13th Dec, 2023
Optimising your productivity as a college student is key if you want to produce great work, and get things done on time. We have created a list of the best apps to be productive at college and some great helpful tips on how to be productive at college.
Being productive in college seems like something obvious, however, it's easy to fall into a pit of disorganization, burnout, and not being able to focus correctly on important tasks or things to do, that's the college lifestyle sometimes.
Many college students have a part-time job or other extra activities to factor in when managing time and juggling life, which can sometimes lead to priorities being off, missing out on higher grades, and overall feeling pretty unmotivated.
If you're a college student, new or halfway through your studies, this article will teach you how to be productive at college to make the most of your time studying.
With these top tips for studying and recommendations for productive apps, you'll find yourself less stressed and better organized!
The first step to being productive at college is mastering your organization. There's a lot you need to have organized such as your time, classes, studies, exams, lectures, and the list continues.
Here are five important steps that all factor into being organized and productive at college.
First of all, you need to be setting some goals. Without setting goals you might find it harder to work towards something, and your mind has nothing to focus on to improve.
There's a whole article here about goal-setting stats to convince you since those who write down their goals are 20% more successful than those who don't write down their goals.
The goals you set need to cover things such as your personal life, academic life, and your professional life. Let's break this down.
Before you can begin to optimise your study you need to figure out when you work best and how much time you have each day to dedicate towards focus and study.
Once you have figured out when you work best and what times you can protect for studying, write them down or use apps for time blocking such as these best task calendar apps to help plan your day.
The best way to time block is to follow these steps:
Now you will have a visual representation of the time you have to study merged with the things you already have to do within your day.
Next up, you need to find some balance in your life. Without a healthy balance of work, study, and personal life you will very quickly find yourself feeling burnt out, unmotivated, and unwilling to put in your maximum amount of effort.
By having this better balance you won't feel as stressed, meaning you can put in more effort with your studies and enjoy your time.
It's true what they say about the people you surround yourself with. You become them. So, if you want to be successful, motivated, and focused, surround yourself with people who are just like that.
If you surround yourself with people who often skip class, don't study, aren't very focused, and have the wrong kind of priorities, you'll soon find yourself acting and behaving in the same way. You will find your people and they will feel supportive, they will push you to be your best, and you will have a good feeling when you are around them.
You cannot perform well in college if you aren't taking care of yourself. When you feel your best mentally and physically you can be your most productive self.
Here are some top tips for staying healthy physically and mentally whilst at college:
But first, why do you need an app to help you be productive at college, can't you just use some paper and figure it out yourself? The answer is probably yes, but that's way harder, takes a lot of time, and the likelihood is you won't stick to it.
Here are some of our best-recommended apps for being productive at college.
Using productivity apps for students is a great way to hold yourself accountable, stay on track with timetables, and organize tasks and projects.
We have broken down the types of productivity apps you should use into note-taking, to-do lists, and calendars.
First, let's dive into note-taking apps for college students.
A note-taking app is almost a staple application to have, you can write down everything and anything to make sure you don't forget important stuff, or use note apps for lectures and study notes. Dig deeper into more specific recommendations on note apps for students.
RemNote is a very clever application, I dare to say it but it's almost somewhat perfect for studying thanks to its flashcard feature, connected notes and productivity report.
With RemNote you can quickly turn notes into flashcards to show up at timed intervals. To create the flashcard type a word or something you aren't sure about, then add the answer to the back of the card. When the flashcard shows up, test your knowledge then reveal the answer.
You can create as many flashcards as you need and have them show up at the right time to help keep the topics fresh in your mind. This is a great study technique, and over time you will always remember the answer. You can also use RemNote to create mind-map style notes, with references, links and tags to help organise and even annotate PDFs directly inside notes.
Finally, RemNote also shows you a productivity report, a habit tracker for studying, and insights into what subjects you have mastered or still need to study.
Supernotes is a jam-packed note-taking application full of helpful features. We are just going to cover some helpful aspects of Supernotes for college students and studying.
First of all, it's a very aesthetically pleasing tool to use, it's minimal, easy to navigate and feels nice to experience. It also replaces things like files, folders and super-long text with Notecards. These are used and added to your application where you can then add tags, colours and filters to organise notes. Inside Notecards, you can also add comments, and backlinks and share notes with others.
Another great feature for students is the ability to take offline notes. Sometimes you may lose connection or not be able to find any internet when you need to jot something down, or you want to do some studying on the go. Just work inside Supernotes and it will update when next connected to the internet.
Supernotes also as a tasks collection, these are all the tasks embedded inside Notecards, found in one space for you to work on. You can create tasks like to-dos and tick them off when you are finished.
Finally, you can use the Universal Search to find lost notes or to use other commands such as enabling dark mode.
Evernote is a well-known note-taking application, it is a little different since it was taken over by Bending Spoons but is a great tool for tasks, notes and calendars all in one place. It's also a good tool for students, especially if you want a more in-depth tool you're willing to pay to unlock all its features.
