Omar Sinan
Omar Sinan18y/o || CS Sophomore @ CMU

What are the best productivity tools for university students?

We all want to start fresh next semester. What are some of your recommended tools?
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39 recommended
  1. 117
    Trello

    Organize anything, together

    Antoine FrΓ©dΓ©ric
    Antoine FrΓ©dΓ©ricproductivity expert Β· Written
    Trello is awesome, and here is why : - it's a "sandbox" (you can create whatever you want with Trello) - very simple to use - tons of ways to automatize your boards (Zapier, IFTTT, Power-Ups ...) - you can stock ideas, tasks or goals easily
    CommentsShare
    FerminRP
    FerminRP4Growth Hacker Β· Written
    Most simple project management app.
    CommentsShare
    • Lindsey Winsemius
      Lindsey WinsemiusMarketing, Author, Supermom

      I just started using this with my marketing team at work, and so far it seems to be an efficient way to coordinate on projects. Now if I can just remember to log in and actually use the boards...

      Comments (0)
    • Nick Allen
      Nick AllenHead of Marketing at FileInvite | Kiwi

      Brilliant for managing all your project backlogs in a Kanban fashion. Including a list for the DIY tasks around the house.

      As a Marketer I use this daily to manage workflow, sort ideas around future content and prioritize my activities. My team collaborate and report using handy integrations with Google and we use it as a Customer service and Sales script repository to store links to docs and how-to videos.

      Comments (1)
  2. 45
    Zenkit

    The project management tool that grows with you

    Jessi Lu
    Jessi Lu10Change the future. Β· Written
    Zenkit is great for projects, collaboration and working with data. You can switch between different view to work with the best one for each of your tasks. If you want to make an overview of your course I would recommend starting with the mind map but you can also use an easy listview, kanban board or table view. ItΒ΄s free for up to 5 people but we may have some arrangements with your university;)
    CommentsShare
    • Using Zenkit for a few months now and can't see myself going back to my old tool. The team has done a phenominal job of building an application that addresses the need of power users, light users, and everything in between.

      Comments (0)
    • Edited my review to reflect the awesome response time to problem I encountered. Incredible, hard working team and their app reflects the care and dedication they have put into Zenkit. Keep up the great work, Zenkit!

      Comments (2)
  3. 33
    Shelly

    A smart notes app made for your calendar πŸ—“οΈ

    Frank Feustel
    Frank FeustelFounder and CEO Shelly Β· Written
    If you want to take notes for your lectures try Shelly. If allows you to directly add your notes to your timetable, once connected with your Google or Outlook class schedule. Perfect!
    CommentsShare
  4. 11
    Notion 2.0

    The all-in-one workspace - notes, tasks, wikis, & databases

    Felipe Esteves
    Felipe EstevesDesigner, FGVE, Co. Β· Written
    Once you get how Notion works, it really excels in project management, research and database. It's a pleasure to use and super customizable.
    CommentsShare
    I only started using it a couple of days ago, but I swear my university, work, and private life make much more sense to me now. The UI is minimal and bright, but doesn't get boring because of emojis and cover images. The templates are a-plenty and very useful, and if a template is missing – you can just create your own page from scratch, using one of Notion's many block elements!
    CommentsShare
    Shohini Gupta
    Shohini Guptamanaging partner at dorm room fund SF Β· Written
    Just has every functionality - organizing classes taking notes personal project management... I run everything on Notion
    CommentsShare
    • Rees Vinsen
      Rees VinsenFounder, CEO - Adduco

      HANDS DOWN πŸ™ŒπŸΌ THE BEST PRODUCTIVITY, ORGANISATION AND RESOURCE WORKSPACE myself or my team have ever touched πŸ’―

      We're huge advocates of Trello, power-users of Slack, data-hungry Google Sheet/Doc fanatics and unloyal downloaders of many productivity, Wiki, task management and organisation apps. With my CTO I often mused the idea of building an all-in-one workspace for internal use that sat as our Pandora's box of goodies ranging from development wiki's, onboarding information and branding resources all the way to task management, meeting notes and even time tracking - lo and behold I stumbled across this gem of an app.

