Dreading next week? Make the new term easier all round with our pick of the most essential back to school apps for iOS and Android...

It was an absolute stonker, but the summer is finally drawing to a close, which can only mean one thing: school’s starting back up again! Whether you’re a student, a parent or a teacher, you’re going to need all the help you can get to make it through the transition into term time, which – as always – is where a variety of apps can make all the difference.

From homework help to the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning, these are the back to school apps you need in your educational arsenal this year…

myHomework | Free + In-app purchases, iOS and Android

Anyone old enough to remember wrapping their school planner in sticky-back plastic will marvel at myHomework, a multi-platform app that wants to fully replace old-fashioned pen and paper when it comes to organisation. With it you can mark down your class timetable, and then quickly jot down homework tasks per subject – each with due dates and reminders. It’s a really clean, simple to use app that should take the stress out of remembering which essay is due in when.

Notability or Goodnotes | £9.99 & £7.99, iOS

As with myHomework, both Notability and Goodnotes are fully-featured organisationally minded apps set on making paper obsolete. Both offer a similarly stellar suite of note-taking tools, from handwriting recognition to voice notes, and both sync to the cloud – making it next to impossible to lose your scribbles. Either app is great for helping you keep everything in order thanks to fully searchable digital workspaces and unlimited virtual notebooks. Got a 2018 iPad or iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil? These apps both work brilliantly.

StudyBlue | Free + In-app purchases, iOS and Android

Flash cards are a surefire way to memorise important information and lock it in place ahead of big exams. But making making those cards is often a chore. StudyBlue is a digital flashcard making tool that lets you add pictures, videos, and information to a limitless supply of cards. Better still, you can share your handiwork with the StudyBlue community, or check out study aids made by other users on the subject you’re struggling with.

MindMeister | Free + subscription, iOS and Android

One thing school and university curriculums often don’t cater for is the fact that some people are more visual learners than others. If that sounds like you, then MindMeister might be a good tool to help new information stay in place. That’s because it’s a simple, easy way to make sprawling ‘mind maps’ – diagrams of your thoughts that each start with an initial concept before branching off into as many different subsections as you need. If you’d rather draw a brainstorm than write a list, this is the app for you.


Fit Brains | Free + In-app purchases, iOS

Need to give your mind a bit of a workout? Fit Brains is a brain training app with a big roster of games (over 60, to be exact) and the ability to compare yourself to others in your age group – it’s also been built with the help of real neuroscientists. But where things get really cool for the back to school set is that the app can help you grow your emotional intelligence, too. Games made to specifically help you improve your social skills, self-awareness and self-control should help you become king or queen of the playground in no time.

Freaky Alarm | Free, iOS

Habitual snoozer? You’re not alone out there. Getting up early for the first time in six weeks is tough, but you can put an end to those naughty nine-minute naps with Freaky Alarm – an app that promises to make you work before it pipes down. Among its many tricks are puzzles to solve and games to tackle, as well as physical challenges like scanning a specific barcode in the kitchen cupboard. Oh, and the app even locks your phone’s ‘volume down’ button, so don’t go trying to ignore it.

Khan Academy | Free, iOS and Android

We know revision is an unexciting prospect, but do it right, and you can do it less. To that end, Khan Academy is an indispensable revision resource for any school subject, packed with over 150,000 exercises and 10,000 videos. And, thanks to the ability to work offline and save bookmarks; you can stay on course with your revision no matter where you go. It’s a one-stop shop for making those facts and figures stick.

Skillshare | Free + subscription, iOS and Android

Fancy going extra-curricular? Skillshare is a leading online learning platform that offers courses for your phone, tablet or desktop in just about any field you can think of. So, while school might be covering the basics of Maths, Science and English, you might find a Skillshare course to teach you coding, Adobe Photoshop or filmmaking techniques in your spare time. You can get started for free, or pay a subscription (from £7 per month) to unlock the full gamut of over 22,000 online classes.

Get more awesome apps… Here’s our roundup of 2018’s best news-reading apps that’ll keep you on top of current events (without the clickbait).