Best Apps to Help You Stay Focused When Studying

Calling all students! We know how hard it can be to stay focused with studying, especially when there’s so many distractions nowadays.

A quick “study break” scroll on Insta can turn into 3 hours, and a study session in the library can turn into a social event with all your mates and plenty of snacks!

Sound familiar? Trust us, you’re not alone on this! Bagging that motivation to study can be super difficult, and once you slip into bad habits, it can be hard to stop.

Luckily, there’s a whole bunch of apps that can save the day! From relaxing study music to countdown apps, you’re totally spoilt for choice.

Get ready to crack on in your comfy student accommodation, because we’ve done our research and gathered a list of the top apps to help you stay focused when studying.

All you need to do is knuckle down, and get on with it!

Why Is It Hard To Focus On Studying?

Motivation

Person using laptop struggling to focus

Factors like motivation can seriously come into play, and if you can’t be bothered to get cracking, long story short is…you won’t!

Whether it’s because you find a particular topic boring, or you’d rather just chill out instead, you need to fight through this feeling to remain focused on your studies.

If you don’t study, the sad truth is, you’re going to seriously struggle when it comes to exams #justsayin.

We’re not saying you need to revise 24/7 and not see any of your pals ever, we’re just saying, be motivated, even if it’s just a little bit.

External Distractions

Phone screen with focus apps

We’re talking mobile phones, conversations with mates, playing candy crush, you name it!

Make sure you try to keep those external distractions at bay, deep down you know what distracts you, so try to be a little disciplined and reward yourself with a bevvie later.

Laziness!

A person under the duvet

If you’re one of those people that keeps putting off your work until tomorrow, keep reading!

Try to avoid being lazy and get stuff done ASAP so you don’t have to worry about it later.

Think of getting your work done quickly as a positive, once it’s done, you can go out and have a blast with your pals.

So, without further ado, lets crack on and take a look at these fabulous apps to help you concentrate on your studying, it’s time to get motivated!

The Best Motivation & Focus Apps for Students

1. BrainFM
Rating – 4.7/5

BrainFM concentration and focus app

So, this concentration app is very cool, because it actually uses science to ensure your brain is being engaged with sound, as if!

BrainFM is a collaboration between scientists, musicians, and developers, who believe the best approach to functional music is through research and testing.

With scientists working for the app, they look at the effects of our technology on the brain using fMRI, EEG, and behavioural tests!

Pros

  • Costing around $6.95 per month (£5.37) this focus app is very cost-effective considering the amount of stuff you actually get!
  • You have a choice to select what mental state you want, whether that be to focus, relax, sleep or meditate. When you select focus, you can select what kind of focus you want and how long for. So, you could select “deep work” for 90 minutes, or “light work” for 30 minutes.
  • Once you’ve picked what kind of study you fancy, turn up the volume, and your automatically selected music will start playing, pretty cool right?
  • The app is available on Android, iPhone and desktop web versions, so you can use it when your laptop’s not around, or you’re taking a break from your phone.

Cons

  • The app could do with expanding their library of sounds a little bit, just for some more range, but hopefully this will be happening soon!
  • It obviously doesn’t actually remove distractions completely, with temptations like Instagram and Facebook still lingering on your apps.
  • It’s not free, and when you’re a student you want to save as much money as possible!

Chegg Prep
Rating – 4.4/5

Chegg Prepp revision focus app

This app allows you to conquer any course with revision cards, you can create your own and even get access to revision cards created by other people!

You can create custom revision card decks for different topics of your choice anywhere, and once you’ve mastered one subject, remove the card and crack on with the rest.

If you’re more of a visual learner, fear not! You can also add images to your cards to help something stick in your memory.

There’s a version if you’re working on your laptop and it works on an Apple or Android device too, so you can make these revision cards on the go, or in the comfort of your own accommodation.

Revision cards in Media Law
Revision cards in Media Law to help you focus when studying

Pros

  • You don’t have to spend loads of time creating revision cards when you’ve got loads at your fingertips for free!
  • To test yourself, you ran randomize or flip the deck of revision cards to see how much you really remember.
  • It works offline, so you can work on your revision during your morning commute or when you’re out for a coffee!
  • There’s a multiple choice option for revision cards, so you can quiz yourself, another great hack for remembering stuff.

Cons

  • If you’re using the old version of this app (StudyBlue) and download this version, there is a high chance that you’ll lose your recent revision card decks (so keep a backup!)
  • It’s only available in portrait not landscape, which can be a little annoying for some users.
  • There are no real progress tracking systems embedded into the app, which could be another great feature for users to see how they’re getting on!

