13 Ways to Use your iPad for School and Studying (Study Apps/Resources Included)

13 Ways to Use your iPad for School and Studying (Study Apps/Resources Included)

From note-taking to coding to creating art, the iPad truly covers it all.

I can honestly say that learning, studying, and managing my daily schedule have become so much easier ever since I started using an iPad for my school and work tasks.

I am constantly learning for my job, for this blog, and more. Even when you’re done with traditional “school”, the learning never stops.

I am currently enrolled in two difficult and intensive online courses and let me tell you, I wouldn’t be able to efficiently study and excel without my iPad.

I remember the days before my iPad — I was lugging around 10 different notebooks, struggling to keep my belongings organized.

However, with an iPad, everything is organized in one device without me having to do much.

Whether you have an iPad or you are contemplating getting one for school, here are 13 Efficient Ways You Can Use your iPad for school, your job, hobbies, and more!.

I will also share some of my favorite apps for each throughout the blog post.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: What iPad should I get for Note-taking and Digital Planning

Full Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

1. Take Notes

Remember writing notes on loose-leaf paper and flimsy notebooks that you would lose the next week? Do you also remember smudging your notes while writing them?

Let me tell you, studying from those notes was near impossible.

However, once I got my iPad, those issues quickly disappeared.

With your iPad, there are multiple ways you can take your notes:

  1. Writing it out with your Apple Pencil
  2. Typing it with a Bluetooth keyboard or magic keyboard

Either way, you don’t have to worry about losing or smudging your notes.

Study with iPad photo showing a Mindmap on the iPad

Recommended Apps and Resources:

For note-taking, I like to use GoodNotes. Notability is another great option!

If you want a more detailed write-up on the different note-taking applications, I recommend you read my blog post, Best Digital Note-taking and Planning application for the iPad.

Multi-tabbed Digital Notebook

digital notebook

Another important component of my iPad note-taking is having one, multi-tabbed digital notebook.  

It allows me to store all my class notes in one place rather than having to create multiple, scattered notebooks.

That way, if I need to find any of my notes, I know it’ll be in this one, organized notebook

If you want to take your note-taking to the next level, we have 12-tabbed hyperlinked notebooks in our shop.

Minimalist student guide -iPad photo

There are 36 note-taking page templates to cover all your bases. It even has hexagon and isometric grids for the STEM students!

It is available in Grey and Pink!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: If you currently have an iPad and Apple pencil and want to improve your handwriting, check out the blog post, 7 Key Tips to Improve your Handwriting.

2. Study & Use Memory Cards

I remember hand-writing all my flashcards on hundreds of index cards.

While this method of studying helped me, I kept on losing my flashcards that I spent hours on.

You can probably imagine how that went on my actual test. (Hint: not good)

With your iPad, you can create flashcards and never have to worry about losing or damaging them.

Once I switched to using digital flashcards, I never went back.

There are a lot of applications available to download. You can also create your own custom cards if that’s your thing.  

Recommended App

Quizlet

With Quizlet, you can create your own flashcards or choose from the millions of pre-created cards by other students.

It’s free to download!

3. Read + Listen to Audiobooks/Podcasts

Long gone are the days where you have to carry around 10 pounds of textbooks on your back and shoulders. Thinking back to my turtle backpack and hunched back makes me shudder.

The iPad is compact and is the perfect size to read anything on. I even know people who bring their iPads to church to read their Bible on it.

If you’re worried about glare from the glass screen, I strongly recommend you getting a matte screen protector. With it on, you can read in almost any lighting situation.

If you purchase an iPad, you don’t have to get a kindle or any other reading device. You can directly purchase and download your book and start reading immediately, as opposed to waiting a week for your book to come.

If reading isn’t your thing, you can also listen to audiobooks and podcasts while multi-tasking. I like to listen to podcasts while I draw on the iPad.

Here are some of my favorite reading apps:

Libby, by OverDrive

Libby is an application that allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. All you need to use this app is a library card. The app itself is free!

With your library card, you can browse your library’s digital catalog of books, ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more.

The ebook reader is intuitive and allows you to zoom in or out, adjust text size, add bookmarks, notes, highlights, and more.

This is a great way to access your library’s collection when it’s closed, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

Amazon Kindle

When recommending reading apps, I can’t leave out the Kindle app.

Whatever ebooks you purchase on Amazon shows up in the Kindle app.

With the Kindle app, you can: customize your text-size, font type, margins, text alignment, orientation, and more. You can also look up words, people, and places while you read.

It’s an intuitive application that is easy to use.

4. Write, Read, and Review Essays

With your iPad, you can write essays anywhere.

If you do want to write essays on your iPad, I strongly urge you to purchase a keyboard compatible with the iPad, whether that be a Bluetooth keyboard or a smart/magic keyboard from Apple.

