Over the years education has moved more online, especially in recent times, with textbooks and assignments becoming virtual, you as a student most likely manage your education with technology. Because of this shift, there are now so many online resources for students, there are youtube channels, online tutors and different apps, any sort of education help is now available online. As I, like most of you I imagine, have been taking online classes since December, I’ve moved almost everything to do with college onto my laptop and phone- I can’t remember the last time I used paper to take notes on something! Over the past few months I feel like I’ve solidified every part of my revision routine, from taking notes in class to managing my revision and day to day learning. So I’ve decided to do a round up of my top 5 ( plus a bonus one!) apps I use to help me succeed in my education, these cover focus, note taking, creating revision materials and actually managing my tasks, so there is a wide variety of apps you could try. Find which ones work for you, because not everything that works for me is going to work for you! These apps I’ve included are quite broad so can be adapted to the way you work for maximum success!
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This is an app I discovered last week but I’ve come to love it! It has so many different purposes. You can set timers for yourself where you can’t exit the app, to ensure you remain focused during revision sessions and don’t just end up scrolling for hours on social media! You can set custom times, like 20 or 40 minutes, or you can join a study live, where it is set for an hour and you are revising at the same time as lots of other people! This would work well for people who enjoy study with me videos. You can also set a daily target, eg I’ve set mine to everyday to make sure I do at least 1 hour of work everyday. Additionally you can use this in other areas of your life! It can measure time spent on hobbies, self care, exercise and sleep. I have only used the study and hobby function so far but I look forward to trying out the rest. I also discovered you can join different groups, where you can compete to be top of the leader board, today I joined one called ‘phone detox’ where people record the time they spent deliberately not on their phone to encourage each other to spend more time off it. This is a great app for all areas of productivity within your life, not just revision.
Every student needs a to do list, it’s a non negotiable as I’m sure you’ve worked out by now. You may be used to making little to do lists on scraps of paper everyday but using the app Any do can help you to organise and cateogrise these, as well as planning abit further ahead, as you can add to do’s for today, tomorrow, up coming or someday, so very flexible whilst still having a more long term overview. These different sections allow you to jot down any task you need to get done so you don’t forget, but it isn’t committed to any specific day, which is what might put people off some to do list apps. Of all the to do list apps I’ve tried this one is my favourite as it is basic and easy to use. You can upgrade to a paid plan to categorise your to do’s properly but I just use the free version.
Similar to the first app I spoke about, Flora is a focus app to help you maintain focus whilst revising. You may have seen various people using an app where a tree grows on the screen and if you exit the app to go onto any other app, the tree dies, but that specific app people use costs money so I decided to find a free one. I found Flora, which I love! How it works is you set yourself a timer, and throughout that time the tree on your screen grows and when the timer is up, the tree is fully grown! There is also a feature where you can join with someone and you revise at the same time and if someone exits the app then both of your trees dies, which I think is a great way to use an accountability partner, especially at times like these where we can’t go and revise with a friend in person!
Wouldn’t be a post of mine if I didn’t include notion haha! God I am honestly just obsessed with it, I use it for every part of my life so I had to include it here for student apps as I use it for all my college notes and revision. You can get notion on your phone or laptop, and I mostly set up my pages on a laptop as it is clearer to see the layout, and then I refer back to it on the app on my phone. Revision wise on notion I can create to do lists and different pages for my subjects. I have a college home page where I can see an overview of everything, and then I have various pages within each subject to match the units and topics. For each topic I use the toggle system to create an active recall system. I’ll show down below but basically, I write myself questions from the textbook along with the answers, then you can hide the answers. When revising I go through and test myself on the questions ( this is an active recall technique, I talked about this in one of my previous posts : 5 best revision tips for students ) and this quick and easy system helps me revise anywhere as it is all on my phone, I don’t have to carry round flashcards and notes! When doing online classes I have been splitting my screen between notion and my class, and I’ve been writing my notes on there. Then, after my lesson, I can easily convert these notes straight into questions for myself, it’s so simple because it is on the same system! Notion can seem quite confusing at first but you can find so many tutorials on notion on youtube so if you’re interested go check those out!
Simple Mind is a virtual mindmap app, and the best one I’ve ever used! Mindmaps aren’t for everyone, but if they are for you and you are tired of having hundreds of sheets of paper everywhere, then a good mindmap app might be good. You can use on your phone or laptop which is good as it may be easier to create bigger ones on a laptop as opposed to a phone. I’ll insert a picture below to show you their example mindmap, just so you can see the types of things you can do with it.
My bonus app is Pinterest! Despite the fact it is not inherently academic, Pinterest can serve as a great source of motivation and inspiration for students. I have a whole student aesthetic board ( you can check it out here ) where I’ve pinned all my motivation for revising and working hard. I also have a motivational quotes board that can help get me motivated as well. Overall it probably won’t improve your academics ( though there are quite alot of good study tips infographics which can be helpful) it can increase your motivation and give you a reason to work. You can create a dream life board as well which can help remind you what you’re working for. You can follow my pinterest here, comment if you follow and I’ll be sure to follow back!
That was my top 5 apps all students need to start using! I use all of these in my day to day life and find they can really help my productivity. For example, right now I am using Flora to make sure I just get on with writing this post instead of scrolling through Instagram aimlessly like I was a few hours ago! Do you use any of these? Let me know if you do I’d love to know what you think!