      We decided to run Notion for a week in tandem with Trello (for our highly-granular level project management) starting by spending an hour in the evening porting over info to populate a few spreadsheets, wikis etc. I also went ahead and threw personal pages up to trial it on an individual level. πŸ“Note: if you have a super high turnover of to-do's and an active team you won't find switching over from another app to be a lengthy process. After 6 years of managing a creative agency I reckon I have seen enough task management and organisation apps to last a lifetime, so take my thoughts here with that consideration.

      -------

      After a week we drew the following conclusions:

      ⏱ We worked faster with Notion than we did with Trello, Evernote or even a physical whiteboard.

      πŸ“¦ Today I solely used Notion for the entire workday. This time last week I would have used Trello, Slack (sending meeting notes and memos), Google Sheets, Google Docs, the native OSX notes app and GithubWiki just to get my day ORGANISED!

      πŸ“š Managing client editorials, project budgets, to-do lists and even basic memos and planning has been a breeze. It's great as a lightweight CRM too.

      πŸ›  We were more organised than ever before. It's great to have a knowledge base for our products, plans and company sitting right amongst our task management tools.

      -------

      We have also been left wanting for nothing (πŸ‘πŸΌ Congrats, Notion team) but dreaming of a few things:

      πŸ’΅ Beefier finance organisation/support. Integrations with Quickbooks, Xero maybe? Make it easier to build budgets and organise our money plans!

      πŸ—£ Room to annotate and collaborate on images/PDF's etc.

      πŸ” Function to lock pages so you can't edit, and the little hover tooltip to edit doesn't show up.

      🎨 Integration with design apps - Sketch, UXPin, etc. Many many many creatives will use this app and be left wanting in this area. Think: a creative agency collabs, annotates, refines, develops and more...keep them in Notion.

      -------

      The TLDR: Notion 2.0 kicks a** and we'll be using it for a long long time in place of a myriad of other productivity apps and tools. You should too.

      Comments (2)
    • I want to move from Evernote (I am a premium subscriber) to Notion, I really do but I don't think Notion wants me to. Whatever I am about to say, I say it with nothing but respect for Notion and in the hopes that it will continue to improve at the same pace.

      First, the good - Notion has the best note editing interface I've ever used. A close second might be OneNote (it's a high bar, mind you) and Bear. It combines the simplicity of Evernote or Markdown with the power of OneNote although, it is missing the ability to use handwriting and doesn't support iPad with Pencil just yet. When it does, it will be perfect. I also like that I can save code snippets. Why is this so hard for Evernote?

      Notion 2's tables, boards and other updates are huge. While I'm sure the in-built kanban board is not as feature complete as Trello, it should be more than enough for most projects. Same for tables. Airtable has a bunch of really cool advanced features but for most use cases, tables within Notion are just fine. Notion is on the right path and I am sure these features will only improve.

      Now for what I don't like - The price is definitely my number one complaint. I will happily pay for Notion when it can do everything that other apps can. Until then, why not let me stay connected to the product with a cheaper paid plan or a better free tier? I pay for Evernote but if I were to consider switching, I can't do so purely because Notion doesn't do a bunch of things that Evernote can (even though it does a lot of things that Evernote doesn't) - Chrome extension to clip articles, emails, images etc., powerful mobile app with business card and document scanning, iPad support etc.

      At $8 a month, it is more expensive than G Suite on a per-user basis. Why not give me 100 - 200 free blocks per month? Let me grow to love it. Let me build a workflow around it. Give me some incentive to tell my friends about it. When you have the features I want (I'm sure you're working on it), let me pay for it.

      Price aside, I would also like to see how Notion fairs for quick note-taking, It's designed to be a wiki-style product and I get that but I'm sure a LOT of people are using it for personal notes. I use Evernote to save one-line notes - phone numbers, quotes, URLs etc. Notion's wiki-style UX is too heavy duty for that kind of use. It would be really cool if there was a "scratchpad" or "quick notes" feature that was not as heavy duty. For these simpler notes, I don't want to organize them into pages, I just want to save them and may be tag them. Which brings me to another feature I could really use - tags. Why limit users to only folders? Why not allow users to just tag notes?

      I could go on but ultimately, I won't be switching to Notion right now, even though I really want to. Cost is too prohibitive but I'm sure I'll be on the hunt for future updates.

