Whether you are a college freshman who has just left the nest or a second-year who has left their small space that was their dorm room, you have come to the right place.

In this blog, we are going to share with you some essential online tools you need so you can focus on the important things that college has to offer.

Here are the online web/mobile apps and tools that I wish I had used when I was at college. Lets’ begin!

Tools to save you money…

Free Textbooks

For the frugal college students out there, I was seriously shocked by how much money I had to dish out when I got into college from day one. With engineering, the textbooks are very thick and I knew my wallet was going to have a fit if it saw the price tag.

Here are a few websites where you don’t have to pay a penny that was only recommended to me in my 2nd year I would have killed for in my freshman year.

This is Project Gutenberg. Over 60,000 free eBooks, you can download directly onto your laptop. Another bonus is that eBooks are infinitely lighter than carrying textbooks around.

Source – Library Genesis

Next up we have Library Genesis that has an older user interface than Craiglist so you know these guys are legit. If you can’t find your books on Project Gutenberg try this tool out instead.

When you get the books as a PDF you can command-f to search through it for any relevant keywords you are learning about which will save you so much more time than having to flick through pages.

These tools don’t just save you money but time! Speaking of saving time…

Tools to save you time…


When I was in college some of my professors could put at least 30% of our cohort to sleep. It was super impressive but not helpful when I realized that not only did I miss the lecture but I had no notes.

Here are the simple steps to solving this:

  1. First of all, sit in the front row to where your lecturer is perfectly audible.
  2. Type doc.new into your chrome search bar to create a new google document.
  3. Once the new document has loaded. Tap on tools and scroll to voice typing (Or if you love a shortcut command+shift+S)
Google docs in action.

As the lecturer speaks, everything will be transcribed onto the page for you. If you have a bad hangover or your lecturer is giving you no choice but to close your eyes, turn this on beforehand and save yourself some school supplies.

Google docs is up there on my college essentials list for this neat feature. Not only do you have your notes but you can now search through the doc so you clean it up later in no time. Thank me later.

Drop a comment below on how this worked out for you.

Homework assignments

For those of you doing any sort of STEM relating minors or majors, there will be a day where you are stuck on a calculus question at 3 am with no one next to you for help.

If you haven’t heard of it already, Chegg has a free service that will solve the toughest calculus questions you throw at it.

I can already hear the cries “But this is cheating Landon”. It is up to you if you want to use Chegg to solve all your questions (which I do not advocate to do) but it will give you a comprehensive breakdown line by line of how to solve this question. 

This could be a better breakdown of the problem than any of your professors could have given you. Once you get better, you won’t need to use Chegg anymore.

BONUS: You don’t have to type out your integrals into the app, simply take a picture using their app and Chegg’s OCR software will transcribe it automatically and will begin solving your problem for you.

Scan and solve. Source – chegg.com

Tools to help you with your finances…

You have your school life but you also have a personal life. With all the stress that comes with the college work life, it is better if your personal life is also in order so you don’t have unnecessary distractions.

Here are some tools that I wish I could have used during college that would have saved me a lot of head shaking and facepalming

Managing House Bills

So it’s the big day and you have moved into your new home with your best buds. Before you get the pre-game going and bar crawling around the college campus, let me save you some time so you don’t have to think about the Gas and Electric bill hungover.

There are no bills in college dorm rooms however having your own space is a little different to dorm life so here is what to expect.

The old way…

Traditionally you would have 1 person manage all the bills, front the bills money, remember the due dates, pay the bills and then chase everyone up to get paid back… This is not fun… Nor will it bring you closer to the roommates you chose.

Luckily you don’t have to deal with any of this anymore. Prepare to be saved losing your 2 best friends, 15 migraines, and $100 in late fees whilst studying for finals.

The new way!

YSplit is a free app to manage all your shared bills in one place. It will let you know when the bills are due, pay the bills on the due date then charge everyone separately. 

YSplit even pays you to use them. After you are charged your share, you are given 2% cash-back on your share. Here is how to get started with your new friends.

  1. Link your shared bill accounts to the app i.e Gas, Wi-Fi, Rent & Water
  2. Invite roommates to the app
  3. When the bill is due, YSplit pays the bill then charges you all separately.

We didn’t have these tools in college and that is exactly why we had to build YSplit for you guys.

Here’s a look at YSplit in action. Tyra used to pay for everyone, now she only pays her share of the PG&E bill.

Tyra getting charged only her share of the PG&E bill this month

Here is what you are going to have to do without YSplit…

Without YSplit, look at all that tracking and requesting…

And here is what it looks like with YSplit by your side…

A lot more streamlined.

When you sign you will get $15 credit towards the first bill that is paid and split through us. Download YSplit here available on both iOS and Android.

Comment below if you have any questions about YSplit. We would love to hear your thoughts.


Truebill budgeting in action

Most of you will be on a budget and sticking to one will be the best thing that could happen to you especially during the exam period when you want to buy a Starbucks coffee as a treat.

Truebill lets you link to multiple bank accounts simultaneously. It will display all upcoming subscriptions that are upcoming in that week which is useful if you thought you would be fine buying those new shoes. Think again.

On top of this, Truebill has custom budgeting so as you spend, it will categorize payments automatically and so you know exactly how much money you have left in each category.

I for one learned this lesson too late but you folk don’t have to. These tools are faster and cleaner than ever so there is no excuse anymore not to keep up to date with your finances. 

I know deep down you want to know how much we spend on coffee every month ☕️


I live by the mantra to work smarter not harder and so any tools that I can find to save me money, time, and headaches make my knees weak.

I guarantee you that you will find some if not all these tools useful. Let us know in the comments below which ones you tried out or any other tools that you have tried that you would like to see on this list.

Good luck out there!


Co-founder/CPO of YSplit.

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