Appendix: Best Study Apps and Gadgets for College Students

Top Study Apps and Gadgets for College Students

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities you have to juggle as a college student, don’t worry. We live in an age where, no matter what the task, most likely, there’s an app or gadget for that. From keeping track of your class schedules and assignments to making sure all of your devices are fully charged at all times, there are dozens of products – many of them free – that can help you live your best, most productive college life. Below are our top picks for gadgets and apps that every college student can use.

Best Gadgets for Students

Neo Smartpen and Notebooks – We know the benefits of hand-writing your notes in class, but being able to file them digitally and read them on any device also has its advantages. Neo Smartpens and notebooks give you the best of both worlds. Use the Neo Smartpen stylus on their specially designed notebooks to write notes as you would with a traditional pen and paper. Neo’s patented NCode technology translates what you write into code, so you can digitally save your notes into Neo Notes, or other web-based note-taking services like Evernote.

Kingston Technology Flash Drive – Keeping your data safe and accessible is critical to being successful and keeping stress levels low as a student. Flash drives (also known as thumb drives) are a convenient, affordable way to have all of your important work handy and safe. Kingston Technology offers a variety of USB flash drives with different storage capacities, many for under $10. We particularly like the DataTraveler Micro 3.1, a small, capless flash drive that easily hooks onto your keychain so you don’t lose it, and is small enough to stay plugged into your laptop when you’re on the go. It comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage sizes.

Kensington KP400 Switchable Keyboard – It’s not uncommon to switch between multiple devices like a laptop, tablet, and smartphone throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be great if you had one keyboard that could work with all of them? The Kensington KP400 Switchable Keyboard does exactly that. Connecting via Bluetooth, the Kensington KP400 offers a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad, bringing together the best worlds of functionality and comfort. Adding to its convenience, it can be powered by batteries or a USB port.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones -A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can turn even the noisiest dorm room or student lounge into a quiet study area. Although they are a bit of an investment (models typically run from $129 to $399 depending on the brand and features) they can be invaluable when you’re forced to study in less-than-optimal conditions.

Smart Backpack – Between laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other battery-powered devices, it seems like there’s always something that’s in need of a charge. Don’t waste precious time searching for an outlet – charge your devices on the go with a smart backpack. These accessories come with USB charging ports that allow you to continue charging your devices in class, or even while you’re on the move. Many smart backpacks are also specially designed for carrying multiple devices as well as traditional school supplies like textbooks and notebooks, and have various built-in anti-theft precautions.

Best Apps for Students

Productivity and Time Management

Focus Booster – Keep track of how much time you’re spending on productive projects—and how much time you spend on social media—with this desktop app. It also provides a timer to make sure you take regular breaks. (Mac OS, Windows)

iStudiez Pro – Get organized with an online schedule planner that keeps track of all of your classes and assignments. Once you have iStudiezPro you won’t ever forget you have an upcoming quiz or paper! (iOS, Android, Mac OS)

RescueTime – Find out where your time goes with this smartphone and desktop app that tracks all of your online activity, and provides daily reports so you can adjust your habits to increase productivity and focus. The paid premium version offers additional features like website blockers and the ability to track offline activity as well, but the basic free version is sufficient to gain a better understanding of how you spend your time, and what changes you may need to make in your work habits. (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS)

Slack – When it comes time to work on the inevitable group projects in your classes, Slack is there to help you communicate and stay organized. Instead of dealing with huge email or text message threads between you and your partners, Slack is an online workspace that allows you to organize your groups, and streamline all communications and documents related to an individual project or group. (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS)

Studying and Homework

StudyBlue – Flashcards have never been easier. With StudyBlue you can browse thousands of uploaded flashcard decks in every conceivable subject and you can also make your own. Whether you’re trying to memorize vocabulary, equations, or the periodic table, StudyBlue has you covered. (iOS, Android, web)

Evernote – There are notes apps, and then there’s Evernote. You can take notes on your computer, phone or tablet and everything syncs flawlessly. You can clip articles or snippets from the internet from your computer or send a link from the Facebook app directly to your Evernote folders. Organizing notes is super easy with a folder system, and global search makes finding things a snap. (iOS, Android, desktop, web)

Wolfram Alpha – Wolfram Alpha is a scientific search engine that does your thinking for you. A great place to search for data or calculations, it also provides academic apps for students. Check out their Course Assistant apps in subjects such as Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Statistics and more—all designed to help you ace your next class! (iOS, Android)


Grammerly -You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to have another pair of eyes check your work before turning it in. Grammerly is a digital version of a proofreader, checking your work for errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You can use it for essays, papers, and even emails and social media posts. (iOS, Android, desktop, web)

Dragon Anywhere – Write papers faster by dictation! Dragon Anywhere allows you to use your phone or tablet to “write” your rough drafts by speaking into your phone’s microphone. While you will still have to edit the work afterwards, it can help you avoid the blank page paralysis! Combine it with Evernote and you can automatically sync your new creations to your computer. (iOS, Android)

EasyBib: Citation Generator – Use EasyBib on your computer or mobile device to grab citations for research. They have billions of citations and you can simply type in a book title or scan book barcodes with your phone’s camera. You can choose from a variety of citation formats, including APA, MLA, Chicago style, and many others. (iOS, Android)

Finances and Budgeting

Mint – You’re a busy student and the last thing you want to do is spend extra time dealing with your bills and bank statements. Never fear, the free app from allows you to connect all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and bills so you can manage your money and keep track of your balance. (iOS, Android, web)

Scholly: Scholarship Search – Scholly makes the process of researching and applying for scholarships easier than ever before. With the Scholly app you can find scholarships you qualify for, and then track deadlines and applications. Scholly will even lend a hand when it comes time to write those pesky scholarship application essays. (iOS, Android)

CampusBooks – Beyond tuition, textbooks are typically one of the biggest costs college students incur. Nowadays, there are many resources for finding inexpensive textbooks, and CampusBooks is one of our favorites. This app and website lets you compare textbook costs from a variety of vendors, rent textbooks, and will even search your local library to see if any of the books you need are available for free. (iOS, Android, web)