Our Lifehacker Pack collection of the best Mac apps rounds up tools for general use, but students need specific tools. If you snagged a shiny new Mac with one of those student discounts, here are the apps to load it up with.
Title image remixed from ivosar (Shutterstock).
Notational Velocity and/or Simplenote
Notational Velocity is a fantastic Simplenote client on Mac. Simplenote is a great way to keep all your class notes synchronised and stored in one place so you always have access to them. Likewise, Simplenote’s Mac app is effective and useful.
Evernote is an excellent resource for students to capture everything they have going on in class. If you need a little inspiration for how to use Evernote, Shep McAllister’s guest post on the Evernote blog outlines a lot of ways you can use Evernote in school, including taking snapshots of notes and blackboards and organising research.
iProcrastinate isn’t a to-do manager specifically designed for college students, but it might as well be. iProcrastinate isn’t a to-do manager specifically designed for students, but it could easily be. It works with class filters, step-by-step tracking, and repeating schedules. The iPhone version syncs with the desktop version through iCloud or Dropbox, so all your to-dos are in one place. If iProcrastinate doesn’t look like it will fit your needs, be sure to check out Wunderlist.
Sometimes it’s easiest for a student to have an all-in-one life tracking app. In that case, iHomework could come in handy. It features iCal integration for your schedule, as well as a full assignment tracker, reading list, reminders, course info, and easy access to teacher contact information.
Not long ago, students were stuck with Microsoft Office for their office suite, but now that Google Docs has offline editing it’s a solid replacement to Office for most students. The best part is the fact that it’s free, but it also has pretty much everything you need: spreadsheets, presentations, and a document editor. It also stores you documents in the cloud so you never to worry about the horrible just-lost-my-paper panic.
Carrying around textbooks is a huge hassle. Instead, provided your books are available digitally, you can just carry around your computer and access them on your PC. The Kindle app is also a great way to highlight, take notes and share those notes with other classmates.
We mention Dropbox in our annual Lifehacker Packs, but it’s worth noting again for students. Not only is Dropbox a handy place to store all your files, it can also be a lifesaver when you realise you forgot to bring in an assignment. Simply pop into Dropbox and retrieve or share that vital file.
Internet and Communication
Chrome’s a great choice for students because it syncs all your settings, browser history and your extensions. This makes it easy to keep your school laptop synced up with your desktop at home and your browser on your smartphone. Power users can get a lot from Chrome, so when you’re not busy writing papers, you’ll have plenty more to do.
Instead of wasting your money on SMS messages for your phone, an easy way to save a little cash in school is to use an instant messaging client. The bonus is that if you’re using it on your computer your professor probably won’t even realise you’re not paying attention.
Whether you just miss your parents, or you want a cheap and free way to talk to friends at other schools, Skype is one of the easiest video chat clients to use.
If you’re looking for more great apps for your Mac beyond what’s in our student pack, head to the Lifehacker Pack for Mac.