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Must-have focus, saving and wellbeing apps for your first term

Navigating your first couple of weeks at university is no mean feat, but luckily, there’s a whole host of tech to help you out. With so much out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. You face the risk of spending time and effort using one app only to find out that it doesn’t really work for you. So, here are some must-haves to have on your phone or tablet that will make your life easier as you balance lectures, extracurriculars, and socialising while embarking on the exciting adventure that is university.

Writing and storing your notes digitally means that you’ll be able to find what you need in an instant when you’re revising for a test or preparing for a seminar. There’s no need to sift through stacks of notes and flick through files, so be sure to use Microsoft OneNote for all of your notational needs. You can import your lecture slides, which you can find on Moodle, and annotate the slide as you listen to them speak, making sure that you don’t miss anything. Your notes will be synced between all of your devices, and there’s the option to use a stylus to write if you’ve got one. OneNote boasts the simplicity and functionality that many other note taking apps don’t offer, so create a section for each of your modules and you’ll be ready to take notes from the very first lecture. 

With so much out there, it’s difficult to know where to start

Sometimes the lure of a couple of seconds on your phone (which quickly turns into a few minutes) when you’re trying to get some work done can be too strong, especially if you’re in a number of freshers’ group chats that ping constantly. Forest sets you the challenge of not leaving the app for a certain duration. You plant a virtual tree at the beginning of your study session, but with a catch – if you exit the app for a quick scroll through social media (or any other app), your tree will die. It’s a simple way to keep you focussed for short stretches, and most importantly, get stuff done. 

Budgeting is, of course, a part of the illustrious student experience, but thankfully, there’s student discounts and other useful tools to help you on your way. Both Unidays and Student Beans offer an array of discounts for popular stores, so it’s a must that you check what codes they offer before you check out online or head to the till. All you need is your Warwick email to sign up. 

With the overwhelming majority of freshers staying on-campus, you’re bound to join the exodus to Cannon Park to stock up on basics. Without the Tesco Clubcard app, you won’t be able to get your hands on a coveted tub of Ben and Jerry’s at the reduced Clubcard price. As well as discounts, you can accrue vouchers to use in-store, making it a win-win download. Another no-brainer download/purchase is Amazon Prime because as a student, you’re entitled to six months’ free subscription, meaning you can have any forgotten items delivered to on-campus lockers free of charge, the following day. If you’ve got everything you need, the variety of films on Prime Video is a great starting point for a flat film night.  

After you’ve had a hectic day, Headspace is an excellent tool to create calm. The free version offers some helpful meditations to help you wind down, or to help you out if you just need a space to breathe. It’s easy to dismiss the power of meditation, or apps like these, but trust me, it’s worth a try. 

Young people are often chastised for their tech use, but as I’ve hopefully demonstrated, there are genuinely useful apps out there that will improve your wellbeing, save your money, and help you study, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me.


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