As a student with terrible handwriting, I totally hate notebooks, Moleskine planners and just paper in general. However, even though I wasn't blessed with the ability to draw beautiful doodles and pretty headings, as a busy AF law student I needed an organization system that somehow could help me keep my notes on top, track my assignments, never forget a due date again and overall just help me survive college.
The answer was, surprisingly, on my phone. If you look up "school planner" in the AppStore or PlayStore, a decent amount of apps will pop up. But after a few months, some research and endlessly switching between different apps, I think there are three good enough to mention: MyHomework, iStudiez and My Study Life. But, which one's the most worthy, student-friendly and efficient? Let's try to find it out in this post.
1. My Study Life.
I know what you are thinking: it is pretty. The app design is gorgeous because it isn't too minimalistic or too heavy, it's just perfectly balanced. The overall experience is good, actually: most of the features are user-friendly, and all of them are completely free.
Is cross-platform (can be used in Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android) and you can sync your data bewteen devices for free.
One of the features I like the most is that you can track how much of your assignment you have completed.
Supports day and week rotation timetables.
You can set reminders to never forget that reading assignment again.
You can't fully customize when you get those reminders I was just talking about.
There's no widget available.
You can't add multiple professors or buildings/rooms for the same class, which is totally frustrating.
You can't add documents, links or images into a task.
The app hasn't been updated in over a year, so probably we won't be seeing any future improvement in performance or getting any new features, and for me, this is a deal-breaker: there are several things that can be adjusted to be more efficient and user-friendly. There are also key missing features (integration with calendars, adding grades, being able to add extracurricular activities/study groups, and many more).
My final score: 4.0/5.0
MyHomework was the very first student-planning app I ever used. It is reliable, there are constant updates and can be used virtually in every device. It includes a decent amount of features and for $5 you can get a premium account.
You can fully customize your reminders.
Syncs in all of your devices for free.
Has a very complete list of assignments to choose from.
It has two widgets.
You can add attachments to your task (only for premium accounts)
You can integrate the app with other calendars (but you gotta pay for that).
If you don't like the blue theme the app has, you can fully customize the color schemes or even upload a background of your own, but again, this is a premium-only feature.
The process of adding the classes, professors and rooms is very, very slow and not user-friendly.
Includes a little banner ad in the lower part of the screen.
Just like My Homework App, you can't add grades or any extracurricular activities.
The design is too minimalistic-oriented, and it can seem a little bit boring sometimes (and honestly, homework is already boring enough).
My final score: 3.5/5
3. iStudiez Pro.
This is the current student app I use, and is way superior than its other two rivals, at least in my opinion. Let's see why:
My absolute favorite feature is that you can integrate this thing with ANY calendar. iOS calendar, Google calendar, the Moleskine app, 24Me, etc. And it is a two-way integration: any event you add to your personal calendar will appear in iStudiez, and also your whole classes timetable will appear in the calendar you use. The sad thing: the second part of the integration only works if you have a premium account.
You can add your grades and GPA, and the very good news is it doesn't only work with the USA grading system: they made this option fully customizable, so whatever system you use, you can fit it in the app!
You can add multiple rooms and professors for the same class.
You can add holidays and canceled classes
It has two beautiful widgets.
The reminders are fully customizable.
You can sync it through all your devices, but that's a premium option.
Basically everything is free except the sync feature.
The premium account is 2.99, and I've heard you have to pay an extra 9,99 if you want this app in your Mac (but I'm not quite sure).
Final score: 5/5
For me, iStudiez is the best $2.99 a student can expend. It has a great support team, there are at least two updates every three months and the app itself is invaluable. Totally recommended!
Ps: what are your thoughts? By the way, I'm sorry if there are any mistakes! English is not my first language, but I'm trying to improve every day.