Banking & budgeting

Banking & budgeting

9 essential apps that every student needs

Picture of By Abigail Hua

By Abigail Hua

In Budgeting & Banking

Download these apps and start using your phone to its full effect (after you've read this article, of course).

Despite what you might hear from your parents/grandparents/anyone who thinks they've mastered the art of satire, smartphones really aren't that bad. Sure, a smartphone will never be able to give you the thrill of running through a field of wheat (naming no names), but that can be said of almost anything. What phones can do (and a field of wheat never could) is make your day-to-day life easier in almost every way. In fact, short of something that can read your mind and turn everything you know into an essay, there are thousands of apps out there that are genuinely worth your time (and sometimes money). You could even say that they'll make your life a little bit appier ūüėé. We've put together a list of our favourites down below. These apps will help streamline your life and give you more time to make money, but if you're after some apps dedicated to boosting your bank balance, check out our list of the very best money saving apps!

Apps for the lecture theatre

1. Evernote

Evernote logoGood for: Keeping all your notes in one place

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS

Note taking apps are ten to a penny, but there’s one that stands out from the rather sizeable crowd: Evernote.

The app’s biggest selling point is the ability to sync your notes across all devices, meaning you can type on your tablet and then access all your lecture notes on your laptop¬†when it’s essay time. Once they’re saved, you can search for any word that appears in the text.

If you’re thinking ‚Äúhey, that’s a cool elephant-based logo, but I prefer to handwrite my notes‚ÄĚ, worry not. Evernote allows you to take pictures of your written notes and upload them to the app. Assuming you’ve not got some seriously messy handwriting, you’ll then be able to search for words just as you would with¬†a typed note.

What we like most about Evernote:¬†You can share your notes with other Evernote users, so it’s easy to get¬†the lowdown if you or a friend ever miss a lecture.

2. Soundnote

Soundnote logoGood for: The intense lectures and the sleepy students

Cost: £4.99 | Platforms: iOS (iPad only)

If Evernote is a table knife (tried, trusted, and good for almost any occasion), then Soundnote is definitely a steak knife. When you’re in a dense lecture, or just struggling to concentrate, this is the app you’ll want to turn to¬†‚Äď it’s certainly one of the very best apps for students.

So what does it do? Well, as you’re taking notes, Soundnote is busy recording whatever is being said around you (not in a creepy way) and syncing the two. Once you’re done, you can simply tap a word and it will take you to that point in the recording!

In student terms, if your lecturer is throwing some heavy info your way (or speaking at the speed of light) and you’re struggling to keep up, this is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Just go back to where your notes tailed off, and give it another crack.

What we like most about Soundnote:¬†Falling asleep in lectures isn’t something we’d endorse, but if you’re ever starting to doze off or lose concentration, this app has your back.

3. Office Lens

Good for: Capturing complex diagrams

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

Depending on what you’re studying at uni, you might find yourself faced with a real humdinger of a diagram from time to time. But what’s the best course of action? Frantically scribble it down, or drop your pen¬†and let the lecturer explain it?

Thanks to Office Lens, you no longer have to choose. All you have to do is hold your camera up to the board and take a picture, and the app will crop out everything around it (including any pesky backs-of-heads).

What we like most about Office Lens:¬†If you take a picture of something at an angle, the app will align and edit the image to appear as though it’s directly in front of you. If you’re ok with this kind of black magic, Office Lens is ideal for when you’ve been cast to the edge of the room.

Apps for getting some work done

4. Microsoft Office

Good for: Not having to carry your laptop everywhere you go

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

Ok, so¬†technically¬†this isn’t just one app. But picking just one Microsoft Office¬†offering is too big an ask, so we’ve decided to take the easy way out and just suggest the whole package.

Now, unless you’re a total hipster, you’ll almost certainly use¬†Microsoft Office¬†to get your work done. Chances are that you only really use the Three Amigos¬†(PowerPoint, Excel and Word), but it’s comforting to know that Microsoft Access is there should you ever need to do‚Ķ erm‚Ķ whatever Access does.

The good news is that Microsoft has made apps for Office’s leading lights, and they’re available on all the major platforms. It’s good to be able to escape your work, but equally it’s a massive pain when you’re out and about and suddenly realise there’s something huge that you should (or worse, shouldn’t) have included in your essay.

The Office apps make this a thing of the past, and as long as you make sure to save your files to the cloud, you’ll be able to access them whenever and wherever you are.

What we like most about Microsoft Office:¬†Microsoft has finally caught up with Google and introduced a collaboration function, meaning anyone with access to a document can simultaneously edit it. Aside from the obvious¬†prank potential, this is a great feature if you’re working on a group project!

