Back to School Apps to Start the School Year Smart

School is back in session next week. School supplies, check. Packing for university, check. How about installing some apps to help keep organised? Just remember proper phone etiquette.

Some students like to use their phones as more than entertainment. Phones can keep students organised. Put the smart back in smartphone with these back to school apps that get students on the right track for the school year.

The Basics plus:

Smartphones all have calculators, calendars, and notes apps already installed.

Calculator App

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with the calculator, there’s a basic one and a scientific one already on there. This is fine for when you’re doing homework at home, but you can’t use it on tests or in class.

If a graphing calculator is needed, there are plenty of free apps on iOS and Android. If you are still stuck and need help figuring out that maths problem, our last article on apps mentioned PhotoMath.

The calendar app can be fine to use for class schedules, but there are calendar/planner apps that are specific for school, like myHomework, available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, and PC/Mac. Save some trees and use your phone as a planner.

myHomework on Desktop

Students can put in their class schedules in the app and add homework assignments or assessments for each class and put in information about it such as name of assignment, type of assignment or assessment, due date and time, if it’s something weekly (like a weekly quiz or test), and priority.

The app can even give reminders to ensure that students stay on top of their work. If an account is created, class schedules and homework assignments are synced to all logged in devices.

Wunderlist App

If a basic to-do list is what you’re looking for, Wunderlist (Available on iOS, Android, PC/Mac, Windows Phone, and Kindle Fire) is a good choice. This might be better for everyday tasks that need to get done: chores and errands. Reminders can be set and categories can be created.

This checklist can be shared with friends who also use the app and users can collaborate. Lists can be printed, hashtagged, shared, and annotated. Perfect for chores lists for students living in shared housing. A very versatile to do list app that has more functionality than Apple’s Reminders app.

Evernote on Desktop.png

Built-in notes apps can be nice, but really basic. If you want more, try Evernote. It’s great for taking notes and syncing across devices (there’s a limit if you have a free account). There is a search function and options to create folders and tag notes. Notes don’t just have to be writing. Pictures, attachments, Google Drive links, and audio can be included.

The Cloud:

In university, professors will not be forgiving of late assignments due to lost flash drives or coffee spilled on laptops. It’s so important to save work on more than one place, not just on your hard drive or on your flash drive.

Cloud computing is basically a term that means that your files are stored safely on a service provider’s servers and not on your computer, so you can access it anywhere that has an internet connection. iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox are some examples of cloud computing. Save assignments in the cloud and download these apps on your phone or tablet so you always have access to them. All of these apps are free.

If Microsoft Office is too expensive and the university doesn’t offer students free copies of it, Google has its own word processing (Docs), spreadsheet (Sheets), and slideshow (Slides) apps so you can work on your essays, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go and easily pick up where you left off. It allows for teamwork and automatically saves your work.

For students who love taking pictures and videos, but have limited space on their phones, download Google Photos to save all the memories without sacrificing much quality. Google Photos organises and categorises photos, has a space-saving smart delete function for photos already backed up, an editing feature, and more.

Make Homework Easier:

Citations are tedious to write. Luckily, EasyBib (iOS and Android) has students covered. EasyBib can scan barcodes on the back of books, create citations, and keep them nice and organised on a list.

There are many different flashcard apps and one of the most popular among students is Quizlet. Users on the website can create flashcards and share them with the community. Other options are StudyBlue (iOS and Android) and Flashcards+ (iOS).

Need help organising essays and coming up with topics? SimpleMind (available on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac) is an app that helps users create concept maps, brainstorming webs, outlines, and diagrams to help organise thoughts. Ideal for visual learners, there is a free version and a paid version.

Grammarly Sample Document

Grammar and spelling not your strong suit? Popular plagiarism and grammar checking website Grammarly offers a free writing assistant app for desktop, iOS, and Android that checks for common grammar and spelling mistakes as you write, improving your writing skills. Of course, this is not a substitute for double checking your writing. Computers are not infallible.

We hope these apps help make your school year more organised and efficient. Good luck!


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