Last Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Whether you’ve been attending high school or college remotely, adjusting to a hybrid blend of in-person and online courses, or making it through long classes in masks, this semester has certainly presented a new set of challenges. And with everything going on this year, we’re sure you’re more ready for winter break than ever. Before you head home—or power off your laptop—for the holidays, you just need to tackle your finals. Don’t stress! If you need some extra help staying focused and organized, here are the best apps to help you.
Apps to help you get organized
These apps will help you with task management, scheduling, and staying on top of your coursework.
- Trello: Are you a visual learner? Trello lets you organize your tasks into boards so you can see what you need to do, what you've done, and everything in between.
- Canvas Instructure: If your school has moved to online classes, there’s a chance you’re using Canvas to access your class materials! If so, did you know you can easily log in on your phone? Download the Canvas app to make your coursework more mobile.
- Google Calendar: Welcome to your easy digital planner and events record. You can organize virtual study sessions or team meetups with Gmeet, keep track of your finals schedule and assignment due dates, and add reminders for yourself all in one easy place. Download it to your smartphone and sync it across all your devices—you can even add events and reminders right from emails.
- Dropbox: Upload photos, documents, and other files you may need for assignments then access them on any device with this convenient application.
- Google Drive: Access and edit your spreadsheets, Word docs, presentations, and other files anywhere by storing them on the cloud. Google Drive is great for tackling teamwork.
- Todoist: Take this task manager wherever you go and see how much mental clutter you’ll be able to sort out of your head. Todoist also integrates with Gmail and Outlook for easy cross-platform organization.
Apps to help you polish your study skills
Download these study buddy apps for better brain power plus tips and tricks for studying.
- Quizlet: Keep your mind sharp and your notes fresh with this convenient, shareable flashcard app. You can use it for mobile study tools, games, syncing across platforms, and offline study options.
- Evernote: You can make notes as you go, arrange your ideas into categories, and access them across platforms with this free and convenient note-taking app.
- Duolingo: Polish your speaking and comprehension skills for free with this easy-to-navigate language app that can help you prepare for your language finals.
Apps to help you ace those papers
Keep these writing and research resources a touch away while working on any final papers you’re getting ready to submit.
- Scribd: Stay connected to the knowledge, books, and documents you need with this curatable online library app.
- Grammarly: Use this app to check your work for misspellings, proper grammar, and punctuation to make sure your final papers are as polished as possible! (But also be sure to have someone you know review it too, because apps aren’t perfect.)
- EasyBib: Never struggle through another manual bibliography again. Scan the barcodes of the books you’re using and a citation will magically appear for you to copy over to your paper.
- SparkNotes: Of course, you should always do your assigned reading for college classes. But if you need a plot refresher for a book you read at the beginning of the semester, this literature summary app can help you remember the details you need to finish up your paper. And it’s free for the first month, which is all you’ll need!
- SimpleMind: We all write a little differently. This app will help you hone your writing by creating a spider web format of all your brainstorming and ideas.
- Dictionary.com: A dictionary is anyone’s best friend when writing a paper. Stay on top of your vocabulary, find synonyms, and look up terms as you read and write with this advantageous app.
Related: 5 Steps to Writing to Perfect Paper
Apps to help you stay focused
Self-control and focus are essential in staying productive for finals—especially when you have to take them at home! These apps will help you study smarter.
- SelfControl: Odds are, you’re part of the 77% of college students (and that stat is probably even higher for high school students) who check social media at least once a day. Block yourself from all those distracting websites with a specified timer while you tackle tasks. When the timer hits zero, you’ll be allowed back on those sites. Freedom is a similar app if SelfControl isn’t quite working for you.
- Forest: Stay on track and focused by giving yourself an incentive! Every time you go into focus mode, the Forest app helps you grow your virtual seed into a tree. Even better, growing virtual trees in the app helps you donate to nonprofits that plant real trees for the future.
- Brain.fm: Set the mood for productivity by designing your own study soundscape to stimulate your mind and create focus.
Apps to help you wind down
After all that hard work, taking a breather and redirecting your mind are important for your stress levels and mental health.
- Feed.ly: Give your mind a break while also feeding it valuable information with this RSS aggregator app that consolidates the news and stories you want to read into one feed.
- iTunes U: Whether you’re looking for more information on a specific subject or you just have a passion for learning, this app lets any Apple user access a free collection of public courses from leading institutions.
- Amazon Prime Student: Finals week might leave you with limited relaxation time, but it’s essential to give your brain a break between study sessions. Use your college email address to score a six-month free trial of Amazon Prime Student—and 50% off afterwards. You’ll get unlimited access to Prime Video streaming to your phone, not to mention free two-day shipping for your holiday shopping.
Don’t let finals add extra stress to an already overly stressful year. Use these apps to power through your papers and exams, and the holidays—and your well-deserved break—will be here before you know it. Good luck!
Need more advice to get through the last leg of this semester? Check out more blogs and articles in our Majors and Academics section.