Unlike earlier times when software applications were restricted to the world of computers, in the present date, apps have entered our personal space and now our entire lives are within the reach of smartphones.
Not in a good mood? How about a Netflix binge?
Getting bored on your commute? Time to crush some candies!
Need some motivation? Listen to some TED Talks.
Name it and we have an app for it.
Not just that, apps now act as a supplement to the world of education too, by catering to the educational needs of students. This movement from E-learning to M-learning (or mobile learning) has given students the freedom to easily access information, gain knowledge and boost their career eventually.
So, if you wish to learn about tools that can make a difference to your career success, then you are at the right place. Here are some free apps to help students with their career and education:
A. Time Management/ Productivity Apps
Time management is the most common concern among students. A student has to juggle many tasks simultaneously- homework, exams, extracurriculars, entrance preparation, and the list is endless. In a situation like this, a productivity app that can help you prioritize your work, set time limits for a particular task, prevent last-minute panics and help you reach your milestones can be such a relief.
Here are a few time management apps that can help you manage your time and get your life and studies more organized.
If you want to offload burden from your brain and let an app remember and manage your projects, notes and track your deadlines faster than your brain can recall, then the Evernote app is the perfect hub to sort your chaotic life.
Use it To:
Organize your Notes: Making notes is imperative, and we don’t carry our notebooks everywhere. Sometimes we try to jot down quick notes on a piece of paper or take screenshots of the material, but later end up searching madly through our phones and folders for finding specific notes or information. Evernote helps you organize all your notes together, and include images and graphs wherever required, so that you can easily access them anytime and even share them with friends.
Get More Organized with your Research Material: When researching on the internet for an assignment or making your notes for a chapter, we often come across information in bits and pieces. The Evernote app (and Chrome extension) help you save the information you find on the internet (images, text, graphs, documents) easily into your notebooks and refer to them later.
Manage your Deadlines: Another great feature of the app is the Reminder feature. It keeps a track of all your assignments and projects, and lets you set reminders to manage your long-term and short-term deadlines. Besides this, you can also add your study schedule to it, and the app will help you track it.
Access your Notes, Anytime, Anywhere: The app saves your notes and backs them up in cloud, so that you can access them from any device, without any fear of losing your notes. It also saves your notes in the offline mode so you can access them even when you don’t have an internet connection.
Android, iOS, Windows Phone
There are apps that make your life easier and boost your productivity, and then there are apps that become a cause of distraction. If you too are somebody who is facing this challenge and finding it difficult to tear away from your phone while you have many more important things to take care of, then the Antisocial app can come to your rescue. It basically helps you become ‘Anti-Social’ by managing your app and phone usage.
Use it To:
Monitor your Daily App Usage: The Antisocial app monitors and keeps a track of how much time you spend daily on different apps and social media platforms. It then creates a plan for battling this addiction by setting limits on your phone usage.
Minimise Distractions from Apps: The app is really helpful if you constantly get distracted by different apps and can’t find it within you to ignore notifications. The AntiSocial app gives you the option to block your most distracting apps with the help of the Block App feature.
B. English Language Skills
English being the most dominant and accepted language in professional settings, you must know how to listen and express yourself properly in English to be effective in your career. A good command over it not only helps you boost your confidence, but is also essential to college admissions these days. Your English language skills (vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, verbal communication skills) are evaluated in entrance exams, interviews and group discussions, and thus, performing poorly in this area can cost you a lot!
Here are a few useful apps to improve your English language skills.
If you are someone who has a decent grasp over the English language but is not very fluent in it, or even if you are fairly new to English, then Busuu is the perfect app to master it. Busuu allows you to learn new words and improve your grammar through text, audio and images.
Use it To:
Master your English Language Skills: The Busuu app starts off with a quick test to establish your level, and then suggests lessons accordingly. The lessons include a mix of images, text and audio to help you get a good grip on grammar and vocabulary. When you encounter words you are unaware of or face difficulty with, you can quickly add them to your vocabulary list to visit and practice them later.
Consolidate Newly Learnt Concepts: Another great feature of the app is that it constantly tests your learning from time to time and after every lesson. Their Practice section also allows you to learn the language better and improve your usage by chatting with native speakers of the language.