The smart keyboard and magic keyboard has a ton of awesome capabilities, but if you don’t want to spend on it, that is completely understandable.

A Bluetooth keyboard is all you need to type efficiently on your iPad. It is a lot cheaper and will serve you just fine. Here are some that I recommend which are all under $30:

Bluetooth Keyboard, Jelly Comb Multi-Device Universal Bluetooth Rechargeable Keyboard with Integrated Stand for iPad

This gorgeous bluetooth keyboard has been recommended and raved by many. It’s compact, compatible with multiple devices (iPad, iPhones, Laptops, Androids, and more), and has a sleek design.

There’s even a spot where you can hold your iPad, tablet, and even smartphone. It is also available in black and mint-green.

Arteck HB030B Universal Slim Portable Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 7-Colors Backlit Keyboard

Here is another inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing keyboard model that will work with your iPad and other Bluetooth compatible devices.

This dreamy rose-gold bluetooth keyboard is ultra-thin, light, and has a long battery life.

This keyboard is also available in Grey, Black, and White!

5. Scan + Annotate PDFs

Annotating with GoodNotes

Rather than having to scan at a scanner machine (that you might not even have) and download it to your computer, you can annotate directly onto your iPad.

You can use GoodNotes or Notes to scan paper documents.

I will show you how to scan a PDF on Notes, which everyone with an iPad access to for free. You can then import to any annotation app you use.

Detecting sheets on the document scanner

To scan documents on Notes:

To do this for free:

  1. Go to Notes
  2. Create a new note
  3. When the keyboard appears, click on the camera icon
  4. Take a photo of your document. A box should appear around it for you to crop.
  5. Save and export to an App of your choice.

Other perks to annotating on your iPad are:

  • Undo or erase any mistakes
  • Use as many pen colors
  • Annotate freely and liberally

6.Record Notes

Some days during lecture, all the information goes in one ear and straight out the other.

Even when I try to focus, there are some days where I can’t make sense of anything.

That’s when recording lecture notes comes into play.

Of course, before you record anything, be sure your school allows it.

Here are some apps you can use to record your lectures:

Voice Recorder App

Using the voice recorder application is straightforward. Just open up the application and press record. You can take notes and multi-tasking while doing this.

Notability

Notability is unique because it has a recording function.

You can record lectures while taking notes in the application. Basically, you can do everything in one app.

7. Watch and Listen to Lectures online

Need to watch your lecture on the go? The iPad has got you covered.

Whenever I was commuting via bus or train, I would download the lecture video onto my iPad and watch it on the go. It’s convenient and efficient.

You can also take notes while you watch your lecture on the iPad.

To do this, you’re going to need to use the split/dual screen function.

ipad study split screen

Using the dual screens function is simple:

  1. Open the App you plan on using
  2. Drag the app to your doc
  3. Hold and drag next to the screen you’re using
  4. Adjust the window sizes by dragging the middle divider to the left or right

8. Edit Videos, Photos, and Audio

Nowadays, schools and colleges are embracing multi-media as a form of expression. In a lot of my academic classes, I got the opportunity to put together videos, photos, drawings, podcasts, and more.

The iPad is more than capable for video, photo, and audio editing.

Recommended Apps

iMovie for editing Videos

iMovie is a default application that comes with your iPad pre-installed. iMovie is a beginner-friendly app and you can create high-quality videos on it.

Garageband for editing Audio & Music

Garageband also is a default app that comes pre-installed on your iPad.

As someone who used more advanced audio-editing programs, I have to admit that Garageband works surprisingly well, especially for the price (it comes for free).

I heard some awesome music that was produced and put together in Garageband, in addition to podcasts and other voice-recordings. I highly urge you to try it if you need to edit audio.

Photoshop Express Photo Editor

With this app, there’s so much you can do to edit and enhance photos.

There are preset photo filters you can use to give your photo a certain look and feel. You can also edit red eyes, adjust lighting, blur, sharpen, add text, and so much more.

It’s free on the app store and everything you need is free on the app. There are premium features, such as adding overlays, using certain themes, etc., but I find that the free version is enough for me.

9. Draw + Design

If you’re an art student or are taking art-related classes, your iPad and Apple pencil will come in handy.

In the past, Cintiqs were the hottest digital drawing tablet. I really wanted one but couldn’t justify spending $2000 just for a drawing tablet.

Now, more professional artists prefer the iPad over a high-end drawing tablet for digital art.

I mean, the iPad is portable, powerful, easy to use, and multi-purpose.

With the apple pencil, drawing clean, crisp lines has never been easier.

Here are some of my favorite apps art and design:

Procreate:

This is the application that professional digital artists (illustrators, designers, hand-lettering artists, and more) use on the iPad. Currently, it is the most powerful digital art program offered in the Apple store.

