20 Best Free Productivity Apps for Students: Top Picks

The best free productivity apps for students are designed to boost efficiency while studying or doing homework. Modern-day students face lots of distractions, which might make it hard for them to stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Best Free Productivity Apps

This complete guide reviews the top apps students can use to remain focused on their school-related work. The productivity apps below are designed to improve competency levels in different categories of students, which makes them indispensable tools in their school and personal life.

A Curated List of the Best Free Productivity Apps for Students

1. TickTick

  • iOS, Android, Web app, Mac
Unique features 
  • Intelligent tasks creation and allocation using Siri, voice input, and widget features
  • View strengths and weaknesses via tasks for improvement
  • Schedule recurring tasks
  • Collaborative
  • Includes feature useful for GTD
  • Cross-platform support
  • Restrictions on both free and paid accounts

TickTick productivity software will help you stay on track and do more. The application features tools that easily organize your tasks and improve daily habits. It has a calendar view and an inbuilt habit tracker. 

TickTick App

Besides all that, you can create and access tasks remotely and see how much you have accomplished using its Achievement score display. Data backup and synchronization ensure that your information stays safe, while the ability to convert emails into tasks is an excellent time-saving feature.

2. RescueTime

  • Mac, Windows, Android, iOS
Unique features 
  • Tracks the amount of time spent on different apps and notifies you when you spend more time on an app.
  • Blocks access to distracting websites to maintain focus on the work at hand.
  • Central dashboard for viewing progress against goals set in weekly goals reports and email reports.
  • Functions seamlessly and silently in the background
  • Outstanding reports and customization
  • Tracks time in applications and on sites
  • The mobile application could be better

RescueTime is one of the finest time management apps for students as it keeps all time-conscious activities under their full control. Its dashboard has features to track time daily, weekly, and monthly. Furthermore, you can allow the notification for each complete task.

You can stay on top of your learning activities by monitoring goals through weekly emails, goal reports, and the simple dashboard.

3. Notion

  • iOS, Android, Web, Windows, Mac
Unique features 
  • Create pages and folders to organize notes
  • Rich text formatting option for powerful note-taking
  • Create or use built-in templates
  • Great note-taking capabilities
  • Highly customizable features
  • Forever free plan with decent features
  • Poor security features

Notion is ideal for students collaborating on a project or class activity. It lets you take notes and perform other basic management activities effortlessly. Its multifunctionality and real-time collaboration make it one of the best all-in-one productivity apps for task management.

Students can collaborate, assign tasks, leave comments, and create reminders. Besides that, they can also save or annotate web articles and PDFs, create a to-do list, and scan physical documents.

4. Forest App

  • Android, iOS
Unique features 
  • Gamified timer for additional fun
  • Reduces mobile addiction
  • Set timers for different tasks
  • It lets you manage time using the gamified timer
  • Motivates you to focus by showing you how lush your forest becomes
  • iOS users must pay to use the app

Forest App closely resembles a smartphone game. But unlike a smartphone game, this app keeps you away from your phone and other devices so that you can focus on your learning for at least five minutes.

Forest App

This app plants a tree when you stay away from your device, and a tree takes 5 minutes to grow. That tree can only grow if you don’t touch your device. If you feel your phone is a major distraction to your learning, install the Forest App.

5. Otter

  • iOS, Android, Mac
Unique features 
  • Export text as PDF, TXT, or SRT, and MP3
  • Capitalize, punctuate, and break paragraphs automatically
  • Sync with Zoom to transcribe cloud recordings
  • Generous free plan
  • Superb transcription editing and collaborative tools
  • Supports major video conferencing platforms
  • Real-time transcription does not seamlessly keep up with natural speech
  • Poor accuracy score for audio test

Otter is a smart note-taking application, making it one of the best free productivity apps. The app works on the voice recognition algorithm, making it ideal for students who need quick solutions.

Typically, this AI voice transcription app comes in handy when you do not want to write an idea yourself, for instance, on a webinar. The phone will tap the voice and transcribe the words into readable words.

6. Evernote

  • iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, multiple browser extensions
Unique features 
  • Built-in templates for better organization
  • Can capture and save links, files, notes, confirmations, web clips, photos, itineraries, travel documents
  • Integrate applications
  • Multi-device note sync
  • Powerful advanced search
  • Comprehensive formatting features
  • Not ideal for short notes
  • The free tier has basic features only

Evernote (proprietary software) is a robust note-taking app with many features that allow you to make the most of your learning. This app for college students sports basic features such as a digital notebook that allows you to retrieve text from images, create to-do lists, save web articles, and scan physical documents and PDFs to annotate inside your notes.

Additionally, you can search, edit, and create notes in Siri or Ok Google. With an option to set reminders and email alerts, you reduce the risk of missing or sharing vital data or accomplishing a task.

