7 Best Helpful Websites and Apps for College Students In 2021

7 Best Helpful Apps For College Students In 2020
Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Study Consultant at Gradehacker

Your phone won’t be a distraction with these awesome apps and websites to survive college.

Websites and apps for college are a must-go in this day and age. Don’t believe me? Count how many times you check your phone throughout the day and tell me if it wouldn’t be great to actually make your college life easier instead of sharing memes on social media all day.

Many students like you see the potential of using their computers and smartphones to find a reliable ally to keep all their college life aspects together. Do you need a website to make citations faster? Do you want an app to keep you focused or relaxed? What about an app for helping you with your homework and schoolwork? You can practically find anything these days, and you only have to read this article to find out which digital tools our Gradehacker clients and consultants are using to make the college academic journey much more bearable.

Whether you are just starting college this year, or you are a non-traditional student coming back for round two (or even three), this “7 Best Helpful Websites And Apps For College Students In 2020” article will tell you the good and the bad about useful digital tools for college.

Let’s begin!

If you’re more into videos, you can also find this and other articles on our Youtube channel.

1) Course Hero: online notes and essays from your classmates

Available for Web Browsers, iOS, and Android

Course Hero is one of the most popular websites, and it is a favorite of everyone who works with Gradehacker. If you want to check an honest, in-depth review of the benefits and cost of Course Hero, you can visit one our previous posts. However, if you want a quick insight into why this website and app is fantastic, keep reading. Course Hero is a real lifesaver when you want some extra inspiration to write your own original content or just want to check if you are on the right track following confusing instructions from your online professor. 

Since it is a document sharing platform that lets you see other people’s content by uploading your own, it is possible to have access to essays, discussions, and reports made by others who took the same classes as you. You can also access the 24/7 Ask a Tutor feature to ask an expert a question in the area and get an email with the answer in less than 15 minutes.

One con about Course Hero is that this unlock system might be annoying for people who only want one specific document. Still, you can also pay a subscription that ranges from $9.95 to $39.95, depending on the plan you chose for those who want full access.

7 Best Helpful Websites and Apps for College Students In 2020

2) Grammarly: check your spelling and your grammar online

Available for Web Browsers, iOS, and Android

Spelling and grammar can be a nuisance when you write an extended essay, and you don’t even know what you are saying anymore. Instead of freaking out because you don’t know if you spelled the word “definitely” correctly (hint: yes, you are right this time), you can install Grammarly on your browser and have this program check any misspelled words you may have in your document. Also, you can use their powerful plagiarism checker to see what percentage your writing resembles others.

Many students say that one con is the fact that you have to pay a subscription of $19.98 monthly. Yet we believe it’s well worth the ability to get an unlimited number of words checked and advice on how to make your text look even more awesome. Still, many people say the free version is good enough for any desperate writer who wants to improve their spelling and grammar structure with just a few clicks.

For a complete and honest review of Grammarly and it’s benefits, costs, and features; we invite you to visit our in-depth post and video. 

3) Chegg Tutor: homework solutions for last-minute student questions

Available for Web Browsers, iOS, and Android

So, you are stuck in a question or problem while studying or doing your homework. You ask your friends, and they feel just as lost as you…they have no idea what to do. The time is ticking, and you need to submit this assignment like, right now, but you are totally at a loss. When you are in this situation, you can go and ask Chegg for help.

Chegg is a website and app that lets you ask an expert those questions that are driving you insane through audio, video, chat, or photo. Once you contact them, they will help you solve your doubts as much as possible. You’ll finally understand what’s in your textbook or assignment. This feature is perfect when you feel you are stuck in a particular place and are out of ideas on how to resolve it. Let Chegg tutors take the load off of you because they are quite knowledgeable and pass a selection process in order to work on this website.

One interesting thing about this website is that you can find other similarly useful services such as book renting when you don’t want to spend $100 on a textbook you will only use once. You can also check their plagiarism checker, study prep platform, and many other features to make your assignments and study time easier.

Chegg is quite complete, but, as always, that comes with a price. You can use a free account, but to access all the features (which are pretty awesome and addictive once you try them), you have to pay $14.95 per month. At first glance, it seems like a fair price, but additional services are sometimes not covered. When you are already paying other subscriptions, this might look like a downside.

7 Best Helpful Websites and Apps for College Students In 2020

4) Flipd: productivity on your phone

Available for iOS and Android

You know the drill. You have decided to stay focused on your essay, so you put your phone down so that those funny memes your friends send you won’t distract you. A few minutes pass, and you feel you need some sort of reward for being such a productive student. You tell yourself, you’ll only check one notification, but then an hour later, you are still scrolling through cute dog videos.

