MBP apps for college student????

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Goober0311, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    I am looking for some apps that will help me with my studies. I have been out of school for more than 9 years. I am now going to college and was looking for some apps to help me along the way.

  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4S: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    You can start with Microsoft Office for Mac. That's probably what you'd use the most I imagine.
  3. macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    What are you studying?

    Have you spoken with your instructors about what software they use or recommend?

    What do you plan on doing with the MBP?
  4. macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2009
    Olympic Hills GC
    Agreed. If you are starting with generals, you'll only need a Word, Excel, Power Point to begin with. Usually your school will have any specialized software available to you, either on-campus or for discount to purchase on your machine.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    I have office, I got it cheap before I left the Marine Corps in Nov.

    As far as talking with my Professors, no I haven't. I use my MB for everything, school hopefully work as soon as I decide what it is I want to do. Looking at maybe doing computer science but not sure.

    right now i just need a few apps to help me study.
  6. macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004


    Good for organizing school tasks, made by a student.

    Dropbox to share documents with classmates
  7. macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    Welcome back! And thank you for your military service.

    Honestly, beyond a word processor there really isn't anything required for a BA. You probably will need a presentation program like PowerPoint, and you may well not need a spreadsheet program like Excel. You might want to start using a todo application like Things by Cultured Code, or OmniFocus. But you probably have experience juggling a lot of todos anyway, and whatever system you've used successfully in the past will do fine.

    From a professor's point of view, the best thing you can do to prepare for returning to college is to start reading books, preferably long or longish books, and books of the sorts with which you've not had much experience. For example, you might pick a historical topic that you don't know anything about and start reading history books about that topic. Or start with a classic novel that you've heard people discuss. Or if you're interested in computer science, read a book like The Soul of a New Machine, which is about how computer science works, not the mechanics of any one programing language. Really, that will give you a nice running start.
  8. shyam09, Feb 4, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012

    macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2010
    I'm in college, and I could tell you one thing for sure, I do not use these "study" apps like iHomework or iProcrastinate or something. I do have them b/c i thought it is cool and I need it and all. But nope, I used it once b/c I was bored in class and I figured I could create a time table or something about when my due dates are. but didn't use it after that :p

    One thing I do suggest is you try to find the pdf versions of your textbooks. A simple google search MIGHT yield great results- I've tried to find my books in pdf formal and so far I have been lucky for my "big - topic classes" - Bio/Chem/ Math, etc.

    I'm still looking for a great PDF reader, but Preview works quite fine [I have Lion and in full screen mode it is quite amazing].

    Yes, if you want a great note taking app and Office doesn't give you that feel, then I suggest you look into Evernote - it's quite popular as an organization / note taking app. It can sync across various devices too, so you would literally have your notes whenever and wherever. I have used Evernote once while in Econ class, and I despised it. I didn't like the style of UI, and it just wasn't helpful for me. So it does depend on the user.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Great info.

    As for the last reply, I will ignore everything you said except for the part about the apps and the pdf formatted text books. This was what I was looking for. Thanks.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2010
    ugh. i apologize for the post, but thanks for letting me know which parts you kept :) [i edited the post]

    also one thing i would also like to suggest app-wise is "MindNode

    The concept of this is basically an organization/brainstorming app, and it does seem quite simple in terms of the idea, but I find it very helpful.

    I find this helpful as a tool of "planning my essay or keeping my thoughts organized. It isn't a note taking app, but studies wise, i think that this tool would be great for brainstorming ideas.

    It isn't free [it's $20, so this may not sound appealing to you] but if you are interested, i suggest checking some youtube videos out, just so you don't blindly follow my words and then regret later.

    And lastly, i suggest you look at the following sites as they may give you an idea of what you may want [ a simple google search of mac apps for college]




    hope this helps!
  11. macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    You were fairly well set when you got the MS Office Suite. Most colleges/professors will want papers turned in in Word. A tip--if you don't already know things like paragraph layout controls (one example--hanging indent used in formatting references), table of contents, footnotes, etc, spend some time boning up on them.

    Excel will prove valuable if you take business courses. It is also used by some in introductory statistics, chemistry, etc. Powerpoint will probably be useful in a number of classes that will require you to make presentations (including group presentations).

