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Apps that will change the way you study

Renata Galiamov

Technology has revolutionised the way we study and opened up a whole new range of possibilities, for finding, processing, storing, and even getting distracted by information.

At Connect, we love tech. We use it all the time to support great products and services for students that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

So we’ve put together a guide to help you find the most useful system for using technology. It’s split up into what the technology will help you actually do, because ultimately that’s the most important thing.

Impactful revision and learning.

Sometimes doing things without apps is easier. For example, taking notes the analog way — with pen and paper — will always be useful. Many prefer it. But using technology has clear advantages too. Take notetaking, for instance. Notetaking apps can make it easier to organise things, simpler to edit and reprocess notes without making a horrible mess, and everything you’ve written is forever searchable and shareable.

In this area, we put together some apps that help you learn more efficiently.

Apple Notes — Take notes and annotate.

Free Mac + iOS + Web (Link)

Makes it really simple to take notes for different subjects and organise it all with notes by topic and folders. You don’t have to worry about fancy formatting as there are just a few options and then you’re good to get going.

As a handy tip, if you have an iPhone/iPad but use a Windows PC, you can use to take notes, then they will automatically sync up with your iPhone/iPad.

Microsoft OneNote — Take notes and annotate.

Free Mac + Windows + Android + iOS (Link)

Just like Apple Notes, this is a great way to take notes on any device. It offers more formatting and organisation options too, so it’s a bit more flexible than Apple Notes (which some students prefer).

Notability — Annotate docs and handwrite.

$14.99 iOS (Link)

This is all about handwriting, so it’s purpose built. Notability allows you to easily add notes to things like PDFs, slides, etc., so it’s especially useful if you want to follow along in class or add your own notes to documents you’ve been given. You can also take handwritten notes from scratch and make diagrams on iPad.

Kahoot — Make fun quizzes for revision.

Free Web (Link)

If you’re not already on the Kahoot bandwagon, it might be time to get on. Kahoot makes learning fun, so fun you might never stop. It’s great for collaborative learning too.

Use Kahoot to turn multiple-choice quizzes into a game. You can create your own tests (helps you learn by ensuring you have your information right, plus you start thinking about how you might be examined). And then you can either test yourself, or even better, do group quiz sessions with friends. Kahoot can get intense, and that makes it such a great study motivator.

Quizlet — Test yourself with flashcards.

Free Web + Android + iOS (Link)

Quizlet is a powerful flashcard app that is super useful for memorising things like vocabulary words in languages and definitions across a range of subjects. What sets it apart is that it has six different study modes, as well as planning tools to keep you motivated and practising consistently before an upcoming SAC or exam.

Tinycards — Test yourself with flashcards.

Free Web + iOS (Link)

From the makers of Duolingo, Tinycards is a super simple flashcard app. It’s most useful for languages because you can find high quality cards designed by the Duolingo team. This said, you can also make your own cards, so it’s just like Quizlet.

MindNode — Mind mapping software.

$9.99 iOS (Link)

MindNode does just one thing, so it does it very well. Mind mapping can be a critical active revision technique, allowing you think about what you’ve learned in a different way, see how everything fits into the bigger picture, and make sure you don’t have gaps in your knowledge.

Staying organised, motivated, and focused.

In this section, we recommend some apps you can use to organise your work, plan things out, and make sure you get it done.

My Study Life — Plan your study out.

Free Mac + Windows + Android + iOS (Link)

My Study Life allows you to add homework and tasks for yourself to do so you can keep yourself accountable and map out your study. It also lets you add the dates of SACs and create a revision schedule leading up to these dates.

Dropbox — Store and share files everywhere.

Free Mac + Windows + Android + iOS (Link)

Keep your files in sync and backed up across all your devices. Share certain files with friends. Great because it works seamlessly and keeps a backup in case you accidentally delete a file.

Google Drive — Store and share files everywhere.

Free Mac + Windows + Android + iOS (Link)

Keep your files in sync and backed up across all your devices. Share certain files with friends. Great for real-time document editing in teams.

SelfControl — Stop procrastination, block websites.

Free Mac (Link)

SelfControl fights your procrastination instincts by preventing you from visiting the websites you blacklist for a certain amount of time. No cheating — even restarting your computer doesn’t help. If you find it hard to stop checking Facebook or watching YouTube, this is just the app you need.

Cold Turkey — Stop procrastination, block websites.

Free Mac + Windows + Android (Link)

Just like SelfControl, you can use Cold Turkey on any computer or Android phone to stop distracting websites like Facebook or Instagram from taking over your study time.

Being healthier and happier.

Night Shift — Reduce screen light before bedtime.

Free Mac + iOS (Link)

Built into every iPhone, iPad and Mac is Night Shift. Many studies show that exposure to bright-blue light in the evening can make it harder to get to sleep and affect your circadian rhythms. Night Shift will adjust your display so that colours at the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes.

Just access Control Centre to turn it on, or go to Settings to schedule Night Shift.

f.lux — Reduce screen light before bedtime.

Free Mac + Windows + Android (Link)

Just like Night Shift, f.lux reduces bright-blue light in the evening on your screens so it’s easier to get to sleep and a higher quality sleep.

Headspace — Be more mindful or learn to meditate.

Free Web + Android + iOS (Link)

A useful meditation app with guided courses for beginners and experts. It makes it easy to devote just a few minutes per day to meditation.

Sleep As Android — Wake up at the right time, track your sleep.

Free Android (Link)

This is a great app which helps analyse and track your sleep (so you know if you’re sleeping too little, or even too much!), and also try to wake you at the right time. Ever felt really groggy after getting up, even though you had a good amount of sleep? This will depend on where you wake up within a sleep cycle. Using an app helps you wake up at the right time, before your absolute-latest wake up time.

Pillow — Wake up at the right time, track your sleep.

Free iOS (Link)

Just like Sleep As Android, Pillow helps you analyse, track and improve your sleep with your iPhone. It’s a beautifully-designed app and super easy to use.


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