The Best Apps for Students

Spike Team
By Spike Team, Updated on December 26, 2021, 13 min read

As a student, it can be challenging to keep track of your time, commitments, and assignments – not to mention your money! There’s plenty of pressure pulling you in all different directions, and the last thing you want is to lose focus on why you’re there in the first place – to get an education.


That said, these days, many of the challenges of student life can be eased (if not overcome) with the help of technology, which is why we’ve put together a list of the very best apps for students, broken down by category so you can find the right tool to help you thrive. We’ll be covering:


  1. Note Taking Apps 

  2. Planner Apps 

    • Spike
    • Todoist
    • Microsoft to do
  3. Education Apps 

    • Google Classroom
    • edX
    • Khan Academy
  4. Calendar Apps 

    • Spike
    • MyStudyLife
    • Timepage
  5. Budgeting Apps 

    • Mint
    • Pocketguard
    • Personal capital
  6. Time Management Apps 

    • Focus booster
    • Remember the milk
    • Toggl


The Best Note-taking Apps for Students

Students take notes in lectures, seminars, or studying in the library. As a result, thousands and thousands of pages of notes are generally filled out each year. Once upon a time, this would mean carrying heavy notebooks from place to place (and kicking yourself when you left it at home), but now, online note apps enable students to write down what they need, wherever they are, making them some of the essential apps for college students on our list.



Spike – Online Notes

If you’re looking for the best note-taking app for students, check out Spike’s Online Notes tool, which offers personal and collaborative digital notes right in your email inbox. You can create and edit notes on your laptop, phone, tablet, and via the web, wherever you are and whenever you need them, and rest easy knowing they’re saved and synced in real-time across all your devices.


What’s more, Spike’s collaborative tools mean that you can easily share notes with peers or work on them together using real-time collaboration for any group projects, with built-in chat and comments to keep everyone on the same page. What’s more, Spike’s Online Notes aren’t limited to text, allowing you to clarify notes with images, code, video, audio, and more.


Furthermore, Spike isn’t just a note platform and comes with a whole range of tools to help boost your productivity, from video meetings and voice notes to tasks, to-do lists, and a prioritized inbox.


Spike’s Notes are entirely free to use for personal addresses, but the platform can be upgraded for use with business addresses for a nominal amount:


    Offers all of Spike’s features completely free

  • SOLO (minimum 1 business account)

    $12 per account / month billed annually

  • TEAM (minimum 2 business accounts)

    $8 per account / month billed annually

  • BUSINESS (minimum 5 business accounts)

    $7 per account / month billed annually

Spike is available on Mac, Windows, iOS devices, Android, and the web. 




Evernote remains one of the most well-known note-taking apps for students on the market and offers a range of great note-taking features such as document scanning and web clipping. Evernote can be synced across multiple devices, including desktops, phones, and the web, and also offers functions such as tasks, to-do lists, and a calendar.


However, while there is a free version of Evernote, the essential features are only really accessible in paid plans. For example, the free account only allows you to sync notes between two devices, meaning you have to choose between mobile, desktop, and the web, and there are no due dates, reminders, and notifications.


The packages that Evernote offers are:

  • Free – $0

  • Personal – $7.99 / month

  • Professional – $9.99 / month

  • Evernote teams – $14.99 / user / month


Evernote is available on both the App Store and Google Play.




Notability is a note-taking app exclusively available for iPad, Mac, and iPhone. It offers a more free-form approach to notetaking that may appeal to certain students. This certainly might be one of the best note-taking app for students who like free-hand doodling and use Apple exclusively.


Notability allows users to create notes with digital ink, import images, annotate PDFs and record audio to sync with written notes. However, it lacks many of the more advanced functions that students may expect from a note-taking app, meaning students must use multiple apps and programs to, for example, create a quick task or send a message.


There is a free version of Notability, but it is severely limited, with only a set number of note edits, basic templates, and reduced tools. In addition, there is no syncing across devices with the free account.


The two options that Notability offers are:

  • Starter – free

  • Subscription – $11.99 to $14.99 / year


As mentioned, Notability is only available for iPad, Mac, and iPhone.



Planner Apps for Students

Planners are a vital part of being a student with dozens of classes, hundreds of assignments, and social activities outside of class. Students now have thousands of task management apps available to choose from, so we’ve compiled some of the best planner apps for students.






Stay organized with Spike’s powerful planning tools, including online Tasks, To-Do Lists, and Reminders. Spike’s Tasks are built into your inbox and offer real-time task management with trackable progress updates, while Reminders allow you to snooze any Task and have it pop back up when you need it.


Additionally, To-Do Lists are more than just simple tick-boxes, with powerful collaboration tools allowing you to work with teams in real-time for simplified projects. All of this is included in your inbox, along with a host of other tools to boost your productivity and keep you focused.




