20 Useful Websites Every Student Should Know About

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.

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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19 Comments:
  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Zotero. It’s a standalone application, but it can also be synched with an online account.

  2. I would add Topdox. It was a hassle to download several clouds for me to share documents with my teammates.

  3. To get my books, I use a website called booksprice.com
    It compares the best prices from across the Web.

  4. hello guy my name lay. i want to know how to study with other country on internet . dont forget reply back guy.

  5. So you don’t think Quora is a good website for students? That baffles me alot.. This site is more than for every student.

    • I’m not sure why you’re making that assumption. The post isn’t called “The ONLY useful websites for students” – there are certainly more than 20.

      • Sorry, I know its a matter of preference/choice but Quora is aurguably one of the best sites for students.. A top site with lots of professionals to deal with any questions users ask!

      • I think Quora’s great too – but again, this list wasn’t a ranking or even a “best” list. It’s just a list.

  6. Really helpful, thanks! And I would add https://www.papercheck.com This service helps me with my master’s thesis editing. The editor did not only improve my text, but added recommendations and rules about how to avoid the same problems in the future.

  7. I think you forgot about one website. that is ivyties. Ivyties is a social network for students. Students can get help with their college admission and throughout their college journey.

  8. Hey Tom,

    I already use 7 of the sites you suggest, and I agree on how useful they are, that drives me on trying the other suggestions you make although I found mint not satisfactory as I am not a US citizen and therefore I don’t have an american credit card, do you know any other app or service that is similar to mint but is usable for European cards, that would be really useful for me.

    On the other hand thanks for other suggestions such as cheatography or coggle, I discovered this through your video and I now use them as they are really useful. Thanks for helping me become more productive every week.

    Keep creating awesome content,


    Cristian D. Cimpianu

  9. This a collection of amazing websites, but the thing is: Do you you use all of these websites at once?!! It made me feel complicated.
    I tried once to use To Doist along with Google calendar and I ended up uninstaling Google calendar. I felt distracted, If I already have a list of “TO DOs and Events” on todoist then what is the point with repeating them again on Google calendar. To me I was just copying. So what can I do to manage all of these websites at once.
    A second issue which the websites that I can use to learn something outside what I learn at college as lynda. I really want to learn programming and coding but every time I attempt to learn I tell myself: “stop wasting time and go learn a few German words”
    P.s: German is what I learn at college.
    That makes me feel bad because I feel guilty of spending time learning a code instead of a few German words. So I would like to hear your opinion maybe you have a piece of advice for me. Thank you

    • Hey, Sara, as far as using all the resources at once, I’m not sure that’s the point. I prefer to think of it as a list of resources I can dip into as I need them. I may not look at Instructables every day, but when I need to learn how to build a shelf or make a gift, I know it’s available. That’s the beauty of posts like this–you can just bookmark them and refer back to them as needed.

      As far as using both Todoist and Google Calendar, I use Google Calendar for time-sensitive events, such as appointments, classes, and due dates. Todoist is for tasks that I need to get done at some point, but not necessarily by a specific date or time. Managing all my to-dos in Google Calendar would be overwhelming, but Todoist just lets me have them on a list, which I can choose to assign to specific days if I want. Ultimately, the “best” productivity system is the one that works for you. I view other people’s systems as inspiration for creating my own, not as rules to be followed absolutely.

      As far as learning outside of class goes, I think you should ask yourself why you want to learn coding. If it’s important to you, then there’s no reason you can’t do both. I think if you scheduled specific times every day/week for learning German and learning coding, you wouldn’t feel guilty about either.

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