Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 6 Organization Apps for College (and Beyond!)

smartphone shows Evernote, an organization app that can be used for college, and blog post title

Organization and productivity go hand-in-hand.  If you're not organized, it's hard to be productive.  Likewise, if you're not productive enough to organize your life, you won't be...organized.  Vicious cycle.  Here are my 6 favorite apps for organization and productivity, in no particular order.

1. Raise the Bar

Something about seeing visual progress toward a goal is just so motivating.  Raise the Bar is a habit-tracking app, but I use it for tracking general goals as well.  You can set a goal for whatever you want, customize the colors, and watch your progress toward your goal increase.  It's really satisfying to go from 36% done to 100% done and the bar changes color.  Or maybe that's just me :) Either way, it's definitely worth a try!  I use it to track my study time, making sure I go to 90% of my class lectures, and forming habits to read, write, and exercise.

2. Timetable

I use this for school.  I input all of my class times, exam times, reading assignments, paper deadlines, presentation dates, EVERYTHING into this app, including details about how many points exams/assignments are worth and which chapter(s) they cover.  Each class has its own color, which is the same color for Raise the Bar study progress and aCalendar entries.  It has Day View and Week View, as well as areas to see tasks and exams for each class.  I LOVE this app for keeping me productive during school.  I can just look at my list of upcoming assignments and exams, and I know exactly what I need to study!  No more wasted time flipping through syllabi and going through old notes trying to find due dates and details!


3. aCalendar

I also put all of my class times into this app, just so I can see when I'm truly available.  I also put in work shifts, appointments, meetings, and every other event in my life on here.  Having everything color-coded is super helpful too (my classes have the same colors in every app).  I have a lot of people who need to meet with me individually, so having all my life commitments in one place minimizes the time it takes to figure out meeting times.  It's also helpful when trying to schedule time to study.  aCalendar syncs with Google Calendar too, so if I need to access my schedule on a device that is not my phone or tablet, I'm not SOL.

4. Todoist

I use this app to keep track of all the non-school tasks I have (although you can easily use it for school aissignment, but I prefer Timetable for that) to complete.  This app breaks down your To Do List in 2 ways: by deadline and by category.  I also have it set to send me a notification each morning of the tasks that are due that day.  I tend to get overwhelmed by the volume of tasks on my list, so being able to get rid of a task once it is complete really helps my stress levels stay down!  Once you complete an item, it magically disappears and your list gets shorter and shorter until you have a blank screen!

5. Evernote

I take class notes in Evernote, scan my syllabi into it (photos are searchable, people!!!), make outlines for papers/projects, draft blog posts, brainstorm blog topics, make lists, and so much more.  The outline feature makes Evernote much easier for taking outline-style notes than MS Word, and everything is synced!  So I can access all my class notes from my tablet, my phone, and any other computer with internet access, and nothing gets lost or thrown away by mistake.

6. Food Planner

Having all my meals for the week planned out in advance eliminates that what-do-I-eat-I-don't-want-to-make-anything feeling that always happens to me.  If I don't know in advance what I'm eating for dinner, I will stand in front of the fridge and bemoan the fact that I have to cook something from scratch, which takes time and energy that I don't have.  I sketch out my week in Food Planner, and then I don't have to think about it.  I cook my food on Sundays for the rest of the week, so all I have to do is heat up the meal that I don't have to decide on and EAT!  Meal planning is a fantastic time management trick that I have learned to cut down on all that wasted time trying to decide what to even eat.

So there you have it, my Top 6 Organization Apps for College (and real life, too).  What tools do you use to organize your hectic life?  Comment with your favorites, I'm always looking for fun new organizational tools!


  1. This is brilliant!! Thank you for your reviews. I definitely need to improve my habits and this seems like the perfect tech way to start.

  2. I like the SplenDO app for to-do lists, since you can organise tasks into different categories. I should probably try that Raise the bar app. Thanks for the tips!