It won multiple awards and there’s a good reason why. I can’t believe that this app is only $9.99 when I paid a lot more for drawing programs on my laptop. If you’re interested in creating art on your iPad, Procreate is a must-have.

Canva

Canva makes designing simple, especially for those who aren’t experienced designers.

You can use it to create posters, flyers, digital graphics, and more. I remember having to design flyers for my University clubs.

Rather than using Microsoft Word and its clunky interface, Canva is a better alternative by a longshot.

10. Learn how to Code

Did you know you can code on the iPad? Not only that, but you can also even learn how to code on it with the assistance of some awesome apps.

I took multiple coding classes in high school and remember coding on old, bulky computers.

It’s pretty cool that you can now code on the go with a portable device.

As for coding, I recommend you get a Bluetooth keyboard to help make your coding endeavors easier. Any Bluetooth keyboard works!

Coding applications

If you don’t know how to code but want to learn:

SoloLearn

This app has an impressive collection of free code learning content, ranging from beginner to pro. You do not need to know any code to use this app.

Some of the langauges you can learn are web development languages (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery), Python, Java, C++, PHP, Ruby, Swift, and so much more.

11. Create Professional Presentations

You cannot avoid presenting in school. In high school and college, I had to create a presentation for almost every semester. Even in art school.

Luckily, on the iPad, you can easily create clean, aesthetically-pleasing presentations.

Here are some free applications I recommend:

Keynote

This comes with all the iPads and is easy to use. Keynote provides many stunning themes that you can customize with text, images, shapes, and so much more.

Google Slides

I am an avid google slides user. I use it mainly for convenience, as I can access the file on any device and share it with collaborators.

Not to mention, Google has so many awesome typefaces for you to use (Nerdy, I know, but the designer in me loves it)

12.Digital Plan / Bullet Journal

If you don’t know it already, I love digital planning. And the iPad is an amazing tool for that.

If you’re interested and new to digital planning, I recommend you use GoodNotes to digital plan.

For a more in-depth analysis, check out my blog post, What application should I use for Digital Planning.

Currently, I’m using an undated weekly Academic Planner you can find in our shop.

It is hyperlinked for easy navigation, minimalist in design, and you can re-use it as many times as you wish! It is designed for the over-achieving, top student. The undated academic planner is available in both grey and pink.

Digital planning on the iPad is a whole new level. You can undo mistakes whenever you want, save money, and save time. When I switched to digital planning from paper planning, I never looked back.

13.Unwind and relieve stress

The iPad is an amazing device for school, but we can’t study 24/7.

Your iPad can also be used to unwind and destress.

Some of my favorite ways are to play relaxing games, draw, watch shows, youtube, read comics, and so much more.

Here are some of my favorite apps and games to help me destress:

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is one of my favorite games. It’s my go-to game when I want to destress and escape into a simpler life.

In Stardew Valley, you can build and customize your farm, grow seasonal crops, explore, fish, and so much more. Everything is at your leisure and you can take things at your own pace.

It’s available on iOS devices and I couldn’t be any happier.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing is another stress reliever for me. You can download this on the Apple store for free.

It’s relaxing, creative, and fun. In Pocket Camp, you get your own campsite and character that you can customize. You also make friends with the Animal Crossing characters and complete challenges.

YouTube

I love watching videos on youtube.

Did you know, Bit of Clarity also has a YouTube channel! There is relaxing planning vlogs that you might be able to gain inspiration from J

Check out the Bit of Clarity youtube channel for relaxing planning vlogs, tutorials, and more 🙂

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Conclusion

The iPad is an indispensable resource for studying, projects, leisure, and so much more.

As a studying tool, The iPad is an investment. There are endless ways to use it and if you use it to its fullest capabilities, you’ll find yourself saving a lot of time, energy, and resources.

If you’re interested in using the iPad as a study device, check out these resources from the blog:

9 Useful iPad Note-taking tips that’ll Bring your Notes to the Next Level

7 Key Ways to Improve your Handwriting on the iPad

Paperless Student: The Ultimate Guide

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Wow! That was highly informative but I am currently confused about whether to buy a matte screen protector or not. I watch a lot of YouTube vids on my ipad so my parents told me that applying a matte screen protector will not only lower the display quality but also that it’s not tempered glass and if my ipad ever falls on the ground it’s gonna crack it’s screen. What do u suggest I do?

    1. Hi Yana, I’m glad this post helped 🙂

      I currently use a matte screen protector and I honestly really love it. I use the paperless like screen protector, so it gives me a more authentic and comfortable note-taking and drawing experience.

      The matte screen protector also lessens the glare, allowing me to use my iPad in most lighting conditions.

      It might not protect your iPad from shattering (that’s what cases are for), but it will protect it from scratches you can easily get from everyday use. I would personally recommend it, but it’s up to you 🙂 There are other screen protectors for the iPad you can look into too!

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