There are many free apps for college students that can help you better manage your time, your money, your education and your health. According to a study by Pew Research Center, smartphone ownership is highest among young adults ranging from age 18 to 29. Since today’s college students are more tech-savvy and connected than ever before, it makes sense to tap into the numerous digital resources available.
The following apps have been hand-picked for their high ratings, their ease of use and their helpfulness. Perhaps best of all, they are all offered for free to help with the major challenges college students face.
What Tips and Free Apps for College Students Can Help You Manage Your Time?
Time management is an essential life skill that becomes especially important in college. If you’re having trouble prioritizing your time and meeting deadlines, consider these few suggestions to help you gain hours back in your day.
Identify Wasted Time
Disorganization, mindless phone scrolling and procrastination are common ways that college students (and professionals) waste time. According to a recent study, participants in the research wasted over 21 hours each week by streaming videos, checking social media, attending low-value meetings and being interrupted by others.
After you identify your main distractions, work to minimize them by setting boundaries, putting away your smartphone during work hours and declining unnecessary meetings.
Limit Distractions and Interruptions
Unfortunately, our society is more distracted than ever. In fact, one survey found that the average person checks his or her smartphone every 12 minutes during the day. Additionally, it’s estimated that we are interrupted around eight times each hour. After being interrupted, it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus and resume the original task.
Use Time Management Apps
These statistics may be disturbing, but luckily, there are several great free apps for college students that can help with time management and distraction reduction.
1. My Study Life
My Study Life is available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android devices. You can also access the program through your internet browser.
MSL is a dynamic student planner that helps college students keep track of assignments, tasks and classes — all in one place. The app creators believe that when you’re organized, you’re more productive, which frees up time to do the things you enjoy.
Be sure to take advantage of the app’s many features, such as assignment reminders, customized lists and daily schedules. It can even keep track of a complex routine, which is helpful if you have biweekly classes.
2. Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk is a top-rated task app that offers a free basic plan. It fully integrates with other programs you might use, such as Outlook, Google Drive and Evernote.
Instead of trying to remember everything in your head, let the reminders and color-coding features in Remember the Milk assist. You can even create sub-lists to further break down complex tasks. Nontraditional college students may especially enjoy the delegation feature, which allows you to reassign duties to other family members.
Distractions in college (and in the workplace) are common and can be detrimental to your success. In fact, according to a study by Michigan State University, those who were briefly interrupted during work were twice as likely to make mistakes when they resumed their projects.
RescueTime helps college students better visualize their distractions. It allows you to set goals, receive weekly reports and monitor the extra things you’re doing online while you should be studying. Sometimes, seeing the distractions in a report format is all it takes to identify where time could be better spent.
The app is available for Android, Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems.
Created back in 2007, this time management app now has over 25 million users worldwide. Top-rated among free apps for college students and comprehensive, Todoist provides a clear picture of your entire day and prioritizes tasks automatically. It interfaces with other popular applications like your calendar and email programs, and allows you to delegate tasks to other users. As if those features weren’t enough, Todoist also provides valuable productivity visualizations fo you to track your goals and monitor your progress.
How Can You Think More Critically and Retain More Information?
It’s always a good idea to sharpen your reading comprehension, communication and critical thinking skills. In a 2014 study that included hundreds of employers in the United States, over 80% of them identified critical thinking as a necessary skill for college students. Additionally, 90% of companies reported that complex problem-solving skills were more valuable than a student’s choice of major.
A recent article from Masterclass shared a similar sentiment, explaining that the ability to make informed, unbiased decisions can benefit people both personally and professionally. Critical thinking skills are undoubtedly important, and the following suggestions can help you to improve upon your abilities.
Know What You Want
You can’t solve a problem unless you know exactly what that problem is. Critical thinkers have a clear understanding of the problems they face and their desired outcomes.
Do Your Research
Successful critical thinkers know they don’t have all the answers. Instead, they lean on other people, ask questions and spend plenty of time researching.
Put simply, self-awareness allows you to know yourself better. This skill can be developed by identifying your own beliefs, likes and personality traits. Once you can anticipate how you’ll react in any given situation, you’re more likely to shift from a compulsive, emotional response to a thoughtful, logical one.
Improve Critical Thinking With Free Apps for College Students
These great free apps can hone your comprehension and problem-solving skills.
Coggle is a unique program that helps students create their own mind maps and flowcharts. The app is easily accessible through your internet browser and allows for real-time collaboration between multiple users.
The free version of Coggle offers users over 1,600 colorful icons to use within their flowcharts. Free users can also export their charts as text files, upload an unlimited number of images and create diagrams with multiple start points.
