I’ve always been a sucker for shiny new websites that let me do things more efficiently – or at least in a novel way.
As a result, I probably spent way too much time in my classes browsing productivity and website review blogs, r/InternetIsBeautiful on Reddit, and other places.
Whatever lecture time I missed out on, though, I made up at least in part though finding a ton of websites that helped me be more productive as a student. Additionally, becoming a walking encyclopedia of web tools helped when it came to group projects; I was often able to suggest tools that helped my groups get work done far faster than normal.
Today, I’m dipping into that knowledge pool and combining whatever I find with some additional current research. Here’s the result: 20 incredibly useful websites I think you should know about if you’re a student.
If this list isn’t enough for you, you’ll find even more websites, apps, and tools over at the Resources page, which I’m always adding things to.
- Stack Exchange – a collection of question-and-answer communities. If you’ve got questions about chemistry, math, programming, or pretty much anything else, you’ll probably find an answer here.
- Wolfram Alpha – a “computational knowledge engine”, this site can calculate basically any math problem and come up with data on all kinds of things (including all Pokemon data!)! Step-by-step solutions to math problems used to be free, but they cost money now. For a free (but less easy-to-use) solution, try SymPy Gamma.
- StudentRate – a site that aggregates student deals and discounts on clothes, travel, textbooks, electronics, and lots of other things.
- Sleepyti.me – uses the sciences of REM cycles to calculate the optimal time you should go to bed in order to feel well-rested, based on when you plan to wake up.
- Habitica – formerly HabitRPG, this is my favorite tool for building habits and you probably know I’ve talked about it before. If you end up using it, check out the CIG guild – we’re up to around 1,500 members now!
- Todoist – my task manager of choice. I like the clean design, organizational features, and the fact that all my tasks sync across multiple platforms. However, I will say that the bulk of my task management happens on paper/whiteboards these days. Todoist just functions as one of the quick capture components of my system.
- Google Calendar – old and trusty. I’ve been using GCal since I was a freshman, and while it hasn’t changed a whole lot since then, it really doesn’t need to. It accessible in any browser, has great smartphone apps, and just works.
- Dropbox – another app I’ve been using since my early college days, Dropbox keeps all your files synced, updated, and backed up across all your computers. Recently, their browser interface has gotten much better – you can now preview most file types right in the browser without having to download them.
- Lynda – a huge library of video courses that can help you learn tons of skills, mainly centered around computing and media production. Lynda is particularly good for learning the ins and outs of computer software.
- Mint – a tool that lets you view all your financial account in one place, track your spending, and set up budgets.
- Rate My Professors – a site that allows students to write reviews of professors. I don’t take this site’s ratings as the golden truth, but it has steered me towards some great professors in the past.
- Coggle – a cool little mindmapping (one of my favorite note-taking methods) tool that lives in your browser.
- Your university website! – If you’re not familiar with it, get on it. Most university websites have course catalogues, schedule planners, financial aid information, scholarship listings, academic calendars, student job boards, and other useful things.
- Written Kitten – potentially the greatest writing aid ever invented. Set a target word count, and whenever you hit it, you’ll get a new picture of a cat. What could be better? Note: There’s currently a bug that prevents pictures from showing when you set count to 100 words, so set it to at least 200.
- Cheatography – a really cool site that collects cheat sheets that condense information on all kinds of topics. This could be helpful for building study guides.
- Bibme – a tool that can help you automatically generate bibliographies and source citations. I like it better than similar tools because it lets you search for books and other sources; if it recognizes what you searched for, it can often auto-fill all the citation fields.
- Ankiweb – the web component of Anki, my favorite spaced-repetition software. I kinda used Ankiweb as an excuse to put Anki on a list of websites, but it’s legit because it’ll let you study your flashcards in the browser. However, you do need to have Anki downloaded first.
- Instructables – a site where people can post DIY project tutorials. I put my hanging desk and hanging loft bed projects on there, but you’ll find much more practical projects as well.
What are your favorite useful websites?
If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.