Between all the studying, group projects, and caffeine-fueled all-nighters, it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle as a student. If you are going through such a phase, maybe some online tools can take some load off your shoulders.
Although these tools can’t slap perfect grades on your papers, they can definitely make the process a little easier. Whether you are studying for exams, collaborating with classmates, doing research, or trying to stay on top of your schedule, online tools can help.
Below I have curated a list of some powerful online tools for students that will help you with academic success. The best part? All of these tools are either free or have a comprehensive free plan. You can take advantage of them even if you have a limited budget as a student.
Grammarly is a must-have tool for everyone who needs to write, especially students, as it helps them learn by correcting their mistakes. Grammarly automatically scans your write-ups and helps you fix grammar, punctuation, spelling, tone, and other writing errors.
Even if you have a perfect sense of grammar and sentence structure, human error is still a problem. Not to mention the ease of automatically correcting spelling mistakes so you won’t have to hit the backspace key all the time.
Best of all, its free version is more than enough to fix crucial mistakes like punctuation, spelling, and tone. Although to make your write-ups sound better, the premium version helps rewrite sentences, use better words, and change tones.
You can copy/paste the content into the Grammarly web app to fix it. However, using the Grammarly Chrome extension is much better as it will work on all websites where you write.
If you want something web-based, Hemingway Editor is a good alternative to Grammarly.
My Study Life
True to its name, My Study Life helps you manage your complete academic life in a single app. The app lets you create schedules, track project progress, track upcoming events, and set reminders all for free.
You can create a schedule for a whole academic year separated by terms. It will organize all your classes and will tell you about your daily schedule every day. You can manually create tasks to track using a progress bar. There is also a dedicated section for exams where you can see all the upcoming and completed exams along with the results.
You can track your classes, custom tasks, and exams separately, but there is also a section that shows an overview of all of them in one place. Along with the web app, My Study Life also has Android and iOS apps to access your data from anywhere.
A Soft Murmur
A Soft Murmur is my favorite web-based white noise app as it’s very easy to use and comes with all the essential features.
If you need to study with noisy roommates or just want to focus better, a white noise app is a life changer.
It comes with 10 different sounds for free. You just need to adjust the volume slider below each to create your own mix of white noise. It also has a random mixer to create different types of white noise automatically and save them to use later.
I personally think the free version is enough for most users, but if you want to get a little fancy, then the paid version at $9/year offers 13 more sounds including chimes, waterfall, fan, etc. You can also use A Soft Murmur on your Android or iOS device.
Alternatively, if you want a bit more advanced white noise app with more levers to pull, then Noises Online is a good option.
Another app to help you stay focused while studying. MarinaraTimer is a Pomodoro app that helps you focus by creating work and break sessions so could study without getting overwhelmed. It follows the same Pomodoro rules of a 25min work session with a 5min break and a 15min break after every four sessions.
What is more interesting is its custom timer option that lets you create custom sessions. You can choose any time period for work and break that suits you best. If you like having a longer break in-between, then the custom timer is perfect.
Other than that, it has a bunch of notification sounds to play at the end of a session and the big clock in middle makes it easier to quickly see how much time is left till the session end.
Wolfram Alpha is a special search engine that focuses on answering your queries with computational data. Although it does provides descriptions of things when applicable, the main focus is to talk about things that could be calculated.
For example, asking “What is the capital of China?” won’t give an answer giving a description of Beijing along with its history. Instead, Wolfram Alpha will just show Beijing’s name along with separate columns showing its location, population, local time, elevation, found date, and other numbers-based data.
Furthermore, you can also ask math questions and it will provide detailed answers along with related diagrams. There is a nice Step-by-step Solution button that lets you interact and learn the exact steps taken to solve a problem along with a description of each step.
As a student, projects require deep statistics, and of course, you’ll need extra help with math and physics. All of this can be handled by Wolfram Alpha, you just need to enter your query. Although for step-by-step instructions, you’ll need the Pro version.
ChatGPT took the world by storm in recent months, and rightly so. An AI bot that can provide customized answers to everything in natural language is definitely a good companion to have as a student.
You can ask anything to ChatGPT, and you’ll get a precise answer as long as it isn’t something new because ChatGPT knowledge got cut off in 2021. This also includes step-by-step math solutions and complete code write-ups.
Best of all, you can further improve ChatGPT behavior by using prompts. Like creating quizzes, getting project ideas, helping with speeches, and getting inspiration for your write-ups. You can even further improve ChatGPT using Chrome extensions.
There are also alternative chatbots like ChatGPT that arguably offer even better features. I personally like YouChat as it can also offer the latest information and even include links.
Based on the same technology as ChatGPT, Rytr solely focuses on automatically writing content. Emails, blog posts, essays, titles, cover letters, and almost all types of content. As a student, you can use Rytr to get inspiration for writing intros or even complete essays.
It will write a well-researched write-up with proper formatting, including headings and sub-headings. However, you shouldn’t take Rytr’s work and show it as your own, as it still comes under plagiarism, and it can be detected.
You can get inspiration to remove writer’s block and have all related information in one place. The formatting by Rytr can give ideas of what you should cover related to the topic.
Its free version is limited to 10k characters per month, which is enough for a single project. However, if you want unlimited access, you’ll need to get a paid subscription.
Google Docs Editors Suite
Essays, presentations, data sheets, and surveys are common activities in college, and Google Docs Editors Suite offers a solution for all. Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms are a comprehensive set of web-based tools that lets you create content with powerful features and manage them in one place.
I personally write and manage all my posts in Google Docs and then move them to WordPress. One thing I like about these tools is the option to use third-party add-ons that let you add amazing features. If you don’t find a feature you need in one of these tools, there is a good chance an add-on can provide it.
Other than all the necessary features also found in other office suites, you also get amazing collaboration features, extensive format support, a comprehensive history of changes, web search, training resources, and much more.
If you don’t like working online or need to go somewhere with no internet connection, you can also make these tools work offline with a little prior setup.
Although not exactly an app, TEDEd is a great online resource for learning things that aren’t usually found in the curriculum. It’s mainly an educational YouTube channel, but its website has a dedicated section for students. Just click the Students start here button on the website, and you’ll see hundreds of eye-opening videos.
Each video is animated and usually only 4-5min long. The videos are created by different contributors, so the animations and narrators will be different from video to video.
Overall, the above tools will help you write, research, and focus better. Grammarly and the Editors Suite by Google are definitely must-have tools for students, as studying involves lots of writing. I will also recommend you board the AI train and learn ChatGPT and how to get the most out of it, especially the use of prompts.
You may also explore some comprehensive student engagement platforms that offer world-class learning.