We recently put together our list of the best Windows apps, but students have different requirements for getting things done. For everyone gearing up for a semester of college, we've put together a list of the best Windows apps for students.
Syncing Note-Taker: ResophNotes
ResophNotes is a fantastic Simplenote client on Windows. Simplenote is a great way to keep all your class notes synchronized and stored in one place so you always have access to them.
Note and Idea Capture: EvernoteEvernote is an excellent resource for students to capture everything they have going on in class. If you need a little inspiration for how to use Evernote, Shep McAllister's guest post on the Evernote blog outlines a lot of ways you can use Evernote in school, including taking snapshots of notes, blackboards, organizing research, and more.
To-Do: WunderlistWhat we really like about Wunderlist as a to-do app is that it syncs across multiple devices, and it's incredibly easy to use. If you want to keep it simple, you can, but if you want to create complicated task lists for various classes, you can do that as well. Another handy feature for students is the ability to share your task lists with others. This should help make group projects less of a crapshoot.
Homework Manager: Get Organized
If you're looking for one place to drop all your assignments, events, and keep track of your grades, then Get Organized is the app for you. It's simple, and not especially pretty, but it gets the job done.
Books: Kindle for Windows
Carrying around textbooks is a huge hassle. Instead, provided your books are available digitally, you can just carry around your computer and access them on your PC. The Kindle app is also a great way to highlight, take notes, and share those notes with other classmates.
Office Suite: Google Docs
Not long ago, students were stuck with Microsoft Office for their office suite, but now that Google Docs has offline editing it's a perfect replacement to Office for most students. The best part is the fact that it's free, but it also has pretty much everything you need: spreadsheets, presentations, and a document editor. It also stores you documents in the cloud so you never to worry about the horrible just-lost-my-paper panic.
Document Backup: Dropbox
We mention Dropbox in our annual Lifehacker Packs, but it's worth noting again for students. Not only is Dropbox a handy place to store all your files, it can also be a lifesaver when you realize you forgot to bring in an assignment. Simply pop into Dropbox, and email the link directly to your professor from any computer.
Instant Messaging: Pidgin
Instead of wasting your money on SMS messages for your phone, an easy way to save a little cash in school is to use an instant messaging client. The bonus is that if you're using it on your computer your professor probably won't even realize you're not paying attention.
Price: Free, open source
Video Chat: Skype
Whether you just miss your parents, or you want a cheap and free way to talk to friends at other schools, Skype is one of the easiest video chat clients to use. It's also a way to phone-ify your computer so you don't have to wory about an annoying cell phone bill.
The Extended Pack
Streaming Music: Spotify
You have an abundance of choices for streaming music on your computer, but we're fans of Spotify for its massive collection of songs, and its free radio apps on mobile. Rdio is also worth looking at if Spotify doesn't fit your needs. The point is, with streaming apps you don't have to worry about trying to afford music throughout your college career.
Secondary Office Suite: LibreOffice
While we generally prefer Google Docs for creating and editing your own documents, that doesn't mean everyone else does. Just to be safe, it's not bad to have an Office suite on your computer, and LibreOffice is nice to have around in case you can't access Google Docs. It's also helpful for when you need advanced formatting options for certain types of assignments.
Research Assistant: Mendeley
Keeping track of research can get really complicated, especially when you're working with a bunch of different documents from your library. Mendeley is an organization tool that helps you keep track of all those PDF files. It also lets you annotate and generates citations on the spot.
If you're looking for more great apps for your Windows machine beyond what's in our student pack, head to the Lifehacker Pack for Windows.
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