BlogLeon Zucchini8 min read

14 Best Productivity Apps for Students in 2022

14 Best Productivity Apps for Students in 2022

This is our list of 14 top productivity apps for students to get more done and improve your grades. 🚀

University is an exciting time, but it can be stressful. Sometimes it can seem there are just not enough hours in the day.

There are hundreds of apps to help you do your coursework, but which ones should you use? This is our list of favourites to help you out. All of them let you get started for free, so give them a try!

Overview

  • Writing documents: Office 365, Google Workplace

  • Taking notes: Notion, OneNote, Evernote

  • Tracking tasks: Trello, Todoist

  • Chatting: Slack, MS Teams

  • Managing citations: Mendeley, Zotero

  • Keeping your passwords safe: LastPass, 1Password

  • Finding things: Curiosity

Let’s dive right in!

Writing documents

Writing documents is a big part of student life. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace both include a huge amount of functionality for free. Which you prefer is mainly a matter of taste and it’s likely you’ll end up using both at some stage.

Office 365

O365 is Microsoft’s suite for documents (Word), presentations (PowerPoint), spreadsheets (Excel) and more. You can use it online or install the local apps for more functionality.

There’s a reason Microsoft leads the office software space: The tools make it easy to get started but still pack a huge amount of functionality. The only drawback is that real-time collaboration in O365 is not quite as snappy as in Google (though it’s improved a lot).

  • What we like: Lots of functionality

  • What we don’t like: Collaborative editing could be faster

  • Price: Free for students

Image from Microsoft

Google Workspace

Google Workspace also includes a full set of tools for editing documents (Docs), presentation (Slides), and spreadsheets (Sheets). It lives in your browser and it’s deeply integrated with Google Drive (cloud storage) and Chrome (browser).

Google Workspace is lightweight and makes it easy to get started quickly. Where it really shines is real-time collaboration (e.g. editing a presentation at the same time as somebody else).

The only drawback of Google Workspace is that it lacks some of the deep functionality available in O365, e.g. advanced formatting for thesis-sized documents.

  • What we like: Snappy, easy to get started, real-time collaboration

  • What we don’t like: Lacks some advanced features of O365

  • Price: Free for students

Image from Google

Taking Notes

No matter what you’re studying, taking notes is a big part of student life.

Notion

Notion is a tool for note-taking, wiki, collaboration, task management and more. It’s is a flexible and powerful tool with a large and dedicated following: Hardly a week goes by without someone telling us how much they love Notion and use it for everything.

  • What we like: Flexible and powerful

  • What we don’t like: -

  • Price: Free for personal use

Image from Notion

OneNote

Microsoft OneNote lets you type and hand-write notes organised into Notebooks. It doesn’t offer features like task-management, but it comes with the O365 package and integrates nicely with the other Microsoft tools.

  • What we like: Handwriting and typing, integration with O365

  • What we don’t like: Less flexible than Notion — it really is just note-taking

  • Price: Free with O365

Image from Microsoft

Evernote

Evernote is a well-known tool that lets you type notes, annotate PDFs, and clip web pages. It even includes a handwriting scanner and task management. The downside is that the free version severely crippled so you’ll probably need to pay 5€ per month for the Pro version.

  • What we like: OCR (text scan) and search, web clipper, strong text editor

  • What we don’t like: Lacks the sheer flexibility of Notion

  • Price: Severely limited free plan, Pro 4,80€/m for 1y with a student discount

Image from Evernote

Tracking tasks

Jumping between classes and assignments, you’ll probably need some way of tracking your upcoming tasks.

Trello

Trello helps you keep track of tasks by creating cards on a board and moving them across columns. It’s a wonderfully simple and snappy tool that we’ve used for years.

Shared Trello boards are also a great way to organise group work. They help avoid long and messy email chains or chats.

