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Essential Mac Apps for Students

Students: Have a Mac, iPhone or iPad? Don't miss these essential apps for homework, organization, note taking, communication, budgeting and even avoiding procrastination.

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Mac Apps for Homework

  • NeoOffice -NeoOffice is a full suite of office applications, including spreadsheets, word processing and even a mobile app. Like OpenOffice, it's a free, full-feature alternative to Microsoft Office, but this application is specially designed for the Mac OS.
  • Schoolhouse 3 - This homework manager will help students organize assignments, exams and other projects on their Mac. The manager is efficient and easy to use, and while it's not free, it's available for under $5.
  • Scrivener - Designed exclusively for Mac OS, Scrivener makes it easy to outline, write and edit research papers and essays. You can try Scrivener free for 30 days.
  • iFlash - This Mac app creates virtual flash cards that you can study on your computer. It also has a recording feature with audio playback. There is a 15-day free trial available.
  • Gimp - Need to edit a figure for that research paper or some photos for that art project? Gimp's got you covered: It's a free, full-feature alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner - Although new Mac computers come with a native application for backing up data, many people find it difficult to customize Time Machine's settings. Carbon Copy Cloner offers a more feature-rich (and free) alternative to help you avoid losing the work you've already done. This handy Mac app will automatically back-up and restore all of your files according to a schedule you determine.

Mac Apps for Organization

  • Assignment Planner - This low-cost application helps you keep track of assignments, projects, courses and even textbooks, and offers a calendar to help manage deadlines.
  • iProcrastinate - This homework/task manager has all kinds of cool features for students, including syncing between multiple devices. You can get iProcrastinate for Mac or iProcrastinate Mobile for iPhone and coming soon for iPad.
  • Slife - If you lose track of time playing around on your computer, you may want to consider downloading this free Mac app. Slife tracks your computer activities and time and makes it easy to see how you might streamline your student life.
  • Anxiety - This to-do list application for Macs is designed to be simple and easy to use. Anxiety can be synched with iCal and Mail and is fully customizable.
  • Think - This Mac app is designed to help you focus. It puts all applications out of sight but one, then retrieves apps quickly and easily later on.

Mac Apps for Note-Taking

  • Journler - Journler is first and foremost a note-taking application, but it has several other useful features, including importing and exporting capabilities and integration with Mail and Address Book.
  • WriteRoom - This no-fuss application for Macs and iPhones blacks out your entire screen and gives you a clean, distraction-free space to write and take notes.
  • xPad - Known as the 'ultimate notepad,' xPad is a text editor that creates, saves and organizes documents automatically. Other capabilities include export features, color coding and categorization.
  • VoodooPad - VoodooPad has so many features that it would be difficult to list them all here. Primo capabilities include encrypted note-taking, page synchronization, exporting and automatic document linking (just drag and drop).
  • PagePacker - This handy app makes it easy to edit and create pocket sized books that include everything from calendars and notes to images and PDF files.

Miscellaneous Mac Apps

  • Adium - This free instant messaging application helps you combine clients and connect to other messaging services. Supported services include Google Talk, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, MySpace, Jabber, Facebook chat and a whole lot more.
  • iStumbler - If you like to get off campus to do your homework, you'll find that iStumbler is indispensable. This wireless discovery app hunts down wi-fi spots and classifies the strength of the signal.
  • Hotspot Shield - Hotspot Shield keeps you secure and anonymous when browsing the Web. This free app hides your IP address and protects you in wi-fi hotspots.
  • Mint - Mint is widely heralded as the best free money manager on the Web. It's available for Macs and iPhones and offers secure and easy-to-use tools to budget and track spending and investments.
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