    Check what software is available at student discounts from your college. These discounts are often better than 'regular' student software discounts offered by software retailers.

    Dropbox is great for cloud backup (and syncing if you have more than one device) 2 gb of storage is free.

    The following may depend on your personal preference:
    • a dedicated outlining tool -- OmniOutliner is the best
    • a mindmapping tool -- Freemind is free, open source. Mindnode is free on the appstore, Mindnode Pro is $20
    • a taskmanager/to do manager--many of these, some, such as wunderlist, are free. Things and OmniFocus (what I use) have been the big hitters. Firetask is worth a look as well.
    • a dedicated notebook tool--Evernote, simplenote, Circus Ponies Notebook... the list goes on. Search and review some of the forum discussions on notebook software if your interested in this area.

    Other software will depend on your major. For example, a math major would generally want a symbolic math manipulation program such as Maple or Mathematica, which might be free to math students at the college, but otherwise are hundreds/thousands of dollars.

    As you progress into the upper levels of college and then to grad school, there are other programs that become essential. However, most would be overkill in the first couple of years of college.

    Good luck!
  12. macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2010
    great post! double thumbs up! I'll be sure to flow up on the info you gave for myself! so thanks.
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Mathrules - I have dropbox and evernote and never thought about using them for school, not sure why. I will start trying to integrate them into my everyday use. and I will look into these other apps that you and everyone else here has suggested. College is new to me, I just got out of the Marine Corps after eight years, so getting back into the swing of school is challenging but nothing I can't handle. I'm just trying to minimize that challenge as much as possible. Also I'm fairly new to Mac as well, I have a lot to learn.

    Thanks guys.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    I only can speak for myself but dropbox is one of the most essential studying apps i know. I have any University related PDFs archived in different subject related folders. Old tests, homework, papers, e-books (some of university libraries have contracts with publishers so you can download ebooks for free), lab protocols, photos of the blackboard when I came to late to the class)

    And as student you get doubled dropbox space when using the referral program.

    Along with dropbox I use the iPad2 for note taking and as a second brain. I started note taking with my iPad because I have the unpleasant habit of having bits of papers everywhere. Now I use a stylus and notability to overcome this problem.
    I have my pdf-papers with me al the time. I can't forget them at home. I can annotate them without having to print them in the first place. I rarely have to lug around heavy books anymore.
    For note taking alone (I don't game) the original iPad is sufficient so you can go for a refurb or a used one...

    You said you left school 9 years ago so you may want tips of people with similar background. I was not in the military but as you I had some years between school and university. The modern tech helps me a lot to stay on top of things.
  15. IeU
    macrumors member

    May 1, 2011
    Care to share what App do you use for note taking in your Ipad and also what stylus . . .

    Thank you!
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    @ IeU

    Hi, I use Goodreader for PDF reading and annotations (its fully Viewer App compatible) and Notability for writing. (I also used Notes+ for some days but the lack of a decent Dropbox integration and the update of Notability made me switch again). My Stylus is the AluPen from Justmobile. Its big but as my Pelikan Pensil is neraly of the same format I can write with it comfortably.

    Hope this helps.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2010
    just thought i would mention this: i recently brought scrivener

    [they offer a free trial version too for 30 days]

    And although I haven't got the time to use it [i bought it after I wrote my first essay], I have to say the concepts look pretty awesome in the sense that it really organizes your ideas . It's basically a writing program, but it has great organization skills from what i researched.

    Since you m,may be thinking of majoring in Computer Science, I am not sure how useful you will find it, but maybe check out the links and see if you are interested. It costs $45 - kinda the downside of it; but just thought I would point it out :)
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    shyam09 thanks. I will look at it

    Everyone else thank you very much for all the help. I haven't been able to pull up all the apps. My time has been taken up by school for the most part. I will take a look at the hopefully tonight.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Though you might have already, if you are in computer science be sure to have Parallels, VMWare, or Virtualbox(free). It will be a lot easier than bootcamping!
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2011
    I don't have it yet. I am in a community college and right now I am just doing general studies. Once I move on to a University I will declare my major. I'm not even sure what those programs do, so I will look into them.


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