10 for 10: 10 apps to get you through college

We live in an age where smartphones and tablets have become integral parts of our lives. In that same way, dozens of apps have been developed that help students stay organized and help with the typical day in and day out of being  in college. I have compiled a list of apps that are regularly used on my phone as well as apps that have been recommended to me by my coworkers. I tried to leave off sites that most students may already have on their phones such as Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites (besides, those don’t help with productivity!).

1. Evernote

When it comes to staying organized for school, managing all of my writing and blog posts and maintaining a portable to-do list, Evernote has become my app of choice. I love that you can sync notes across multiple devices which makes it helpful for me whenever I write from different computers. It has lists features, reminders and a option to voice record as you make notes.

2. GroupMe

Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to have multiple group messages going on at once. GroupMe is a great way to manage group messages without them getting lost in a clutter of words. I know we live in a time where we can send group messages through our normal messaging apps, but this is really great for accessing messages online as well.

3. Venmo

Asking for split checks can be annoying, and some restaurants refuse to allow it. Or sometimes you buy materials for a project or something and you want to divide the costs evenly. Or, more common, it’s just easier to pay someone using an app rather than remembering to bring cash with you.

4. Spotify

Despite the fact that Taylor Swift does not have her music on here, Spotify is a great way to listen to music while you’re walking to and from class. The premium version is available to students for about $5 a month which, let’s face it, is about how much you spend on a cup of coffee from Starbucks. I’ll cut down my coffee intake for a full month of ad-free music.

5. Yelp

Figuring out where to eat is almost an ongoing debate among my friends and I. Yelp is a great way to see what other people are saying about a restaurant or to find recommendations for something new.

6. Easybib

Learning to take careful notes for bibliographies is important for your intro rhetoric classes and for those who have honors theses to write. All you have to do is scan the barcode and it’ll get you a mostly accurate bibliography.

7. Waze

One of the worst things to have to deal with while driving through Dallas is the traffic. I hate it. Waze helps me avoid it. It gives me real time information about traffic which is helpful for knowing what routes to avoid.

8. Blackboard

It’s the app I love to hate… or is it hate to love? It’s an unfortunate necessity for students who like to stay on top of their assignments and grades. It gives you notifications when your courses are updated and, most importantly, when your grades are inputted. So much for being blissfully ignorant about your grades.

9. Drive

Almost everyone has a gmail, right? I like Drive over Dropbox because I think it’s easier to maintain and navigate. But it’s a great way to share files and photos for both school-related things or just to send someone a photo.

10. Radio UTD

For my final must-download app, I have to put a plug in for Radio UTD, one of our sibling student media organizations. It’s a great way to see what’s going on in the music scene and potentially win free concert tickets. Our other media organizations are working on apps too, so those are definitely must-downloads as well when they’re released. Right now, it’s only available for iPhones, but I heard an Android app is coming very soon.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Mint

One of the key things about being a college student is learning to maintain your finances. Mint has been especially helpful for keeping track of my spending and potentially flagging purchases I didn’t make.

12. Groupon

As college students, we like deals and we like things cheap. Luckily Groupon is a great source of deals around the area. I have to admit that I don’t use it much besides to buy movie tickets, but the possibilities are endless.

13. Paper

This app is really great for compiling news from a bunch of news organizations. Unfortunately it’s only for the iPhone. I have an Android phone, so I just downloaded the NY Times app.

14. Map My Run

Running in a gym can get boring, and I’ve always enjoyed spending time with nature while I’m huffing and puffing through my run, so I like to use Map My Run to monitor my runs and find interesting routes around campus and around where I live. It’s a great alternative to spending all day in the gym or if you want to change it up. There are also options to record other workouts as well.

15. Pushbullet

As an avid Instagram user and a huge DSLR user, I often times find myself trying to get photos off my camera and onto my phone. While I haven’t gone as far as buying an Eye-fi card for my phone, I use Pushbullet to send photos back and forth between my phone and my computer. It’s also helpful for other files as well.

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