Staying productive while studying isn’t easy. As the semester progresses, getting distracted and forgetting the routines we put in place at the beginning of the school year becomes easier.
Luckily, many apps are on the market to help students remain productive during their study sessions this December. Here are some of the latest and most effective study apps from one student to another.
Evernote is my go-to note-taking app as it allows users to create and store notes in virtual “notebooks.” Users can directly embed photos, audio, and web clippings into their notes. Evernote also automatically syncs notes across your devices, so you can access your notes from anywhere!
I use Evernote to take notes during lectures. Each one of my courses has its own notebook, and I dedicate a new note to each lecture. I especially like the template options in Evernote. I organize my lecture notes using the “Class notes” template, which splits my page into a two-column table, with one side for notes and the other for questions.
I like to take notes on my readings in the same note that my lecture table will be so all the lesson material is together. Also, I label my notes with relevant tags to quickly find lessons when searching for certain material.
For students looking to plan their entire day, Structured has you covered. This task management and productivity app allows users to plan their days through a combined calendar and to-do list interface. The app is easy to use, syncs across devices and can integrate your calendar from other apps.
I like to use Structured to increase my productivity throughout the day. Every morning, I type out the tasks I need to complete and assign them to a time I want to tackle them. Then, once I complete my tasks, I cross them off the list.
Structured keeps me more productive than other to-do list apps because of the way it lays my tasks out in a timeline. This allows me to see everything I need to complete and how much time I can dedicate to tasks. The customizable options are a bonus, too!
Staying focused while studying can be challenging, which is why I like to use Forest. This app is a fun way to limit distractions on your phone so you can maintain your productivity.
When you want to focus, you set a timer in the app, known as “planting a tree.” If you use your phone during the timer, the tree dies. After successfully not using your phone at the end of a session, you get a grown virtual tree, adding to your overall forest.
I like to use this app as it feels like a rewarding way to not use my phone when studying. Knowing I am responsible for a virtual tree helps me stay accountable for my productivity. An added bonus is that the app pays charities to grow real trees when people use it.
Microsoft OneNote is a free note-taking app that allows students to organize their notes in a notebook format. Students can add text, images, audio and video to their notes, allowing all their resources to be in one place. Also, the app has many drawing tools, perfect for tablet users who like to annotate their notes.
One Note is great for collaborative studying, as users can share their notes with other students and collaborate in real time. Since my school offers a Microsoft 365 subscription, I can effortlessly share my notes with my peers. I like to use One Note to brainstorm group assignments and mind-map my ideas with other students.
Focus Keeper: Pomo Study Timer
This focus-keeping app uses the Pomodoro Technique to help maintain your productivity and focus. The simple-to-use app times out 25-minute focusing chunks and 5-minute break times to follow the Pomodoro Technique. The app also allows you to adjust the focus and break times according to your needs.
Focus Keeper is great for students who have trouble remaining productive for long periods of time. I like to use it when studying to keep track of my progress and remind myself of all the work I’ve done. Also, the app has an Apple Watch component, which I use to keep me off my phone when checking how much time I have left to study.
Productivity apps are great for students to improve their focus while studying. Be sure to try them to find out which works best for you!
Vanessa Tiberio is a third-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University. Vanessa has experience in video production, radio, broadcast and digital journalism. Vanessa is passionate about politics, social justice, arts, culture, and travel. She seeks to provide transparency and share stories that deserve to be listened to.