Monday, June 26, 2017

The Best Apps for College Students

Hello, beautiful! A strange, but fun fact about me is I'm OBSESSED with downloading new apps onto my iPhone. I'm constantly looking for new apps to experiment with, and I love discovering novel ways to implement technology into my everyday life.

Today, I'm going to tell you all about my favorite apps I've ever downloaded to help you determine the best apps for your life as a college student. And, of course, I'm always looking for new suggestions on apps to try out - so, let me know in the comments below if one of your favorites didn't make the cut!

For the most part, I keep the apps on my iPhone carefully organized into categories, so I can always find what I'm looking for. So, as I take you through the apps on my phone, I'll be taking you through category-by-category so you can also see how I organize my phone!

Additionally, if you want the full run-down of how I organize my iPhone, scroll to the bottom and sign up for my free e-mail list to get access to my password-protected printable library. Inside, you'll find my free printable guide, How I Organize My iPhone! So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started :)


A view of my to-do list in One List 

One List (Free with ads, iOS and Android)

One List is like your one-stop-shop for the perfect to-do list. Instead of asking you to create dozens of lists, One List keeps your to-dos organized in one spot. What makes this app unique is its color-coded prioritization system, which keeps you on track to accomplish the most important tasks of the day first. The only thing I don't love about this app is the pesky ads, which you have to pay to get rid of; however, I happen to think it's worth it for the dozens of hours of procrastination this app has saved me over the past few weeks. 

Google Calendar (Free, iOS, Android and Web)

Google Calendar might seem basic to those of you who have been using it FOR-EVER, but it still tops my list of all-time favorite apps for college students! I especially love Google Calendar as a blogger because it allows you to create multiple calendars. So, I can sync my everyday calendar with my content calendar, or view them on their own to keep my blog and life separate. Additionally, I love that I can sync my calendar with Ryan's so that we can see each other's class schedules when we're apart during the school year - that way we know when we can and can't text or call.

Spark (Free, iOS)

After I deleted my Mail app in a fit of rage, I discovered the magic of Spark. Spark organizes your email into categories based on its importance, so you don't have to read all 100 of those store newsletters if you don't want to. All the important emails automatically go to the top of your inbox, while newsletters and promotional emails are kept separate at the bottom. You can also pin important emails to the top of your inbox, so you'll never lose that important sponsored post opportunity or class syllabus again! 

Life Wheel (Free, iOS and Android)

I just downloaded Life Wheel, and I already love it! LifeWheel helps you lead a more balanced life by creating goals in all areas of your life, rather than hyper-focusing on one or two goals. To start using the app, you first rate your satisfaction in a bunch of areas of life, ranging from money to family to "life brightness." Then, the app guides you through setting goals in all areas of your life (with sub-tasks to help you reach them faster!). Each goal raises your life satisfaction by however many points you choose. So, the sooner you start working toward your goals, the more balanced and fulfilling your Life Wheel becomes! 

Tally (Free, iOS and Android; $3.99 for full version) 

Tally is a little bit like Life Wheel in that it helps you set and achieve your goals. Essentially, it's a habit-tracker that can let you know how many times per day, week, month or year you've completed a particular action. For me, some of the actions I track include the number of cups of coffee I drink per week (usually somewhere between 7 and 14, in case you were wondering) and how many days per week I successfully go without spending money (my target number of days is 5). The only downside of this app is that you can only track up to 3 habits with the free version of the app, so I would recommend you splurge the $3.99 for the paid one if you can help it. 


My Venmo profile (feel free to send me $$ for my college fund...just kidding.)

Venmo (Free, iOS and Android)

If you're in college, chances are your friends are already all about Venmo! However, if you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of it (just kidding!), Venmo is the easiest way to send and request money from your friends. Say you pay $10.00 for a pizza and your friend eats half - well, if you know their Venmo username, you can easily request that they pay you $5.00! Any money that you're sent via Venmo can then either be transferred into your bank account or used to pay back your friends at a later date. Plus, it's totally secure, so you don't have to worry about your bank account info getting out there!

