6 Must-Get (Free!) Apps for Remote Students

While we’re constantly stuck at home and trying to manage all of our commitments and responsibilities remotely, it can be borderline impossible to keep track of all of our deadlines while still maintaining a structured lifestyle. Fortunately, we have technology on our side!

So much of our lives are online now, but something lots of people still don’t realize is the difference that downloading just a few apps can make on their productivity. 

Here are a few game-changing, FREE apps that are essential for any remote student who needs help maintaining their productivity and motivation during the pandemic. 

1. Todoist

If you have an Apple device, you’re probably familiar with the default Reminders app. Say hello to Todoist, a to-do list app, and what I consider to be Reminders 2.0!

Todoist offers all sorts of functions—organizing tasks into different projects and priorities, setting tasks for specific dates and times, and more. You can customize the appearance of your Todoist home screen, and it’s incredibly easy to move tasks around between projects. Within each project, you can also organize “sub-tasks” under each individual task. Todoist even provides slots for Inbox, Today, and Upcoming, so you can keep track of your long-term goals. 

The best part is, if you log in with a Google or Microsoft account, you can synchronize your planner across all devices you download Todoist on.

2. Ivy

If Todoist doesn’t float your boat, Ivy is another free to-do list/time management app. With Ivy, it’s incredibly easy to enter tasks and goals and see your day at a glance every time you open the app. And of course, it’s super satisfying to cross off completed tasks! You can always go back and view all of your previously crossed-off tasks. 

Ivy is built to motivate you, providing you with a fun fact and motivational quote every time you navigate to your home screen. Keep up your productivity with Ivy by your side!

3. Flora – Green Focus

Flora is yet another productivity and time management app, but one with a cute and quirky twist. In Flora, you literally grow your own virtual garden with your productivity. The more tasks you complete, and the more time you spend away from your phone, the more plants Flora adds to your garden. If you come back to your phone too often, and don’t maintain your productivity, Flora will remove plants from the garden. 

This app really motivates you to stay off your phone and get your work done, so that you can come back to the app and see a satisfying physical representation of how productive you’ve been.

4. Musi

Many people love to listen to music while they’re studying. If you’re like me, though, you might also enjoy listening to tracks that aren’t available on iTunes, Spotify, and other mainstream music apps. I’m talking about those YouTube videos of rain and thunder, city noises, airport ambience, and so forth. If you’re on anything but a computer, it’s impossible to play a YouTube video and be on a different app at the same time. 

Fear not, however, for Musi is coming to the rescue! Musi allows you to find and add YouTube videos to playlists, so you can add songs that are only published on YouTube, as well as videos that aren’t songs. The best part is, the sound doesn’t stop when you exit out of Musi. Increase your concentration while studying with the help of Musi!

5. Focus Keeper

Focus Keeper is a free timer and productivity app specifically designed around the Pomodoro study technique, a scientifically backed efficiency method that times you for twenty-five minutes of continuous studying, followed by five minutes of break. This app encourages you to stay concentrated on the task at hand, and to avoid multitasking. 

If you have a different personal “sweet spot” of studying and break times, you can customize your own break lengths and study lengths, and you can also set daily focus goals. 

Focus Keeper also tracks your focus levels, so you can go back and view the reports of your focus sessions, your average focus level, and so forth. With Focus Keeper, you can move much closer to figuring out your own studying limits and effective personal study habits.

6. Sleep Cycle

On top of staying productive while we’re awake, we also have to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Sleep Cycle is an alarm app that also helps maximize your sleep quality by monitoring your breathing and movement during the night. It provides a series of nature sounds as options for gentle, wake-up noises, and different alarm options: for example, you can choose to be woken up at a specific time, or you can customize a window of time in which Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep depth by your breathing patterns, and it wakes you up when you’re at your lightest sleep so that you don’t feel groggy. 

Every morning, after you shut off Sleep Cycle, the app  will also create a report of your sleep cycles, and analyze your sleep quality and other details for you. The app also stores your sleep patterns in a calendar, so you can look through the sleep quality of past days and track your sleeping habits. 

This app is definitely a game-changer for us, as sleepless students—especially when we’re remote and our lives aren’t as structured!