Must Have Apps For A Successful School Year


Tess Meulbroek, Staff Writer

Most students would agree that school can be stressful. Whether it’s the content of classes, a busy schedule, or the routine of waking up early and sitting all day, there are many factors that make school overwhelming. For me, balancing school with my busy extracurriculars can be a lot sometimes. I’m constantly trying to find more ways to make my life more organized and to be more productive with my time. Luckily we live in a world with access to so many unique resources on our phones and computers. Here are six apps that I have found extremely helpful in making my school year more manageable.



Flora is a must-have for anyone who procrastinates or finds themselves easily distracted by their phones. It can be hard to put your phone down and completely focus on homework, but that is key to getting your work done efficiently and effectively. Flora is an app where you set a timer for a personalized study period. Once the timer starts, a tree begins to grow on your screen. The catch: if you leave Flora for any other app before the timer goes off, your tree will die. In my opinion, it feels more like a game than anything. This app has worked really well for me because seeing a fully grown tree at the end of my studying is oddly rewarding. If you’re super committed you can even link up your ApplePay – if your plant dies you’ll be charged! 



Notion gained some popularity about a year ago, but even now it is still worth the hype. Now that a lot of our schoolwork revolves around our computers, I personally think that it is much more convenient to have my schedule and to-do list quickly on hand. Notion is a website where you can make a personalized page for yourself that can include your month at glance, daily homework, your reading list, and really anything you want! It also has an app so you can link your Notion page between your computer and phone to have it accessible on the go. I especially love it because you get to organize the pages the way you want and make them unique to yourself – plus it’s always fun to make them aesthetically pleasing. Many people find this is a great online alternative to typical notebook planners now that technology is a very prominent part of our lives. Staying organized is necessary for succeeding in school, and Notion helps you do that.



Like many, I was frustrated when I found out that Quizlet was charging $34 to use their study sets. Luckily, though, I found Brainscape, which is a free app and website that has very similar features to Quizlet. You can upgrade to the premium membership for $9.99, but, in my opinion, it does the job without it. You can make your own flashcards or look up topics created by other people. Some sets even reflect AP tests which I know will come in handy as those get closer. Anyone who relied on Quizlet will find good use for this app and I definitely recommend trying it out if you don’t want to be spending money on vocabulary flashcards. 


Varsity Tutor Apps

Varsity Tutors offers free tutoring services via web or app. They give access to live tutors and pre-made study sets to do on the go. The company has multiple apps that focus on different content interests, but the ones that stood out to me were the ACT and SAT apps. I definitely would recommend this to the underclassmen, but especially to juniors who are just getting started with standardized testing. I know many people feel lost about where to begin when studying, but the practice tests, sample problems and testing tips that Varsity Apps provide will help you get going. Another benefit of these apps is that you can practice anywhere! I know a lot of people have had a hefty practice booklet in the past which was great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not that convenient to carry around. Having an app to supplement my other study materials and make quick practice problems more convenient is so much better. Even doing 5 minutes practices periodically can help a ton which is why I would really consider getting a Varsity Tutor app. 


Chegg Math

Chegg is such an underrated app when it comes to doing homework and studying; I wish I had found it sooner! As opposed to apps that just give you the answer to a problem, Chegg Math Helper teaches you step by step on how to solve each part and helps you understand the process of how to get the answer. It’s definitely best to see your teacher or go to the Math Resource Center when you are confused, but when your busy schedule gets in the way, Chegg is great to have in a pinch. 



Last but not least is an app we all need. You probably won’t find yourself using this too much at school, but Headspace is a meditation app that offers so many different programs that are great for students. Headspace provides different lengthed meditation exercises that leave you feeling refreshed and calm. The stress of balancing school, extracurriculars, and even just life can be a lot, but it’s worse when you don’t take care of yourself. Headspace is perfect because it offers lessons for energizing in the morning, quickly resetting during the day, and winding you down for a good night’s sleep. There are also fun awards you can win for having a high streak and hitting your personal daily goals. Overall, I think Headspace is perfect for busy students since it targets many different needs. Most programs are free to use, but if you want to upgrade, students can get membership discounts. Plus, Spotify Premium users can get full access for free!