7 Productivity Apps for Students – Tech Hacks to Instantly Improve Productivity


Ever found yourself searching for “student hacks for online classes”? With things gone virtual, remote learning also has you seeking college assignment hacks.

Although this paradigm shift in learning is new, it’s not unfathomable that students can indeed leverage technology to study so much better. There are some great productivity apps on the market in 2022 that help students to increase focus, save time, and stay accountable. 

Well, after sifting through all this information, here are 7 best productivity apps for students that you can leverage for tech hacks to instantly improve your productivity.

1. Todoist 

Feeling overwhelmed with too many things to do and no idea where to begin? You probably need the helpful Todoist, an app that helps students (and everyone, really) manage their task lists. Your memory is finite, and note paper with scribbles can easily get misplaced or smudged.

Use a tool like Todoist to help you keep track of all your tasks (even personal ones like chores or social appointments) and stay on top of them (you can set priority levels). No more forgetting to submit that assignment or to complete your readings before the next lecture…oh ya, it’s also a great help during group projects as it helps you and your teammates stay updated and synced right up to presentation day (psst, you can even delegate tasks LOL).

Todoist is a great way to get organised and get stuff done, which is a great skill for when you start #adulting. Works on any device too!

2. If This Then That 

Those studying programming will likely get this, as this clever app mirrors the commands in raw code. It’s also exactly what the If This Then That app, also known as IFTTT, does — automate your tasks.

This app ain’t the least bit technical though, as it doesn’t require the user to know coding. After getting IFTTT, you can integrate it with various other apps to start the automation and to regain those precious 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there of your life (all adds up to a lot hor).

For example, there are Google Assistant integrations that allow you to create custom voice commands when you connect your Google Assistant. You can even pick from popular automations, such as adding a new to-do item in your iPhone Reminders, turn your lights to bedtime mode, and even set up a new task on Todoist. Music fans can also use IFTTT to automatically sync their Soundcloud likes to their Spotify account.

3. Brain.fm

Ever felt like you concentrate better in a certain environment or feel more productive when you listen to a particular song? You’re not imagining things, ‘cause it’s true! Think about trying to cram for a history exam when there’s loud construction outside your home, and how smooth your report-writing goes when you listen to a tune with decisive but not jarring beats.

That’s exactly how Brain.fm aims to help you — by using its patented tech with science-backed research to send the right kind of functional music so that you can be at peak productivity and control your mental state at will. Sounds great, especially if you’re one who is easily distracted!

4. Evernote

So many notes, so much to do… Isn’t jotting down what your lecturer says or making annotations to help you better understand the content, all part and parcel of a student’s life? Woe betide if you forget to take down that fleeting comment that could help get you extra credit during an assignment or boost your final exam score! Even worse if you try to locate where you wrote it later and realise you’re unable to Control+F through your hardcopy textbook…

That’s where Evernote comes in. It’s a bit like Todoist, as it helps you stay on top of tasks and keep track of your to-do lists (you can sync it with your Google Calendar). And with a lot of our learning and research done online today (think presentation lecture slides and online research), Evernote really helps with organising all your notes plus allowing you to clip web pages and annotate them digitally.

Did we mention you can easily do a search and the related note(s) will pop up? You can also add keyword tags and check your notes offline.

5. Forest

If you often struggle with staying focused, for instance, can’t stop scrolling through your TikTok feed, we relate. Perhaps Forest can help ya out. It’s simple, actually. When you plant a tree on the Forest app, your tree will grow while you focus on your work. Leave the app halfway and your tree will shrivel up and die. OH NO! 

You don’t want that, do you? With time (and focus), your brain learns to be less distracted and your habitual social media binge-reflex lessens. Meanwhile, your work actually gets done and your Forest app will be full of lush, healthy trees.

Top tip: This also works at the dinner table or during project discussions. Use Forest and make sure no one touches their phone during the meal so that you can all be truly present and make the time spent as efficient and rewarding as possible.

6. Engross Pomodoro Timer 

If you have zero passion for plants and the cutesy Forest app doesn’t cut it for you, another app to improve your focus is Engross, with its Pomodoro Timer.

Actually…Pomodoro refers to the Pomodoro Technique, which helps us manage time by going with the flow. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s not. With this system, we work with the time we have, rather than against it. Say you study or work from 9am to 4pm. WIth the Pomodoro Technique, you break this up into periods of 25 minutes each with no distractions, followed by 5 minutes of rest in between…rinse and repeat 3 more times before taking a longer 30-minute break. Kinda sounds like HIIT for your schedule, innit? Yup, as you guessed it, one interval is referred to as one “pomodoro”.

7. MindMeister 

Last but not least in this list of top productivity apps is MindMeister. Nope, it’s not yet another hack for your mind, but it’s an app that helps you create mind maps to visualise some tough info/concepts and even work collaboratively on them.

You’ve probably seen some classmates take notes by drawing a mind map on paper. Somehow, this works, and at the end of the lesson, they’d have established all the relevant points and linkages through this visual tool that helps them digest and retain the information better.

Research has shown that mind-mapping also encourages meaningful learning (read: opposite of rote learning), is less likely to send you to sleep during revision than poring through all the walls of words in your textbook, and can even help to distill complicated information into bite-sized chunks. Oh, and mind-mapping could also boost your creativity and logic skills.

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