6 Back to College Apps for Mac

It’s that time of year again – when schools and colleges head back for the new academic year. Although it is always bound to be a hectic time, never fear! We are here to help with a selection of applications designed to make your Mac even more useful for school work and college life.

As students are always strapped for cash, each application featured is either completely free or available at discounted student pricing.

Keep Your Word

Keep Your Word

Keep Your Word

If you’ll be learning a language (or anything requiring memorising words/equations), Keep Your Word is an excellent solution.

It allows you to build your own dictionary as new words are discovered, classifying and grouping the terms exactly how you want to, while helping you learn a large vocabulary through various exercise modes.

Price: $24.95
Developer: Bamboo Apps
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later




Obviously you’ll need a way to communicate with all your new college friends. The problem is, they’ll likely all be using different IM protocols for chatting. Adium is a central solution for staying in touch with anyone, regardless of network. You can chat to friends on MSN, AIM – even Facebook chat!

Price: Free
Developer: Open Source
Requires: OS X 10.4.0 or newer




Designed by college students, for college students, iProcrastinate is a full-featured system for managing all your school tasks and homework assignments. You can stay on top of what needs to be done, and easily assign priorities to different pieces of work.

For a completely free app, iProcrastinate seems like a solution definitely worth taking a look at. Nothing better than free software for a cash-strapped college student!

Price: Free
Developer: Craig Otis
Requires: OS X 10.4.0 or newer




Yojimbo makes keeping all the small (or even large) bits of information that pour in every day organized and accessible. Whether you’re wanting to conduct research for a project/essay, or manage all the presentations provided for lectures – Yojimbo is a simple and attractive solution.

They offer a student discount, at $10 off the regular price.

Price: $29 (student pricing)
Developer: Bare Bones Software
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later




Managing finances can be a tricky thing for students, and iBank is a popular OS X app for keeping track of what’s coming in and going out. You might also be interested to take a look at our financial software roundup for a few more appealing options.

IGG Software are also offering a 20% discount as a back to school promotion for all students or educators. To take advantage of education pricing, customers must email a scan of their school ID or registration info, or a link to a current faculty profile, online course schedule or similar verification, to IGG Software. They’ll then send you a promo code.

Price: $47 (with discount)
Developer: IGG Software
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher

Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop

In a perfect world, all your college friends and professors would be using a Mac. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. You may find yourself regularly needing to use a Windows-only application for schoolwork, and Parallels Desktop is a solid option for easily running Windows side-by-side OS X.

Parallels offer a good deal for students – a discounted price of $39.99 (see the link above). If you’d prefer a completely free solution, VirtualBox is worth trying out.

Price: $39.99 (student price)
Developer: Parallels
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later & an Intel Mac


I’m sure there are many other pieces of software that work brilliantly for school and college work. Please feel free to share in the comments, along with any free alternatives to the applications featured above.

I hope you enjoy the new academic year!


Add Yours
  • great list! i find that these 3 freewares are very helpful also:

    ‘iclockr’- A simple way to track time for projects and goals- http://www.kedisoft.com/iclockr/
    ‘myhomework’ – “a simple and easy to use iPhone and Mac application that allows you to keep track of your homework, classes, projects and tests while interacting with a really cool design. myHomework’s design tends to resemble our day to day notebook, the sections are separated by colorful “sticky pads” that marks the page..”.. one of my favorite apps! love the touch/mac integration – http://www.myhomework.rigoneri.com/mac/


    • lol i mean 2 not 3!

    • i mean just 2 lol

  • Is there are reason for you preferring Parallel Desktop’s student version compared to VMware Fusion’s one?
    I think Fusion is round about 40 USD as well.
    Off-topic: Could you please consider integrating an option to receive e-mail updates upon new comments (or direct answers to one’s comment, respectively)?

  • I find Things to be incredibly helpful, especially since my college days are mostly meeting and deadline based as opposed to regular schoolwork. With meetings and deadlines set up until the end of the semester and on into the Spring semester, the Things desktop client and iPhone App really keep me informed and up-to-date. Thanks for this rundown, Keep Your Word seems especially promising.

  • Excellent, iProcrastinate is a solid find. As a student, knowing the way we all can be at times, this app is a keeper. I’ve been toying around with “Schoolhouse.” I’m don’t know, it’s tough. But schoolhouse might have the edge. Lastly, schoolhouse is FREE! Students like to hear that. :)

    • ya, Schoolhouse is also a pretty good one.

  • Papers, the software for research! with a nice student discount :-)


    • Good find – Looks like a very handy app!

    • Thanks for this, man. What a great find, and a 40% off student discount.

  • virtualbox, http://www.virtualbox.org/

    a free and better alternative for parallels desktop

  • Hey, Love the site by the way. I love Schoolhouse and have been using Yojimbo for months now. I prefer Cha-Ching to iBank, Cha-Ching 2 is in Beta so is free until 30th September then you have to pay like $20. I also like Zazen, Zazen is $12 and lets you dim the screen except for an app of your choice. Check it out. Its great for Focusing on a paper or something

  • Cram should have totally made the list. It’s a flashcard and testing study app for the Mac and was actually reviewed before on MacAppstorm and given a pretty decent review.


  • thanks for this great list

  • I also like Zazen, Zazen is $12 and lets you dim the screen except for an app of your choice

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