First of all, you can take notes with Evernote on any device you are connected with, they will all then sync automatically, even when taking notes whilst offline. You can also perform actions such as searching to find notes with keywords, setting reminders, and using flags and tags to organise along with individual notebooks for specific notes.
Your notes can be full of detail, with tasks, web clippings and links to your calendar. You can view everything you need in the home dashboard to get an overall view of your upcoming calendar events, tasks and recent notes.
You can also use the document scanner tool to capture anything on paper directly into Evernote. This can give you peace of mind that you won't lose something important. You can also scan handwritten notes and save them into notebooks.
Now we have to-do list applications. A great tool for helping you stay organised and on track with tasks at hand.
A to-do list app can be super simple, or more in-depth depending on your needs.
Microsoft To-Do is within the Microsoft tools ecosystem. This means you might already be using a Microsoft app to help with notes, studying and completing projects. If that's the case, merging with Microsoft To-Do might be a good idea.
Microsoft To-Do is great for students because it's a super easy application to use. You can create different lists for areas of life great for finding that balance and still making plans for personal life alongside college.
You can view all your important tasks of the day inside the My Day section, here you can choose with tasks you are going to complete depending on what your priorities are. You can also set due dates and reminders for all tasks and add files if you need to.
Microsoft To-Do can be shared with others which may be handy if you are working on a project with other students and want to work together in one space. Overall, it's a super simple and easy way to stay on track with your daily to-dos.
Todoist provides a great space for both to-do lists and task management. There's tons of ability to organise tasks, take notes, manage your daily to-dos and even set priority levels for the most important tasks.
Todoist is good for students who are working together on tasks, you can collaborate if you want, or just use it as a personal task management tool.
First up, you can quickly add tasks to your Todoist boards, you can then go back in and attach files, use tags, set due dates and add priority levels. Once tasks are formatted, you can filter tasks from their tags and priority to decide which tasks you need to do that day.
You can also add tasks straight from your emails and see your calendar inside Todoist with your tasks inside. This helps you manage your time and create a routine for study and personal life.
Inside Todosit you can create different boards for different projects, share tasks with others and drag and drop tasks around the Kanban boards to further organise. You can also track your productivity levels here to help reach goals and improve the way you work.
TickTick is one of those clever all-in-one applications that are still super minimal and easy to use, but cover a lot of needs, especially for students. With TickTick you can manage your tasks alongside your calendar and also set yourself habits and write notes.
With each task you can create due dates and reminders, you can even use natural language to create a task in one go by adding in dates and times to automatically add it to your calendar. You can then go through each day and tick off tasks that have been set.
TickTick has some of the best organisational abilities by using files and folders to organise tasks and projects. You can also use tags and colours to further organise. Set priorities to tasks to make sure you tick off things that are important and set filters to view tasks as you would like.
TickTick also has a Pomodoro timer to help with focus, a great tool for students who need some help with concentrating and just getting the work done. You can also share tasks with others to work on group projects and take notes together.
Overall, TickTick has pretty much everything you need. Notes, calendar, tasks, timer and tons of organisation abilities with added reminders.
Finally, we have calendar applications. Perfect for planning your personal life alongside your studies to make sure you create that balance we talked about earlier on. Having a calendar app with reminders also helps with time management.
Google Calendar is probably used by most people at some point in their lives, it's available on all devices and it's free to use. You can of course upgrade to premium to access additional features, however for students just wanting to organise time, you won't need to do this.
Inside Google Calendar you can manage multiple calendars, this is great for personal, study and work-life calendars to help you plan and organise your time in one space. You can also create and schedule tasks and meetings if that's something you need to do.
Google Calendar is also a commonly used tool for meetings, live lessons, lectures and so on. Just organise a time and create a live lesson inside Google Meet through the calendar app.
You can then organise your time and tasks inside the calendar, giving them colours to organise and differentiate between study and life. It's a good idea to plan your tasks in a daily view so you can visualise how much time you have left, and ideally how much time you have to study and work.
Overall, Google Calendar is a pretty solid, and free calendar application for students to use to manage their time, and tasks, and improve their work-life balance.
Rise is a more advanced calendar application, good for those who need to dive into organising their studies, work life, meetings and much more. Rise is great for making sure you have the time to do everything you need to do, it will automatically schedule, set time for focus and much more. Let's dive into it.
Rise is a clever tool that will automatically update your calendar to make priorities for tasks that need to be done, meetings that have been added and last-minute tasks that are now due. Rise will find the best times and shuffle your calendar around, still keeping within due dates, but also making sure you have enough time and don't burn out.
You can also integrate with other calendars and cross-calendars to add in personal life tasks and events that are visible to you, but not within other calendars or to anyone else if you are sharing calendars.
There's also a FocusGuard tool which is super handy for protecting your time whilst in focus and working on tasks. Overall, Rise may not be for every student, but if you need help with time management and meetings, it's a good idea.
Now we have gone through a few top tips and recommended productivity apps for college students, here's a summary to finish this guide.
Discover More Project Management Tools on Tool Finder
Choose from hundreds of productivity toolsView All