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9 Helpful Apps For University Students

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

With all that a student has to juggle everyday, like readings, assignments, exams, extracurricular activities, work, socializing, eating, sleeping and showering, it can be very challenging to manage it all. But luckily, these nine helpful apps for your phone are great for university students as they can help improve your health and well-being in various, all-encompassing ways.

1. Forest (iOS: $1.99, Google Play: free) or Flora (iOS: free, Google Play: N/A)

Let’s get real: “just five more minutes on Instagram” or “just one more YouTube video” often leads down a rabbit hole of hours and hours of procrastination. As procrastination is such a big problem that many people, especially university students, are now having to deal with more than ever, it’s great that there’s an app like Forest or Flora that can help you concentrate. Both Forest and Flora nip procrastination in the bud by forcing you to put your phone down and focus on your work. Whenever you want to be productive, just choose a specific amount of time (between ten minutes to two hours) that you want to stay focused for and then hit the plant or start button. As long as you leave your phone alone for the allocated amount of time, your little seed will grow into a tree. But if you hit the “give up” button or leave the app at any point, your tree dies. The best part? Not only does the app help you stay focused, but through points and/or real money, both Forest and Flora give you the option to help support real world tree-planting organizations like Trees.org or Trees for the Future. An app that helps you stay focused and lets you help the planet? Yes please!  

2. Google Calendar (iOS / Google Play: free) 

It can be really difficult to track all of one’s responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. Studies have shown that being organized can actually boost your energy, reduce your stress and make you happier. So when it comes to getting organized and keeping track of everything, where do you begin? Well, thanks to Google Calendar, getting organized is now a breeze. With the option to colour code events, combine many different Google calendars, share your calendar with others, create reminders and tasks and see upcoming events on many devices, Google Calendar can easily help you get and stay organized. It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android, all you need is a Gmail account. 

3. Headspace (iOS / Google Play: free to download but the all-included subscription is $12.99/month) 

Let’s be honest, university is stressful. And while you might wish you had enough time to create a daily three-hour self-care routine, chances are that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all. This is why Headspace is such a great app for students. For a quick session (you can decide between five, ten or fifteen minutes), Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate in a friendly and approachable way. Why learn how to meditate? Studies show that meditation can reduce your stress, improve your sleep and control your anxiety. While $12.99 a month is pretty expensive for a student, there are some meditation sessions you can try for free.   

4. Alarmy (iOS: free or $7.99 for Pro Version / Google Play: free or $11.99 for Pro version) 

Do you have trouble waking up in the morning? Then this is the app for you! Unlike traditional alarm clock apps where you can hit snooze and roll over, Alarmy won’t shut up until you complete the assigned task. You can choose from a wide variety of tasks and difficulty levels including shaking your phone, solving math problems, taking pictures, scanning barcodes and more. Plus, once you’ve completed the task, you can read news articles, check out your horoscope and more. 

5. Sleeptown (iOS: $2.79 / Google Play: free)

Whether you go to bed really late, stay on your phone until the wee hours of the night, only get a few hours of sleep and/or sleep in too long, many university students have poor sleeping habits. The problem though is that poor sleep hygiene has many side effects including poor concentration, lower productivity, increased weight gain and long-term health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Introducing SleepTown, an app that helps improve your sleep! From the creators of Forest, SleepTown is a fun and interactive app that helps you improve your sleep schedule. All you need to do is pick a bedtime and wake up time, go into the app before your bedtime, hit the build button and a little building will be constructed as you sleep. If you wake up on time in the morning and hit the wake-up button, your building will be successfully constructed and will be added to your town. If you leave the app at all during the night or do not wake up on time, your building will be destroyed. SleepTown is an inexpensive app that can help turn your sleep schedule right around.     

6. Mint (iOS / Google Play: free)

Nothing is worse than knowing that you’ve spent too much money, then being too afraid to check your bank account. With expenses like rent, food, textbooks and more, knowing how to budget is really important. Budgeting can help you organize your spending, pay off student loans quicker, helps you keep track of your financial goals and gives you 100% ownership of your money. One of the best budgeting apps on the marketing right now is Mint, a free finance app that easily helps you manage your money easily by seeing what you’re spending money on and where you can save as well as helping you make budgets that you can actually follow. 

7. Evernote (iOS / Google Play: free or $9.99/month for Evernote premium and $14.99/month for Evernote business) 

With five courses, keeping track of all your assignments, projects, reading notes and lecture notes can sometimes be a challenge. But with Evernote, organizing your notes has never been easier. Some of the many features of this app include saving website pages and articles directly to Evernote, scan documents, sync your notes across different devices and easily share your notes with others. So whether you’re trying to do research for a paper or want to write a quick grocery list, Evernote’s got you covered. 

9. Quizlet (iOS / Google Play: free, $1.38/month for Quizlet Go or $2.30/month for Quizlet Plus) 

Do you often struggle with doing well on tests? Or maybe you’ve been spending hours and hours at the library, but nothings sticking?? Work smarter, not harder, with Quizlet! Quizlet is a flashcard website and app where you can create flash cards for any course you want, find flash cards from other people for similar subject material and review study content through games and fun review exercises. It’s even been shown that more than 90% of students say they have received better marks after using Quizlet. So if you haven’t already, download Quizlet, and your brain will thank you. 

10. Zealy (iOS / Google Play: TBA)

It is no secret that the demand for counselling and mental health support is very high at universities these days. This is where Zealy comes in. Zealy is a wellness app made specifically designed to improve the well-being of Western students. With the understanding that students often feel stressed and overwhelmed, this app provides you with just a few small and simple actions that you can do during the week to help you take care of yourself. Not only can you commit yourself weekly to a few actions in the app’s five categories (active, mindful, studious, social and nutritious), you can also track your weekly progress to unlock milestones and can join in on the conversation by reading about other people’s stories and experiences. You can even share a story of your own. While the app is in the pilot stage right now, it will be launched very soon so check out their website and their Instagram account for more information.  

The Bottom Line 

While there are many apps out there that are not super helpful for school (*cough cough Tik Tok*), these nine apps sure make university a whole heck of a lot easier. University can be tough, but by downloading these apps, you will be better equipped to navigate and cope with stressful and overwhelming situations throughout the semester.

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Anika is the President of Her Campus Western. She is a fourth-year student studying media and creative writing at Western University and would love to work as an advertising copywriter after graduation. When she's not doing Her Campus things, you can find her baking, watching movies and shows, playing video games, and hanging out with friends.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.