With the new academic year just around the corner, it’s time to update your website and tool collection. In this blog, we have listed the 35 most useful tools for students, that will surely make your life a little bit easier the coming year.
1. Cold Turkey
We’ve all been there before: it’s the night before an exam, you’ve spent hours staring at your laptop, but instead of actually being productive by revising you’ve spent 90% of the time constantly refreshing all your social media channels. That’s where our first useful tool Cold Turkey comes in. It describes itself as the ‘toughest website blocker on the internet’. You can schedule time slots for certain websites to be blocked, which can’t be turned back once they start, cool right?! During those agonising revision nights, some hard discipline is the only thing that will help avoid constant distraction.
We usually associate brain games with our childhood, back to a time where hours were spent racking our brains on Nintendo DS brain trainers. However, such games are no longer a thing of the past! Lumosity is a brain training app that helps you improve memory, increase your focus and find your calm. A perfect and very useful tool for students during those stressful exam weeks.
While you’re updating your tool collection, make sure to check out Magnet.me. You can find jobs, internships and graduate schemes that perfectly match with your profile!
Are you also constantly browsing the web, looking for something specific, but then find another (unrelated) website / article / video that you want to look into, just not right now? Pocket is a convenient and useful tool that allows you to save content from any publication, to go back to later. You can design and curate your own space to collect items that you want to view another time. That way you can keep all your study sources and interesting articles nice and organised.
4. Leave Me Alone
Tired of a mailbox filled with spam and irrelevant newsletters that you signed up to for a one-off 10% discount? Unsubscribing for each of these mailing lists individually is both time consuming and annoying, which is why most of us settle with the spam. Well, lucky for all of us, there is Leave Me Alone. This convenient and useful tool helps you to see an overview of all the companies that regularly send you emails and lets you easily select and unsubscribe from those that are particularly annoying. Your inbox has never been so tidy!
Who doesn’t love working with lists? The satisfaction you feel when you can cross something off is pretty amazing (okay, I might be exaggerating a bit but you have to admit it’s a good feeling). As the name suggests, Todoist is a tool that allows you to gather your to do’s, thoughts and ideas in one space. That way you can keep your to do list organised, even when your busy student life isn’t.
Group projects are the perfect recipe for guaranteed miscommunication, annoyance and frustration. What if we told you that this could be avoided for all future group projects (or at least, if your teammates are not lazy a**holes). With Trello you can list everything that needs to be done in different lanes (to do / in progress / done). This way everyone knows exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it. No more arguments in group chats because your team is an organisational mess!
Referencing has to be one of the worst aspects of uni life, hands down. I don’t know of anything more time-consuming and stress-inducing. So it was like a gift from heaven up above when I discovered Mendeley. This tool functions as a reference manager and an academic social network. You can easily find academic papers and the right referencing that you need for any paper / essay / thesis. A must-have and true life-saver!
A classic, so you have probably heard of this one before. This tool is so convenient that it is still worth a mention! Grammarly is an app that makes everything you type mistake-free. Once installed, it automatically checks and corrects not only your word documents, but even the WhatsApp messages you send out. No more spelling mistakes in any of your essays, and more importantly, no more know-it-all people correcting your spelling mistakes!
9. De Afstudeerconsultant
Writing your graduate thesis can be a real struggle. De afstudeerconsultant offers thesis coaches who provide targeted feedback and suggestions. They help students with both substantive and process-related issues, such as lack of overview or motivation. De afstudeerconsultant also offers a free ebook and an extensive knowledge base, which covers topics such as research questions, research methods, writing tips and tips for presenting your thesis.
In the same category as the latter, Codecademy lets you follow coding courses in 12 different coding languages. This tool offers the perfect way to dabble in the world of coding, a field of work with one of the highest demands for new talent. As mentioned on their website, it’s the perfect place to learn the technical skills you need for the job you want, and there’s a whole lot of jobs in coding out there!
Wolframalpha is an incredibly handy tool and answer engine developed by Wolfram Research. You can type in a question you might have in the fields of mathematics / science and technology / society and culture / everyday life and it computes expert-level answers using Wolfram’s breakthrough algorithms, knowledgebase and AI technology. Like google, but for questions that are a little more difficult.