    Offers all of Spike’s features completely free

  • SOLO (minimum 1 business account)

    $12 per account / month billed annually

  • TEAM (minimum 2 business accounts)

    $8 per account / month billed annually

  • BUSINESS (minimum 5 business accounts)

    $7 per account / month billed annually


Spike is available on Mac, Windows, iOS devices, Androids, and the web.






Todoist is designed purely as a task-manager application, making it one of the best planner apps for college students if that is the only thing they need. Todist allows you to create tasks, separate them into projects, set priority levels, and delegate tasks to in-platform collaborators. These tasks are then synced across multiple devices, including phones, laptops, and even smartwatches.


However, it offers no further functionality such as calls, emailing, etc., so students will still have to swap and switch between apps to get all the functions they need. Furthermore, while there is a free option, its features are limited, meaning you’ll really need to upgrade.


Todoist offers three plans that students can choose from:

  • Free – this is a limited but free version of Todoist

  • Pro (for individuals) – $3 / month, billed annually

  • Business (for teams) – $5 per user / month, billed annually


Todoist is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, and a web app.



Microsoft To Do



This name suggests that this is a planner app from Microsoft and allows users to create and manage tasks via a desktop, mobile or web app. For example, users can break down tasks into smaller steps, add due dates, and set reminders for tasks. It syncs across all your devices and integrates with Outlook Tasks as part of the Microsoft ecosystem.


However, as it is part of that ecosystem, Microsoft To Do relies on the other Microsoft apps to provide the additional features meaning it is one of the simplest and least feature-rich options on our list. That said, it is free for anyone, but to really get the most out of it, you need to integrate it with the other tools in a Microsoft 365 account.


There are many different types of Microsoft 365 accounts, but for students, the most common will include:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal – $69.99 / year

  • Microsoft 365 Family (two to six people) – $99.99 / year


It is also worth noting that Microsoft offers Office 365 Education, so students should check with their institutions to see if Microsoft’s apps are available to them.



Education Apps for Students

Students are students because they’re in education, so no list would be complete without looking at the best education apps for students. Some apps will depend heavily on your institution and individual teachers, but others listed here will allow students to explore new topics and independent education.



Google Classroom



Google Classroom was developed for educational institutions, allowing them to combine their learning tools, specifically focusing on creating, distributing, and grade assignments through simplified file sharing between teacher and student. In addition, it integrates other Google tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides for collaborative work and communication tools like Google Meet.


Google Classroom can be accessed from any device while maintaining high levels of security and, in addition to the web-based apps, is available on Google Play and the App Store.


Google Classroom is free for qualifying institutions as part of Google Workspace for Education, but there are paid versions:

  • Google Workspace for Education Standard

  • Teaching and Learning Upgrade

  • Google Workspace for Education Plus


The cost of each package will depend on the specific case, but as a student, you only need to worry about how to use the various Google tools that come with Google Classroom.






Created by Harvard and MIT, edX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider, which offers university-level courses to anyone. As a student, edX is a great way to learn around the subject you’re studying, get a deeper understanding, or gain some clarity on a topic from a different perspective.


The courses are priced individually, with some even being free for anyone, and cover nearly any topic imaginable. edX is mainly accessed through a web browser, but it also offers an app on Google Play and the App Store.



Khan Academy



One of the most famous school apps for students has to be Khan Academy, created by Sal Khan back in 2008 after tutoring one of his cousins online. Since those early days, it has grown to reach millions of people through short videos and online course materials. Now, students from anywhere can learn about math, science, programming, economics, medicine, finance, and more completely free!


Students can go through the content at their own pace to learn something new or plug gaps in the courses taught in their schools or universities.


Khan Academy is mainly accessed via a web browser, but they do also offer a mobile app on Google Play and the App Store.



Calendar Apps for Students

It’s vital to have good scheduling skills as a student. While a teacher or professor will likely dictate your class times, it’s up to you to know what’s supposed to be done and when. The simplest way to do it? Use the best calendar app for students, of course.






Along with all its other features, Spike also offers a powerful calendar tool, with which students can sync all their commitments from any calendar – from class times and video calls to coffee breaks and concerts.


Spike merges all your calendars (Google, Outlook, Apple Calendars, etc.) into a single, unified overview of your schedule, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything ever again. What’s more, all this is in your inbox, so no having to switch apps, and with Spike’s intelligent scheduling, you can RSVP without even opening an email.


Spike’s Calendar is completely free to use for personal addresses, but the platform can be upgraded for use with business addresses for a small amount:


    Offers all of Spike’s features completely free

  2. SOLO (minimum 1 business account)

    $12 per account / month billed annually

  3. TEAM (minimum 2 business accounts)

    $8 per account / month billed annually

  4. BUSINESS (minimum 5 business accounts)

    $7 per account / month billed annually


Spike is available on Mac, Windows, iOS devices, Androids, and the web.






MyStudyLife is designed for the specific needs of educational scheduling, making it one of the best calendar apps for students out there. You can account for rotating weekly schedules and marking in revision time, exams, and even assignments with specific due dates.


