5 Apps to Help You Get More out of College - Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Think. Live Free.

5 Apps to Help You Get More out of College

5 Apps to Help You Get More out of College

A smartphone can be an ever-present distraction for a college student trying to keep up with reading and paper writing. It’s hard to put down the phone, ignore the new text or e-mail, and above all stay off Facebook. But today’s technology can also be a huge help both in and out of the classroom. Here are five apps that can help you get your life in order and just maybe leave you more time for learning.


1. Mint: This personal finance app gives you an easy and secure way to monitor all your financial activity, from credit cards and checking accounts to investments and student loans. The Mint app allows you to track all your balances at a glance and can notify you of upcoming bills. Meanwhile, the website offers free credit monitoring as well as robust budget management tools. Mint will even monitor your spending to let you know when you’re over budget or when you could save money with a different financial institution. Perfect for managing the delicate college balance of student loans, spending money, gas, and bar tabs.


2. Evernote: This note-taking and archiving app creates one digital workspace where you can store a wide variety of information and access it from anywhere. Store class notes, scan documents with your phone, upload pictures, annotate PDFs, record lectures, and tag everything for quick retrieval. You’ll have everything in one place, synced across all your devices.

3. Lift: Here is an excellent example of smartphone notifications being used for good. Lift is a coaching network that allows you to select daily tasks, from exercise and dieting to praying and hobbies. The app will prompt you to focus on the tasks you want to accomplish and connect you with other users with the same goals to share encouragement and productivity tips.


4. StudyBlue: StudyBlue is a free app that gives you instant access to custom flash cards and a huge library of premade decks on a variety of subjects. Perfect for college students, StudyBlue syncs with Evernote (see #2) and allows you to collaborate with classmates on decks of flash cards. This is a great way to sneak in bits of studying throughout the day and keep on top of the material.


5. Google Play Books: Google’s online e-book store not only gives you access to contemporary and classic works of literature but also allows you to upload your own e-books and PDFs, making them accessible across all platforms. The ability to synchronize your reading progress across phone, tablet, and computer makes reading on the go easy and doesn’t require any extra ­equipment—or the bulky book itself.


Chris McCaffery is a junior at Hillsdale College.


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