What with a hectic social life, essay deadlines, clubs and societies to join and lectures to attend, university life can be a bit of a whirlwind. Luckily, you have a secret weapon: your phone.

It’s always with you, making it the perfect tool for organising your life. Load it up with these free apps, and you’ll stay on top of your work, save money, find your way around and rustle up a decent meal or two.

A smartphone is a student essential and you can save money on your bill with BT Mobile’s Family SIM - by having multiple SIMs on the same plan your family can make big savings. SIM’s work in tablets and get your own data allowance.

People will wonder how you do it. Of course, it’s up to you whether you let on…

1: Moovit

Moovit app screenshots

Operating system: Android, iOS

Forget waiting around in the rain, hoping a bus or train will turn up. This app is a complete journey planner, with live arrival times, up-to-date timetables and local station maps – plus service alerts so you’re never caught out by engineering works. It covers all major cities in the UK, and you can even share information about the journey, including cleanliness, crowdedness and incidents, so you can plan accordingly. Now you’ve got no excuse for missing lectures!

2: VoucherCodes.co.uk

Vouchercodes

Operating system: Android, iOS

As a student, times are tough – even with a student loan. Luckily, this app will help you save money by serving up voucher codes, two-for-one restaurant vouchers, deals and savings from thousands of stores. You can search by shop, or just see what’s nearby. Shops include Boots, Argos, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, so it will help with everything from the food shop to buying a new telly. You can also check out HotUKDeals for even more savings.

[Related story: 8 phones we have loved and lost]

3: Evernote

Evernote app

Operating system: Android, iOS

It can be hard staying on top of all your essays and assignments. Thankfully, Evernote lets you work on them remotely from your mobile or tablet, and then the changes will appear on the version on your desktop. As well as working on documents, you can create to-do lists, so it’s handy for everything including house chores. You can even dictate notes, share work documents with fellow students and set reminders and notifications, so you’ll never miss a deadline again. Invaluable.

 

4: Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard app

Operating system: Android, iOS

At university you want to have a good time and experience as much as you can, but you also don’t want to spend every penny you own. This app can help. Enter information for all your bank accounts, and you can easily keep track of your spending so you can see where you need to cut down. It uses your past spending habits to predict future outgoings, so you can budget accordingly, and it will advise on how to save money and where to get a better rate on your savings. All the information is read-only, so you can’t accidentally withdraw, transfer or otherwise spend money from it. Phew!

[Related story: The best meal planning, cooking and receipe apps]

5: Allthecooks recipes

All the cooks app screenshots

Operating system: Android, iOS

You don’t want to spend a fortune on food – but at the same time, you can’t fulfil the stereotype and live off beans on toast. What to do? You could fire up this app, which plugs you into a community of people willing to share their recipes for fast, healthy, delicious and – crucially – cheap meals. It contains more than 150,000 recipes, and lets you ask questions if anything isn’t clear. Plus it has extra tools like a shopping list maker, meal planner and nutritional information. But be warned: everyone will want to eat round at your house…

Read more: Apps to help you save money