Developed by brain experts, Elevate is a unique app that partners critical thinking exercises with games. Elevate incorporates science-backed, proven educational methods to improve the user’s reading speed, information retention, vocabulary, confidence and problem-solving skills.
This app offers over 40 fun brain games that work to improve your focus and comprehension. It’s currently only available to Android users through the Google Play store.
Do you ever wish you could read faster and retain more information simultaneously? Now you can with the Reedy app!
This free app is perfect for both students and professionals. Using a technique known as RSVP (short for Rapid Serial Visual Presentation), users can increase their reading speeds by three to four times with regular use. Reedy shows users a scrolling text that can be sped up or slowed down as required. It’s also available in 10 languages.
How Can You Handle Money More Wisely?
Budgeting is important for people of all ages, but college students on a fixed budget may especially benefit from money management apps.
College debt is one of the fastest-growing causes of debt in the United States. According to research by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, American student debt amounted to approximately $1.6 trillion in 2020. Unfortunately, default and delinquent debts have also been rising. In today’s increasingly challenging economy, money management and responsible spending are especially important.
Along with free apps for college students, the following tips can help you keep a handle on your finances.
Track Your Spending
Financial advisors often tell clients that tracking spending is one of the most important ways to save money. Keeping a record of all expenses helps you determine which of your spending habits need to be kept in check and which are working well.
Work a Part-Time Job
If your schedule allows, pick up a side job for a little extra spending money. Many college campuses offer part-time positions such as tutoring or coaching. You could also consider working at the campus cafe or bookstore.
Budget With Free Apps for College Students
While tracking spending and working part-time are options that benefit many students, the following free apps are also important components in your financial literacy toolbox.
The Mint app comes from Intuit, the creators of QuickBooks and TurboTax. With thousands of positive reviews in the App Store and Google Play Store, Mint is a valuable budgeting app that automatically sorts your spending into customizable categories.
One of the big benefits of using Mint is its Mintsights™ technology that works to actively find savings for you. There’s also a handy spend tracker, a budget planner and 24/7 credit monitoring and credit score access.
Short for “You Need a Budget,” this app encourages its users to plan their spending in advance. YNAB is known for its trademark “four rule” method that focuses on the big financial picture, not just your “wants” of each particular day. New budgeters can expect to save about $600 in the first few months when they use this app.
While YNAB is normally $14.99 a month, college students can use it completely free for a year. It’s available on your iPhone, Apple Watch, desktop computer and Android.
The Fudget app provides a simple approach to budgeting. Unlike the more involved options on this list, Fudget doesn’t create any spending categories or utilize fancy calculators. Instead, it prides itself on its simplicity. This straightforward budgeting app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
How Can I Create Healthy Habits at School?
A recent study published in the Journal of American College Health found that freshmen tend to gain an average of 3 to 4 pounds during their first semester at school. The main culprit, according to the study, was lack of vigorous exercise. Excessive dining hall portions and too much processed foods can also negatively impact a young person’s health.
Take Advantage of Free Wellness Apps
Balancing school and fitness can be challenging, but these free apps for college students can help you strike the delicate balance between juggling classes, social events, nutrition and wellness.
11. My Fitness Pal
A longtime favorite in the fitness niche, My Fitness Pal is a great way to track your nutrition in college and beyond. Although there are paid plans available, the app is useful even without paying a dime.
Save time by taking advantage of the “meals” feature, which saves the dishes you make often. If you’re interested in advanced macronutrients tracking, the free version of My Fitness Pal can do that, too. Simply tap into the “Goals” section of your app to set your target macros. The app features a convenient barcode scanner and even breaks down your daily nutrition data into pie charts.
12. How To Cook Everything
How to Cook Everything is a free app by Mark Bittman based on his bestselling recipe book of the same name. This app offers 2,000 delicious recipes, shopping lists, advanced search features and built-in timers (so you never burn anything you’re making).
13. Bolt Workout Tracker
Most college campuses offer a gym for student use. Take your strength training to the next level by recording your workouts using the Bolt Workout Tracker app.
This fitness app is ideal because it allows you to build your own exercise routines from the elaborate library of options. With its streamlined design, rest timers and history features, Bolt makes it easy to organize your workouts and track your progress.
14. Nike Run Club
Ever want to map out your run, track your progress and share your achievements with friends? You can do all these things with the Nike Run Club app, available for both iPhone and Android devices. NRC keeps track of your elevation, speed, heart rate, elevation and more, freeing you up to focus on simply enjoying your run.
Set Yourself Up for College Success With Free Apps for College Students
College is a time of major growth and development. Luckily, there are many free apps for college students that can make this transformative time easier to navigate.
If you’re seeking more tips for college success, look no further than the resources provided by FutureSprout. Visit today for more!