Technology has changed the way in which students approach their education and how teachers present in the classroom. A student has access to a vast number of apps on their computers.
Choosing the right kind of app can help you complete the assignment, gain or retain knowledge, and increase the learning outcome. We’ll show you some of the best Windows apps that are sure to come in handy during this academic year.
Research has shown that note-taking improves your learning outcomes. Microsoft OneNote comes with a wide array of features for capturing information and managing notes. With deep-structure linking syntax, you can connect ideas and information any way you want.
OneNote Class Notebook is a free add-in for OneNote 2016 (and above) and is built into the OneNote app. It is a personal, collaborative workspace for every teacher and student. The teachers can create notebooks for each class and manage which students can access and distribute a content library of handouts.
With the Class Notebook, you can get real-time feedback from your teacher. It can integrate with the learning management system (LMS) to make assignments or submit grades directly from the notebook. If this interests you, read how to efficiently use OneNote at school.
Download: OneNote for Windows 10 | OneNote Desktop 2016 | OneNote Class Notebook (Free)
2. Google Drive
Google Drive is essential software for school and college students. The app comes with a built-in office suite, file syncing, and cloud storage. It allows you and the teacher to share materials, collaborate, and get feedback from them.
Docs help you to write essays and assignments with accurate citations. Follow this tips and tricks to boost your Google Docs productivity. Sheets are great for studying data analysis, statistics, and maths. Slides let you make presentations and review lecture notes given by your teacher.
You can share files with other classmates and teachers, and in turn, they can add comments like notes, feedback, or questions for other collaborators. However, if your school has access to Microsoft 365, you might be eligible for free Microsoft Office subscription.
Download: Google Drive and GSuite for Education (Free)
3. Anki Flashcards
Studying any subject matter involves reading, taking notes, and memorization. Anki is a study tracker app for PC that uses flashcards to remember things. There are two simple concepts behind Anki: active recall testing and spaced repetition. Both these techniques, ensure that whatever you’re learning goes into the long-term memory.
Start by creating decks and note cards. You can include items with some words occluded, basics with optional reversed cards, and more. You can also create a card and customize its settings. The built-in card browser lets you view and edit any note you learned or added recently.
While learning an old or new card, Anki will jumble your cards periodically to check how much you learned or memorize them. It then grades the progress and sync it Windows and mobile apps.
Download: Anki Flashcards (Free)
4. iStudiez Pro
A study planner app for PC can help you organize assignments and keep track of all the activities. With iStudiez Pro, you’ll never lose track of your classes, schedule, and homework. To get started, put all the data from your syllabus with details of classes and exam dates.
The Overview section gives a complete picture of the class schedule along with assignments. You can list out the tasks for that assignment and add a due date. The Assignments section list all the assignments sorted either by priority or due date. You can also keep track of your grades and calculate GPA.
Download: iStudiez Pro (Free trial, subscription required)
5. Wolfram Alpha
Google crawls the web to give you the best possible information. However, it’s not enough for students to learn something new. Wolfram Alpha is a computational search engine to answer any question using a built-in knowledge base and artificial intelligence.
You can use this tool to search for specific information on units, formula, equations, statistics, data analysis, scientific explanation with facts or figures, and more. You get to practice scientific quizzes, mathematical puzzles, or get answers from various topics like finance, calculus, algebra, and statistics with a single click.
Download: Wolfram Alpha (Windows: $3, Subscription available)
LiquidText is a study software for PC to read PDFs. It is designed for non-linear reading that streamlines the process of active reading, making annotations, and note-taking. To the left, you’ll see the document navigation panel and workspace to the right. To begin, highlight the sentence and click AutoExcerpt.
Add a comment (if any) to the excerpt from the popup menu. LiquidText will pull this excerpt to the workspace. As you keep adding the excerpts, you can drag or group them and build connections. You can do this for a single or three documents at once. At last, you can export the annotations as a .DOCX or PDF. It’s also possible to integrate this app with Zotero or Mendeley.
Download: LiquidText (Free, in-app purchase and subscription available)
Zotero is a reference manager that lets you collect, organize, and cite references. It’s an essential school app for your laptop. Each reference constitutes an item, it appears in the center with its metadata (depending on the document type) towards the right. And My Library holds all the items.
When you find an interesting research paper, click the Zotero connector button to clip your articles. The app automatically fills in the relevant metadata, attaches a link, and inserts a PDF if available. Then, add a tag or note to the item.
While working on the assignment, use the word processor plugin or the Zotero option for Google Docs to insert your references as citations. They include Chicago, MLA, APA, and journal-specific styles.
Download: Zotero (Free)
When you’re writing your first draft, it’s common to find spelling mistakes, poorly written sentences, or punctuations used incorrectly. Grammarly is a useful app for students that improves writing quality by identifying and correcting errors related to spelling, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
It offers apps for mobile, tablet, and add-ons for the browser. In addition, you also get other advanced correction tools such as plagiarism, vocabulary enhancement, and grammar help. If your school has a Microsoft 365 subscription, the built-in Microsoft Editor can be useful. Here’s a guide on choosing between Microsoft Editor and Grammarly.
Download: Grammarly (Free, subscription available)
9. Cold Turkey
Online games, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites are in a zero-sum race for your finite attention. As a student, it becomes critical to keep your focus and set aside time for creative activities and sports. Cold Turkey is an essential laptop app for students to block sites and distracting apps.
Select the websites that you want to block and set the time until the restriction mode gets activated. During this period, you cannot disable the program’s function or change the system time. You can request a 20% discount by going to the support page.
Download: Cold Turkey (Free, premium version available)
10. Wondershare Edrawmind
Edrawmind is an intuitive, feature-rich mind-mapping software for students. On the ribbon, you’ll find all the important mindmap elements. You can insert topics, pictures, links, draw relationship lines, add notes, and more. To begin, select a template from the library.
The app offers preconfigured templates, clip art, and vector diagrams. The left panel is your main canvas. In the right, you’ll find options to change the mindmap appearance, add symbols, task due date, view and export outlines, and more.
As a bonus feature, if you disassemble the mindmap into separate branches, the app will automatically create presentation slides from it. Add a background and notes and export it as a PPT file. Students can get a 30% discount on a two-year education plan.
Download: Edrawmind (Free, premium version available)
Todoist is a must-have productivity app for students, as it allows you to create projects and to-do lists, and set reminders for upcoming assignments. It has a clean and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to keep track of your projects and tasks.
You can use Todoist to create projects for your courses at school and add sub-projects for each. For instance, you can create a project for your History course and add a sub-project for each chapter you need to study. This tool allows you to add resources to your projects, such as website links or online test resources. With Todoist, you can ensure that you don’t forget exam dates, assignments, and other project deadlines by adding due dates and setting up reminders.
Download: Todoist (Free, premium version available)
Essentials Websites Every Student Should Bookmark
With the right kind of tools, you can plan, write, organize, and focus on your studies. The desktop apps for students discussed here are free, while some of them like OneNote, Zotero, LiquidText, Google Drive are a must for school and college students.
It’s also critical to balance studies, classes, and co-curricular activities. Apart from this, here are some lesser-known sites that every students should bookmark. Hope you find it useful.