Learn Foreign Languages: Why stay restricted to only English? The Busuu app contains lessons in over 12 global languages, that you can learn in the same way as English. It never hurts to have an additional skill in your bag, which will help you in the longer-term by not just enhancing your CV, but by also opening avenues in building a career in the language you learn.
Note – All the lessons in the app are not available for free, and if you wish to unlock all the lessons you will have to subscribe to their service. However, the free version does have a good number of lessons available if you do not wish to upgrade.
4. Word of the Day
Just like you cannot learn swimming without getting into the water yourself, you cannot learn a word unless you start using it in your everyday conversation. Word of the Day is the perfect app to improve your vocabulary because it helps you learn words in the right context.
Use it To:
Learn New Words: The Word of the Day app displays one new word every day accompanied by example sentences to help you understand how people use words in their everyday conversations. The app also pushes out regular notifications to remind you to check out the new words added every day.
Test your Existing Vocabulary: Their word pronunciation feature allows you to test your knowledge by taking up quizzes and test your existing skills. To make learning fun, you can even challenge your friends with an option to create a puzzle and share your favourite words with them.
C. Internships and Networking Apps
Internships are a great way to enhance your academic and career development. They help you gain work experience while pursuing your education, gain skills, and get first-hand experience of the field you plan to take up after completing your studies. They also allow you to network with people and get noticed by potential recruiters.
And don’t think that internships are only suitable for college students. As a school student too, you can benefit from internships by getting an experience of a formal work setting, and use it to understand which career you eventually wish to get into.
But the question is where and how do you get yourself an internship? So here are a few websites/apps that will make the process easy for you.
A platform that allows talent to meet industry. This app creates an engaging platform for you to meet potential recruiters and find internships in varied fields such as law, architecture, media, design, engineering and so on.
Use it To:
Search and Apply for Internships: The Letsintern app lets you find the latest internships nearby your area, or in your preferred cities. You can filter internships based on fields and industries to find the ones most relevant to you. The app also has features like custom alerts and bookmarks to make the process of finding suitable internships more convenient.
LinkedIn isn’t just a platform for finding jobs or a social platform for working professionals. It has great (and often overlooked) uses for students too. From finding companies to intern at, to forming networks and connections in the field you wish to get into, LinkedIn can be a virtual treasure trove for students if put to the right use.
Use it To:
Form Useful Professional Connections: The USP of LinkedIn is connections. Connections can be with your classmates, people from other colleges, alumni of your own or other colleges, people working in organizations in your field, industry groups, etc. These connections can come in handy at many stages of your career path, such as researching about a particular career, understanding about a field in greater depth, looking for internships and job opportunities, etc.
Look for Companies to Intern at: The greatest internship or work opportunities are not always listed. A lot of companies might be willing to take on interns, even if they have not actively advertised an opportunity. LinkedIn can be a great help in this case. You can use it to look for different companies in the fields you are interested in, and send them your resume and cover letter, asking for an internship. You’d be surprised to learn that a lot of companies oblige in such cases (provided you are a worthy candidate)!
Note- To make the best use of LinkedIn as a platform, do ensure that your profile is up-to-date and completely filled (including your education, past internships, achievements, etc.)
D. Education and Learning Apps
With the emergence of the digital era, learning practices have been revolutionised. You no longer have to go back and forth to your hardbound notebooks or stare at your self-written notes for hours, when there is someone always available at the click of a button to teach you concepts, help you revise and clear your doubts. Learning apps make use of rich examples and visual cues such as animations, diagrams, videos, etc. to break the monotony and strengthen your learning.
A few learning and educational apps that can make a difference in your academic learning are:
7. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an online platform that empowers students to learn various subjects like mathematics, science, computer programming, history, economics, etc. It makes use of various tools to make learning effective, help students understand their learning gaps and strengthen their knowledge.
Use it To:
Learn Concepts and Strengthen Basics: Khan Academy is a great online resource to understand concepts in various subjects in an easy and engaging manner. Even if you don’t intend to use it as your primary learning resource, you can utilise their videos to supplement your books and fill in gaps in your basics. Their simple lessons, step-by-step instruction and relatable examples help you to grasp concepts more easily and retain them for a longer time.
