Want to make better use of your time this semester? Try these apps for students

Nina Rodríguez
Nina Rodríguez
Sep 12, 2019

Being a student can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s hard to balance your school requirements, social life and a healthy lifestyle. It’s even more difficult if you’re not organized.

But the good news is there are plenty of apps for students that can help keep you on top of essential tasks in the best possible ways.

Check out this list of the best apps for students. Pro tip: Some are even useful for the work environment, once you graduate.

Time management apps

Microsoft To Do

Think of Microsoft To Do as a digital to-do list. If you need to move, start a big project, go to the store to buy materials or books, even go grocery shopping, you can use this app. To Do is available to download with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Amazon Fire, and you can add it as an extension for Chrome and Safari.

You will need an internet connection to sync up the to-do lists or tasks that you have across the devices you are using. If you are working on something with a team you can share lists with them. There is a free version with great features and a paid version that adds more elements, such as unlimited files, team management and unlimited subtasks.


Asana is one of those apps for students that will allow you to keep an eye on meeting agendas, brainstorms, collaborative docs, tasks left to complete, as well as organize all your events and campus activities. You can collaborate with classmates and keep track of what you need to do next. Asana is available to download as an app for iOS and Android devices and can be used online on your laptop and desktop.

For the iPhone and web versions you’ll need an internet connection, but there is an offline version for the Android app. Right now the app is offering Asana Premium for free to student groups. You’ll need a student email account (.edu) and a workspace that uses a student group.

Take digital notes apps

Office Lens

Office Lens allows you to take pictures of documents, whiteboards, blackboards, even magazines and receipts, and trim them precisely. You can save your images as PDFs, Word documents or PowerPoint files, as well as to OneDrive or OneNote.

This app is free for iOS devices, Android and Windows. Once you download the app, you don’t need to use the internet to save the documents locally on your phone. Office Lens will allow you to convert them into editable and shareable text.

Dragon Anywhere

If you’re willing (and able) to pay a monthly fee, Dragon Anywhere will allow you to dictate your thoughts, emails, even your notes before a big exam. Once you download the program, consider dictating your social media posts — the more you use the app, the more accurate it will become as it gets to know your voice.

You can use Dragon Anywhere on a desktop, laptop, tablet and Android and iOS devices. An internet connection is required to activate voice recognition. If you want to try it out, there is a free one-week trial.

Assignment apps


Writing papers will be one of your main tasks in school and you can be sure your professors will be taking your grammar into consideration. Be proactive by using Grammarly. This software can check your text for spelling errors, run-on sentences and misused words. If you are using the same word too much in your writing it will suggest synonyms and ways of improving your text.

Grammarly is an online application, so you will need an internet connection in order to use it properly once you’ve downloaded it. There is also an iOS app.

Hemingway Editor

What is the right voice to use: passive or active? Often when you are under deadlines and writing as fast as you can, you are not aware of inconsistencies while you are writing. Enter Hemingway Editor. Just go to the website and paste your text into the editor. If you are using passive voice, the grammar checker will find those sentences, so you can update them.

As with Grammarly, you will need an internet connection to make it work. You can use it online for free with your laptop or desktop, but if you want to use it directly from your smartphone you will need the paid version.

Free software for students

Google Drive

Google Drive can make your student life easier by allowing you to create documents, spreadsheets, slides, drawings and more, with just a Google account. If you already have one, you already have access to Google Drive (but check if your school email address allows you free unlimited space, before using your regular account). If you are working with a group you can also share the documents and as a team, you can read and edit what you are working on in real-time.

If you are using Chrome and you install the Google Drive Web app you will be able to access and edit your files offline, and once you get online it will sync automatically. Google Drive is compatible with iOS and Android devices, desktops as well as Chromebooks.

Microsoft Office

You can access and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on mobile for free with Microsoft Office. They will even allow you to store your documents in the cloud so you can keep the most recent versions with you. If you have the desktop version of Office, you will be able to access the documents on your mobile version and revise on it. In the online version you can also collaborate with others, you just need to send a link to the document and, if your teammates have an account as well, they will be able to revise it and work at the same time.

You can use the programs offline, but remember that in order to sync your documents you will need to get online. Microsoft Office is free for iOS and Android devices. If you have a school email you can get an Office 365 subscription for free.

Now, go get some things done!

With these helpful apps for students, you can enjoy your learning experience more as well as make sure you don’t need to pull a lot of all-nighters. Working hard is important, but make sure you are working efficiently, getting enough sleep and moving towards a healthy life.

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