There’s an App for That

As college students gather around campus each semester, it is important to have various different applications available at the touch of their fingertips. Below is a list of those practical apps that will help University of Illinois students navigate campus, along with some of my favorites that keep me motivated.

1. Google or Apple Maps

As a freshmen, campus can be quite intimidating. Google and Apple Maps will help guide you to and from classes, the recreation centers, or virtually any place around campus. No matter where you’re going, the Maps app will help get you there. 

Plus, practicing navigation skills will benefit you off of campus and beyond!

2. Gmail or Outlook

With professors, classmates, and companies reaching out, checking your email each day is vital to success as a college student. Downloading an email app, such as Gmail or Outlook, and having it present notifications will help students develop the daily habit of checking emails. 

3. Google Drive

Being a college student in 2020 means having a large amount of Google Docs. It’s logical that you will need to access these documents from virtually anywhere and at any time. Downloading Google Drive to your mobile device will allow you to work on essays or group projects both on and offline anywhere you are.

4. Venmo

Venmo is quite easily the most popular app college students have. It’s free download makes it easy for you to pay back money without having to deal with cash. With its help, you can share your payments to friends, collect money from people who owe it to you, and much more.  

Download Venmo for iPhone here. Download Venmo for Android here.

5. UIUC Bus

UIUC Bus is another tool that offers students direct navigation skills. The app displays each bus route, along with updated times and locations. This app is helpful when you run into unexpected weather conditions, when you’re running late, or when you want easy transportation to the other side of campus. 


This application is both a calendar and to-do list. All lists, tasks, reminders, and agendas sync together to create a cohesive schedule tailored to your time and lifestyle. You are able to set reminders for a scheduled time or for when you reach a specified location. Finally, you are able to share your lists and tasks to collaborate with anyone.

As an organized individual, this app has helped me manage my time effectively and seamlessly.

7. Plyo

Exercise has always been an important part of my daily life. So when my roommate and I discovered Plyo, we jumped at the opportunity to earn rewards for our physical fitness. 

Plyo rewards students for being active. A simple visit to the campus gym automatically checks students into Plyo based on one’s location. For each minute spent at the recreation center, students earn points that are redeemable at restaurants and retail stores around the University. Some of these include the Illini Union Bookstore, Blaze Pizza, and PokeLab. Additionally, students earn bonus points for reaching daily step count or heart rate milestones. 

Download Plyo for iPhone here. Download Plyo for Android here.

8. Pocket Points

Pocket Points is an app similar to Plyo, but is unique in the sense that it rewards students for attending class, studying, and driving. The points are contingent on the time off one’s screen, and students can spend the points earned on deals from local and online retailers. 

Although studying in the Union, Lincoln Hall, or the Business Instructional Facility looks different from previous semesters, Pocket Points still offers its conventional rewards.

Download Pocket Points for iPhone here. Download Pocket Points for Android here.



Class of 2023
I am studying in the Gies College of Business. Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, I feel that my transitions to and experiences on campus may be familiar to incoming students. Through my blogs, I hope to demonstrate my passions of business, Greek Life, and campus life to serve as a navigation tool to prospective students and incoming freshmen.

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