College is exciting, stressful and wonderful all at once. There are as many interesting classes as there are boring ones. In college you get to decide if you go to class, where you go, when, how you spend your money and how you handle stress. Fortunately, there are ways to stay sane in college, and yes, your phone can help. Check out the app store for these ten must have apps for college students.
1. Forest: Stay Focused
There is no point in having any note-taking, organization or productivity apps if you are constantly distracted by your phone. For anyone with a phone addiction, this app is for you. Stay Focused is a neat way to cease distractions on your phone. The app plants a virtual seed, which begins growing into a beautiful tree. But, if you leave the forest to check an app on your custom black list (i.e. checking Instagram, playing a game, or sending a text …) the tree withers.
The sense of achievement in growing a virtual tree may not seem so incredible if you’ve never tried it. Stay focused tracks the user’s history, has a browser extension and unlocks more trees as a reward for staying focused. The app has a tool called white list, allowing users to customize a list of apps they can open without killing their tree. Yes, white list can probably be used as a distraction, so self management is a key feature here.
2. Google Drive
Google is absolutely, 100% necessary in this day and age. Period. When Skynet takes over, I can only hope Google is the Terminator system’s right hand man. This app is more than just mega storage for docs. Users can create spreadsheets, diagrams, documents and power points. Uploading your work to a secure online database helps keep files organized and accessible.
If you like to keep a calendar, to do list and work all in one place, try Evernote. Evernote is the android version of that one friend whose neatly written, colour coded, bookmarked and match their to do list and calendar perfectly. It’s excellent for notes taking, making lists, setting reminders, managing events. Some features are online storage, auto-correct, multi-device syncing, file sharing and collaborative editing. If this isn’t enough, Evernote is full of organizational tools. There are in-app purchase to upgrade storage.
If you are a visual learner who likes to spread out your ideas before writing them down, Mindly is for you. Visual learning is often negated: laying out a mental map of ideas is a great way to avoid unnecessary repetition and make connections between ideas. It helps make writing papers easier. Mindly helps capture ideas with text, images, web linking tools and fun colors to separate topics. You can share notes, convert files to a PDF or text format or share your mind map as a PNG image or OPML.
Quizlet is a flashcard powerhouse including real questions from test banks and textbook chapters. The app allows visual and audio content. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can make your own quizzes. Specifically designed for mobile and offline use, the app automatically syncs your data to its online user base.
6. Circle of 6
Circle of 6 won the White House’s Apps Against Abuse Challenge. It allows a group of 6 contacts to know where you. The app has a GPS tracker, lists of emergency hotlines and a pre-programmed “Come and get me” setting. Circle of 6 has chat and call icons which let your friends know that you need a distraction.
7. Spending Tracker
Going over your debit credit card limit sucks. Being in debt up to your eyeballs sucks. Track your spending accurately has easy categorization of spending, tracking transactions, making budgets, and comparing expenses to income. The app also creates easy to follow reports, connects to Dropbox, and can house multiple accounts. It has a user-friendly interface.
8. Plant Nanny
Truth: I drink a lot of coffee. False: I drink a lot of water. Water Nanny has one goal: keeping you hydrated. When the plants need water, you need water. The app (both online and offline) sets goals, logs your hydration and follows your drinking habits in real time.
For anyone who has trouble waking up or going to bed, there is an app for that. Sleepytime is the ultimate alarm clock. It tracks sleep cycles so you can start your day feeling refreshed. The app can tell you when, or how long a nap you should take, when to wake up/go to sleep, and how many sleep cycles you can get. It assumes a gap of 14+ minutes to fall asleep so it can track your rest as accurately as possible.
Based on CBT and mindfulness meditation, this app aims to provide relief for anxiety, stress and depression. The app uses a variety of cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches to help users overcome everyday stressors, or gradually improve their mental health. The app boasts guided meditations – including topics like public speaking, calming down on a crowded bus, eating mindfully and social excursions – as well as guided paths to teach users lifelong skills like mindfulness, a mood tracker, and peer support groups to improve your mood and mental health. In college it is important to take care of you before anything else. You may not want to hear this, but if you aren’t healthy, it can be nearly impossible to take care of a demanding course load, a social life, etc. so please, please try to put yourself first.