      Comments (5)
  5. 10
    Todoist

    Organize your life. Then go enjoy it.

    The BEST todo-list app on the market IMO. I have folders for each of my classes and clubs and can organize all of my assignments within. I also use IFTTT to integrate it with my Trello tasks and Google Calendar. Oh yeah, and it's FREE!
    CommentsShare
    Brenna L
    Brenna LHead of Marketing @ Doist- Todoist/Twist Β· Written
    Brenna L made this product
    In addition to being ranked by The Verge & Engadet as the #1 to-do list app, Todoist has a 50% discount for students/educators: https://todoist.com/education.
    CommentsShare
    Antoine FrΓ©dΓ©ric
    Antoine FrΓ©dΓ©ricproductivity expert Β· Written
    Todoist is a beast. You can combine it with Trello for a powerful organization. Trello in the background, Todoist for your everyday life !
    CommentsShare
    • haabe
      haabeDeveloper @ Snopp DesignbyrΓ₯

      We were looking for a tool to replace Asana, and after initially testing Todoist, became certain it could be the tool for us. But sharing projects is a PITA. There's no easy way to let your team have access to all newly created projects. Also, the projects structure isn't shared, so sharing a new subproject causes havoc in the teammate's projects structure, and the teammate needs to manually configure the projects structure according to it's intended layout.

      Comments (1)
    • Marta
      MartaFront-end, UI and UX designer

      Organize your life with pleasure. Add due date to tasks, tasks inside projects, subprojects and subtasks. Call your friends to join your project and assign tasks for them. Comment and add images on tasks. Have your tasks everywhere with nice apps. Love it.

      Comments (0)
  6. 7
    Grammarly

    Clear, effective, mistake-free writing.

    Amazing program for correcting your work before you turn it in. I also paste my essays and emails in this app when I finish them just to double check for errors. Free version available, but paid is better obviously.
    CommentsShare
    • Robert Melkonyan
      Robert MelkonyanCo Founder - Profunders Club

      When you use grammarly, they put some kind of advert for youtube, so when you watch youtube videos, it will stop and their advert will start. Note, this is not a youtube ad, this is an ad directly from them.

      Comments (0)
    • Philip V. Ariel
      Philip V. ArielFounder and Owner, Philipscom

      No doubt this is a wonderful and useful tool to the online writers and bloggers.

      I appreciate the team for making this possible for millions of users around the world.

      Thanks

      Philip

      #pvariel

      Comments (0)
  7. Andrei ȚiΘ›
    Andrei ȚiΘ›CX | Product Marketing Β· Edited
    Andrei ȚiΘ› made this product
    It helps all the university parties involved - students, professors, and departments - in the following way: β€’ Students keep all their lecture notes in one place and collaborate easily with their colleagues, even when not in the classroom β€’ Professors schedule their courses in advance (even for the whole semester), as well as add resources, notes, and assignments to create the course curricula, then share them with their students β€’ The marketing and other departments have a tunnel-like view on what's top priority, and can track their time for future job estimations. Plus it's free for one year, all features included, without any limitations whatsoever.
    CommentsShare
  8. Ecem
    EcemDirector of Product Design, @JotForm Β· Written
    Jotform is an online form-creating tool with thousands of free templates and layouts. There are lots of educational surveys and forms for university students. I think this tool will help them at their research projects. Most importantly it is free :)
    CommentsShare
  9. 4
    Evernote

    Note taking gets even simpler

    Shradha
    ShradhaConsultant Β· Written
    Great way to store notes
    CommentsShare
    Make notes easy and set then to look like whatever you want, keep then sync on multiple devices (only 2 in the free version), share files, take pictures, record audio, quick search everything you throw in the app. It's wonderful, it's essential.
    CommentsShare
    • Emily Kellert
      Emily Kellerttech lover & travel freak & tractive PM

      Absolutely love Evernote. Use it for work and personal use and that is easy with the ability to make notebooks. Tags are super helpful as is annotating a document or editing a picture with Skitch. Makes my life easier and more organized!

