Best Study Apps to Download in 2021

Make the most out of your smartphone with our collection of must-have study apps for 2021. Download them now!

Katie Broadbent - 16 August 2021 · 9 min read

Smartphones have taken over our lives in more ways than we may have ever stopped to consider. And no more so than replacing some of the tedious elements of student life that have burdened us all at some point or other. 

Gone are the days of lugging your textbooks around campus and scribbling notes down in class only to miss critical information. The power of modern technology means there are several apps and software tools which have been designed to make all aspects of student life easier than it ever has been. 

Read on to browse seven of the best study apps to download in 2021 which can lead to enhanced productivity, efficiency, and overall academic success. 

Best Study Apps to Download in 2021

Discover some of the best study apps to make your student life more organised, cheaper, and ultimately - easier. From free apps to those that can fit well within your student budget, you’ll find the perfect study app for your needs in our list below. 

Best Free Student App: My Study Life

Fed up of carrying your paper planner around in your backpack? Meet the perfect digital replacement with My Study Life

This all-in-one student organiser makes it easy to schedule and manage your class timetabling, tasks, and revision time. Syncing with your personal calendar, the reminders notify you of any upcoming events, including classes, deadlines and exams. The app also includes a comprehensive task manager that goes beyond the classic to-do-list, with features specific to your student lifestyle. 

Worried about syncing with your entire life? The app can sync across multiple devices because of its cloud-saving feature. It’s also available to use offline and will automatically save when you next gain access to a network connection.

Free to download on all major operating systems, the app is a must for anyone looking to get their student selves more organised. 

Best Brainstorming App: Mindly

Picture this: you’re sitting on the bus, heading home after a busy day of classes and BOOM - you have a brainwave for an upcoming project! But wait - you’ve left your notebook in your locker.

Enter Mindly: an intuitive mobile app that makes it easy to mind map on your smartphone, without having to face the readability challenges of scrolling and zooming that you would expect to come with mind mapping on a smartphone.

Like most mind maps, you’ll start with a central node, which you can customise with colour text and icons. Then, simply tapping the + icon will add an associative idea in an outer circle. Even as you dive deeper into sub-ideas (and even sub-sub-ideas), it’s still easy to return your wider centre node with the simple tap of a button on the top-left corner of the screen.

The share and print function also makes it easy to share your ideas with others, while the intuitive cloud-storage system makes it easy to access your mind maps whenever you need to. Of course, you can also sync your mobile designs with the desktop version of the app, making it easy to switch from on-the-go ideation to more formal mind mapping sessions at your desk.

Best Note-Taking App: Evernote

What if we told you there was an app that could help you easily create, compile and store your academic notes - without having to carry hefty books around? Leading the way as one of the best study apps for 2021 and a definite market leader for note-taking is Evernote

With its ability to capture your class notes in a variety of formats, including text, pictures, audio and video recordings, annotated web page clippings and more, Evernote is as flexible as you need it to be, storing them all in one place for you to access later.

You can organise these notes using tags and shortcuts, customising them in the way that works for you. From checklists to external files, anything can be added to these making it really easy to manage projects and assignments. What’s more - you can even share your notebooks with other students, which is great for collaborative work.

Take your academic work paperless with the app’s intuitive digital notebooks, where all your tagged notes will be automatically saved and stored for you to return to at a later date. Even if you work on the move, Evernote will automatically sync all your changes once you’re back up and running with a network connection. 

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Best Task Management App: Trello

Another of the must-have study apps and task management tools that every student should have downloaded on their mobile is Trello; one of the best-known task management apps that lets you organise your projects into visual boards and fully customisable to-do lists. 

Available for free on most operating software, the app allows you to organise any projects you’re working on through boards, which you can then customise with as much detail as you need; adding tags, labels, dates and colours.

For those using it to manage class and university projects, Trello also makes it easy to collaborate with others; assigning tasks to individuals, deadlines, and even sending customised desktop and email notifications to remind everyone when their tasks are due. 

