Back to school: mobile edition

Smartphones and tablet computers have upgraded everything from the way modern students take notes to the way they study, and now the most important back-to-school supply can fit in your pocket.

Whether you’re trying to start on a high note or finish with a bang, there are a number of apps that can help students survive whatever the new semester entails. 


Working in total silence is no fun, but the hustle and bustle of the student center isn’t exactly ideal either. What students need is “enough noise to work.” That was the thinking behind the creation of Coffitivity, an app developed to boost creativity and productivity by emulating the soothing sounds of a typical coffee shop. Install the app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop and get to work. This app is available for free on iOS and Android enabled devices. 


Students engaging in research are always looking for the best way to store, file and share their research materials. Mendeley is an app that allows users to create citations and bibliographies, one of the most tedious parts of any research project.  It also allows the user to read and annotate research materials, even offline. This app is available for free on all iOS enabled devices. 


Students can forego the bothersome notebooks and take notes in a greener fashion and without ever having to pick up a pen. Students can type new notes, and write and highlight over pre-written notes and downloaded PDF files. Not only can Notability record lectures, but it can also link notes to audio recordings to give them more context. Students can also take pictures and share notes easily with classmates. This app is available for $2.99 on all iOS enabled devices. 


Flash cards have been a study staple for many students since their very first spelling tests, and they continue to serve many students as the go-to method for exam preparation. Quizlet allows students to create and share flashcards, tests and quizzes to make studying easier for everyone. This app is available for free on all iOS and Android enabled devices. 

Study Checker

For many students, the start of the semester means non-stop, day and night study sessions. Students can manage these sessions and save their sanity with Study Checker. This app works as a timer to tell its users when it’s time to take a break or if it’s time to move on to a different subject. It also allows users to manage and track their studying time for multiple classes and topics. This app is available for free on all Android enabled devices.