Cartwheel (Free, iOS and Android)

I'm the kind of person who could easily spend over $100 at Target completely by accident...if that description speaks to you, then you NEED to download Cartwheel! Cartwheel is Target's coupon-clipping app - but before you rule me off as some old grandma, just hear me out. Not only can Cartwheel save you tons of money with manufacturer's coupons, but Target's store brand almost always has coupons for 10-15% off. So, with Cartwheel, you should never have to pay full price for anything at Target ever again! How cool is that? 

Stash Invest (Free, iOS and Android)

Investing can be a daunting task if you're just starting out, but Stash makes it easy to get your foot in the door of the stock market! With Stash, you can set up an automatic payment of as little as $5.00 per month (I put in $5.00 every 2 weeks for a total of $10.00 per month) to invest in the stock market. Once the money hits your "Stash," you can choose how you want to invest it with a bunch of pre-made packages of stocks and bonds. Stash even makes paying taxes on your investments easy by releasing tax documents once the time comes, so any dividends you earned (money made off your investment, basically) can be easily kept track of.

Mint (Free, iOS, Android and Web)

I tried tons of different ways of budgeting my money on my phone throughout my first year of college, but the Mint app was my favorite way I've found to keep myself on track. Since I'm the kind of person who likes to make a paper budget and print it out, I also don't find myself looking at my budget very often. With Mint, I can easily enter my monthly budget into my phone and receive e-mail and app notifications when I've exceeded my spending goals for the month. Additionally, I can add one-time spending expenses for a particular month, and check my credit score straight from the app without negatively impacting it. Overall, Mint is just like having an entire bank tucked away in your phone!

Mental Health

A review of my daily check-ins in Stop, Breathe & Think (I'm not doing so hot this week, I guess)

Pacifica (Free, iOS, Android and Web)

As someone who suffers from generalized anxiety, I love using Pacifica to keep track of my mood changes, health and anxiety throughout the month. Every day, Pacifica automatically logs my sleep from the Health app. Plus, I can easily log other factors - such as time spent meditating, time spent with friends and time spent on my relationship - and see how they reduce or increase my anxiety over the course of a week. Every week, Pacifica sends me a digest of how my anxiety is doing with a handy chart showing the changes in my moods over time. But that's not all: the app also includes some handy exercises, such as meditations and guided journaling, to reduce anxiety on-the-go. 

Simply Being ($1.99, iOS and Android)

Of all the meditation apps I've tried, Simply Being is both the most simple and one of the most relaxing. With Simply Being, all you need to do to start meditating is select a length of time - ranging from 5 to 30 minutes - and a background noise (I like the rain sounds) and get right to it! Personally, I love this app because I find the guidance to be very mellow and relaxing, unlike some apps that provide too much or too little guidance during your meditation. The only negative side to this app is, unlike other meditation apps, there's no way to track how much time you've spent meditating over the past week or month. So, if you're someone who needs more variety in your meditations or likes to keep track in-app, Simply Being might not be the meditation app for you. 

Stop, Breathe & Think (Free, iOS and Android)

Stop, Breathe & Think might just be my FAVORITE meditation app of all time! With Simply Being, you log your moods and the app generates a recommendation for a meditation for you to perform. So, all the meditations are especially geared toward your frame of mind, making it easy to "getcha' head in the game" (to steal a quote from High School Musical) when you're meditating. If there's anything I don't love about this app, it's that it can get a little repetitive if you're not paying for a monthly subscription. So, I like to alternate using Stop, Breathe & Think with some of the other meditation apps in my arsenal to ensure I don't get bored of my meditation routine.

Simple Habit (Free, iOS and Android)

Simple Habit ties with Stop, Breathe & Think for one of my all-time favorite meditation apps, though I haven't been using it as long. Simple Habit features a lot of meditation options, but my favorite part of this app is its "on-the-go" feature. With the "on-the-go" screen, you can easily select what you're up to - whether that's waking up or commuting to work or struggling through a tough day - and whether you have 5, 10 or 20 minutes to meditate. Then, the app guides you through a meditation that's geared toward what you're doing - for example, I especially love their "train commute" meditation for days when I have my internship and I'm stuck on the subway! 