It can even integrate with other apps and services, such as Evernote and Google Calendar, making it easy to oversee and manage your projects, without the need to flick between all your other student apps. 

Best Focus App: Forest

Do you ever stop to consider how many times you pick up your phone during a study session? Every time you see a notification light up the screen, wait for a webpage to open, or even text your mates to arrange a quick catch-up at the end of your day - there’s no denying, it can be extremely easy to find yourself on your mobile phone when you shouldn’t be, and over the course of a full day, you can find yourself wasting valuable time. 

Forest is a time-management app, which takes a creative approach at trying to make you stay motivated, focused, and avoid the temptation of picking up your phone during a study session. How? By ‘planting trees.’

Whenever you sit down to start a focused study session, you’ll plant a virtual tree in your virtual forest on the app over a set period of time. As you place your phone down and begin to study, the tree will begin to grow. However, if you pick up your phone during the designated time frame and go on to another app - the tree dies. 

Over time, the more you focus, the more trees you will add to your forest. Even better - the more you use the app, the more the  company itself will plant real trees around the world. Life-hacking and planet saving all in one app - what’s not to love?

Best Revision Tool App: Exam Countdown

How many times have you turned the page on your diary to a new week, only to realise you have a mock exam coming up that you totally forgot about? We’ve all been there at some point.

Well, with this helpful study app and revision tool, you’ll never need to worry about being cut short again! As the name suggests, Exam Countdown stores all of your exam dates in one place and counts down the days, minutes and seconds until your next one. 

Being able to visualise all of your exams is a great way at ensuring you are never caught short with your revision, and can effectively prioritise all your revision sessions. The app will even send you a nifty reminder notification as the dates draw closer, so you can ensure you never forget. 

The app is also totally customisable, meaning you can colour code and label all your exams by subject, year, or field of study. Once you’ve inputted the correct data, a countdown clock then appears - and keeps ticking along until those all-important dates arrive.

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Best Overall Student App: Google Drive

Coming in as one of the best overall student apps is Google Drive, a cloud-based storage system app, available to download on most phones, tablets and laptop devices. 

Save and store all of your documents online - without having to worry about what could happen if your laptop ever broke (we’ve all experienced a scare like that before). The free version of Google Drive allows you to store up to 15GB of files for free, which includes notes, images, PDFs, audio and video files. It automatically saves and syncs as you go, so you never need to worry about losing any work without having first hit ‘save.’ 

Losing network connection? No problem. Google Drive even allows you to download files to work on ‘offline,’ which can be incredibly useful for those who like to work while on the move. 

In addition, with Google’s online suite of free apps - Docs, Slides and Sheets - which can all be saved and accessed on the Drive, it’s also easy to create, edit, and collaborate on any project or piece of work for free, making the Google Drive and its counterparts an extremely accessible software tool for students. 


Thanks to the modern wonders of technology, smartphones have evolved to be more than just a means of communication. For students, they yield a whole host of powerful apps available at just the tap of a button that can really enhance your learning, productivity, and overall student experience.

From helping you to create and store notes with ease, to counting down to that dreaded exam season, there’s something available for your every want and need. Download them today to make use of your time - and smartphone - and boost your learning experience. 

Discover the power of technology with Melio

When it comes to helping you achieve your future goals, nothing beats education. And when it comes to your education, nothing beats direct, personal attention from your tutor. Melio uses online learning to make that happen.

Merging tradition with modern technology, our online learning programmes are modelled on the world-renowned tutorial learning systems that have helped set the universities of Oxford and Cambridge apart for centuries. 

With a customised online learning model, you can study one-on-one with a tutor through Tutorials, or opt to study alongside a small class of other academically-curious students who are just like you with our 2-week online Academic Programmes

Speak to an advisor to find out more about Melio, or browse our upcoming courses to find an online course that’s perfect for you.

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