7. Cold Turkey

  • MacOS & Windows (Works on all web browsers)
Unique features 
  • Works superbly on all browsers
  • Unlimited website blocking or exception
  • Compatibility with virtual private network VPN
  • Offer statistics to keep track of online activities
  • Easy to use
  • The free tier offers very few features
  • Hard to uninstall

Cold Turkey is a great productivity app to eliminate distractions when using the internet. You only need to set a timer that monitors your online period. This block app will block any distracting website, including social media, during this time.

Cold Turkey

While the app allows you to lock the entire website, you cannot unblock the site until the timer stops.

8. NaturalReader

  • Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge browsers
Unique features 
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality
  • Supports multiple languages, including English (US and UK), French (France and Canada), Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Spanish (Spain, Mexico, and the US), Italian, German, and Swedish
  • It provides a superb alternative to professional proofreading
  • User-friendly with solid text-to-speech capabilities
  • Customizable crystal clear voices to meet your needs
  • Works perfectly on numerous platforms
  • The free version must be on the internet to access the voices when using mobile devices.

NaturalReader is a text-to-speech application that can read webpages, PDFs, and eBooks aloud with quality, natural-sounding voices. This app is ideal for learners with reading problems such as dyslexia.

9. Todoist

  • Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web app
Unique features 
  • Integrates with Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Allows adding hyperlinks and formatting texts in different styles, such as adding titles and italicizing
  • Has location-based reminders
  • Adequate features in the free tier
  • Intuitive, natural language for scheduling, creating, and prioritizing tasks
  • Reliable and automatic syncing
  • User roles available only in the Business plan

This is a perfect productivity app for managing different tasks. Its simplified task and project management features make it better than other players in the industry.

Todoist App

You can create reminders and different outlines for various projects and set multiple priorities for your tasks.

10. Google Calendar

  • Web, Windows, iOS, Android, macOS
Unique features 
  • Schedule meetings and events and receive reminders about upcoming activities.
  • Allows creating and sharing schedules with classmates for effective collaboration.
  • It automatically adds events from other apps to your calendar.
  • Simple, practical, and easily accessible scheduling app
  • Clean interface
  • A suite of helpful organization, analytics, and time management tools
  • Calendars with several subscriptions can appear chaotic.

Google Calendar (freeware) is a classic, simple, practical, and easy-to-use application. The app allows you to easily organize your classes, assignment deadlines, events, and extracurricular activities on your PC and phone.

Google has added a suite of features in their calendar app to allow you to analyze, organize and manage time effectively. You can access the application from any online browser 24/7, but for quicker access, use the app on your smartphone.

11. Trello

  • Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web App
Unique features 
  • A quick drag-and-drop feature
  • Activity dashboard for creating and monitoring cards
  • Email reminders and notifications
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Highly responsive design
  • Easy to operate
  • The commenting feature is limited
  • Limited storage

Trello is a super-efficient project management software for collaborative teamwork, thanks to its simple visual boards. This robust tool has flexible features that allow you to organize many aspects of your life. Trello (proprietary license) allows integrations with other services, such as Evernote and GitHub.

12. Microsoft OneNote

  • iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web
Unique features 
  • Write or sketch ideas on your tablet, and move the notes around a page
  • Type notes or record audio on your laptop.
  • Effective search function
  • Can extract text from images
  • Rich with features
  • Generous free version
  • Web-clip not very powerful
  • It can be slow at times

Microsoft OneNote is a feature-rich productivity app for college and university students. This is Microsoft’s answer to Evernote, as it is free but offers next-class features. Talk of remarkable flexibility in note-taking, with each page having a ring binder and a blank canvas.

You can drag and drop images into documents easily and comment on images. That makes it one of the best note-taking apps.

13. Microsoft To-Do

  • Web apps, iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows
Unique features 
  • Collaboration features on the desktop/web application for Windows and Mac devices.
  • Security – allows two-factor Authentication for identity verification but also uses SSO capabilities of Azure
  • Allows the creation of main tasks alongside subtasks to allow you to track your activities
  • File uploading in each task
  • Simple user interface
  • Minimal feature set

Microsoft To-Do lets you work on all your devices, starting your day with a clear overview. This app will help you balance errands, assignments, clubs, and everyday tasks as a student. This ranks among the top productivity apps for students Windows 10 users can take advantage of.

14. ClickUp

  • Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Web
Unique features 
  • The Hierarchy offers you more flexibility and control to organize your tasks effectively
  • Organize, plan, and collaborate with classmates and teachers on different projects
  • Customizable features
  • All in one platform
  • Collaborative features
  • highly customizable
  • Limited time tracking
  • Only 100 MB of storage

ClickUp ranks among the best productivity apps for students because it brings everything under one project. The app gives you access to task lists, spreadsheets, and wikis and lets you send and receive emails. Also, you can easily track the time spent on each task.

