Students need all the help they can get these days. Getting ahead in school is important for your future. But keeping everything organized, and learning everything you need can be a daunting task. The good news is that there is plenty of help available. Here are 25 free web tools that every student should use to help keep on top of school work:

Organization and Calendar

3723446348_3a3f1fc524You need to keep your assignment due dates straight, as well as keep track of what is required for different school projects. The good news is that there are plenty of free organizational tools that can help you keep your schedule straight:

  1. Google Calendar: If you are looking to keep everything neatly organized, Google Calendar can help. You can receive reminders, invite others to events (handy for group projects), and color code entries to easily pick items according to schedule. Plus, you can access Google Calendar from anywhere you have Internet access. There is an add-on called RememberTheMilk can be integrated to help you manage your tasks easily.
  2. Zoho Projects: This is a great calendar and organizational tool for graduate students who want to be able to manage complex projects, as for a thesis or dissertation. The nesting feature makes it easy to manage tasks and milestones, breaking things down into more easily managed bits. File sharing is available, for those who are working on group projects.
  3. Basecamp: You can create task lists, and check them off as items are accomplished. This is a great collaborative tool for group projects, as it allows file uploads, and a way to keep track of comments and conversations. Also a great place to track milestones and keep up with complex projects.
  4. Neptune: A simple to-do list manager, Neptune is ideal for ordering tasks and organizing your projects. You can create different folders for different projects, and enter tasks according to their importance. It is possible to set up Neptune to email you daily with your task items. Also includes a note-taking capability.
  5. 30 Boxes: If you are looking to integrate your calendar with RSS feeds and news, 30 Boxes is ideal for you. It is possible for you to enter items into a calendar, and then have your days updated automatically with information from a course site or campus event site.
  6. HipCal: This calendar was just acquired by the business contact site Plaxo. But HipCal is still immensely helpful — and now you can integrate your schedule with your Plaxo contacts and other contacts. HipCal features email and SMS alerts, as well as to-do lists and group calendars for multi-person assignments.
  7. CollegeRuled: Create your class schedule every semester, and keep track of assignments and projects. Arranged weekly, it provides you with an easy to read schedule. You can also manage tasks, set up class message boards and link to Facebook.


If you want to create reminders about helpful web sites, or make notes while in class, notetaking applications can be quite helpful. This is especially true in some classrooms where it is required to have a laptap — or at least allowed. Here are some great notetaking web tools:

  1. Stickies: In theory, Stickies work like virtual Post-It Notes. You can put these yellow notes on web pages to come back to later. You can also make notes on things learned in class and leave them on relevant pages.
  2. NoteMesh: Take notes on your classes, and then compare them with other students’ notes. NoteMesh is a sort of wiki for class notes. Everyone can share notes, and increase collaboration. And who knows? Someone might have noticed something you missed. Also helpful for when you are ready to go back and study for the test.
  3. Evernote: You can capture image, text, audio and video easily using Evernote. It is available for use on both Mac and PC, and provides ease of use when capturing information and making notes on what you have. Tagging makes it easy to search your notes and find what you are looking for.
  4. Google Notebook: It really isn’t a surprise that Google has a notetaking tool. Notebook allows you to collect different articles, and place them in notebooks. For students, this can be a great research tool, allowing you to collect sources, comment on them, and label them for later use in an assignment or project.
  5. Notecentric: You can take notes on a number of subjects, and then have them automatically synchronized. Organize your notes by course, making it easy to access them later, and to search them for what you need. Keeps everything organized so that you don’t have to.
  6. shortText: This is a notetaking application that helps you grab information about different web sites and sources, or make your own notes on what you have run across. Customize shortText to fit your needs, and connect it to your social media accounts with Twitter and
  7. Yahoo! Notepad: If you have a Yahoo! account (which is free), you can get access to a Notepad. This notetaking tool allows you to take notes, as well as integrate your notes with a calendar, your contacts and other tools.

Study Aids

If you are looking for help with your studying, there are plenty of tools for that. Use your notetaking and calendar tools to organize what you find, however. Here are some great study aids:

  1. SparkNotes: Get access to a number of well-known literary works, in abbreviated form. Whether you need to brush up on what happened in the second act of Julius Caesar, or whether you need help with the main plot points of Beowulf, SparkNotes can help. Also includes test prep.
  2. A number of study guides for a number of different subjects, from math to literature, can help you get into the groove and cover the essential points of general knowledge in different areas.
  3. Study Stack: Provides online flashcards in a variety of subjects, ranging from math to business to geography. Also includes flashcards to help you study for standardized tests. Games help younger students stay engaged as they study.
  4. Study Guides and Strategies: Get the basics of reading, test prep, writing and other subjects. Includes helpful information on how to study, rather than focusing only on what to study.
  5. CliffsNotes: Get study helps and notes on a number of subjects. Many of the study aids offered are free, but some of them do cost a little bit. You can brush up on nearly any subject.
  6. Online Bible Study Tools: For divinity students, this is a great resource. Get helpful study hints for learning the Bible, and get access to a searchable Bible to help you find what you need.

Term Paper and Formatting

Putting together a term paper can be hard work. Here are some tools to help make it a little bit easier.

  1. EasyBib: Helps you put together your bibliography and create citations. You can do this with MLA for free, and a small fee for APA and Chicago.
  2. OttoBib: Choose a style, and then look for sources. You can find sources for a term paper, and see the correct way to format them according to the style you are using.
  3. Zotero: This cool Firefox extension helps you cite research sources you find online. Puts them in proper format, and makes it easy for you to add them to a term paper.
  4. The Owl At Purdue: See a number of guides from Purdue’s online writing lab. Includes information on how to format in MLA and APA, and how to prepare professional papers.
  5. Word: While Word isn’t free, if you have the program, it offers free formatting tools for your papers.
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