It’s easy to see your smartphone as a study distraction rather than a helping hand, but this couldn't be further from the truth. From study-buddies to distraction-blockers and lifestyle coaches, check out some of the best apps for students to get ahead.

A lecture on lectures

Between fast talking lecturers and general boredom, not every lesson is noted down. Enter Soundnote, an app that keeps track of audio and text at the same time. Type or hand-write your notes during a lecture and if there is anything you miss or want to revise, simply tap your note on the screen to jump to the corresponding audio. It’s also easily shareable should you need to gain favour with your study group, and one hour of audio is just 25MB. If you already have note-taking locked down, Notability gives you cloud access to your notes, sketches, PDFs, and recorded lectures. It’s a really effective feedback program for group assignments and direct student-teacher contact (scoring a nod as the Apple Editor’s Choice in note-taking and productivity).

For anyone with one of those tutors who writes at an impossible speed before wiping it all off the board immediately, Captureboard allows you take a photo of a whiteboard whilst automatically correcting the perspective for a clear view for later use.

Essay away!

Every semester, without fail, your individual subjects will join forces and plot their essay and exam deadlines right next to each other. Relax! Your phone is here to help.

Start with Any.Do, the ultimate to-do list using text or your voice to create new tasks, prioritise events, and sync across your devices. Think of it like re-learning to use your diary: a tiny bit of effort now, payoff later.

Make your phone work for you, not distract you. Trusty HSC and undergraduate English reference Cliffsnotes has made its way into the 21st Century and is now an online guide to virtually every character, plot or theme in a prescribed text (for better or for worse, it solved this writer’s Shakespeare issues in a flash). Those on the maths side of the spectrum are also catered for with Mathway, providing step-by-step guides for virtually every aspect of mathematics.

For the more research-heavy assignments, EasyBib takes the hassle out of bibliographies with its automatic citation generator in over 7,000 styles including MLA, APA, and Harvard referencing. Less time referencing = more time watching Game of Thrones.

Study, Study, Study

It’s the end of semester and holidays are a couple weeks away, but a minefield of exam preparation still stands in the way. Your secret weapon? Free learning platform GoConqr, which has study portals, mind maps, flashcards, quizzes, and notes to boost your potential, plus a study planner and progress tracker to get you over the line. This study super buddy is specifically based on Australian textbook editions, and it also syncs to all your devices so you can study and share on the go.

Mobile procrastination is one of the hardest things to overcome, but it may be an app that’ll come to your rescue. SelfControl blocks your most distracting websites for a set period of time, allowing you to pay attention to the essentials, and reward yourself for the effort.

Choices, Choices

Being a student isn’t all study and exams; of course, there are the eating, drinking, and entertainment choices you have to make between classes. Naturally, there’s an app to help you every step of the way.

For those who live from a half-empty fridge, Mealboard plans healthy meals and recipes based on what you can chuck together at home. For the $5 steak connoisseurs, there are plenty of options for staying fit when the daily pub specials become too much a part of your weekly diet. Try WorkIt (Android), 7 Minute Workout, or Nike Training Club for free, trackable workouts that will whip you into shape.

Everyone’s pulled an all-nighter, whether it was an emergency cram, or you “accidentally” ended up bingeing on Breaking Bad. Sleep Cycle can help get your sleep patterns back on track. Monitoring your body movements and sleeping time to wake you up at the lightest stage of your sleep cycle, the app works to get you back into a regular rhythm and sleep more effectively. At worst you will feel a little less exhausted after the exam period streak of all-nighters, at best you wake up fresh and keen for that 10:00AM lecture. We can dream, right?

When it’s time to wind down, entertainment can also be inspiring. The TED Talk App is an ever-growing database of enlightening and knowledge-expanding talks. But after a hard day’s learning, you might just need to crush another Adventure Time marathon.

You’ve earned it!

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Cameron Jenkins

Social Writer

Cameron Jenkins,
Social Writer

Cameron is a social strategist who specialises in video content and youth marketing. Cameron is skilled in Snapchat, sports tech, and streaming the NBA.