15. Quizlet

  • iOS and Android, and several Windows and Mac browsers
Unique features 
  • Give access to multiple custom question sets
  • Students can access questions set by tutors for revision
  • Has Long Term Learning, Speller, Scatter, Flash Cards, and Gravity Modes of learning
  • It has an application programming interface that allows you to access Quizlet data.
  • Promotes collaboration and teamwork
  • Ads can distract learners

Quizlet has simple learning tools for different areas of study. As a student, you use flashcards, practice tests, and expert solutions to improve your grades and reach your goals.

Quizlet App

If you select “Study Mode,” activity content is migrated from flashcards to other types of study games easily and responsively.

16. Tide

  • iOS, Android, Chrome extension
Unique features 
  • Has a Focus Timer for using the Pomodoro Technique
  • A data journal tracks your progress accurately
  • Generates daily inspiration quotes
  • Covers productivity and wellness
  • It has a beautiful design and is easy to use
  • Combines a focus timer with soothing sounds and meditation
  • Well-selected ambient sounds
  • Annoying notification to upgrade
  • Sounds fade abruptly at the end of sessions

Tide blends productivity, wellness, and beautiful user design. The app targets physical and mental care by integrating sleep, meditation, relaxation, and focus. You can personalize Pomodoro-focus sessions with multiple nature sounds, white noise, and calm music.

With Tide, you can improve focus and tune out other noises by mixing different sounds to create a perfect sound environment for working or relaxing. The relaxing sounds mask factors that create a distraction or a negative environment. The beautiful UI makes it one of the best aesthetic productivity apps for students.

17. Habitica

  • iOS app, Android, Desktop (Wavebox)
Unique features 
  • Habit building and tracking
  • Fully customizable task list
  • To-do and checklists management
  • Extensive features to gamify your life
  • Fully customizable task list an
  • Ability to individualize multiple aspects of habits and goals
  • Complex user interface

Habitica lets you gamify your habits, thus getting stuff done while having fun. Create a to-do inventory, daily goals, and habits, and earn rewards whenever you accomplish them. A reward unlocks multiple in-app features and allows you to level up your avatar.

Remember, Habitica (gnu general public license) is an open-source online task management application, so you can access it as you wish. This is an easy-to-use and efficient tool for any student. You can use this software remotely without issues. The ability to customize your to-do things makes it one of the distinguished to-do list apps for learners. Additionally, the calendar is effective in helping you keep tabs on deadlines.

18. Toggl

  • Android and iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, and Firefox and Chrome productivity extension
Unique features 
  • Several performance-measuring reports
  • Bulk editing to make changes simultaneously
  • Automatic task timer and timesheet management
  • A simple and intuitive user interface
  • Works seamlessly with multiple applications
  • A generous free version
  • Limited feature range outside time tracking

Toggl is a dedicated time-tracking tool with a set of powerful features. The free version allows you to time your tasks automatically. Just start the time when you begin your task and turn it off once done.

Toggl App

Additionally, you get multiple reporting tools to track performance and evaluate how you spend your time.

19. Google Drive

  • macOS/PC, Android, iOS
Unique features 
  • 15 GB free for all the videos, images, and texts
  • Team collaboration
  • Advanced search features
  • User-friendly interface
  • Microsoft Office compatible
  • Share files using a customized link
  • Requires an internet connection to work

G-Drive (Sheets, Slides, and Docs) is a perfect tool for collaboration and consultations. Using a custom link, you can create, edit, and share documents with your classmates or tutors. Team members can work on projects in real-time, reducing back and forth.

Google Sheets lets you create, edit and format spreadsheets online, while Google Docs is an online word processor for creating and sharing word documents.

20. MyHomework Student Planner

  • iPad, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows, Mac, and Chromebook
Unique features 
  • Tracks your classes, homework, tests, and assignments
  • Beautiful weekly and monthly calendar display
  • Receive homework prompts/reminders
  • Straightforward user interface for easy monitoring of class events
  • You can communicate with your teachers
  • Importing class assignments is manual, making it a tedious task

MyHomework is one of the best productivity apps for android devices. Nevertheless, it functions well as a cross-platform student planner. It packs many free apps, allowing students to access the planner remotely and at any time.

MyHomework Student Planner

Its cross-platform nature makes it one of the most suitable productivity apps for students iPad users can download.


We have reviewed some of the best focus apps for students in this write-up, so if you want to boost your productivity, consider the following points:

  • Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, Google docs, or Microsoft Word Online are the best note-taking productivity tools for any student.
  • For time trackers, consider Toggl and RescueTime.
  • However, if you are looking for a collaborative environment, go with Google Drive, Otter, Trello, and Notion.
  • All the mentioned apps have a free and premium tier. While you can use them without paying for a subscription, their feature set is reduced.

These are some of the best productivity applications if you are looking to multitask, collaborate, or boost productivity. Choose one based on your needs and start being more productive today!

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