How do you stop being like this? Well, you can hide your phone in your freezer, or you can install Flipd. This app is quite interesting because you can lock your devices for one hour, days, or other specified times. Of course, if you absolutely have to check what’s going on in social media, you can unlock your phone before the time is up. However, you will be lowkey judged by this app for giving up. Nothing like some old shame to make you keep working, right?

Maybe one downside of Flipd is that some functionalities are locked away unless you pay a subscription: $0.99 per month or $6.99 for an annual subscription. Others might find this app too “judgy” and just don’t think this “tough-love” approach is right for them. Still, for phone addicts, this might be the right solution to find some self-discipline finally.

5) Citation Machine: APA and MLA made so easy

Available for Web Browsers

Citations can be a real nightmare when you are writing an essay. So many conventions and so many rules! Obviously, you can feel overwhelmed about them, even more so if part of your grade depends on your formatting skills. We already made an easy peasy quick guide to APA and MLA citations. Still, if you are tired and you just want to close the damn computer and sleep until the world ends, you can always use Citation Machine. Thanks to its search bar option, you can type your source’s title. No matter if it’s a journal, website, book, or anything else, Citation Machine will find the title and format it for you. MLA, APA, Chicago, you name it. This website will put all the information in order, so you only have to copy and paste the results onto your reference page. How cool is that?

If there are any cons to this website, is that you have to watch a video to earn 48-hour access to the website. Usually, this task doesn’t last more than three minutes, but it can be tiresome for someone who only wants to finish the work as soon as possible. If you don’t want to do this, you can pay a $9.95 monthly subscription fee to have unlimited access completely ad-free.

7 Best Helpful Websites and Apps for College Students In 2020

6) Notion: Powerful Note-Taking, Life Organizer, and Increase Productivity

Available for Web Browsers, iOS, and Android

Notion is an incredibly powerful, yet intuitively easy to use workspace. It allows you to write notes, plan using kanban views or calendars, and record everything you need. It is basically like your life database where you can access it at any time and anywhere. 

The Notion app provides pre-made templates which we believe is extremely useful for note taking. Create tasks lists the same way you would for a planner. Or take it a step further, and organize your entire semester or multiple classes in a calendar so you see all your assignments and their due dates in one single view.

One of the biggest reasons why we think Notion is so great is because it is completely customizable. You can create your own layouts, dropdowns, and options. Text is not the only thing you can bring into Notion; you can even upload files and images. 

If you are working on a group project you can also invite classmates or colleagues to collaborate on the app in an extremely organized and effortless format. Seriously, this is one of our favorites.

There is a free personal use version, but if you want more features such as unlimited file uploads or guests, then you’ll have to invest $4 monthly. Yet, there is a full premium version for free if you sign up with a school email address. So study smarter and not harder by downloading Notion.

Notion App Class Notes

7) Calm: take a rest and unwind your busy brain.

Available for iOS and Android

So, you reached the last entry of this list, and I bet you are a bit tired after a long day of studying, working, and being a responsible member of society. When you are too wired up, and your mind just doesn’t seem to cooperate and stay quiet, you can use Calm to send your brain to the path of meditation.

This app is a little gem, among other similar ones related to relaxation. You can find guided and unguided meditation tutorials, sessions to train your mind to be more focused, and sleep stories. What are those? These are perfect soothing audio reading for the ones who suffer insomnia or night anxiety. Just like when you were little, and your parents told you a bedtime story, Calm will do the same job for you through your phone.

One con you might find for this app is that you have to pay $6 monthly to access the full content even if it has free features. Some say that you can find the same stories and meditation guides for free on YouTube, and I am sure that’s true. However, for those who just want to have everything in one place, Calm seems like the right choice.

Why are Apps so important for College Students?

The college journey can be a bumpy road but finding the right strategies and help to survive is something you have to always keep in mind to be as successful as possible in your academic endeavor. Apps not only need to be fun; they can also be useful. As time goes by, you will realize that the problems you often face have simple solutions. Instead of dreading and making an annoying situation much more nagging than it really is, go and install the apps we have just recommended to make your phone no longer a source of distraction but instead a source of much-needed help.

Still, want to know how to make your college experience more manageable? You might be interested in these blogs:

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega is a Study Consultant and Content Creator for Gradehacker. She has a degree in Education and Literature and is currently working on getting a master’s degree in Linguistics. Even though words, languages, and books are her thing, science and psychology were her hidden passion for many years. Luckily, Gradehacker has allowed her to use all that knowledge by helping many clients with everything they need. Javiera considers herself a proud nerd who likes to learn and read about everything she can find. From movies and comics to microbiology and genetics, every topic is interesting for her. Her curiosity has no limits. Find her on LinkedIn

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