9 Amazing Mac Apps to Help You Learn

No matter if you are attending school, college or self-teaching yourself, your Mac can be a valuable tool to help you accomplish your goals. We’ve rounded up 9 fantastic apps which will help you to teach and organize yourself better than ever, hopefully getting you on the road to improving your knowledge.

Whether you’re wanting to learn a language, improve your math, or structure an academic course, there’ll be something for you in today’s roundup.!




Smartr allows you to create virtual cards to help you memorize information. But these flashcards are not limited to scribbled notes – you can even include pictures to help you jog your memory. Create stacks for a certain topic you’re covering in class, a book, or something else entirely.

Different from a normal stack of cards Smartr monitors your performance and prepares quizzes for you depending on where you need to improve. So, if your study buddy is not available, Smartr will do just fine to help you get up to speed.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Barefoot Hackers




Flashcards allows you to quiz yourself on subjects of importance to you. You can either create normal decks or organize those card decks into folders – for example to store everything for one class together.

Your learning success is indicated by progress bars, letting you see instantly where you still need to improve. Flashcards supports you by letting you set smart decks, which can contain previous incorrect answers.

Also, if you need to study on-the-go, you can export your cards as images and sync them to your iPhone or iPod. Now you can be really productive on your way to school.

Price: $17.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6 or later
Developer: Christian Kienle

Keep your word

Keep your word

Keep Your Word

If it’s words you need to memorize, Keep Your Word might just be what you need. You can create your own dictionaries easily via CSV import, profit from other users who share their dictionaries on wordsparade.com and add new words into the app via a quick entry window.

To help you manage a large number of words, you can classify your new vocabulary manually (drag and drop) or create smart groups based on tags or comments.

As for the actual memorization – chose a method you’re most comfortable with from 6 different modes. Keep Your Word tracks your progress. No reason not to rock that next test, right?

Price: $34.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Bambooapps




Papapapaya takes a very interesting approach to support you while learning new vocabularies: instead of organizing the content into folders like the other apps allow you to, it tracks your progress and sorts words into categories like “ultrashort memory” or “long term memory”, depending on how well you performed on them previously. So you don’t have to worry about monitoring your progress or creating intelligent lists as the app does that for you.

Additionally, it comes preloaded with basic dictionaries for French, German and English, containing over 600 words in each. Papapapaya also comes with a dedicated app for iPhone and iPod so you can keep learning while on your way to a test.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Mr. Fridge




Ever had problems with those cryptic numbers and symbols that were supposed to make sense? With MathBoard you can practice mathematical problems from simple addition and subtraction up to multiplication, cubes and square roots.

The app doesn’t teach you mathematical operations, but it provides you with comprehensive tests, which can be timed or saved, as well as many other options to increase or decrease difficulty levels. MathBoard is also available for the iPad.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6 or later
Developer: palaSoftware




In order to build quizzes from your information, you first need to gather and organize them. CourseNotes lets you take notes in whatever situation you might be – school, college or even business meetings.

Additionally, you can also manage assignments or to do’s within the same app, import PDF files, sync wirelessly to the companion iPad app and export your notes to the universal HTML format.

Price: $7.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Dear Panda LLC



Circus Ponies NoteBook

If you rather stick with something that’s closer to the traditional real-life notepad or legal pad, take a look at NoteBook by Circus Ponies.

It offers you digital sections and subsections for organization, allows you to add text complete with highlighting and annotation, which is great if additional information is provided for something you took down earlier. On top of that you can even drag entire files and folders into the application.

To allow for maximum compatibility and sharing, you can save your work in PDF or HTML to your .Mac account.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Ciircus Ponies Software Inc.




Are you researching for a larger project? A thesis paper maybe? Then you’ll know just how hard it is to keep all information together. Scrivener is a one-stop solution, allowing you to organize information, structure your writing and use a writing environment which allows you to focus on your work completely.

Also, it plays nicely with various iPad writing apps (so you can work on your project while on the road) and when you’re finally done, Scrivener can help your format your project perfectly. It will be hard to get bad grades this way.

Price: $44.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Literature & Latte

iStudiez Pro

iStudiez Pro

iStudiez Pro

Sometimes the biggest challenge can be to know when to show up where and which assignment should’ve been done ages ago. For that, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a student, teacher or parent.

Depending on your needs, you can set up various schedules to help you keep track of courses, manage homework via different categories, keep track of your grade point average and – last but not least – stay on top of things via CloudSync to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS 10.6 or later
Developer: Andriy Kachalo and Michael Balashoff

Find Something for Your Needs?

Now, while we know that this list is far from comprehensive, we hope we could at least point you in the right direction. There are many fantastic apps out there which can support you in your learning goals and – thanks to their diversity – the chances are you will find something that will be just right for you.

What kind of apps do you already use to help you with your assignments? Tell us about your experiences and share your workflow with our readers. There’s still a lot to learn.

  • http://www.aaronrosspowell.com Aaron Ross Powell

    This is a good list, but it really should’ve included Anki. It’s like Smartr and Flashcards (and Mental Case), but substantially more powerful — and free. It’s got cloud syncing, too, so you can keep your Mac (and other platform) decks synced. And it has nice apps for iOS and Android.

    Anki’s has a slightly steeper learning curve than the others, but it’s still easy to use and there are video tutorials on the site that will get you up to speed quickly.


    Can’t recommend it enough for memorization of pretty much anything.

    • o7o

      In addition to Anki, I’d throw in the also-free/open source Mnemosyne. It is not as feature rich (on the surface), but some might prefer its simplicity and way of handling things.


      There is really no reason to pay money for a flash card program when the two best options are free.

      • http://saimurr.com Saimurr

        Just dropping in to second Anki – especially if you are learning Asian languages, it’s about the best app (along with Pleco) that you could ever possibly find. It’s got a great iOS app as well which I find absolutely invaluable.

  • Christian

    Vocab is pretty cool too … for Mac (http://www.tj-hd.co.uk/en-gb/vocab/)
    On iOS I prefer Flashcards deluxe.

  • Rudy

    If all you want is something like Papapapaya, I’d recommend you Que (http://que.foomatik.com/). Simple, elegant and free. ;)

    Oh, and if you want some dictionary to start with, download the trial version of Papapapaya and import its CSV into Que.

  • http://mr-fridge.de/software/papapapaya Mr Fridge Software (Developer of Papapapaya)

    Thanks for including Papapapaya in this amazing list.
    We just like to note that the current version of Papapapaya is 1.4 (available from our website). In the App Store there is still 1.3 because the review process takes so long.
    If you like to use the new iPhone companion with syncing you should get Papapapaya from our website.
    The App Store version should be updated soon, though.

  • http://ubermoe.com Mohammad Badi

    All paid? no freeware here?

  • Pingback: 9 Mac Apps zum Lernen – Appstorm Review | AppForThat()

  • http://www.gflashcards.com jollibee

    I like to use http://www.gflashcards.com/, cloud sync, support mac, iphone & ipad. Both have free and pay version.

  • Anonymous

    I have tried many planner apps. iHomework, Schoolhouse, iProcrastinate, iStudiez Pro, and even Things, and have yet to find one better than iProcrastinate. It’s a shame it is never in any of the roundups here.