3. Tomato
Rating – 4/5

Tomato concentration app screenshot
Tomato focus app screenshot


Although it’s very minimal in design, Tomato is a super effective timer that keeps you nice and productive.

Based on the ‘Pomorado Technique’ by Francisco Cirillo, the idea was created as a means to study efficiently and keep your focus.

He used a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato, forced himself to study for 25 minutes, took a break for 5 minutes, and it worked, hooray!

So, divide your studying into separate short sprints and reward yourself with regular breaks until your next sprint, pretty simple, right?

Repeat this process for four cycles, and take a longer 30 minute break after each batch of revision, that way you get loads of breaks too!

You do have the option to stop focusing if you need to, but the concentration app will try and keep you motivated to persevere.

It’ll also display the total amount of time you’ve focused, so you can see how much you’ve really done!

Pros

  • This app allows you to have plenty of study breaks as opposed to intense studying for hours, which doesn’t always work for everyone!
  • It’s a super and simple app to use, with no complicated aspects to leave you confuzzled.
  • With the Pomorado Technique, your mind stays nice and efficient so you can get your studies done quickly and have a bevvie later!

Cons

  • There’s no pause function so if you need to pop to the loo, you’re going to have to be quick!
  • This app is very simple, and when we say simple, we mean it’s literally a timer, so if you’re after something a little fancier, maybe don’t download it!

4. Noisili
Rating – 3/5

Desktop screenshot of the Noisili concentration app

This nifty focus app creates calming background noise with a colour generator to help you focus on your studying!

The high-quality ambient sounds help you concentrate whilst doing your work and drown out any annoying noises, pretty cool right?

You can sign in on Google for free if you’re working on your laptop, where you can select what playlist you want to go for.

The playlists include productivity, random, relax, noise blocker, motivation, sleep, studying, creative thinking, writing and beautiful ambients – talk about spoilt for choice!

Choose from rain to wind, to crackling fire, it really is whatever makes you feel the most productive.

Whilst you’re on the app, the display will slowly transition into colours designed to help you focus more.

You can get the app on Android, iPhone, and your desktop, so you can crack on and get studying wherever you are!

Pros

  • One big pro of this app is you don’t have to pay for it on your desktop, everybody loves free stuff after all!
  • You can select multiple sounds at once to create your own group of sounds to play which is a great way of figuring out what works best for you.
  • The sounds are super realistic!
  • You can sync your sounds across devices so you can focus everywhere you go.
  • There’s a timer which is great to see how long you’ve been studying for!

Cons

  • There are limited white noise options which is a shame if you work well with white noise.
  • You have to pay £1.99 for the app on your phone which is slightly annoying!

5. Cold Turkey
Rating – 4/5

Cold Turkey focus app desktop screenshot

Prepare to have your mind blown, because this focus app gives Mark Zuckerberg a run for his money!

The blocker claims to be “there for you when your willpower isn’t”, you can choose to lock certain websites until a specified time until you type a customizable amount of random text.

It adds a bit of discipline to your life, which is something we all need when trying to crack on with studying, right?

With this concentration app, you can schedule blocks when you need them or reduce distractions so you don’t need to go completely cold turkey!

It’s downloadable on your desktop which makes the app super handy when you’re studying at home.

There’s a basic version that’s absolutely free and it’s available for Windows and macOS, if you’d prefer a more advanced version, you can buy it for a one-time fee of £29.

Pros

  • You can add multiple apps to your block lists as opposed to just one, so you’re really not restricted even for the free version!
  • A statistics feature provides a handy insight on what your biggest time wasters are, so you can crack on and focus.

Cons

  • You can’t use it on iOS devices and it only has a basic version for Android, it’s mainly for desktop use only.
  • You’ll probably need to go pro to access all the advanced features to really notice the benefits!

So there you have it, a list of just some of the fabulous focus apps available to help you crack on with that all important studying.

Some of these apps are available on all devices, so you really have got no excuses, soz!

In all seriousness, studying at uni is a super important time of your life, so you need to try your very best to stay motivated and get the work done.

These focus apps will help you to an extent, but the rest really is down to you! And since we’re on the subject of apps, check out these iPad pro apps ideal for students, or our list of best remote working apps – perfect for when you want that extra bit of cash to spend on the weekend.

Which apps will you be downloading?