What’s more, MyStudyLife is available on Android, iOS, and the Web and is completely free of charge. In addition, your scheduling data is synced across all the apps, making it available at all times, even when offline.


The only downside of MyStudyLife is that it is only a scheduling app, meaning if students are looking for other productivity tools (such as calls, chat, notes, etc.), they will have to get other apps and flick between them.






Sometimes, part of being a student is about looking good on-campus – enter, Timepage from Moleskine, a modern and style-first approach to a calendar app. It comes with various themes and color accents, making it highly customizable. Timepage lays out your calendar as a timeline and offers a more traditional view with a modern twist – a heatmap to help identify your busiest times.


However, as with other calendar apps for students, it only offers a calendar (even if it is a very fancy one), meaning having to switch apps to deal with other tasks. Furthermore, Timepage is currently only available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, so it’s only really an option if you do everything from your iPhone.


There is a 7-day free trial, but it is a paid app requiring a subscription of either:

  • $1.99 / month

  • $11.99 / year

  • $19.99 / year for a Moleskine Studio subscription (Flow, Timepage, and Actions)


Budgeting Apps for Students

Staying on top of your time as a student is child’s play compared to staying on top of your money. This could well be the first time you’re out in the world on your own, and you’re suddenly confronted with the need to balance the books for everything from groceries to transport to… well, books. Here are some of the best budgeting apps for college students out there.






Also known as Intuit Mint, this budgeting app offers students a user-friendly budget planner, so they can track their spending and stay on top of their finances. You can add all your cash, credit cards, investments, and bills to Mint, along with financial goals for saving and overdraft protection alerts.


Mint is part of Intuit, which many people may be familiar with for Turbotax, Quickbooks, and more recently, Mailchimp. However, unlike some of their other services, Mint is a free app making it ideal for finance-focused students.






PocketGuard is a budgeting app focused on showing you exactly how much money you’ve got left to spend in your pocket (even if that pocket is digital these days). You can combine all your bank accounts in a single place, set aside bills, necessities, and keep tabs on your spending.


PocketGuard can also help you track bills to negotiate better rates and hit financial goals, making it one of the best budgeting apps for college students looking to save more.


PocketGuard is available as a free app, but if you want all functionality, you need PocketGuard Plus, which has three tiers:

  • $7.99 / month

  • $79.99 / year

  • $99.99 for a lifetime membership


PocketGuard is available on both iOS and Android devices.



Personal Capital



Personal Capital is a broader financial services company but offers a free money management app on mobile, tablet, and desktop. Users can consolidate all their accounts in a single place to easily track and manage their money and plan for savings and compare investments with the apps “Investment Checkup.”


It’s more geared towards investors and those in need of financial advisory services than students but could be a good option for those not wanting to spend money on a budgeting app.



Time Management Apps for Students

Balancing studying, social life, and the normal demands of daily life can be a challenge, which is why it is so important to manage your time efficiently. Now, there are plenty of time management apps for students out there to help take back control of the day-to-day.



Focus Booster



At its core, Focus Booster is a Pomodoro timer, following the method where you break your day into 25-minute chunks of focus separated by five-minute breaks. However, it’s not just a simple timer, and it also allows users to record sessions to track productivity – perfect for when you’ve got a bunch of deadlines to hit.


Focus Booster is available on both Mac and Windows machines and through a web app. There is a free version of Focus Booster, but it is limited to 20 Pomodoro sessions per month and lacks advanced features such as client tracking.


The Paid version has a couple of options to choose from:

  • $4.99 / month

  • $54.89 / year

Remember the Milk




Remember the Milk is a to-do list and task management app available on the web, on desktops (Mac, Windows, and Linux), as a mobile app (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry 10), on tablets (iPad, Android Tablet, Amazon Fire), and the Apple Watch.


Remember the Milk offers smart task management to take back your time and integrates with several other apps such as Gmail and IFTTT. There is a free basic plan, but it lacks many of the more advanced features, and upgrading costs $39.99 per year.






Toggl has three core products, but to help students manage their time will be toggl track, which allows users to note the hours they’re putting into different projects or tasks. This includes the ability to track time across the web app, desktop apps, mobile apps, browser extension, auto background tracking, calendar integrations, and more.


Toggl offers several packages for the time-tracking tool, including:

  • Free – free for up to 5 users

  • Starter – $9 / user / month, billed annually

  • Premium – $18 / user / month, billed annually


As well as the web apps, Toggl has mobile apps and desktop apps.


Being a student is hard work, but this list of the very best apps for students will help you take back control of your time and energy. From simple note taking to budgeting for the future, there is a tool out there to help you succeed.


For more info on the latest productivity apps or some tips about how to make the most of your time, head to the Spike Blog today.  Or, if you’ve found a tool that helps you to study, let us know by tweeting us @SpikeNowHQ.

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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