5. Mathway

Mathway logoGood for: Solving those head-scratchers

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS

If you’re going to encounter numbers at any point in your¬†degree, you should seriously think about downloading Mathway¬†‚Äď an essential app for almost any student.

From the simplest of sums to the most fearsome of formulas, Mathway can do it all.¬†For those of you who¬†deliberately tried to avoid doing maths after your GCSEs but ended up doing a degree that involved it anyway (here’s to you, social sciences students), this app will call an end to the hours spent crying wondering what this weird E-looking thing is: ‚ąĎ.

All you have to do is type in your problem and Mathway will solve it for you. If you’d like to know¬†how¬†to get the answer rather than just what it is, Mathway can also give a detailed step-by-step guide to finding the solution. This is where¬†the app really comes in handy for the more mathematically minded student¬†‚Äď it’s like having your lecturer around 24/7 to help explain anything you’re just getting to grips with.

What we like most about Mathway:¬†Can’t be bothered to type up all your workings? Just take a picture of your problem and Mathway will recognise it!


Good for: Making a big job feel easier

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS

Is there anything more satisfying in life than ticking tasks off a¬†to-do list? The correct answer is: probably, but it’s still a nice thing to do.

To-do lists are a great way to break down a big job into a few smaller, more-manageable chunks, and you’d have to go a long way to find a better app for this than Its beautifully simple design makes getting things done even more satisfying¬†‚Äď or, depending on what you’re doing, a little less painful.

Like a lot of the apps on this list, allows you to sync everything across any compatible device. It also offers reminders, as well as the ability to share lists and assign tasks to different users¬†‚Äď ideal for a group project, or making sure everyone in the house does their fair share of¬†cleaning!

What we like most about¬†If you’re an Android user, the app comes with a widget to add your to-do list and tasks to your home screen. No need to scroll through your apps to find this one!

7. Oxford Dictionary of English

OED logoGood for: Writing an essay that Shakespeare himself would be proud of

Cost: FREE on Android and iOS | Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

An absolute staple app of any phone, no matter which brand of dictionary you go for.

We’ve gone for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) because, well, it’s the daddy of dictionaries. The OED is the ultimate authority on definitions, spelling and whether a word is actually a word (a godsend for when Microsoft Word isn’t prepared to help you with technical terms).

Plus, in what’s quickly becoming a trend in this list, the app lets you take a picture of a word in order to search for it. Academics love to show off how many big words they know, so this could be a real time-saver when trying to figure out what the hell they’re on about.

What we like the most about the Oxford Dictionary of English: The Word of the Day feature is as good a way as any to expand your vocabulary and woo your tutor with some absolutely stonking adjectives.

Apps for a night out

8. Uber

Good for: Getting around without breaking the bank

Cost: FREE (fares apply) | Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

We’re not exactly reinventing the wheel by recommending Uber, but it’s worth emphasising just how useful it¬†is. This isn’t just an essential app for students¬†‚Äď it’s essential for everyone.

Back in the day (basically any time before 2014), getting a taxi was an expensive privilege that students either avoided or begrudgingly paid for when cheaper options weren’t available. Uber is the very definition of a game-changer, bringing the potent combination of cheap fares, hassle-free booking and cash-free payments straight to the palm of your hands.

What’s more, once you’re in the cab you can send a link to your friends or family so that they can track your journey in real-time. Throw in some exclusive Snapchat filters to use while you’re in the taxi, and hailing a cab has never been better.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we’ve worked our magic¬†to get you¬†up to $15 off your first Uber ride. Just click the link below for the deal!

What we like most about Uber: Drivers can rate you as passengers. It will never stop being fun to compare your score with your friends.

9. Circle of 6

Good for: Keeping safe on a night out

Cost: FREE | Platforms: Android, iOS

Nobody goes on a night out expecting to get into trouble, but on the off chance that you find yourself in a sticky situation, it’s good to have a plan.

Circle of 6, as the name suggests, lets you choose up to six contacts to add to your trusted circle. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable or risky situation, all it takes is two taps and the app will send a pre-programmed text alert to your circle.

Not only is it swift and discreet, but Circle of 6 also connects you an online sexual health resource, as well as 24/7 hotlines for safety and information. Downloading this app truly is a no-brainer.

What we like the most about Circle of 6:¬†We’re not the only ones who rate it¬†‚Äď former US Vice President and one half of the most iconic duo in meme history, Joe Biden, has publicly praised the app’s developers for helping to protect young people.

Views expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect those of Student Wow Deals. Student Wow Deals accepts no responsibility for any reliance upon the articles contained herein.

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