Let’s be honest.
You’re busy, and you have a million things on your plate. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed between keeping up with schoolwork, juggling extracurricular activities, and trying to maintain a social life.
Fortunately, there are tools that can help! Many apps, services, and websites claim to be useful, but which ones are actually worth using? And which ones are free?
To answer those questions, I’ve compiled a list of the top five free study tools for students. From note-taking apps to grammar checkers, these tools are designed to help you stay focused, organized, and on top of your studying.
Let’s dive in.
1. Forest – Stay Off Your Phone
Forest has a fun premise: avoid distractions by planting a virtual tree that will grow as long as you stay focused without opening any other apps. If you don’t make it to the end of its 25-minute timer, your tree will die. This is kind of silly, but it works! There have been many times when I’ve wanted to use my phone but avoided it since I didn’t want to kill my little tree.
The app also allows you to set goals, such as planting 25 trees per day or establishing a virtual forest. Having this kind of personal touch can be a fun way to keep track of your progress and motivate yourself to focus longer each time.
The app is free and can be used on most mobile devices, though there are premium options for $1.99 if you want access to additional features.
If you want to avoid distractions while you’re doing schoolwork, try Forest.
2. Obsidian – Take Good Notes
Obsidian Notes is a note-taking app that can also be used as an editor or knowledge base. You can use it to take notes in classes, keep track of your research for papers, or organize anything else you want to keep track of.
You can create new pages from scratch or import text from other files. It’s easy to organize all of your notes with tags and folders to keep everything tidy.
Obsidian’s biggest strength is its flexibility. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You can customize the look and feel of the app with themes and change its behavior with plugins. If you’re easily distracted, there’s even a mode that hides everything but the text on the page: no menus, no buttons, only words.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Evernote or Google Docs that puts your notes at the front and center without any distractions, Obsidian Notes might be worth checking out.
3. ToDoist – Keep Track of Assignments
You need a way to track your assignments, tests, and anything else required for your classes. ToDoist lets you organize your to-do list in a simple manner. There are many different to-do list tools on the market, but ToDoist shines because of its simplicity. You don’t have to spend a lot of time setting it up. You can just add your to-dos and get to work.
It can help you manage and organize your time by allowing you to add due dates and reminders so that nothing gets left behind. You can easily share your task lists with friends or family in case they need to help out with something. ToDoist also has a feature that allows you to set up recurring tasks so that it becomes easy to schedule things that pop up often.
If you forget when things are due or never know what to work on, you should try ToDoist.
4. Grammarly – Avoid Easy Essay Mistakes
Grammarly helps you identify and fix writing mistakes no matter where you write online. It’s a free browser extension or desktop application that identifies spelling and grammatical errors while also suggesting ways to correct them.
Grammarly is an invaluable tool for editing homework assignments, research papers, essays, or even emails. It catches errors in your work before you can turn them in, so you don’t have to stress about being penalized for silly mistakes.
You can even get an explanation as to why Grammarly suggests a particular correction so that you learn from your mistakes and continue to improve your writing skills!
When I had to review other students’ papers, I was surprised by how many corrections I could make by simply checking their papers with Grammarly. The free version will help you correct all of the large errors in your writing.
5. Quizlet – Prepare For Tests
Quizlet is the best-known flashcard app, and for good reason. It’s terrific for learning definitions, formulas, and any other material that can be broken down into a series of facts. It’s so easy to create your own sets using text, images, or audio cards. If you don’t have time to correct your own content, you can search for pre-made sets created by other users.
Quizlet shines due to the variety of ways it tests your knowledge. When it’s time to test your knowledge, Quizlet offers many different study modes, including match (where you are shown two sides of a card and must correctly connect them) and write (which displays one side of a card at a time while waiting for you to type the correct answer). It also allows you to use common flashcard techniques like the Leitner method.
Quizlet will track which types of questions you get wrong over time so you know where to focus your future efforts.
Even More Tools
Notion is a productivity tool that allows you to keep track of notes, tasks, and projects in one place. You can create different pages for different subjects, take notes during lectures, and share information with others.
Habitica is a productivity app that turns your to-do list into a role-playing game. You can earn points and rewards for completing tasks, and level up your character as you progress. This can be a fun and motivating way to stay on top of your schoolwork and other responsibilities.
MyNoise is a website that offers a wide range of customizable background noise generators, including sounds like rain, ocean waves, and white noise. It can be helpful if you need background noise to help you focus while studying.
I hope you found a few useful tools on this list that you can use to improve your studying routine. These tools, however, are only a small part of the equation. While they can certainly assist you in making the most of your study time, they are not a substitute for hard work.
Don’t get too focused on the tools, because the most important part is sitting down and getting to work.