  • What we like: Simple, snappy, free

  • What we don’t like: -

  • Price: Free (there are paid plans but it takes a long time to hit the limits)

Image from Trello

Todoist

Todoist is another favorite of ours for task tracking. We like its sleek design as a task tracker and the seamless sync. If you get the premium version, it even includes natural language capabilities, e..g. “Study group meeting Monday at 10am” will automatically create a reminder for you.

  • What we like: Sleek, seamless sync

  • What we don’t like: -

  • Price: Free, Pro plan 3€

Todoist

Chatting

A tool to chat with your classmates is a great addition to messy WhatsApp groups. You’ll probably end up using whatever most of your people use, but if you have a choice Slack and MS Teams are both great.

Slack

We love Slack and use it constantly. Slack is a chat tool that sorts conversations into (public or private) channels. That gives you a natural way of sort conversations about different classes or projects. You can also use it for video calls, though that can be unreliable. It’s fast, free (you probably won’t need the Pro version), and has a great mobile app.

  • What we like: Fast, reliable, free

  • What we don’t like: Video calls are still unreliable

  • Price: Free plan (see only the last 10k messages), 1€/m for Pro with the student discount

Image from Slack

Microsoft Teams

Teams is another great chat/call tool that recently overtook Slack in terms of users. It also offers threaded chats and video calling. Teams is free for students and integrates very well with Microsoft O365, for example you can upload Excel files to a chat and work on them together online.

  • What we like: Fast, reliable, free

  • What we don’t like: Card-view of threads within a chat (below) — but that’s a question of preference

  • Price: Free for students

Image from Microsoft

Managing citations

At some stage in your studies you will probably write papers or theses. For those a citation manager is useful to help organise your sources and ensure you’re citing properly.

Mendeley

Mendeley an online citation manager. It’s aimed mainly at researchers, but it’s also useful for students. It also includes a lot of pre-collected information on papers to spare you time typing names and dates, and you can use it with collaborators.

  • What we like: Simple to use, pre-filled information

  • What we don’t like: Mendeley is owned by Elsevier

  • Price: Free

Image from Mendeley

Zotero

Zotero is a desktop citation manager lets you manage your sources. It looks a bit more old-school than Mendeley, but it’s totally free and open source.

  • What we like: Easy to get started and open-source

  • What we don’t like: The interface looks a bit old

  • Price: Free

Image from Zotero

Keeping your passwords safe

A password manager might be one of the best things you can do for online security and peace of mind. Honestly, get one of these — they’re both great.

LastPass

LastPass is a popular alternative that lets you generate a new crazy complicated password for each account… and then remembers them for you. It also comes with a plug-in that makes it easy to fill password fields and mobile apps.

  • What we like: Easy, cross-platform

  • What we don’t like: -

  • Price: Free tier, 2€/month for Pro (compare them)

Image from LastPass

1Password

1Password is also lets you generate and store passwords for all your accounts. And it also comes with mobile apps and a browser plug-in. We use 1Password to manage our logins.

  • What we like: Easy, cross-platform

  • What we don’t like: -

  • Price: 1.50€/month with a student discount

Image from 1Password

Finding things

Curiosity

With files and messages spread around lots of apps and folders, finding what you need can be a frustrating waste of time. That’s why we built Curiosity: It gives you one search for all your folders and apps. With everything at your fingertips you can get more done.

Curiosity also includes a keyboard shortcut to call up search from anywhere. You can also use it to create documents, find icons, and even launch video calls — all with the same shortcut.

  • What we like: Easy setup, search across tools

  • What we don’t like: Ok we’re biased 😄

  • Price: Free, 1€/month for Pro with the student discount

Curiosity

And that’s it! We hope the apps in this list help you get great grades and enjoy your time as a student.

To try Curiosity for free, download it from our website. Or follow us on Twitter.

Try Curiosity today

Download for free

Keep in touch

Sign up for updates, productivity tips and new features, and offers.
Unsubscribe any time.

Privacy policy | Terms of Service | Blog | Docs