      Comments (0)
    • David Neira
      David NeiraChape Fitness - Online Personal Training

      Evernote is a platform that allows you to organize, store, share and then search your information. Evernote impacts a business's productivity by streamlining the collection and distribution of critical information by enhancing its retrieval. Evernote's gives your business enhanced control of the information you own or information already collected by your employees. It's your business. It's your information.

      Comments (0)
  10. 4
    Whaller

    Create your own private social networks

    Amokrane Tamine
    Amokrane TamineMarketing Student Β· Written
    You can communicate, share files, assign tasks with this all-in-one tool
    CommentsShare
  11. 3
    TimeCamp

    Automatic time tracking made easy

    Ola Rybacka
    Ola RybackaSocial media freak, blogger Β· Written
    A time tracking software perfect for recording time spent on learning each subject. Delivers reports on we spent time productive or non-productive.
    CommentsShare
    • Permana Jayanta
      Permana JayantaI'm simple man

      I use TimeCamp's manual time track. My workflow usually:

      - When I want to work on a certain task, for example Project-A, set the timer

      - Focus on that task

      - Turn of the timer when its done.

      One feature that I've not found at other time tracker is TimeCamp allow you to move your tracked time. For example, you accidentally work on task Project-B when you set the timer to Project-A. TimeCamp allow to move your time from Project-A to Project-B.

      Comments (0)
    • tom mauriello
      tom maurielloowner, thinkscreen.is

      I have probably used a dozen different time tracking apps & processes.

      Recently I had need to track a lot of time & task details on a couple of projects. The issue with most time tracking tools is if they do not exist within your existing software set, it can be a drag to use yet another app. My one exception to this rule is a standalone mobile app which TimeCamp provides.

      Currently I am using (and demoing) the free single user license and I have entered about two weeks of time I had been jotting down in a notebook. Time entry is quick, intuitive and flexible with ample room for notes.

      There is a companion desktop and downloadable versions which allow you to upgrade for a broader feature set plus integrations and other bells & whistles.

      Comments (0)
  12. 2
    RealtimeBoard 3.0

    Enhanced whiteboard. Your guide to the future of teamwork

    FerminRP
    FerminRP4Growth Hacker Β· Written
    If you are a visual learner this is the ultimate tool.
    CommentsShare
    • Melissa Ng
      Melissa NgFounder of Product Design Studio, Melewi

      Such a huuuuuuuge fan! I use RealtimeBoard for so many things - both in and out of work. From client projects to internal business planning to operation processes to personal planning, I can't stop raving about how much I love RTB to everyone I know. I'm also super impressed by the constant product iterations and feature updates that are constantly being released. Bravo, awesome work guys, I'm absolutely gushing but it's well deserved.

      Comments (0)
    • Rico Trevisan
      Rico TrevisanApostle of Broadband Jesus

      For me, Realtime Board has beautifully united:

      + loose sticky notes

      + 3M's sticky notes scanning app

      + project management tools (Asana, Trello)

      + diagram tools (draw.io, Visio)

      + clipboard tools (Evernote, Google Keep)

      Works wonderfully on a touch-screen Chromebook.

      Comments (0)
  13. 2
    Newton by CloudMagic

    Supercharged emailing with space-age features

    I use Newton for my email client and I couldn't live without it. It is one of the only (possibly the only) email clients that gives you a notification when your emails get opened. Great for when you email your professors. I think it's about $4/month if I recall.
    CommentsShare
  14. 2
    Airtable 2.0

    Beyond the spreadsheet

    Sumangal Vinjamuri
    Sumangal VinjamuriGrowth Manager, Granular Insights Β· Written
    Can replace all of the Kanban boards, personal organizers, et al and also double up as a database, spreadsheet and more. If I was back in college, this is one app that I would've used everyday!
    CommentsShare
    • Seeing how Airtable has progressed since it first launched is quite impressive. My only qualm with the application is the level of effort one has to put in to get a project setup. After spending a couple hours trying to set something up I ended up giving up and setting up someting in sheets using formulas in 30 minutes.

      Comments (0)
    • Mina Zivkovic
      Mina ZivkovicBrand & Content Marketing, Canvas

      I have just started using it, so I'm still getting proficient at it. So far, I'm in love. I had been digging for a tool to help me with content management and strategy, and I couldn't be happier with what Airtable lets me do.

