College-style distractions often come in the form of drunken roommates, last-minute dorm parties, and the persuasive insistence of friends. We might not have many ways to help you avoid these harshest distractions, but we do have a list of five great apps and programs to help college students manage their lives. Hopefully it leads to better organization and productivity.

Related4 Types of Apps College Students Need to Use


I’m not going to flat-out say which of these three note-taking and syncing programs is the best for you; I’ve left that to these guys. But, I will tell you that you probably need one of them, especially if you’re not into the planner that I keep telling you to get.

If you’re a savvy tech lover, one of these apps might be a better option than handwritten notes, post-its, and agendas, but make sure you’ve got it with you at all times. You can write in last-minute assignments, random notes for your upcoming papers, and any activities or deadlines you don’t want to forget.

The benefit of the apps over the paper version is that you can take pictures of anything you need, and set alarms to keep yourself on track. Whatever version you prefer, download it ASAP.


We get a lot of handouts and article printouts in college, but keeping them all together in your binder or folder is a hassle. Snap2PDF lets you take a snapshot of these documents with your smartphone or tablet, and converts them to searchable PDF files.

This is so much more efficient and streamlined than scanning 10-page articles on paper.


You’ve heard us herald this great budgeting program before, and we’ll do it again and is a free way to organize and manage your monthly budget, giving you the ability to see exactly where your money is going, and allowing you to plan for future goals like saving for Spring Break.

You simply connect your bank account and credit card to Mint, and the program will automatically log and categorize every single transaction, showing where you’re budgeting well and where you’re overspending. If you remove money from the ATM, you can manually input what you spend it on. You can also set up different types of goals based around travel, tuition, loan payments, and more.

This basically takes all of the planning out of your budgeting, making it a lot easier to survive on minimum wage and work study.


This browser blocker is a completely free way to encourage yourself to stay on track when you’re completing assignments on your desktop or laptop. If you have a paper to write, you can set certain sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora to be blocked or limited to just 15 minutes a day. You can also include any links you click from those sites.

So if a friend posts an New York Times article on your wall, any time you spend reading it is deducted from the allotted Facebook time. This keeps your online distractions at bay while you do research and access your school’s portals and JSTOR. You can also enlist the help of RescueTime, but that one costs about $6 a month, so it might be out of your college budget.

Related13 Helpful Tools For Avoiding Internet Distractions

Google Drive

Again with the documents, am I right? Download Google Drive and you don’t have to worry about leaving a paper or document on your dorm computer or stored on the USB drive you left in the computer lab. With Google Drive, you can sync all of your documents and save them to the cloud, making them accessible wherever there’s a computer with internet. F

Forgot to submit that assignment before class? Find it in your Drive account, complete it in class on your smartphone and email it right away. Your teacher won’t even know it was late!


Image: Demi Brooke