Did you also work with flashcards when you had to study for tests back in secondary school? Then you have to admit it’s a pretty effective way to study and train your memory. Quizlet is a student tool that helps create your own digital flashcards (in multiple, fun formats) and then tests you until you have memorized them sufficiently. You can categorize these study sets in your personalized dashboard, so you can easily sort and go back to them. These study sets can also be shared with others, so you can easily send / receive study sets to / from your fellow students!
13. Office Lens
Office lens is a convenient app that scans any info you may need, whether it be text on a whiteboard, a receipt or business card. It is different from simply taking a picture because it cuts the excess edges and makes the surface of the image flat, which results in an immediate pdf-style scan. An extremely helpful and useful tool for situations where you want to quickly capture some info on the go!
When working on a project, sometimes you have so many ideas that you need to jot down before you forget all of them. Back in school we used to draw out mind maps for these kind of projects, but who has the time for that during busy uni life? Well, we have found just the perfect tool for you: SimpleMind! On this website you can make sophisticated mind maps, which helps you organise any complex train of thought. How useful is that?
Need to conduct qualitative analysis for an essay or your thesis? Atlas.ti will then surely become your next best friend. It offers a wide array of useful tools to analyse large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data. A true lifesaver if you need to conduct some in-depth qualitative analysis anytime soon.
Notability is the modern way of taking notes. It’s an app that on which you take notes and add in pictures, sketches and even gifs. You can sort your notes into relevant categories and easily share them with others.
Maybe you can relate: you’re about to order something online, right at the checkout, and see ‘enter discount code here’. Hmm, would be nice to save some money if possible, should I go on the hunt for a possible discount code somewhere online? However, knowing that it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack, you realise it will most probably just be a waste of time and effort and settle for paying full price. This is where our next tool Honey comes in. This convenient and useful extension searches the web for applicable coupons when you order something online. Click on the Honey button during checkout and it will automatically apply coupon codes to your shopping cart. Saving money has never been so easy!
18. Print Friendly & PDF
Ever printed a web page and ended up being annoyed by the dock, open tabs and annoying ads that you didn’t need on paper? This extension and useful study tool offers the perfect solution. As the name suggests, it makes any webpage print friendly and scraps all the excess, printing only the info you need.
In our personal experience, bookmarks are something only the elderly internet users amongst us use (or book readers of course, if you really want to go old school). However, being able to find that one specific article that you came across a while ago in just one click does sound very convenient. Start.me is a modern bookmark manager that collects, categorises and ranks websites that you use most often or need to keep a hold of for later reference. Once the tool is installed, you see the personalised dashboard, with bookmarks organised whichever way you want, whenever you open a new tab.
This extension does just as the name suggests: it keeps your computer clean and at optimal speed by deleting all the junk that slows you down. You can easily view and delete your browsing history, cache, cookies and enhance your security and privacy online.
Ghostery is in a similar category as the latter. This extension is an effective ad and track blocker. It gives you insight into and control over ads and tracking technologies, which allows you to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter and protect your data. You’d be shocked to see just how many trackers monitor your online behaviour, on almost every website you visit. Quite a satisfying feeling to see just how many trackers this convenient tool protects you from!
You undoubtedly know the feeling: you’re hard at work on something and need multiple webpages for it, but at a certain point you have so many open tabs that you can’t even recognise which webpage each tab is. Your workspace ends up feeling cluttered and unorganised and you end up feeling frustrated. OneTab offers a solution to this very common annoyance. This extension puts all web pages that you will need for later reference in a list, in a single tab. No more searching through endless tiny tabs looking for that specific page with this useful tool.
23. Evernote Web Clipper
Ever wanted to add your own notes to web pages? Look no further! Take screenshots, add text, annotations and highlight important information so you never forget why you saved it.
24. Google Dictionary
This extension is a given, but that does not make it any less convenient. Google Dictionary allows you to easily look up the definition of a word while you’re browsing the web. You simply highlight it, click on ‘look up definition’, and it appears in a bubble on the screen. No more wasting time opening a new tab, going to a random dictionary website etc etc.
Saving some extra cash
25. United Wardrobe
Like the majority of people, you probably also have a lot of clothes lying around that you actually never wear. What if we told you that you could easily sell them, hassle-free, via an app? Earning some quick extra cash has never been so easy. United Wardrobe is an app that lets you easily sell clothing you no longer wear. Time to start making some easy money!
