8 free apps and tools to help you study and socialise more effectively

If you’re looking for some extra support during the lockdown look no further than your smartphone and laptop. The key to feeling connected and getting more out of studying and socialising is at your fingertips.


We aim to make your life easier, with our personalised system of STEM video content and study guides tailored to your needs. Knowing this information is there whenever you need it means you can cover the work you need to do in your own time. This not only helps you tackle tougher subject areas with more confidence but will also enable you to practice as much as you need to. 

Evernote App 

The Evernote app helps you focus on what matters most thanks to its easy to access pool of information. You can manually input information and add to-do lists, photos, images, web pages, audio and work documents, and access them on all your devices. Better yet, it’s all instantly searchable. It’s especially useful for annotating documents with notes and comments, as well as being able to share everything with fellow peers.


Trello is the best task-tracking app on the market and will make studying that much easier to manage. You can create cards for individual tasks, label functions to place them in order of priority and tick them off as you go. 

For ease, you can also view on boards for each topic area, or via a calendar for daily to-dos. Plus you can share study boards with students you work with, and they can add comments to the cards, helping you to study and stay in touch.

Google docs

Working on documents with your tutors or peers is easy with Google Docs. Instead of sending documents back and forth through email, and then trying to track everyone’s change, you can just save your file as a Google Doc and select the people you want to share it with. It’s a live document so you can see comments and changes from others, making for some good collaborative work.

Photo credit: Africa studio, shutterstock

House Party app

The Houseparty app uses a split-screen to make multiple video chatting easy between 8 users, adding in a feature that allows for secret chats among participants. You can also create rooms and ask people to join your video-chat room by sending a link through text. The idea is when you open the app; it is similar to a house party where you chat with other people already ‘in the house’. When you use the app, your friends will be alerted that you are available to video chat and can join in.

Zoom app 

Zoom is the new Skype and was downloaded 2.13m times around the world on 23 March, the day the lockdown was announced. The free version allows for video calls of less than 40 minutes, though reconnect on the same link after your 40 minutes is up, and you are all back on again. Launching a chat can be done at the click of a button, or you can either generate a link to send to your friends.

Google Hangouts

There are two versions of Google Hangouts; Hangouts Chat is the consumer version of Hangouts, used for connecting with your friends. Unlike Zoom, hangouts are also far easier to use on mobile and tablet if that’s your preference.

Messenger VS WhatsApp

It’s likely you already have these two apps on your phone. WhatsApp wins on the privacy front as everything is encrypted. But when it comes to giving you a wide range of access to contacts, Facebook Messenger wins over WhatsApp. For calls WhatsApp seems to have better signals for international and rural calls.