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Best Planner/To Do App for Student?

CJaneReadCJaneRead Registered User Posts: 1,610 Junior Member
edited June 2012 in Parent Cafe
Looking for recommendations for an iPhone app that goes beyond the basic calendar function. Something that ideally can function as a day planner and academic organizer.
Bonus points for a program that can synch the iPhone app with pc and can be used on a non-Apple platform, i.e. Windows PC and possibly Windows phone, in addition to the iPhone for multiple users wanted to connect their calendars.

Failing those specifics, in general, any good apps to help a student get organized?
Post edited by CJaneRead on

Replies to: Best Planner/To Do App for Student?

  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    There aren't a lot of sophisticated organizers out there - Microsoft One-Note and Growly Notes (Mac) come to mind.

    It sounds like a combination of Microsoft One-Note, The One-Note iPhone App and Outlook might be what you are looking for.

    I use Growly Notes and Google Calendar though a co-worker swears by One-Note, Personal Brain, Outlook and Office.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,795 Senior Member
    I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for, but I use google calendar which has a tasks feature. I sync that to my phone with the gtasks app I think it's called. I also have the google calendar on my phone so it keeps everything pretty organized.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Registered User Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    I can't stand putting events/tasks into my phone. I like to just use a regular planner; sometimes the act of writing things down helps me to remember it later. I've also never really seen an app that's really good...most of the free ones I've seen are just calendars with maybe one or two extra features.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    I use reminders on my phone, but this app can sync with laptop.
    iStudiez Pro for your Mac, iPhone, iPad
    It is currently on sale for $.99
  • NewHavenCTmomNewHavenCTmom Registered User Posts: 2,022 Senior Member
    Can anyone recommend an app for Android phones?
  • eastcoascrazyeastcoascrazy Registered User Posts: 2,366 Senior Member
    I'm with HisGraceFillsMe on this.

    I use a Barns and Noble Desk Diary. Hard covered, good sized but small enough to slip into a book bag/large purse. Basically a weekly calendar, but with a lot of space for each day.

    I want to see things written down, I write notes all over the margins, I write login and password info (kid's college tuition plans, College Board, Drivers Ed, etc.) I write directions to places, EVERYTHING goes in that notebook. In the back I list reminders of things I need to do next year. It sits open, on my desk, most of the time. Everyone in the house knows to check it. I keep them for years, and sometimes check back copies to see how I handled something in years past.

    If it isn't written in that planner, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't exist.

    And the battery never dies.
  • lizardlizard Registered User Posts: 3,410 Senior Member
    I used an old fashioned daily planner all through college; it's about 200 pages thick. In fact, the book I used each year was free and issued by the student government at my school. I used it religiously and carried it with me all the time at college. My smartphone was great though for getting email messages and texts, especially with my colleges's online automated management system.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    Products like One Note and Growly Notes are fairly sophisticated - you can put your entire work product in the application. It can import videos, audio, PDFs, pictures, links and you can format things as you wish. You can also encrypt sections, pages and notebooks so it's a safe place to store confidential personal and family information.

    I keep my work product and status information in Growly Notes so that I have access to it with my laptop.

    One-Note allows you to backup your work to the cloud and sync with other computers for backup or sharing with other users.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,391 Senior Member
    Google calendar does have advantage of being viewable from any computer and from phone.
  • CaliforniaDancerCaliforniaDancer Registered User Posts: 1,582 Senior Member
    This is far from a complete solution, but I use an app called TimeWorks on my Mac. It takes events from your iCal and floats them over your desktop background and they all approach a "timeline" showing when the event is about to happen. The visual helps me a lot because I open my computer many times a day and see my desktop background, and I find it much better than iCal on its own.

    That said, for homework assignments, I use both a physical planner and a large whiteboard calendar over my desk. But without TimeWorks, I probably wouldn't show up to meetings/ECs/other events half the time ;)
  • pelicularitiespelicularities Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    I've never had the discipline to stick with one planning/to do system for long. Ironically, it's when work builds up that my systems start to come apart; the effort required to maintain a system doesn't justify the increase in productivity for me, and I still lack the discipline to split up large tasks over time in a structured way. I just let them fester in the back of my head until I can't stand thinking about them any more and write down some next steps, or until I have a deadline, whichever comes first.

    The flip side is that I've used countless, countless planner and to-do systems in my quest to find a "perfect" one (there isn't one). I'm a Mac user, so most of what I'm familiar with is Mac-only, but one cross-platform choice is Remember The Milk. You have to pay a subscription fee for syncing though. It's very powerful but as with all powerful systems, it will take time to set up and grow into.

    You could also look into iProcrastinate (iPhone and Mac, not sure if they sync) and Erudio. Both are designed explicitly for students and feature things like weighed grade tracking. I've never used either so I can't comment on their effectiveness. My favorite to-do app is probably Things, but again, I've never used it consistently enough to know if it really helps me.

    In crisis I default to good old pen and paper, writing down a list of things I need to work on for the day, and just focus on getting through that.
  • pelicularitiespelicularities Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    I forgot to add that, as colorado_mom suggested, any app based on Google Calendar will sync across all platforms and it will also be multi-user, which seems like what you are looking for. If the institution uses Google Apps internally for email and scheduling (as NYU does, for example), then the students, faculty and administration are all already set up to use Google Calendar. We did this for a class group that worked together the whole semester last fall, and it was pretty effective.

    One more thing - to do apps are great, but make sure your to-do "technique" is also helpful. Always break down large tasks into small ones so specific that you don't have to think twice about what you have to do - don't write "research paper due next week" on your list, for example. Break it down into "look for sources on X, Y and Z in library", "draft an outline", "look for secondary source citing statistics for ABC," etc. You can't act on large projects until you figure out the little things that form the whole, so you might as well put those smaller items on the to-do list rather than the big one.
  • CJaneReadCJaneRead Registered User Posts: 1,610 Junior Member
    ^ good advice. Thanks.

    For any of you who have tried iphone apps, any feedback on
    iStudiezPro, myHomework, iPlanner, Nozbe or 2do?
  • jollibeejollibee Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I use two note apps:

    1) Evernote, I put everything into Evernote, text, images, articles, links... everything I think I will use it in future. Collect > Search, this is how I use evernote.

    2) Memonote, All notes I want to remember. Spaced Repetition + Reminder, It's good for long term memory.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,391 Senior Member
    I do still like paper for some things. But electronic calendaring has huge advantages - automated alarms, ability to collaborate with others, repeated meeting features etc.
This discussion has been closed.