Best apps for college students: the ultimate survival guide

Conquer the classroom and social scene, enter budgeting bliss and more with this comprehensive app list for college students.

 

Apps are essential for the modern college student. Let’s face it—your smartphone and its arsenal of tools probably trump textbooks.

From file management, scheduling, studying, networking and basic survival, we’ve listed virtually every app you need to make college fun and fruitful. So when you’re checking off items on your back-to-school list, don’t forget to download these apps.

For note taking and file management

In college, you need apps that allow you to access notes, papers and presentations from wherever you are on campus. Who wants to lug all those binders around anymore?

Luckily, several apps let you organize and sync all of your documents across your devices—your smartphone, laptop and tablet. Some of our favorite file management apps are EvernoteGoogle Keep™Genius Scan and Dropbox.

Evernote and Google Keep allow you to create simple notes, lists, and picture and voice memos. Dropbox keeps you from having to move files around via a USB drive or by sending countless emails to yourself. And with the Genius Scan app, you can “scan” your notes, receipts or signed contracts to your mobile devices by taking photographs of them. Export the documents to the cloud or to other apps, including Dropbox and Evernote.

For staying punctual and organized

Walking in late to class or missing assignments isn’t cool. You’re a hardworking college student now. The best apps for keeping you on schedule are myHomeworkI Can’t Wake Up! Alarm ClockAny.DO and Trello.

Keep your homework due dates, exam days and class schedule synced across your devices with myHomework. You can set reminders for your color-coded assignments so that the app pushes alerts to your home screen.

The coolest feature on the I Can’t Wake Up! Alarm Clock app is the Awake Test. If you fail the Awake Test a few minutes after the alarm sounds, then the alarm will ring again.

Any.DO and Trello are simple taskmaster apps that make creating lists fun. Both apps sync across all your devices. Trello allows you to organize those inevitable group projects and assign different people to tasks, know who’s doing what and see what’s going on at all stages of a project.

For studying and doing homework

Apps can be some of your best study buddies. Download the SparkNotes and Wikipanion apps to quickly find facts in literature summaries or open source articles.

StudyBlue lets you make flashcards with audio, images and text on your phone to learn just about everything. Another cool feature lets you view and share cards and review sheets made by your classmates at school.

The Writing Prompts app provides a mix of words, phrases, colors and images to get your creative writing juices flowing. The prompts can be random and whimsical. For instance, you might get the following prompt: “A small café, a diner waitress, an old camera, and a storm nears. Now write!”

For job hunting and networking

Don’t wait until senior year to start making connections. Use the LinkedIn app to build relationships with and join groups of professionals. Check the app’s newsfeed to see your contacts’ recent statuses and browse the top news stories in the LinkedIn Today section.

You probably don’t want to use an app as your sole job search tool, but using the Job Search by Indeed app can get you started. The app browses multiple job listings according to your search terms, such as “app developer” and “New York,” and offers results. Then you can save your favorites to keep tabs on the openings.

For savvy shopping and budgeting

If you want to use your loan and scholarship money wisely, invest in some apps to keep your finances in control with the MintAmazon Mobile and Zomato, formerly Urbanspoon, apps.

Manage your various financial accounts and bills on your desktop computer, smartphone and tablet with the Mint app. Use the reminders to pay your bills on time and the colorful budget charts to help you stay on budget. If you have an Amazon account, then the Amazon Mobile app makes for super-easy online shopping. If you spot something in a store, use your device’s camera to scan the item’s bar code and dive into an Amazon search for a quick price comparison.

Find a spot for a date or a late-night meal with the Urbanspoon app, which makes it easy to find nearby restaurants. With social media integration, you can see what your friends recommend in the area and their photos. Sort locations by price range so you’re prepared to foot the bill.

For staying safe and healthy

Stay safe and be prepared with the apps S.O.S. and First Aid by American Red Cross. The SOS app lets a buddy know you’re in danger and sends your address with just one click. First Aid by American Red Cross includes a list of emergency categories that deal with everything from allergies and asthma attacks to heart attacks and head injuries.

Need help diagnosing that virus that’s floating around your dorm? Use the WebMD Mobile app Symptom Checker. We also like How to Cook Everything and the Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal to help you with kitchen basics and to keep track of what you eat.

For having fun

For all you college students aged 21 or older, download Mixology™. Take on the role of bartender and impress your friends with the mixed-drink recipes in this cocktail app.

 

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