Apps to Help Avoid Procrastination and Increase Productivity

Apps, apps, apps. We are constantly using the ones we like best and perhaps a little more often than necessary. Even the ones that sit on our home screen lifeless, not so much, but we still keep them around for some reason. For college students, apps usually serve as a means to procrastinate academic responsibilities. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are common culprits.

Sitting at your desk trying to start a paper that is due tomorrow? Scrolling on Instagram before you start seems like a harmless idea. Then, you realize it's a half hour later and you've managed to creep on ten different accounts, meanwhile, your Microsoft word template is blanker than your bank account.

There is no argument that certain features of these mobile apps can definitely get in the way of our progress. There are a number of apps, however, that can be especially useful to improving the every day lives of college students.

One of the key aspects to completing all your assignments on time is to be organized. is an app for this: it lays out a to-do list which you can create daily or weekly. It prioritizes your tasks in the order that you need them done. You can type to add new items to the list or use your voice to include them.

According to the app's website, it is used by millions and won app awards in 2012 by both Apple and Android. Similarly, Clear is another organizational app, but this synchronizes various to-do lists such as: grocery list, homework to do, etc. It syncs your task lits with other devices, making it easy to open in wifi.

Besides the use of organization, apps can assist with classwork. StudyBlue is designed to help study for tests. It does this by creating digital flashcards and it can even upload review guides to study on your computer or your phone. It has a unique ability to filter out the notecards you get correct to ensure you study extra for the material you do not know.

Apps like CamScanner and Snap2PDF allows you to take a photo of a document of textbook and converts it into a PDF. This makes it so you can easily scan these papers and upload them to your phone. Allie Phillips is a senior communication major who uses CamScanner.

"This app was helpful when dealing with paperwork for financial aid that had to be signed by myself and my parents," Phillips said.

Of course, having these catered to be in sync with school necessities is beneficial. However, other social college rites of passage are included in these apps too and are just as important.

A universal complaint that is shared by students everywhere: they're broke. Well, there's an app for that. guides your budget and allows you to see the percentage of what types of goods your money is most and least spent on. Some features include tracking spending and receiving bill pay reminders.

For off-campus students, grocery shopping is another rite of passage that can be a hassle. ShopWell is an app that allows the barcode to be scanned and an analysis of the product comes up.

Staying healthy in college is a challenge faced by many, but this app helps decide if a food is the best option and may even offer alternatives. Amanda Unanski Enright, an adjunct nutrition professor, uses ShopWell.

"The app (ShopWell) is not only focused on weight loss, but it can also help people looking to control their diabetes, cholesterol, and heart health. If you have any allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances, the app will also alert you if a food item contains any of those items," she said.

In addition, many young people are concerned with their physique, too. Apps like My Fitness Pal, Map My Run, and My Net Diary log calorie intake or exercise so you can reach health goals.

"I like that when you are establishing your daily calorie goals, My Fitness Pal alerts you if your desired weight loss is not realistic or safe in the desired timeframe," Enright said.

If you are in the mood to treat yourself to good eats but not sure where to look, the app, Yood, is a food category app that finds restaurants by location. Just search a type of food and it will match you. Taylor Vullo, a senior communication major, uses the app.

"Yood is perfect for when my roommates and I want to try new places in the area when we're in the mood for something specific but not sure where to go," Vullo said.

Instead of wasting time on your normal go-to apps, check out some of these. Many apps out there can be useless, but these ones can make your life a whole lot easier.