6 Free and Essential Apps for the College Graduate
Congrats, college grad! Your years of term papers, final exams and textbooks are over, and hopefully all of your hard work is about to pay off with a successful and happy future. Our graduation gift to you? This arsenal of free apps to help usher you into big-kid world.
Whether you’re heading to a large city to start a new job or just getting situated in an apartment of your own, these apps will help prepare you for independent life after college graduation.
First things first: You need a job! Make all that hard work you spent studying pay off with some annual income. If you haven’t already ignited your job search, start by using some handy job-searching apps to hunt for employment.
One popular career-centric app (and website) is Job Search by Indeed, which claims to serve up one billion job searches to applicants each month. The Job Search app is extremely simple, just like Indeed’s no-frills website, which simply prompts you to type in what kind of job you’re looking for and in what location. Keep tabs on your Indeed account with the mobile app, access your saved jobs and view employment alerts. When an open position comes your way, you’ll be prepared to jump at the opportunity, wherever you are. (Free for Android and iPhone)
You aren’t rolling in dough the moment you walk across that stage and are handed a diploma. On the contrary, you’re probably knee-deep in student loans and debt. (Sorry to rub it in.)
But with every problem, there is a solution. And with money woes, there’s nothing else you can do but to start saving. (Well, making money would help too.)
Mint is a popular personal-finance app that helps organize all of your accounts and keeps track of what you’re spending. You can easily see where your money goes in graph-form (those Starbucks charges really add up, don’t they?), as well as how much moola you have left to spend according to your budget. The future is yours—with more cash in the bank. (Free for Android and iPhone)
In an ideal world, you planned ahead by applying for jobs, interviewed during finals and by the time graduation rolled around, you were ready to start your first professional job in a big exciting city somewhere.
Well, we know that doesn’t always happen, but maybe you’re still setting out on your own in search of a job and an adventure. Whatever the case, if you’re searching for a new place to live, you’re going to need an apartment, maybe some furniture, and anything cheap.
CraigsPro+ is Craigslist in your pocket (or purse). With this classified-listings app, you can search locally for apartments or homes, plus furniture to fill it all, with a few simple taps of your finger. Search by things for sale, for rent, or even post your own stuff to make a little money on the side. (Free for Android and iPhone)
It’s all about who you know. Isn’t that the phrase you hear over and over from your family elders and college professors? After graduation, it’s essential to keep in contact with your network of friends, peers and colleagues, so when they hear about a job opportunity, they quickly think of you and your oh-so-amazing talent.
Luckily, one of the best social networks with a professional emphasis came out with a killer app this year. It’s LinkedIn 5.0, and it will be your new best friend.
Use the professional-networking app to search for contacts, update your profile information and view which friends are snagging or changing jobs. View all of your connections, accept new ones and access your LinkedIn groups wherever you are. Hopefully, a job tip will follow. (Free for Android and iPhone)
Sure, you’ve been out of the house for four years. But while you haven’t relied on your parents to do big-people chores for you, you probably did have dormitory maintenance crews and landlords.
As you head out to live on your own after college, make sure you download the wikiHow app. It’ll save daily calls to your parents, asking questions from “How do I change a light bulb?” to “How do I get a chocolate stain out of the carpet?” An unthinkable amount of how-to articles live in wikiHow’s Android and iPhone app, with the latter (wikiHow DIY Survival Guide) also serving up easy-access articles for emergency situations. (Free for Android and iPhone)
Another how-to app needed for your adult wellbeing is How to Cook Everything. Gone are cafeterias and mom’s home cooking. Sure, you can keep eating Ramen noodles every night, but if you’d rather kick it up a notch with some gourmet (and more nutritious) food, this free cooking app will tell you a little about a lot of recipes.
How to Cook Everything contains recipes from best-selling cookbook author and chef Mark Bittman, and it also houses those how-to cooking tips you need to know for all recipes. You can browse featured recipes or search by food or meal type. Recipes include clear instructions, illustrations and ingredient information. You can even make grocery lists with the app.
For the premium How to Cook Everything app, you get an a huge amount of yummy recipes and cool features, but we realize you’re just out of college. It’s probably wiser to spend your money on the food itself, so we suggest downloading the free version, How to Cook Everything Essentials. (Free to $4.99 for iPhone)