Free tools every student should know

| Lukas van Remmerden

It’s no secret that students give the word procrastination its meaning. However, between the constant loop of partying and binge watching, there is still some work that needs to be done. This list of seven useful tools will increase your productivity and skills. And don’t worry, they’re free.


Whether it’s machine learning, accounting, marketing strategies, or the science behind dog’s emotions (yes, really) - the online learning platform Coursera will have a course for it. Their free platform offers a great opportunity to look beyond one’s own academic nose and dive into a new field of interest.

Their offered list includes courses from some of the world’s highest-ranking universities such as Yale or Duke, as well as courses from companies like Google or IBM, that will spice up your CV. And as a response to the current Corona crisis, they are offering free certificates for 100+ courses!


Canva is a virtual jackpot for everyone in need of designs while not having any actual skills designing. The simple drag and drop designs require zero experience and let you create professional visuals within minutes. Their big plus is the extensive list of templates: You can create CVs, infographics, flyers, invitations, business cards, as well as social media posts. Especially useful for all the student entrepreneurs out there!


As interesting as your presentation might be, simple Powerpoints simply don’t do the trick anymore. Standing in front of the class, you want your audience to listen to what’s being said instead of scrolling through Instagram before you even reach your third slide. This is where Prezi steps in: Similar to Canva, their drag and drop interface lets everyone create powerful presentations including music, videos as well as animations in the matter of minutes.


This free video editing software is equipped with all the basic and advanced features that you might need for your upcoming group project. Even for the beginners, the website provides tutorials that teach you everything you need to know to go beyond your Windows Movie Maker transitions. The software comes with a seven-day license that can be renewed an unlimited amount of times.

PS: Lightworks has been used in productions such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Pulp Fiction!


Codecademy somehow manages to make programming look and feel less… frightening. By teaching HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, and SQL, Codecademy covers the most important language skills needed for web development, data science, and programming. Their learning-by-doing approach immediately lets you apply the lessons learned in the tutorials. The platform turns your day long search for that missing “;” into a thing of the past and suits their courses to the level of the user’s expertise.


Especially when the exam weeks are creeping up out of nowhere once again, it can become difficult to structure the days and juggle all the different tasks around without feeling like there are twenty open tabs in your brain. Todoist gives you a user-friendly overview to monitor your tasks, including links, deadlines, and many other settings to personalize. Todoist works as a browser extension, so you always have your tasks at hand. And for those of you needing extra rewards, this tool lets you earn points per task you get done.

Cold Turkey

Theere, you made it to the end of the list. Tired of all the procrastinating? Cold Turkey is a tool that takes your computer hostage by blocking the virtual distractions coming at you from all sides. It has three main functions that allow it to either block out full pages (looking at you, Reddit!), turning your computer into a copywriter forcing you to write down that method section, as well as a micromanager allowing you to solely use work-related applications. You can set your goals based on time or word count and can decide at your own pace whether you want to go full ‘Cold Turkey’ or not.

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