Best Apps for Students Who Own a Mac, iPad or iPhone

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    Jul 3, 2019, 1:08 am270 pts

    As a student, trying to stay on top of the lectures and all the classwork involved is challenging, especially if you are working on the side to generate an income as well.

    Certainly, for advanced courses like a master's degree in operations management online, it's necessary to take copious notes and perform research later on your MacBook. With an operations management degree, the pace never lets up, as there's so much course material to cover in a limited amount of time. Therefore, staying organized by using task list apps, note takers, cloud storage on-the-go, and other digital tools is essential.

    In this article, we make some suggestions on the type of apps that a student will find helpful while focusing on their academic studies.

    Note Taking

    Whether attending classes in person and listening to a lecturer, or viewing online content from colleges that allows students to study online, you'll need a solid note-taking app.

    Note Taking with a Stylus

    When it comes to note taking with a stylus pen – usually the Apple Pencil – it's hard to not give the Apple Notes app a spin.

    Notes comes pre-installed on new iOS devices to encourage its use. It works across the Mac, iPad and iPhone devices, and even on an iPod touch too. This means that digital notes can be accessed across all major Apple devices when you choose to store the notes in the iCloud. Very handy. You can scribble your ideas, draw diagrams, or dictate notes with the ever-friendly Siri, too.

    The downside, which won't bother Apple purists, is that it doesn't play nice with others. There's no Windows version or one for Android. You're stuck in the Apple eco-system, and so are your notes. It might not be a deal-breaker for some people, but if you need to collaborate with fellow students on a project and they're using Windows systems, sharing notes is going to be a nightmare.

    Side note: There are some workarounds to get access to the iCloud (and digital notes) from Android. Usually, this is read only access though.

    All-Purpose Note Taking

    When it comes to all-purpose note taking, it's hard to argue with Evernote.

    The long-lasting note taking app runs on virtually every platform imaginable, making it ideal if you'll be encountering both Mac and Windows environments along the way.

    Evernote has developed over the years. The interface is now very smooth and consistent across different platforms, so if you switch between mobile to desktop, or Mac to Windows, you won't miss a beat. It syncs with several cloud storage solutions too. The Evernote team are also busy creating follow-on apps to append to Evernote, extending its abilities too.

    However, for Apple purists, look at Noteability from Ginger Labs instead.

    Paste - Clipboard on Steroids

    The trouble with the standard clipboard is that when you go to copy something on your MacBook, it's hard to keep what you've copied previously. What you need is a time machine just for your clipboard alone, but that's hard to get on a Mac.

    Well not anymore.

    Paste is a nifty app that uses the power of the cloud to create a clipboard history. This way, you won't lose one line or block of text that you've previously copied and cannot access any longer.

    There's also a useful manager to organize your snippets which works on both the Mac and iOS devices.

    The storage of the clips is timeless, so you can reference them months later and paste them into another document easily too.

    Pocket - Bookmarks in the Cloud

    One way to store bookmarks, links to articles and other items of interest (including YouTube video content) is to add it to Pocket.

    Pocket has been around a few years now, so you shouldn't lose what you've stored.

    There's a quick search function to find what you've previously bookmarked. There's also efficient categorization for different types of content like articles/documents and videos.

    The Pocket service is accessible across desktop and mobile devices on several different platforms including Mac and Windows, and on their website once you've logged in too.

    Task Lists to Stay Organized

    Task lists become more important the busier you get. The more classes, subjects and assignments, the tougher it becomes to stay on top of everything.

    Todoist is a cross-platform task manager to stay organized with everything you need to remember.

    It has categories and other ways to group or highlight tasks to avoid needing to sift through too many of them to find the one you're looking for. There are reminders (premium-only feature) to avoid forgetting appointments and other critical dates like your partner's birthday.

    Some features are provided in the free version which most students get along with just fine. There's also a Premium version which adds a search function, access to labeling, and the reminders too.

    The app is accessible on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and across the web too.

    Recording for Lectures and Presentations

    When you need to record a lecture or presentation, you can just use a dedicated Apple app for it or go to a third-party option.

    One of the best third-party apps is called Voice Recorder Pro.

    The interface is designed to look like an old analog recorder with a retro feel complete with glowing dials with needles that bounce around. The previous recordings are conveniently listed below, so accessing recent recordings takes no time at all in case you want to transcribe what was said.

    It's available for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch too.

    To reduce previous lectures down to an acceptable length, it's possible to edit them. This way, you can just keep the pertinent parts. Any edits or original recordings can be stored in one of a number of cloud storage options include Google Drive and Dropbox. They can then be shared with other students more easily if they missed the class.

    As you can tell, there are some useful apps when you need to record, take notes or keep a list of tasks to stay organized while studying. Of course, using the built-in Calendar app with your iPhone/Mac is likely to be handy too.


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