach.me (iOS), formerly known as 'Lift', works much like Facebook and other social networking sites, allowing you to utilize a community of friends online and to share your thoughts amongst them. The difference with Coach.me, however, is that the main focus of your community is on productivity, allowing you to post about productive things you want to do and to receive ‘props’ from other people (similar to a ‘like’) when people like your idea. One of the more unique apps for students, Coach.me works with the idea that people respond particularly well to friendly, informal feedback and that a written statement of intent makes people more inclined to actually complete a task. You’ll also receive tips and rewards for completing the tasks you set out to do, while keeping track of your progress.
Prezi allows you to create presentations anywhere and everywhere and make them available across all your devices. This app is perfect for those who leave things until the last minute, but also for those who enjoy being productive wherever they go. If you’ve only ever made a presentation using Microsoft or another computer-only service, Prezi will open up a new world of PowerPoint inspiration thanks to the good graphics, functional styles and an incredibly easy to use text-inputting system.
13. Super Notes
Super Notes (iOS) allows the saving of notes, recordings, images and more, so university students can better follow lectures without having to worry about writing every single thing down. With this app you can potentially sound record your lectures and take photos of any important slides, making note-taking that little bit more fun and interactive. Any written notes you make can also be color-coded for ease of reference, while the share function on the app allows you to share your notes online or download them onto a computer for backup.
14. Mind 42
One of a decreasing number of time management tools not yet to have moved over to mobile, Mind 42 is an online-only mind-mapping application which allows users to create and build visual idea trackers in the form of spider diagrams, lists, thought clouds and more. Although not transferrable across devices, Mind 42 is a fast and easy way of jotting down early ideas and also developing more in-depth ideas research. If you’re someone who gets stuck on the early stages of a project, consider using this online app to get your ideas flowing.
15. Google Keep
If you’re not happy with the functionality of the best productivity apps for students so far, you’ll be pleased to see Google stepping into frame with Google Keep (Android), a sleek pin-board style app which allows its users to pin notes, make lists and add photos onto a well-designed and easily updateable homepage which works across any Android device. If you’re already an active user of Google, this will be an easy transition into increased productivity. If you’re not an Android user, you can also use the web version of the app, which has all the same functionality as the mobile version.
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