This past summer, I spent a lot of time sitting on my couch with my puppy, Max, reading; I was determined to get through the Hunger Games trilogy. Though Suzanne Collins had my attention firmly hooked, there were multiple instances when a buzz from my cell phone would lift me from the perils of Panem and suck me right into the Internet. Check Instagram, check Facebook, check Twitter, add photo of Max being adorable to my Snapstory (she is seldom still enough to Snap, so this was monumental), and once I felt sufficiently updated, I would return to my book.
Now that summer is over, my phone has taken on a new role: helping me stay organized. Here in Boston, there are thousands of students pursuing an array of different degrees, but who all share the need to stay organized and on task. Nowadays, students have apps at their disposal that help them complete their work and stay connected. Some apps help me stay in touch with my parents and siblings when I’m away and others assist me in my personal life, but the academic apps are the ones I most commonly use throughout the school year.
Here is a list of my essential apps which have continuously assisted me in keeping my life in order, both in and out of the lecture hall.
- Evernote | Free | App Store | Google Play
I have been using Evernote for the past 3 years, and I will definitely be using it again this year. This app is extremely helpful, especially for those of us that are forgetful; no more worrying about lost notebooks, or even crashed hard drives. Everything is backed up on evernote.com, so you can access your notes anywhere, anytime. If you’re more of an audio learner, no sweat! The app comes equipped with a recording function so you can listen to your lecture later on in the day. Evernote can serve as your note database for all your classes.
- Skype | Free | App Store | Google Play
Nowadays, video chatting has taken on a variety of functions. For a student in the latter half of their academic career, it’s a great interviewing platform. Online classes are also facilitated with this app’s screen sharing functions. Skype is great for staying in touch with teammates during spring break if there is a group project due shortly after. And of course, (your parents will love this) it’s a great way to stay in touch with family! Let them know you’re alive.
As a senior, I came into my final year with a lot of goals for myself, both personal and academic. With iStudiez, I am able to keep an up-to-date schedule at all times, plan team meetings, and even plan ahead for finals week. The app also imports my calendar events, so I knew what time I had to do homework, study, or meet with my professor. It can also be programmed to send an exam reminder one to seven days prior. Most importantly, it gives a full idea of what is due when, which is key to prioritizing. iStudiez is only available in the App Store, but Andriod users should check out myhomeworkapp.com, a similar scheduling app.
- Viber | Free | App Store | Google Play
College can be an incredibly international environment. Whether you are from nearby, out of town, out of state, or out of country, you will meet people from all over the world. And naturally, with friendship comes texting. Use this app to call or text your international and even mainland friends and family for free. Viber is also great for students planning to study abroad; it makes it easy to keep in touch with homebase (with or without a time difference!).
- MyFitnessPal | Free | App Store | Google Play
We all get anxious about health and fitness once we get on campus. I may or may not have ordered hot wings twice…in the past week…within three days of each other. It’s apps like MyFitnessPal that help me keep my diet in check. I am not an avid dieter or fitness guru, but I do intend on staying healthy to perform optimally in my classes and at work. The app is simple: plug in what you’re eating, and it will give you a caloric and nutritional breakdown of your meal. With this app, you can set goals for yourself and maintain (or even reduce) your weight. No matter what, it’s about staying healthy!
6. Venmo | Free | App Store | Google Play
This is a new one for me, but I have recently fallen in love with Venmo. It happens to everyone: you order a pizza for you and your roommates and discover everyone has only a $20 bill or no cash on them. How can you split the bill? Once you enter your credit card/checking information into the secure app, you can instantly pay or request funds from your friends. This app has become a lifestyle; “Venmo me” is practically a universally understood phrase, just like “Snap me” or “Google it.” So the next time there’s a bill to split, just ask your friends to “Venmo” you!
7. Mint.com | Free | App Store | Google Play
My wallet has thanked me for this app. Mint.com helps you keep track of your expenses. Budgeting and monitoring finances are essential to a student, especially when it comes to the beginning of the semester and purchasing books, ink, office supplies, and even backpacks. I use it to gauge how much I spend on groceries, as that is an ongoing expense for most of the semester, as well as laundry. I also use it to keep track of my splurges, like ordering in, eating out, or small shopping trips. It keeps a record of what I’ve spent and allows me to adjust my habits to be more financially efficient.
College life can get hectic, and keeping track of everything from money to exam dates to eating habits to social lives can be overwhelming. Though a little anxiety is inevitable, I know that I have maintained my calm in many a stressful semester with the help of these apps. Whether you’re a double major, student athlete, president of a sorority, or studying for the GRE, they can help any student stay on top of their assignments and activities, making it easier to enjoy life in school. They have helped me through my first three years of college, and during my senior year, I intend on using them to get me through the final stretch.
Download these apps and keep your money, your classes, and your social life in check!
–Amanda G. Barillas