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10 apps to make your university life easier

Some essentials for taking notes, managing time and staying up to date on campus news

Percy Nguyen is an undergraduate student specializing in Computation Arts and a Welcome Crew mentor.

Let’s face it, most of us are spending hours on our phones sometimes for entertainment and occasionally for distraction. But why not use your phone apps to increase your academic success and get the most out of your university experience?

Here are 10 practical apps that I use daily as a Concordia student: 

Concordia-Related Apps

1. The Concordia app

Think of it as your digital pocket-sized Concordia dictionary with access to both personal and general information on campus! From the shuttle bus schedule to your class schedule and grades - access them instantly and on the go through the handy (no pun intended) Concordia app

2. Moodle

This was such a lifesaver app for me! Downloading the Moodle app was extremely useful when I don't have access to my computer and want to check my course outline quickly. Simply input the name of the Moodle Concordia website as follows:, and you’ll be able to log in to your account and view your course readings, any uploaded grades and assignments on the go with ease. 

And once you are logged in, you are in. Unlike its web counterpart, you need not worry about hourly session timeouts or multiple-factor authentication. 

3. Rave Guardian

Whether it’s on-campus emergencies, major power outages, or IT system problems, the Rave Guardian has your back. No matter what the circumstance, you can stay up to date in real time by simply receiving a push notification to your device. Emergency helplines and campus safety are also just a tap away! This app is a must have for anyone on campus.

4. Omnimobile and Medavie Blue Cross

Who else hates paper work when submitting health insurance claims? Well, no more with Omnimobile app! It's a must for any student covered by the Concordia Student Union (CSU) or Graduate Student Association (GSA) health plans.

File health, dental, and vision claims by taking a picture or uploading one from your library of documents or receipts. You can also keep track of your claim history and view many details related to your coverage in the app.

International Students, check out: Medavie Blue Cross app!

5. Microsoft Office 365

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, you name it! You have free access to all these apps via Microsoft Office 365 with your Concordia email address. Group projects have never been this convenient with these collaborative tools. Whether you work on your phone, your tablet, or your favorite computer in the Webster library, all your files are ready with just a click away. 

Every Concordia student has access to 1 Terabyte (that's 1,000 GB!) of storage space on OneDrive – that's 66 times the amount of space that Google Drive offers. Say goodbye to accidentally lose a file again! 

As a Computation Arts student, it is certainly strange to admit that I never felt the need for a USB thanks to Microsoft 365. 

Writing help Apps

6. Grammarly

If you don’t already know about this great tool, try it out next time you are writing a paper. It won’t do the work for you, but Grammarly can be super helpful for clearing up grammar mistakes and making your work sound more professional! 

7. Zotero

Citing your work properly is a super important part of academic writing. For me, keeping track of all my different references and citing them correctly was a headache before I started using Zotero! This is a fantastic citation organization tool to keep your references neatly sorted, and can even be used to generate citations in almost any citation style.

There is even a Zotero guide from the Concordia Library available to help you get started.

Organization and time management Tools

8. Google Calendar

If you want to strike a healthy student lifestyle, Google Calendar might just be the app for you. 

Quantify your productivity and plan your own week to make the most out of every tick and tock as the time is ticking. Oh look, you can manage to squeeze in a family movie night this Tuesday! Oh goodie, you can squish in a 30-minute workout after your Thursday night class!  

My favorite part about Google Calendar is that it keeps tabs on any upcoming event so that you don’t have to! Absolutely perfect for those with a goldfish memory like me. Blub blub away fellow goldfishes!

9. Screen Time

Sometimes a gentle reminder to get back on track is all that we need! Screen Time allows you to put a daily time limit on your apps of choice and when the timer hits, it’s a nudge to get back to reality! It also tracks your time spent on the phone and on each app, providing a weekly report of your – you guessed it – screen time. 

P.S: This app is only available on Apple. Its Android equivalent is Digital Wellbeing!

Commuting Apps

10. Transit 

If you’re going to take public transportation to get to campus, download the Transit app to access real-time for both Montreal bus and metro schedules. Plan out your route with a trip calculator and get notified of any transit disturbances which comes in handy for important dates such as final exams! Don’t forget that we get a reduced transit rate as students.

You can also use the Bixi app for the public bike sharing system around the city with stations on both Concordia campuses. As a Concordia student, you qualify for a discount.

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