8 Essential Apps for Back to School


Staff member
Mar 24, 2011
Time to hit the books, but not without a few apps to help you out this school year.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

These apps will help you with classwork, homework, and studying, and also keep you in touch with the world outside of school activities. Now all you need to remember to do is use them.

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Install your favorites from the list below:

SimpleMind Free (Android, iOS)

When you're trying to write a paper, but just can't get your thoughts organized, try using a mind map. You can add ideas and then rearrange the chart connections to fit the assignment.

EasyBib (Android, iOS)

If you want to skip trying to figure out which information to include in your citations, let this app do the work for you. Just scan the bar code on the back of your book and bam! The citation is saved in a list with other books you've scanned.

SuperCard Flashcards (Android) or Flashcards+ (iOS)

Don't spend an hour or more writing out flash cards, just so you can lose the one with the answer to question No. 1 on your exam! Instead, use one of these apps, which will let you add info to both sides of a virtual card, quiz yourself, and mark problem cards that you need to review more frequently.

Google Drive (Android, iOS) and Dropbox (Android, iOS)

Not every assignment fits the note card study method. These two cloud storage apps offer a great place to keep your longer notes so you can study on the go. If you didn't type your notes, you can "scan" them in with a photo.

Google Now (Google Search app) (Android, iOS)

This app will deliver reminders, commute times, package tracking statuses, movie times, news, stocks, sports, and voice search -- perfect for the busy student.

RealCalc Scientific Calculator (Android) or PCalc (iOS)

Forgot your calculator in the dorm, or even at home, and now you need it in class? Provided your professor doesn't mind you having a phone or tablet in your work space (might want to ask first), these apps are great alternatives.

Duolingo (Android, iOS)

Want a bit of extra practice for your foreign-language course? Duolingo turns language learning into a game that encourages you to progress with achievements, a health bar, and reminders to play.

MyHomework Student Planner (Android) or iStudiez (iOS)

Instead of trying to squeeze class schedules, assignments, project deadlines, study groups, and grades into your calendar, try using a planner app designed for students. Both options look great, and offer you all the organization you'll need to get through the year.