      Comments (0)
  15. 2
    Tame

    A beautiful all-in-one planning tool for modern event teams

    Jasenko Hadzic
    Jasenko HadzicCEO & Co-founder, Tame Β· Written
    Jasenko Hadzic made this product
    For all the events that students are collaboration on. Tame gathers all your event planning in one place and allows the student organisations to improve year by year, instead of losing the knowledge year by year and starting from scratch due to spreadsheet chaos.
    CommentsShare
    • Shaena Harrison-Helin
      Shaena Harrison-HelinSPM @ The Local Europe

      I've been in the event business for quite some time so it's not often I get excited about new products as I've seen it all. This one though has some amazing potential to kick butt in this segment!

      Comments (0)
    • Really great solution for event organizers!

      I love the dashboards and analytics about the events. It gives me all details in a great overview (participant data, revenue, etc.)!

      Awesome design. Love the product so far!

      Comments (0)
  16. 2
    Taskade

    A minimal and sharable task list.

    Ethan
    EthanπŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ€ Making KanbanMail & Code The Web Β· Written
    The best todo list app out there, really nice UI! Can also be used for note taking, which is a bonus. It is very flexible - it can be used as a vertical Kanban, weekly planner, simple todo list or bullet journal! It can even be used for collaboration with a built in chat. TRY IT 😻
    CommentsShare
    • Ethan
      EthanπŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ€ Making KanbanMail & Code The Web

      The best todo list app out there, really nice UI! It is very flexible - it can be used as a vertical Kanban, weekly planner, simple todo list, bullet journal or even for note taking! It can even be used for collaboration with a built in chat. TRY IT 😻

      Comments (0)
    • Just started using, really like the simplicity and the look

      Hope it won't be overloaded with features (except for critical ones, like moving tasks between lists)

      Comments (0)
  17. Fawad Ansari
    Fawad AnsariCo-founder of nTask. Tech evangelist. Β· Written
    Fawad Ansari made this product
    Hey Omar, as the co-founder of nTask, I would highly recommend you give nTask a shot! Keeping in mind the financial restraints in contrast to equally towering number of multiple features required to manage daily tasks, nTask is built to provide maximum functionality under a single platform. With nTask: 1. You can view your project schedule in the form of Gantt charts. (otherwise a paid feature on other apps!) 2. You can even track the time you spend on each task or assignment in form a report 3. You can appoint a single assignment to a mass variety of users. 4. You can even setup risks & issues that might affect your project completion and then analyze those risks. (how cool is that!) 5. You can track recurring tasks alongside new tasks. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. You can do all this and much more (particularly integrate your projects with Google, Microsoft, Slack etc) all on a Free account. Happy nTasking!
    CommentsShare
    Fred Wilson
    Fred WilsonAgile & Software Consultant Β· Written
    1. Fully-featured project management tool with additional perks that are in-built: time tracking, risk assessment, meeting management and team management. 2. Easy to understand interface, with Guided Tour available for navigating your way through each module in the application 3. Absolutely FREE for up to 10 members per work space. Pro Plan is only $2.99 with unlimited features.
    CommentsShare
  18. 1
    Officehours

    Connects you with amazing people, for one on one advice

    Eric Karjaluoto made this product
    You can use Officehours as a way to reach your instructors when you’re remote. And, it’s a handy resource for connecting with off-campus and industry mentors.
    CommentsShare
    • Bottom line: If you believe motive can be a differentiating factor (and should be counted as valuable), then officehours.io is worth your time and effort to explore. The concept is bourne out of a desire to connect knowledge seekers w/ expertise and deeper conteplation – to foster the ever-waning spirit of passing information along w/o seeking compensation (placing a premium on that one commodity we all lack IRL – time) and trusting others will do the same.

      Comments (0)
    • I find this a super helpful tool in my work.

      Comments (0)
  19. Awesome way to organize your research (with pdf editing tools) and increase your productivity by saving time grooming your research database and integrations with e.g. MS Word.
    CommentsShare
  20. Gary Fung
    Gary FungCreator of isoHunt & WonderSwipe Β· Written
    Gary Fung made this product
    Dig into any topic on the Web fast, on the go.
    CommentsShare