Illustration: Alanna Rizza

Seven apps to help you through the school year

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By Sera Wong

Yes, we know, it’s another school year. To help everyone cope we’ve compiled a collection of apps that might help you throughout the year.

School Planner

When assignments pile up and exams draw nearer, it can all feel like a bit much. Plan out your day as efficiently as possible with School Planner. The app has the option to manage your grades while automatically calculating your average, so you’ll always stay on top of things. Create your own daily timetable in order to make the most out of your time. Available on Andriod and iOS.


Dealing with derivatives? Integration? Math, in general? It’s OK, everyone struggles. Symbolab will give you solutions to do with trigonometry, calculus, and more. It’s useful in a pinch, though if you want step-by-step solutions you’ll have to subscribe for $1.49 a week, $3.29 a month or $19.99 a year. If you have access to a computer, there’s a desktop version of Symbolab that will show you all of the steps for free. Available on Android and iOS.

Microsoft Office Lens

We’re all guilty of snapping a quick picture of the whiteboard instead of writing down actual notes. With Office Lens, you can take a picture of your notes and of a whiteboard or a blackboard, and turn it into a PDF, Word or PowerPoint file. The app will automatically adjust for glare while enhancing the photo to make the text readable. Office Lens will also accommodate for pictures taken at an angle, so you don’t need to sit at the front of the class to get a good picture. Available on Android and iOS.

Forest: Stay Focused

Phone addiction is a real thing nowadays. If you’ve got to study, and can’t seem to put down your phone, Forest: Stay Focused will encourage you to leave your phone untouched while you do what you need to do. When you start the app, you plant a seed. As time goes by the seed will grow into a tree, then a forest. Exit the app and your forest will wither and die. The premium version allows you help plant real trees the longer you stay focused. Available on Android and iOS.


We’re all broke students. Track your purchases and create your own customized budget by dividing your spending into different categories or “envelopes.” The free version will come with 10 regular envelopes and 10 annual envelopes. Share your budget by syncing it with up to two devices. The premium version will cost you $5 a month or $45 a year, and will get you unlimited envelopes, and syncing across up to five devices. Available on Android and iOS.

Desmos Graphing Calculator

Plot different functions and their derivatives easily and quickly! This app gives you the option of creating sliders, demonstrating the points of interest, plotting cartesian and polar inequalities, and more. Everything can be accessed offline, and can be useful while doing math while commuting, on campus or at home. Available on Android and iOS.

Really Bad Chess

For those of you who commute, we all know it sucks. The TTC will take forever, as always, and there’s next-to-no reception underground. Really Bad Chess is just like normal chess, except with totally random pieces, hence the “really bad.” Even if you’re not familiar with chess, it’s a fun way to learn with an added twist to make things interesting. Available on Android and iOS.

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