I know what you’re thinking: isn’t Groupon a website used predominantly by middle-aged ladies? Well, there’s quite some interesting things for students on there too! Groupon is a discount website with basically everything on offer. You can plan a day trip to the spa for half the normal price, or pay a fraction of the price for a mattress. You can also order a sushi platter with a high discount! Perfect for a student budget.
For a lot of people, meditating is one of those things that they always wanted to try but never really knew how to start doing. Do you just sit down with your eyes closed and hope to somehow find your inner zen? Luckily the app Calm offers more guidance. It’s the most used app for sleep and meditation and provides users with methods to help improve their lifestyle. It is designed to improve your sleeping habits and lower both stress and anxiety levels. It’s definitely the app you should download before your next exam week comes up.
If you want to start reading more but get distracted or fall asleep the moment you pick up a book, Audible is the app for you. It has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and original ad-free audio shows on offer. So whatever you’re in the mood for (whether it is historical fiction, a biography or podcast) Audible has what you’re looking for. Sitting down with a good book is now possible with just your headphones in!
Students often have quite a few talents: cooking is often not one of them. You probably know Tasty from their videos on social media: the birds-eye view, sped-up preparation of visually appealing dishes, which are somehow very satisfying to watch. All these videos are compiled on the Tasty website, as well as simple written recipes in case the videos are a little too fast for your liking. There is a wide range of food featured on the site, so there’s something suitable for every level of cooking and perfect if you want to try something new in the kitchen! So you no longer have an excuse to make that same pasta dish for the fourth time this week.
We all love to be pampered, don’t we? However, splurging on wellness services often costs a small fortune. Cue Treatwell: a useful app and website that lists all wellness-related places near you, and a price list of all the services they offer. This makes it easy to find and compare all the best deals near you!
Need a little boost in your life? Maybe something in line with learning to cope with stress you’re experiencing, or finding motivation to work towards your goals? Happify is an app that offers tracks that you can follow to ‘build skills for lasting happiness’. Happify turns the latest innovations in the science of happiness into activities and games that help you lead a more fulfilling life. Spending several minutes per week on the app supposedly does wonders for your mental well-being and happiness. Aspects that are important to take care of, even (especially) during your busy student life.
32. Sleep Cycle
Ah, sleep. Something most students have a love-hate relationship with. You can sleep for seemingly days on end. However during exam period, you can suddenly easily function with just 3 hours a night. At the end of exam week, you are seriously sleep deprived and end up hibernating for several days. Sound familiar? Sleep Cycle is an app that helps improve your sleeping habits and get the most out of your sleep. It tracks the quality of your sleep, so you can see the report afterwards, and sets your alarm for a time that you are in ‘light sleep’, which makes waking up significantly less difficult. Once you know what sleeping habits work best for you, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed!
33. Zombies, Run!
Yeah, running might be good for you, but it’s so incredibly boring isn’t it? Well, it’s not anymore. Zombies, Run! is the most downloaded fitness app in the Apple app store, and for good reason. It turns an otherwise boring lap around the block into an actual adventurous mission, in which you are the hero. With immersive audio drama, you are the star in an exciting zombie adventure in which you have to run for your life. If bloodthirsty zombies don’t motivate you to run extra hard, I don’t know what will.
No time for the gym? No worries, with Sworkit you can develop your own fitness routine to do from the comfort of your own home. This personal trainer app helps you create workout routines centered on strength training, stretching, cardio or yoga. You can set goals you want to work towards, such as losing weight, improving endurance or gaining strength and the app helps develop a personalised workout programme that suits you. If it’s going to the gym that’s holding you back, you have no more excuses now!
So you’re heading towards the end of your studies and it’s time to start orientating for the job market that awaits you. But now comes the tricky part, where do you start? First entering the job market can feel incredibly intimidating. There are so many jobs on offer, but which one suits you best? What job fits perfectly within your profile and experience? Visiting old-fashioned job platforms can almost feel like searching for a needle in a haystack because you can barely personalise your search. Well, good news. Making a profile on Magnet.me enables you to easily find jobs that specifically match with your profile and qualifications. You can swipe jobs that have been selected for you by liking or ignoring them (like Tinder, yes) and directly chat with recruiters that can approach you via the platform. The search for a job has suddenly become a lot easier, and a lot more personal too!