The Best Productivity Tools and Apps for Students

Whether students need to improve their time management, take better notes, conduct fuller research, or plan more revision, a range of tools and apps can help. But which ones are best?

Productivity tools are now essential in every modern learning environment. In particular, they’re helping students to overcome productivity roadblocks like procrastination, distraction, poor planning, and sensory impairment. In this article, we’ll review some of the better productivity tools and apps available for students. With our recommendations, students can make a significant difference to their confidence, learning and output.

Digital Productivity Tools are Essential for 21st-Century Learning

Before we share our list of the best productivity tools, let’s review some reasons why they’re important. According to a recent research paper, digital productivity tools are a necessity in modern research processes and career advancement. So whether they’re used in education, research, or business activities, digital productivity tools lead to more efficient communication, collaboration, performance tracking, and reporting.

Also, a 2019 survey revealed productivity apps were the most used apps for 97% of respondents. So, not only can students use them to improve their levels of output but they’ll also become familiar with them much earlier and be more ready for the working world. To highlight the productivity tools worth considering, here’s our list of the top seven. HE leaders can use this list to give students guidance on the most appropriate productivity tools, based on their individual needs and challenges.

Best Digital Productivity Tools and Apps for Students

1. Caption.Ed

As a dynamic note-taking and live captioning tool, Caption.Ed is available both on desktop and mobile. Compatible with all uni and college Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) including Panopto, Blackboard, and Echo360, Caption.Ed uses speech-to-text technology to generate live captioning. Live captioning enables students to improve their learning comprehension and focus. But Caption.Ed can also generate accurate transcriptions from lectures and seminars while enabling students to add their own notes.

Source: captioned

Note-taking aids in learning and recalling information and speeds up students’ ability to absorb information. Not only that, students will find they’re more organised when it comes to revising for exams. With a solid set of notes appended to accurate transcriptions, students can organise their learning and find it easier to prepare for exams.

Discover how Caption.Ed has helped Archie excel at University

Read Archie’s Case Study

Caption.Ed is also perfect for any students with Specific Learning Differences, neurodiverse conditions, or hearing loss since it’s a key piece of Assistive Technology. AT tools can lead to improvements in academic performance for everyone, including students who don’t have learning impairments.

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“I would 100% recommend Caption.Ed to another university. The accuracy, the fact it’s timely, configurable…make it a vital part of our university.”

Digital Skills Trainer, University of Huddersfield

2. MyStudyLife

MyStudyLife is an app that makes student life more productive. Students can load study schedules to the calendar feature, create to-do lists, and get daily task reminders for study subjects. By adding exam dates, essay deadlines, and lecture schedules to the app, students are more likely to stay on top of all demands of student life. MyStudyLife is free to use and students can log in to their account from any device.

Source: My Study Life

3. Flora

Flora is a dedicated productivity tool that aims to reduce distractions and improve concentration. Launched in 2017, Flora is a ‘green’ app that blocks notifications and distractions from other apps and rewards users for their efforts by planting trees. Students can track how well they’re doing by checking the growth of their virtual tree. And this growth translates into the plantation of a real tree.

Students may feel more motivated to achieve their goals when they know their efforts result in good work for the planet. Because, along with helping students to keep distractions at bay, Flora partners with tree growers around the world. The app also offers an effective to-do list that can improve time management and planning, and is free to use.

Source: Flora

4. Todoist

Todoist is one of the more long-standing options for students, and for good reason. It’s a reliable tool for setting up different projects, adding or organising tasks using labels, and dividing tasks into smaller, bite-sized sub-tasks.

Source: Todoist

As a tool for organising student life, Todoist is a premium product. It offers a planning template specific to students. And they can use it to centralise emails, calendar entries, and files but also to check up on the progress of their work. Todoist offers a free platform but is most useful on a paid subscription basis.

“Todoist has reduced my stress levels enormously. I’m doing a PhD and juggling several really challenging and unpredictable roles – Todoist is helping me stay on top of a really complex range of tasks.”

Sally Morgan

5. Instapaper

Instapaper is one of the best ‘read-it-later’ apps for students. It lets users save articles or online materials to read or review at a more convenient time. This way, students can manage their time while researching online materials.

Instapaper also syncs saved articles and videos for students to pick up on any device they use. It includes the option to highlight or comment on any articles they may come across. The UI is simple and easy to use. Plus, a free account lets students save unlimited articles, videos, and content.

Source: Instapaper

6. Readwise

Most students do a lot of reading during their studies. And this makes Readwise one of the most helpful apps around. Students can read course materials, articles, or essays on any device and use Readwise to highlight key information.

Readwise lets students liberate what they’ve highlighted into one place so they actually read it again. Based on a study technique called Spaced Repetition, students can improve retention by repeating what they’ve read and highlighted. And Readwise makes this easy to do by showcasing highlighted notes through daily notifications.

Source: Readwise

7. Notion

Free for students, Notion is one of the most popular organisational and project management tools available. It lets students organise personal tasks and is cloud-based, so it’s accessible anywhere. Notion has thousands of free pre-set templates that students can use and plenty of customization options.

Notion is also useful for students who could be working across many different projects or campaigns and need an easy-to-use yet sophisticated project management tool.

Source: Notion

CareScribe Offers Assistive Technology for Neurodivergent Users

Assistive technology can be used to support and enhance communication for people at workplaces and universities. CareScribe is at the forefront of assistive technology and our products address a wide range of needs.

Featuring a set of custom dictionaries with live captioning and note-taking functions, Caption.Ed can add captions instantly to your meetings, lectures or seminars, either in-person or online. You can also add timestamped notes, synced to your transcript, and highlight key information so you never miss out on the important stuff.

TalkType is highly accurate dictation software built for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. Dictation software like TalkType can transform the way you work and study. As well as boosting productivity and efficiency, dictation software can provide autonomy to anyone who cannot type using traditional keyboards.

Caption.Ed and TalkType are dynamic AT tools that are transforming outcomes across many workplaces and universities.

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A game changer in
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