Test Your Knowledge: After every lesson, you will receive assignments to further sharpen your understanding. Your parents can also opt-in to receive weekly feedback on your performance. Besides assignments, the platform conducts monthly challenges to bring about healthy competition among students.
With 15 million app downloads and 53-minute average time spent every day, BYJU’s is the perfect online tutorial platform if you prefer learning through visual aids. The modules covered by Byju’s are not just restricted to school academics (for class 4th to 12th students), but also cover competitive exams such as NEET, CAT, IITJEE, etc.
Use it To:
Enhance Your Academic Learning: The learning modules in the Byju’s app make use of animations, rich online content and engaging videos to create a holistic environment for your learning. Additionally, it also provides mock test papers, unlimited academic practice test papers as well as quizzes to improve your performance.
Note – You can download their free model to understand how this platform works, but in order to access their course material you have to pay the fee which will depend on your grade and course requirement.
E. General Knowledge and Current Affairs
Awareness of current affairs is an integral part of our understanding of the world. It helps us form an opinion on happenings, debate over solutions, and even makes us more observant of our surroundings. Many entrance exams thus focus on testing your general knowledge, as it helps an admissions board understand your awareness quotient.
General Knowledge can be best accumulated through a constant touch with news and current affairs. Apps are a saviour in this regard because they get you the most current and relevant news, often as soon as it happens.
A lot of students lack the patience as well as the time to read a newspaper on a daily basis, and the Inshorts app is the perfect solution to this. It gives you the latest and most relevant news in crisp, bite-sized pieces (usually within 60 words), making it a lot easier to keep up with the hottest news of the day, without a lot of time commitment.
Use it To:
Keep up with the Latest News on a Tight Schedule: If your hectic schedule doesn’t allow you to read an entire newspaper, or if you lack the motivation to do it, Inshorts can be a boon for you. It gives you about 50 hand-picked news posts per day on various topics such as politics, sports, entertainment, business, etc.
F. Brain Training and Analytical Reasoning
Smartphones are often blamed for distracting young minds, but what if I tell you they can prove to be a wonderful tool to sharpen your brain? There are apps that can help you boost your memory, your brain processing speed, attention span, etc.
School academic curriculum is such that focuses more on learning and theory, and often important skills such as flexible thinking or problem-solving get neglected and remain unpolished.
But worry not, there are apps that can get your brain powers going:
If you are looking to improve and polish your memory, attention, speed and accuracy skills, then Lumosity can prove to be a blessing. The app is divided into three small sections that assess three main areas: Brain Flexibility, Attention, and Memory. By the end of the game, your results are matched with people of your own age group to help you learn your own standing.
Use it To:
Sharpen Your Brain: The app helps you improve your cognitive abilities through challenging games designed to check your speed and accuracy. One such game related to colour matching is called the Stroop Test. In this, you need to match colours with their respective names written next to them.
Improve Your Attention Span: The second part of the app checks how good your brain is at multitasking. It tests how well you perform when your attention gets divided between two or more things. This helps you learn how to focus on necessary information and ignore the unnecessary information.
Calibre your Memory: The third section of the app assesses your spatial recall (i.e. location and visual information recall) of colours and shapes. It contains exercises that check how well you can store and retrieve information from your memory.
All your responses to these tests are timed which help you improve your processing speed as well.
(+1 Bonus) Stress Management and Relaxation
Studying, managing your time, and building your career are all activities that are bound to get stressful from time to time. While all the apps above help you with various aspects of your education and career, there are wonderful apps that help you relieve stress and calm down at the end of a busy day. One such app is Aura.
This meditation app helps you relieve stress and anxiety through three-minute meditation exercises. The best part about Aura is that it lets you personalise the music according to your mood. It checks your age, mood, optimism level before suggesting any music for your mindfulness. Practising these short meditation exercises at the end of each day or when you are feeling extra stressful, can help you enhance your overall well-being and be better at whatever you do.
We hope these apps will prove to be helpful for you in your education and eventual career. If you have more apps downloaded in your phone, do share with us in the comments below!