Health & Fitness

My cycle overview in Clue - that explains all those PMS cravings!

Round (Free, iOS)

If you take daily medications at the same time every day (for example, a hormonal birth control pill or an antidepressant), Round will completely transform your life. With Round, you can enter all your medications and set a window of time you'd like to take them for. Then, Round will give you a gentle - not at all annoying - reminder during that period to make sure you take it on time. When you do take it, all you need to do is press the button in the center of your screen. The button will then turn green, and so will the day in your calendar, so you can easily see if you forgot a pill anytime recently. 

Clue (Free, iOS and Android) 

In case you haven't heard yet, I'm an ambassador for the Clue period-tracking app! I might be a little biased, but personally I think Clue is the best period-tracking app I've tried. Clue makes it easy to log your periods and your cyclical symptoms and view them on one screen. If that's not enough already, the app sends you a monthly summary of your cycle and your symptoms so you can easily tell if your periods are within the expected normal range for someone your age. You can also share your period data with anyone else who has the Clue app, or generate a printable report of your symptoms for anyone who wants one - so, if your partner or doctor is interested in your cycle, Clue is totally the app for you! 

Lark (Free, iOS and Web)

If you're interested in healthier living, Lark is the app for you! The app uses artificial intelligence to easily gather data on your sleep and movement patterns from your Health app and chats you through an explanation of what you're seeing. So, you can easily find out if you're being active enough or sleeping enough based on information from the Lark chat bot. You can also complete a "mindfulness check-in" to let Lark know how you're feeling, and the bot will give you some inspirational advice to get you through the rest of your day! The only downside is if you want to take full advantage of all of Lark's features (including it's handy food-tracker and analysis), you'll have to sign up for a paid subscription at the lofty price of $20.00 a month. However, if weight loss is one of your major goals in life, that price-tag may even be worth it! 

My Food Log (Free, iOS) 

My Food Log is one of the most unique food journals out there. Not only do I love that it doesn't keep track of calories, but you also complete your logs completely via text message. The app automatically creates a contact for you called My Food Log as soon as you download it. Then, whenever you have a meal, all you need to do is text My Food Log with what you ate and it automatically enters your log for the day. You can also easily swipe back and forth to see what you ate on previous days and compare your progress over time! Using My Food Log literally could not be easier.


Learning French in DuoLingo...I guess I should probably be practicing more often!

Countable (Free, iOS, Android and Web)

As a Political Science major, nothing is more important than keeping our country engaged and informed. Countable is an app that's making an awesome effort toward pushing more people to get involved in politics. Countable connects you with your state representatives and senators so you can easily see how they vote. Plus, you can use the app to learn more about the bills headed before Congress and easily send e-mail responses or call your elected officials to let them know how you feel about it. Being politically active has never been easier than with Countable!

DuoLingo (Free, iOS, Android and Web) 

Whether you're currently taking a language and need a little extra help, or you're interested in learning a language on your own, DuoLingo is an amazing app that will help train your brain to become multi-lingual. In high school, I always wanted to take French, but Spanish was the only thing that would fit into my schedule - so, when Ryan and I started planning our trip to Europe post-graduation, we both downloaded DuoLingo; I to learn French, and he to learn German. The app lets you practice and hone your speaking, writing and comprehension skills with cute and easy games and activities. Plus, the app gives you little updates to boost your confidence - for example, I just learned that I am 7% fluent in French! Woohoo! #GoMe

Quizlet (Free, iOS, Android and Web)

Finally, Quizlet is the ultimate must-have for any college student who's struggling through a tough lecture or has tons of terms to remember. Quizlet boosts your memorization using virtual flashcards and games. You can either choose from tons of sets created by users around the world, or create your own. Plus, if you choose to create your own, you can create a "class" and add your friends, so they too can take advantage of all your hard work! (And likewise for you with them.) The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android, but I'm a bigger fan of the web version, which has more features and fun games to play on the go. 

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